For years I had been getting gel nails. The whole process left my nails weak, thin, and brittle as it eventually will. When gel polish manicures came into the spotlight I switched to that thinking it was a better alternative and it was, but that gel polish still takes an effort to remove and will damage your nails as well.

Several months ago I noticed that my cuticles had become extremely dry. I turned to my HG cuticle oil, CND Solar Oil. The Solar Oil helped but still didn’t alleviate the problem for long. I determined that the UV lamp was the culprit for what had been making my cuticles so horrible! It only makes sense. UV rays are the MOST damaging thing to skin. Cuticles are skin. Now every once in a while is not going to do much damage but doing it every 2 weeks for years will eventually take its toll.

I decided what is the point of making an effort to have youthful skin if the rest of you doesn’t match? I decided to just get regular manicures with regular polish. Of course, that set me on a quest to find the longest lasting polish products and after all of my searching, I think I may have found a winning combo!

Enter Develop 10 Calcium Gel and Whim Gel Topcoat!

Develop 10 Calcium Gel 
Develop 10 Calcium Gel $6.99

This is the first step to my manicures. I use this as a basecoat and pre-topcoat. So one coat of this on clean nails, then two coats of polish, then another coat of the calcium gel. This gel is great because it makes your nails hard and strong and bonds to your nail better than any other basecoat I have tried. Adding the other coat after polish just extends the wear even more and makes your nails thicker.

Whim Gel Topcoat
Whim On Top Of It Gel Topcoat $10

After all is said and done you top everything off with Whim Gel Topcoat. This will make your nails super shiny and it dries in seconds. I used to only be faithful to Seche Vite topcoat, but sometimes when it dries it would shrink on my nails leaving the edges exposed. The Whim topcoat does not do that.

Now if you do a ton of housework all day or other strenuous things with your hands your manicure may not last quite as long, but this combination of products should give your usual polish routine a run for its money. Another tip I will divulge is to let all of your polish coats dry completely before adding another if you can. Yes this is a lot of steps, but I figure if my manicure lasts as long as it has been then it’s worth the extra time.

What do you use for a long-lasting manicure?