How Nail Concealer Can Level Up Your Manicure Game

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Let's be honest; no matter how good they look (and feel), manicures put our nails through a hellish cycle of damage. We go to the salon, they remove the layers of polish and chip-resistant product, and we're right back at it within minutes. Sure, we've heard whispers that processes like gel manicures can cause damage, but we adore our 10 bedazzled finger canvases regardless. 

Unfortunately, though, even the American Academy of Dermatology has confirmed that the chemicals used in gel manicures cause brittle, peeling nails. And, if we search our hearts (or look at our dry, lizard-scaled nail plates), deep down we know it to be true. Whether you're a strict rule-follower or have succumbed to the urge to pick at the edges and try to remove a gel manicure at home, you know the damage it can cause.

But, if you've shied away from going polish-free because let's face it, those nails look shabby, a nail concealer could be the key to an elegant manicure break. In a nutshell, a nail concealer is a pale-hued base coat often infused with restorative conditioners, per Byrdie. It's chic and hides imperfections, so you can finally take a break from the endless grind of those dip and gel salon manicures. 

Skip the peeling and choose healing

Obviously, there's a cost-saving element to using an at-home nail concealer, but you're also prioritizing some much-needed healing time for your nail plates, especially if you've been on a beauty mission to try every type of manicure. Dr. Sonia Batra is a board-certified dermatologist and one of the hosts of hit talk show "The Doctors." In an interview with Today, Batra explained that long-lasting manicure treatments that need to be soaked or filed off can cause severe, long-term damage to the nails. 

This is largely "due to dehydration or inadvertent removal of the top layer of the nail." In contrast, nail concealers are a one or two-coat layer that requires a less aggressive removal process. Just a few swipes of a non-acetate polish remover will do the trick. But the nail concealer trend isn't just taking off because of the easy at-home application, or even the break from the harsh removal processes. Most concealers also have a common goal — to help restore the health of your nails with conditioners.

Take a manicure break with a nail concealer

Nail concealer brands, such as Londontown's frequently sold-out Illuminating Nail Concealer, formulate products to include nourishing ingredients. People reported that this particular product is so popular that over a million bottles have been sold to date. Not only does the Illuminating Nail Concealer check off all the usual boxes, but it also helps brighten nails and reduces that drab yellow color that happens after long cycles of damaging salon manicures. 

And, as the name suggests, the formula has a low-key pop of radiance, giving your nails a beautiful glow. As a result, customers have given it a near-perfect rating, even those with ongoing damage. "I have very brittle nails," explained one user, "and this polish gives a gel effect without the damage." But don't fret if Londontown's concealer sells out again because thankfully, the nail industry heard our cries for help. 

Orly's nail concealer, Builder in a Bottle, achieves the natural manicure look too, plus it's infused with Vitamins A and E. And Cutex has a BB Nail Concealer that's gaining traction on Amazon. One reviewer summed it up best: "One coat covers imperfections and leaves a slight shine, and further coats hide discoloration." If you're wondering how to keep your nails healthy in between manicures, you can't go wrong with a good concealer.