Nailing It – How Long Does a Gel Manicure Last? My Tips on Keeping Your Gel Nails, Revealed!

There’s very few things that can brighten my day like a new manicure – rightly or wrongly, I just love watching the dancing patterns that my new nails make as I move my hands. So super shiny and sparkly, just like little gems. Which is why I was so overjoyed when gel manicures hit the big time – it meant that I could have my awesome nails every day with no worries!

What is a gel manicure?

A gel manicure refers to the product that you apply to your nails. Gel polishes are applied just like shellac and other finishes, but are ultra tough, ultra durable and ultra gorgeous. You can either book an appointment at your local salon, or DIY your gel mani at home.

How long does a gel manicure last?

Gel manicures are well known for being long lasting and, applied properly, can stay looking awesome for over three weeks!

There are some things you can do to help your mani last:

  • Make sure your nails are healthy and strong before applying the gel polish.
  • Keep your nails clean, especially around the edges and underneath
  • Moisturize frequently
  • Regularly file away any rough patches
  • Avoid water that is too hot, as it can cause the gel to lift
  • Wear gloves for housework or anything that’s even vaguely rough on your nails.

Check out these extra tips for prolonging your gel manicure.

How to DIY your gel manicure

What you’ll need:


  • File and shape your nails. Whether they are natural or you have acrylic tips, they should be neatened before beginning your manicure.
  • Use the pusher to gently tidy your cuticles.
  • Wipe your nails over with a cotton pad soaked in nail polish remover. This will remove any oil or debris left from the filing process.
  • Apply a very thin layer of base coat, and allow to dry thoroughly – depending on the brand you’re using, it may need curing under the lamp.
  • Brush on a thin coat of your favorite polish – remembering to swipe across the free edge as this prevents the gel from peeling back.
  • Cure thoroughly
  • Apply another thin coat of polish
  • Cure
  • Brush on a layer of your top coat – again, don’t forget the free edge, and cure properly.
  • Some gel polishes can leave the surface of your nails a little tacky. If this is the case, give them a light wipe with some nail polish remover.
  • And there you go – the perfect DIY gel mani! You’re welcome!

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