There are many reasons I love a gel manicure, but a few in particular stand out. I'm obsessed that they require zero drying time, which equates to zero probability of smudging. They last for at least two weeks. That enduring glossy finish gets me to book salon visits over and over again. But when it comes time to take off the lacquer, I admittedly get a little lazy. When choosing between squeezing a removal appointment into a busy schedule or picking and peeling on my way home from work, I'm often guilty of the latter.
It turns out that's not the only error I've been making when it comes to gel polish. Chances are, you — and your favourite salon! — are making some of them, too. That's precisely why I enlisted the help of celebrity manicurist Elle. The nail tech (who has painted the talons of Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Blake Lively) revealed that seemingly simple things can cause your gels and natural nails to prematurely crack and peel. But when applied and cared for correctly, these glossy lacquers aren't harmful to your claws at all. Read on to discover her top nail-saving tips.