You spend the time to paint your nails and it looks perfect and a second later... dah! There's nothing more frustrating than smudging your brand new nail art or picture-perfect manicure.

So, how can you avoid this all-to-common disaster?

The first thing is to look at what type of nail system are you using. The normal nail polish, that dries in air, is always prone to be smudged because it takes a very long time to fully dry. 

When gel nail polishes first came out, they were hard to use. However the technology has improved so much that anyone can paint their own nails at home using gel nail polish.  So the easiest way to ensure your nails are not smudged, is to use gel nail polishes.

Why do we love gel nail polishes?

Not only are they are super easy to apply, they also last a very long time. If you follow the right steps, then your gel nail polish can last 3-8 weeks. 

It is important to remember there are a few types of gel nail polishes on the market and the quality and durability varies massively. 

The two big key differences are the type of gel nail polish and quality of the product you are using. 

Type of gel nail polish

There are two main types of gel polish - hybrid gel nail polish or pure gel nail polish.

A hybrid gel nail polish contains normal polish, aka lacquer, and gel nail polish. This is why these gel nail polishes only last 1-2 weeks before they start chipping. The difference in quality of these polishes comes from the proportion of normal nail polish or gel nail polish. You will also notice that these gel nail polishes are thicker in consistency which means we need to apply super thin layers. 

A pure gel nail polish is the type of gel nail polish that only contains gel. This means this gel nail polish lasts a very long time, typically 3-8 weeks. 

how to make your nail polish last

Quality of gel nail polishes

​​Depending on the formula and the ingredients used, your gel nail polish can last longer or less time. The more premium the ingredients, the longer your polish will last.

Another important factor in quality is the chemical make-up of the ingredients. In another word, how good or harmful the ingredients are.  Some gel nail polishes have very harmful chemicals in them that are not only bad for your nails but also bad for you. At Mitty, we are very passionate about educating everyone to understand what is being used. This is why all Mitty gel nail products are 10 free.

What does 10 free means when it comes to gel nail polishes?

Is builder gel bad for you

​​10 free means, in nail industry terminology, means products such as gel nail polishes and builder gels that are free from the top 10 nastiest chemicals. These are:

  • ​​Parabens: ​​Parabens have been suspected endocrine disruptors, causing damage to your hormonal system. Other studies have confirmed that parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen in the body, which can disrupt normal bodily functions, as well as lead to tumors and cancerous cells.

  • ​​TPHP: ​​Commonly referred to as a plasticizer, as well as a fire retardant, TPHP has been proven to alter hormonal health and functionality in the body. In essence, this chemical can completely change your health, regulatory functions, and even reproductive health due to its chemical composition.

  • ​​Tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide: ​​This chemical may be toxic to blood, lungs, liver, and respiratory systems, as well as the nervous system.

  • ​​Toluene: ​​Studies have suggested that this chemical can cause nervous system impairment and immune, kidney, liver, and reproductive damage.This chemical is used to help polish dry faster. 

  • ​​Xylene: ​​This toxin has been known to cause headaches and migraines, as well as nervous system depression.

  • ​​Camphor:  ​​This chemical can cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness

  • ​​Dibutyl Phthalate: ​​This chemical can cause a respiratory irritant when inhaled in large volumes and can be linked to the development of cancerous cells, tumors, and a variety of other complications.

  • ​​Ethyl Tosylamide: ​​This chemical is suspected to cause reproductive health complications. It is important to note that this chemical is banned in some countries such as European Commission however be careful when buying online from other countries and websites that are not 10 free as they can still be used and shipped. For example this product is not banned in USA.

  • ​​Formaldehyde: ​​This same chemical is used for embalming fluid on corpses, which should put it into perspective for you how bad it is when used on gel products. This chemical is can cause respiratory and skin irritation, long-term exposure to formaldehyde can be linked to cancerous development. 

  • ​​Formaldehyde Resin: ​​This is the base chemical that releases the formaldehyde we consume.

​​Some studies have even found that the amount of chemicals floating in the air at many nail salons exceeds the amount of chemicals found in notoriously polluted places - like auto garages. Other studies have proven that these chemicals can be a threat to pregnancy health and hormonal regulation in women carrying children. This is why it is important that you choose 10 free products. 

How to apply gel nail polish

​​Gel nail polishes are easy to use. The most important thing is to make sure you have everything you need and follow these steps. 

  1. ​​Prepare your nails by pushing the cuticle back.
  2. ​​Gently buff the nail surface, using a Mitty 180/180 Grit file.
  3. ​​Apply Mitty PH Bonder, let air dry.
  4. ​​Apply Mitty Gel Primer, let air dry.
  5. ​​Apply a thin layer of Mitty clear base coat. Cure for 30 seconds in Mitty 54W LED Lamp.
  6. ​​Apply a thin layer of gel polish and cure for 30 seconds in Mitty 54W LED Lamp. Repeat this step.
  7. ​​Apply non wipe top coat and cure for 60 seconds in Mitty 54W LED Lamp.

​​PLEASE NOTE: ​​Curing time may differ depending on the voltage of your LED nail lamp.  


How to remove gel nail polish super easy

​​It is super important to ensure your remove your gel nail polish correctly so that you don't damage your natural nails. 

  1. ​​File your applied gel polish to remove seal with Mitty 100/100 Grit file.
  2. ​​Cut a cotton pad into 4 pieces.
  3. ​​Soak the pad with pure acetone.
  4. ​​Slip the pad inside Mitty Polish off Soakie and slide the Soakie onto your finger. (You can use aluminum foil as well; however we ask that you consider the impact on the environment)
  5. ​​Wait 10-15 minutes.
  6. ​​Using a cuticle pusher, remove the gel polish. Repeat previous steps if polish is not fully removed.
  7. ​​Buff your nails.
  8. ​​Use Mitty Cuticle oil to moisturise your cuticles and nails.


More tips to ensure your nail polish lasts

​​There are a few things we can do here to protect my new nails:

Working on clean nails

​​A perfect nail art design starts with perfect clean nails. Oily nails allow the nail polish to stay wet and smudge easier. Clean your nails with alcohol to remove the unwanted oils and dust.
​​For super clean nails, you can also use a Mitty pH bonder and Primer specially if you are using gel polish. These products remove excess oil from your nails and help the polish to adhere to your nails.

When applying base coat

​​It is very important to use a base coat. Not only will this prepare your nails with a smooth canvas for that amazing nail art idea, but also will avoid your nails being stained by the nail polish. I like using gel products as they last longer and therefore I use Mitty Clear Base coat. This product needs to be cured under LED lamp. 


When applying Top Coat

​​It is very important to apply top coat. It makes your nail art design shine.
​​If you are using normal nail polish, make sure to apply a thin layer of coat. A heavy top coat means that it takes longer to dry and you have to wait much longer to apply the second coat.
​​A good trick to check to see if your nail polish is dry is to gently touch two nails together. If you can separate them without a sticky feeling, then your nail polish is dry. I like this tip because you can touch the two sides and if your polish is still wet, your whole nail art design is not ruined.
​​However if you want your nails to really shine and last longer, we strongly recommend you to apply a gel top coat like Mitty top coat.


How to dry your nail art quicker if you are using normal nail polish

Apply oil on freshly painted nails: ​​Oil will accelerate the drying process. I use spray oil however you can empty an old nail polish and wash the bottle. Then fill it with olive oil and apply it like nail polish.

Ice baby Ice: Icy water helps solidify the nail polish and therefore it dries faster. Dip your nails into a bowl of icy water and wait a few seconds.

Use ready products: There are many products such as drops and sprays out there that help expedite the drying process.

​​Wait on that hot shower: Never ever have a hot shower after designing or even painting your nails. It is ok to wash your hands with cool water however hot water or steam can cause your polish to smudge.

​​Have tips & tricks that you like to share? Why not comment below or email us at

Comments (0)