How to Keep Your Nails Luxuriously Long with Gel Nail Polish
Many women dream of having lavish, lovely long fingernails but struggle to get them to grow without breaking. We get impatient and wonder, naturally enough, about how to grow them faster so we can do gel nails at home that long as great as the ones in magazines and ads. We’ve read tips in magazines, heard about home remedies through the grapevine and seen products in the health food store all purporting to offer the secret to faster growing, longer, stronger nails. Guess what, girls? Much of it is nonsense. But not all of it. If you are sick of looking at your gel nail kit and your short nails and feeling despair, read on for some reality about how you can… and can’t… grow gorgeous nails long enough for some fabulous nail art.
Before you worry about how to do gel nails at home step by step, let’s focus on how to get longer, stronger nails. Obviously, because gel nails are so strong and durable, wearing gel nail polish protects your nails. You do also need to protect them when you are between shellac nails manicures or using regular polish. (Although why on earth would you wear old fashioned, easily chipped nail polish when it is so easy to do shellac nails at home?!) So keep these tips for protecting your nails in mind.
- Wear gloves for tasks that might damage your nails such as dish washing, gardening or other household chores. It’s spring now, but remember to wear gloves in the winter, especially on cold, dry days.
- Keep them filed to keep the tips strong. Don’t only file them when you are doing gel nails at home.
- Eat a healthy diet – yes, your diet really does affect every aspect of your health! If your nails are prone to breaking easily when you aren’t wearing gel nail polish, try a supplement containing Biotin. You can get this B vitamin in foods such as nuts, salmon, chicken and dairy, but it isn’t easily absorbed. (If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication, talk to your doctor first.)
- Use a quality moisturizer on your hands daily. Dry nails break easier. Go for a heavier hand lotion, and keep it in sight by the sink so you remember to use it every time you wash your hands.
- Your nails are not letter openers or screwdrivers. If you want them to stay long and healthy, don’t use them like tools. Save them for running through some lucky soul’s hair, not opening the electricity bill.
Don’t Fall for the Myths about Nail Growth
Now let’s look at some myths that will only waste your time and leave you frustrated. The truth is that your nails are dead tissue as soon as they grow out from your cuticles. The ends do not grow. Doctors agree that you can’t do much to speed nail growth, but still the myths persist. Don’t be fooled by these:
- Finger exercises or massage will encourage fingernail growth. It sounds more scientific when people claim this is because exercise or massage will encourage more blood flow to the finger tips, but it is not going to trigger significant nail growth.
- Rubbing garlic, olive oil or tomato juice on your nails will not do much beyond making you smell like pasta sauce. Use a good quality hand moisturizer and save the other stuff for dinner.
- Taking protein supplements. Unless you are vegetarian or vegan who isn’t taking care to find non-animal sources of protein, you are unlikely to have a protein deficiency. A good diet is important for your overall health, and if you are malnourished or eating a lot of junk food that will show up in many ways, including your nails. But if you are eating reasonably well, fancy protein supplements won’t make your nails grow more – they’ll just make your bank balance shrink faster.
It really is not all that complicated to have lovely gel nails. Don’t abuse your nails. Look after them, keep them filed. Be especially careful when you are giving them a little break between gel nail polish manicures. And of course, when you do gel nails at home, do them right. It doesn’t take very long, so there is little to gain by rushing. Properly done, gel nail polish will resist chips and scratches for two whole weeks.
How to Do Gel Nails at Home Step by Step
Doing your gel nails at home is so easy it doesn’t make sense to go to the salon and pay someone to do it for you. The best thing about gel nails is that they are so durable. Gel nail polish actually protects your nails from wear and tear.
- Gather up everything you need, including your gel nail kit and nail lamp, cuticle stick and your gel nail polish, top coat and base coat.
- Prepare your nails properly as you would for any manicure. Clean, file, cuticles, the works.
- Apply the base coat brushing from the cuticle past the edge of the nail so the nail is completely covered. Let this coat air dry for a few minutes or quickly cure it in your nail lamp leaving it a bit tacky, not completely dry.
- Apply a coat of gel nail polish starting just inside of where you started the coat of base polish so you leave a tiny edge along the cuticle with just base coat. Cure until completely dry with your nail lamp.
- Apply the top coat from the edge of the base coat brushing out past the edge of the nail to ensure the colour completely sealed between the base and top coats. Cure until dry.
You don’t need to resort to crazy tricks to have lovely long nails. Treat them right and protect them with gel nail polish. They’ll be safe and sound under their gel nails manicure for 14 days at a time, and it won’t make them smell like a pasta dinner.