How to Make Gel Nail Strips Last Longer: Tips to Make the Most of Your Wraps

Want to learn how to make gel nail strips last longer? You’ve come to the right place - that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this in-depth guide! Below, you’ll gain valuable tips and tricks to help you make the most of your nail strips. 

We love using gel nail strips because they help us save money on salon visits while achieving a stunning nail look. But, they don’t last forever - after a week or two, it’s time to replace the strips with a fresh set. If you’re getting less than a week or two out of your strips, it can leave you frustrated. By the end of today’s quick chat, you’ll feel more confident in applying your strips correctly to squeeze as much use out of them as possible.

First, let’s provide a brief overview of what gel nail strips are - and what separates them from a similar product you may encounter, gel nail wraps. 

A Brief Overview of Gel Nail Strips

First things first - what exactly are gel nail strips? Are these the same thing as nail polish wraps?

Not exactly.

As you may be able to interpolate from the names of these products, the difference lies in what they’re made of. For example, nail polish wraps are made from real nail polish ingredients. On the other hand, gel nail strips are made from gel ingredients. 

This leads to slight differences in how you apply the two products. More specifically, nail polish wraps require you to just peel, press, apply a top coat, and admire your picture-perfect manicure (read our complete guide on how to put on nail wraps for more information).

Gel nail strips, however, require a bit more work. You need to cure them after the application.

However, this extra work comes with an added benefit - you get more use out of these! We recently wrote a complete guide on how long nail wraps last. There, we discussed that the maximum life of the best nail wraps can be up to 10 days. Gel nail strips, on the other hand, last up to 14 days!

But maybe you’ve found that your strips aren’t making it past the first week before peeling or fading. This leads you to wonder - can you really learn how to make gel nail strips last longer? We’ll explain below…

Is it Possible to Learn How to Make Gel Nail Strips Last Longer?

If you’re getting up to two weeks out of your gel nail strips, it’s important to understand that you’re getting your money’s worth as is. You can’t squeeze a whole more life out of them. 

However, maybe you’re not getting the two weeks of use out of these strips. Is it possible to make them last longer?


Most of the time when users report their strips aren’t lasting as long as they had hoped, it comes down to one of two issues:

  1. Improper application
  2. Low-quality strips are being used

Either way, you can take a few steps to extend the life of your UV gel nail strips for good! Keep reading to learn how…

How to Make Gel Nail Strips Last Longer: X Tips

Alright, we won’t hold you in suspense any longer…we’re ready to teach you how to make gel nail strips last longer! And the good news is, it doesn’t take a whole lot of work or effort on your end. Let’s start with the #1 tip for getting more use out of your strips: upgrading the quality of your product!

Upgrade to Higher Quality Nail Gel Strips

If you’re like most people who buy these strips, you’re doing so to save money on expensive, time-consuming salon visits while getting a picture-perfect manicure from the comfort of your own home.

And, in the interest of saving as much money as possible, you may look for cheap strips. But trust us when we say you get what you pay for. With lower-end nail strips, you end up paying more in the long run. These don’t last nearly as long and you’re forced to deal with the hassle of constant removal and reapplication.

To actually get the most out of your budget, you should take the opposite approach - seeking out the best quality nail gel strips possible!

While these do cost a bit more, you save more money in the long run as you end up using fewer strips over the course of time. Perhaps more importantly, you don’t have to do as much nail work on yourself. And, of course, the final product is more stunning - if the manicure isn’t picture-perfect, what’s the point?

So - don’t skimp on quality. You deserve the best, don’t you? That’s what you’ll find at Polish Pops. Our semi-cured gel nail strips are of the highest quality - and can last up to 14 days with the proper application! 

And, you can feel good about putting these on your body as we’ve formulated them with safe, natural ingredients. Our strips are vegan, cruelty-free, and toxin-free. Taking things a step further, our products are 14-free. That means you don’t have to stress about harmful compounds like Phthalates, Parabens, Silicone, Formaldehyde, and other nasty ingredients in traditional nail care products.

Now - beyond upgrading to the longest-lasting gel nail strips possible, is there anything else you can do to maximize the use of your strips? Yep - it comes down to how to put on gel nail strips correctly. We encourage you to read our complete guide to application - however, we’ll summarize a few key points below that lead to a longer use.

Don’t Neglect Pre-Application Nail Prep!

Oftentimes, those who complain about their strips peeling prematurely or fading early didn’t take the time to actually prep their nails. This can make a dramatic difference in how well the strips hold to your nail - and of course, the final look.

So, shape your nails with a file and push back your cuticles. Then comes the most important part for a strong, long-lasting hold: clean your nails with the alcohol prep pad. This eliminates oils that could loosen the bonds. Taking things a step further, we actually advise you to avoid lotions, water, or any other oils an hour before/after applying the strips. 

Put on a Quality Base Coat

Of course, before you put on the gel strips you need to put on a base coat. But you may not have realized just how important this step is in dictating how long your nail strips last. 

So, be sure you’re using OUR base coat for this step - as it is specifically formulated to maximize the bondability of the strips. And, by letting it dry first, you can ensure the nail is a smooth, oil-free surface. If you try to apply the strips when your nails are still wet, they won’t adhere properly. 

Sizing Matters

If you’re choosing nail strips that are too big for your nail, the likelihood of them peeling increases drastically. So - be sure that the specific strip you choose is just slightly smaller than the width of your nail. You should avoid letting the strip touch your skin. If it does, it’s too big - and won’t hold well.

After actually applying the strip, you should trim away any excess. Speaking of application - let’s talk about the “press”.

Avoid Touching the Adhesive & Apply With a Strong Press

When it comes time to actually put your strips on, be sure to avoid contact with the adhesive side of the strip. This can add oils from your skin to the adhesive, weakening the bond. Moreover, it removes adhesive from the strip itself - further diminishing the strength of your strips.

Now, in terms of actually applying the strip, it’s important to leave a small gap between the cuticle and the wrap. Roll the cuticle stick over the sides of the strip to flatten it to perfection. The more pressure you apply during the press, the stronger these strips will hold. 

Cure Evenly for the Proper Time Period

We know how eager you are to take your nails out of the LED light and unveil your picture-perfect manicure. But don’t rush through the curing step. This is one of the most essential steps that dictates how long your nail look will last. 

After you’ve trimmed away excess nail strips, you should allow an even cure on all nails - for at least 60 seconds. The light will turn off on its own when your time is up!

Oh - and take note that exposing unused gel nail strips to the LED light can result in accidental curing, leading to wasted strips. This leads to the next tip for how to make gel nail strips last longer - store them properly. 

Take Note of How You Store Your Nail Strips

This is one that most users neglect - and it shows. If you aren’t storing your excess nail strips in an air-tight bag for later use, they can start to degrade over time. Similarly, keep them out of direct sunlight and in moderate temperatures/humidity ranges. 

Final Thoughts on How to Make Gel Nail Strips Last Longer

Well, there you have it. These tips on how to make your semi-cured gel nail strips last longer will extend the use you get out of them. And perhaps more importantly, they will help you unlock your most beautiful, effortless nail look yet. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get your dream nails from the comfort of your own home at a fraction of the price you’d pay at the salons. At Polish Pops, you’ll find an unbeatable selection of styles to choose from. Whether you’re looking for something simple and stunning or something cute and eye-catching - we’ve got it in store for you.

Happy curing!