Gel manicures can keep your nail bed healthy for months on end, but it can be a huge pain in the butt to go through the exact same treatment every single day. For all you nailies on a budget, here are six ways to ease your transition from salon to sink into a bubble bath with your highlights drizzled on top.
Protect Your Nails When You’re at the Salon
First up, nails will keep getting stained if you’re not careful about protecting them while you’re getting them done. Most salons require the stylist to be educated in sterilization procedures, and you can rest assured your mani will be pristine after coming out of the salon. You can also keep from getting stained by using a hand cleanser, or by using either an OTC product or mild soap.
Leave Them Out of Water
When you get your nails done on a regular basis, the water at your nail salon likely comes with a cooling function. That means it will be freezing in the bathroom, and that means you need to leave your nails out of the water. You don’t have to remove them completely, but it’s always a good idea. Your nails can come in contact with really nasty lactic acid from the water. Using the right nail polishes can absorb this acid, but if you’re with an uber cool salon, you could still get nasty reactions from licking your hands after the procedure.
Treat Your Nails Like an Isolation
Sometimes, you can get so far into a nail torture session that you forget to medicate the space in between. Sure, you might be able to touch your nails without them showing any signs of inflammation, but if you make a habit of doing this, you can become susceptible to picking.
Wash Your Hands Between Salon Visits
If you keep your nails from getting stained with water, you’re at risk of getting a sticky mess. Avoid it by using a dry, clean, or paste manicure hand soap. It’s worth the effort, too: if you need to wet your hands several times to get them clean, it’s time to reconsider a regular treatment.
Vapour mattresses are all the rage at salon spas these days, but if you’re not a fan of settling for your hands being covered in aerosol, choose one that you can mass produce yourself (and can keep safely in your home).
Use Substances You Don’t Expect
With a gel manicure, you’re not just dealing with a precise gel manicure. You’re also dealing with a gel nail product — and it’s going to show. Be careful not to gloss over this part of the process, and always be honest when it comes to the quality of the products you’re using.