Flip through InStyle's July 2014 issue featuring two covers of the ab fab Kate Hudson for a beauty Q&A! This commonly asked question caught our eye:
When I give myself a gel manicure, it never seems to last the full two weeks. What am I dong wrong?
We can tell you in two words: You're rushing. With gel manicures, a 14-day-long payoff is in the details. To start, you must create completely clean, dry nail surfaces. "This helps polish stick and stay on," says N.Y.C. nail artist Pattie Yankee. Push back cuticles with a file or an orange stick, then buff nails with a fine-grit file. Use a paper towel dipped in acetone (or one soaked in the cleaner that's included in your at-home kit) to remove any residue. Once you're ready to polish, remember to apply a layer of primer (if one is included), base coat, and then two or three super thin coats of color, allowing each layer to dry before brushing on the next. Thick, goopy coats of gel won't cure completely under LED lamps, and this will eventually lead to chipping.
For more tips and questions for a 2 week DIY at-home gel polish manicure, watch the videos at Nail the Look.