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When gel polish first arrived on the beauty scene, it appeared to solve all of our nail problems: no chipping, brilliant shine and durable results that last up to two weeks—what could be better, especially for women headed on a summer vacation? But, much like every beauty treatment, a gel manicure comes at a cost, including a somewhat timely removal process. So, the question remains: Should you get gel when traveling? Read on to discover the pros and cons of getting a gel manicure before your next getaway.


PRO: Gel polish lasts

Obviously, the best part about getting a gel manicure is that it lasts way longer than traditional lacquer, usually about 7-10 days max. Even if you layer on the top coat, the longest wear you can get out of polish is usually 4-5 days at most, meaning if you choose traditional lacquer before heading out of town, you should expect to do at least 1-2 touch-ups while you’re away.


CON: Touch-ups are nearly impossible

Even though most gel polish remains on the nail, your tips can still chip. Unlike traditional polish, which dries in a few minutes, gel polish needs to be cured under a UV or LED lamp. So unless you plan on stashing a curing lamp in your luggage, you run the risk of seeing chips on your nails while you’re on vacation.


PRO: Gel offers flexible durability and impeccable shine

Gel polish serves as a shield for your natural nail, protecting your tips from breaking, snagging or tearing. It also gives your tips brilliant shine that won’t fade after a couple of days.


CON: Removing color is a timely process

Perhaps the biggest downfall of gel polish is the removal process. Not only do you need to pack acetone, cotton and foil wraps with you on your trip, you’ll also need to allot at least 10-15 minutes out of your day to soak your nails.


THE VERDICT: Still unsure if you should get a gel mani before you head off on vacation? If you plan on being pretty gentle on your nails and are ok with sticking to the same color the entire time, then gel polish is an ideal option. If you think you’re going to want to change your shade while you’re away, try packing mini-sized versions of your favorite lacquers, then layer on the top coat and keep a glitter polish in your luggage to conceal chips on the go.

Stay tuned for even more nail inspiration and take a peek at these inspiring nail styles!