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In love with gel manicures? Avoid these common mistakes


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 Gel manicures are glossier and last longer than normal polish (Photo: iStock)

There are many reasons why we all love gel manicures; they have a fabulous glossy finish, take little time to dry, and they last forever...OK, two weeks!

But when it comes to maintaining them or taking them off, most of us get a little lazy and unwittingly make mistakes which end up damaging our nails. What are some of these mistakes?

Peeling it off

Most people don't have the patience to book a removal appointment and submit to a soak-off process. Instead, they start to peel the lacquer off the nail which can cause damage to the upper layer of the nail and lead to dryness, cracking or infections.

If you'd still prefer to take off your gel manicure at home, invest in an at-home removal kit or create a DIY one with 100 per cent acetone solution.

Going for cheap

Nail manicures don't come cheap, especially the ones from great salons. Therefore, many women are opting to get their gel manicures done at cheaper neighbourhood salons. While that might be a great decision for your purse, it isn't so good for your nails.

It's very likely that cheaper salons go for older systems which don't cure the nails properly leading to manicures that peel away within days. Make sure that your salon of choice is using the latest and greatest technologies such as LED lights or the new CND Shellac (LED) bulbs instead of the older UV light bulbs.

Mixing nail systems

While it's not a cardinal sin, mixing and matching different nail systems, such as OPI GelColor and CND Shellac, can be harmful to your nails.

These products are designed differently and the whole line of products (prep products, base coats, top coats and colour) are designed to work together towards giving you the shiniest, strongest finish. Mixing up products can mess up with results and even make removal harder. Please, stick to the same brand.


Waiting patiently for the gel to cure can be a challenge to many...even if it's just for a few minutes! There's the temptation to remove your hand from the curation light device to respond to texts or check your social media platforms.

The timers on the curing devices exist for a reason! The gel needs all those allocated seconds to cure properly to ensure you a long-lasting manicure.

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