How to Get a Second Wind Out of Your Gel Manicure & Silhouette Winner!

Greetings, dear readers!  I hope your weekend was as grand as Texas.

Well, before I dive into sharing a whole new category of D.I.Y. never before explored here at The Thinking Closet (cough…nail art!), we have a Silhouette winner to announce.  Thanks to each and everyone of you who entered this month’s giveaway.  With a trip out of town last week with very little internet access, I was unable to respond to all of your comments, but know that I read every one and delighted to hear all of your gift ideas.  Y’all are one creative bunch!  Did you know that?  (Surely, you knew that.)

Silhouette Portrait Giveaway ($229 value) at The Thinking Closet, July 1-7!

So, I know y’all are on pins and needles wondering who the fortunate winner is, so let’s cut the jibber-jab, Lauren, and get to it.  The winner of a Silhouette Portrait with Designer Edition software…as chosen by Rafflecopter and powered by…is…

Silhouette Portrait Winner

Congrats, Aeti!  You are in for a huge treat…and I can’t wait to learn what you create with your new Portrait.  You must send me pics!  {Fine print: I have emailed you for your shipping information; please respond within 48 hours or I will have to choose another winner.}

How to Get a Second Wind Out of Your Gel Mani

Now, I’m eager to share with you a trick for extending the life of your gel manicure.

Tutorial on How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

I’m too rough on my nails for a regular manicure; it barely lasts me two days.  So, when I have a special occasion or have earned a reward for four weeks of exercising, I like to get a gel manicure.  I have rarely if ever dealt with chipping, and they last me until they start to grow out.

So, usually I like to opt for a French manicure which is forgiving after week 2…however, recently, I opted for bubblegum pink.  Lets say ‘ole Bubblicious was not so forgiving after week 2.

Tutorial on How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

And so I started to ponder, “The tips are fine…. I wonder if there’s a way I could mask the bottom of the nail where it is growing out….”

It was then that my Silhouette Cameo piped up, saying,

“I have an idea!  Use me to create a vinyl stencil and nail polish a new design for that bottom half!”

My Silhouette is a Genius

My Cameo really is a genius.  (And don’t pretend like you don’t have conversations with your craft supplies, too!)


Step 1.  First, I used tape as a template on my thumb to help me measure the width and desired height of a triangle shape (.5″ x .25″).

Tutorial on How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

Step 2.  I used the shape and line tools in my Designer Edition of Silhouette Studio to create my stencils and cut them on some scrap black vinyl that I had on hand.  (If you don’t have a Silhouette, no problem!  Just use the tape to create your ten stencils by hand instead. Done and dusted!)

How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

Step 3.  I then applied the vinyl to my nails, eyeing them so they’d be about the same ratio in height.

How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

My little Batman masks!

Step 4.  I opted for using my pink glitter polish which you may recognize from my color-blocked bobby pins.  The polish brand is Milani and the color is 89: Disco Lights.  (Here it is on Amazon.)  I love it because it goes on pretty thick, so I knew it would easily mask the unpainted base of my nails.    Two coats were sufficient.

How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

Step 5.  Once the second coat was mostly dry, I slowly peeled up the vinyl, using my Silhouette hook to gently press down any sections of the glitter polish that may have needed it…and just like that, my gel manicure got her groove back.

How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

I love how festive these turned out!  I kept thinking of Fran Drescher’s voice from The Beautician and the Beast saying, “Flashy not trashy!”

How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

And they’re sure to get me at least another week out of the gel manicure…I might even push it to two.  I’ve been rocking the glitter now four days without any chipping, and surely you could add a clear-coat over top if you wanted. Indeed this is the frugal girl’s approach to manis, but I’m not above milking it for all she’s worth!  Manis don’t grow on trees, you know!  (Though wouldn’t that be sweet, wouldn’t it?  Hmmmm….)

Here’s your pin-able step-by-step for the visual learners in the hiz-ouse:

How to Get a Second Wind out of your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

Free Cut File

While this stencil was created using my personal nail bed measurements, I thought I’d share it here in case you’d like to tweak it for your own…or maybe we’re long-lost twinsies with the same exact piano-fingers!  Wouldn’t that be cool?  To download this nail art stencil for free from, click on the image below.  [Fine print: This design is for personal use and not to be used for commercial purposes.  And yes, you can imagine that being honked out by an adult’s voice from Charlie Brown.]

Free Cut File of Triangle Nail Stencil via The Thinking Closet

Click here to download the free studio file.

Silhouette Promotion

If you didn’t win a Silhouette today, don’t forget that they have er-mazing dealz on Cameo and Portrait machines right now…plus, for those of you still counting squares when trying to calculate shape size, count no longer!  The Designer Edition software (with my beloved ruler tool) is available for 50% right now.  That’s $24.99 and I can attest, it is worth it.  (Check out my Sketch Pen Place-Card post from last week for a breakdown of all the features of the Designer Edition.)

By visiting the Silhouette Promo page (click here) and using the code CLOSET, you have access to these deals:

  • 1 Silhouette CAMEO® plus the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software: $348.98  $269.99
  • 1 Silhouette Portrait™ plus the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software: $229.98  $129.99
  • The Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software: $49.99  $24.99

Special Promotion on Silhouettes and the Designer Edition Software - July 1-12 - Use code CLOSET!

And don’t delay!  These special July Silhouette deals are only available through this Wednesday, July 10thUPDATE!  The promotion has been extended to this Friday, July 12th.  Yippee!

Full Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post; however, I received a free copy of the Designer Ed. software during a past promotion.  This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using my code, I receive a small commission.  Please rest assured that as always, I only recommend products that I use and love to Reese’s Pieces.

The Silhouette Challenge - A Series By The Thinking Closet & Friends

Want to check out more Silhouette projects?

My Silhouette buddies and I have all conspired to share posts on our blogs today with our latest Silhouette creation.  So, have fun hopping around the links below for buckets of inspiration.

DIY Paper Star Lanterns by Me & My DIY

A Jar of Gratefulness by We ♥ Cards

Adding Easy Sketch Pen Detail to Silhouette Cuts by It Happens in a Blink

Laundry Room Labels by Unoriginal Mom

Kids Step Stool with Sass by Joy & Gladness of Heart

Magnetic Perpetual Calendar by Everydaypaper

Silhouette Fabric Ink {An Experiment} by Create & Babble

Playhouse Signs: Who Will We Be Today? by Suburble

DIY Graduation Gift by Super Sweet Life

A Silhouette Challenge by Home at Eight

Oval Coffee Table Reveal & More! by Give Me a Paintbrush

Stamped Gift Boxes by Coley’s Corner

Monsters University T-Shirt by Tried & True

Travel Accessories for Vacation Mementos & Business by An Elegant Touch

A Silhouette Challenge Project by Mel Stampz

My Pinktastic Makeup Organizer by The House on Hillbrook

Do you have a Silhouette machine?

Looking for Silhouette inspiration, support, trouble-shooting?  Interested in joining us for our group posting event next month?  Then, we’d love to have you join our Silhouette Challenge Facebook group.  The easiest way to join is to contact me by email and I’ll get you squared away. {Linking up here.}


Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    What a FABULOUS idea Lauren! You’re so clever. I love the look of the newer, tweaked mani. Yay! Lucky you to have such pretty nails to begin with. I would kill for those! :) Have an awesome day, and thanks for hosting such a fabulous challenge. I can’t wait to check out the other links!


    • thethinkingcloset says

      I’m glad you approve, Debbie! And you’re sweet to compliment my nails. I will receive that, but have to add that many of them are oddly shaped from injuries as a kid and often, I break them during DIY projects (imagine that!). I just happened to be on a good streak recently, so I seized the chance to get a manicure and relish in this rare moment! 😉 #enjoyingitwhileitlasts

      So glad to have you as part of our July Challenge group post! I’m still in awe of your paper star lanterns, Debbie. You’re the clever one!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Look at you being resourceful and doing your own gel-type manicures, Lynden! Would love to see a tutorial on THAT sometime. 😉 And I’m glad to have perhaps offered some inspiration for you for when that manicure does start to grow out (as they are apt to do). Happy gel-ing!

  2. says

    So glad I’m not the only one that uses their Silhouette for beauty needs. I too have thought about this and I’m itchin’ to try it. How cool would it be to do hearts, stars, stripes? The possibilities are endless! I think this is on my to do list for this afternoon. Great job!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Love how both of our posts were beauty related this round! #greatminds Yes, it’d be fun to branch out and try something even more daring next time…like stars n’ stripes! (A project for next Fourth of July perhaps?) Let me know if you take a stab at some nail art of your own, Stephanie! I’d love to see pics!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Aw. If I’m a winner, it’s because I have such supportive bloggy buddies like you, Lynne!

  3. says

    You’re a genius, Lauren! That is a fabulous mani for sure. I can never be bothered to paint my nails, and since I don’t have the money to spare, I just keep my nails nice and short and call it a day. I love that pink glitter though, because obviously sparkles = major win.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Genius? Are you trying to give me a big head, Johanna? :-) Thanks, girl. And I’m a nice-and-short-no-mani kind of gal most of the time…but every so often, when I’ve earned some sort of treat, a gel mani is my treat of choice! And I’m glad you approve of the pink glitter. I believe in sparkles wherever and whenever possible. And I have a feeling that you share the same philosophy!

      • says

        Whenever I’ve earned some sort of treat, you can find me bodily throwing myself into a can of Sour Cream & Onion Pringles! 😀 I should be on “My Weird Addiction”, it’s unreal how much I love those things haha and YES, sparkles are amazing! So kitschy, but who can resist them?! I recently revamped some old wine glasses by adding modge podge (however that’s spelled!) and dumping heaps and heaps of glitter on them – like new!

        • thethinkingcloset says

          Okay, I need to get my hands on some of those Pringles. They sound amazing! And I kind of adore things that toe the kitschy-or-cute line…like those old wine glasses you mention? They sound amazing to me! The more sparkles, the better, I say. And it’s funny, I always called it modge podge and only recently discovered that it’s spelled “mod podge!” What’s up with that? Modge Podge actually rhymes, so it’s clearly the superior title. #whatweretheythinking

  4. says

    You are a downright genius!!! I too only treat myself to a gel mani as a reward or if I know I have a few extra special events to go to two weekends in a row – hello wedding season! This is not only fantastic for making the mani last, but also just totally FUN! Would it be wrong to share this in my Friday Five this week? Because I think that needs to happen!!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Yay! Thanks for your enthusiastic support of this little d.i.y…and you are too sweet to consider including this in your Friday Five. I think it’s only fair that I do the same (and you already know which post I’m going to spotlight since I spilled the beans on Insta). Cannot WAIT for our first Friday Five together! Eeska!

  5. says

    What a great idea! I love how fancy-schmancy they are now. I never get a regular manicure only because I’m so hard on my hands. But a gel manicure? I hadn’t ever considered it! :)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Okay, I’m sorry how I always talk about your diction when I respond to your comments; I just heart the way you speak and need to acknowledge it, that’s all. “Fancy-schmancy” is like one of my favorite phrases. And you spelled it just how I do! #twinsies

      And yes, you should totally consider a gel manicure! I never did (because I’m cheap frugal), but a nail technician convinced me to try it one time, explaining how it would save me money in the end because it would last me so long. I was skeptical, but boy was she right! And ever since then, it’s gel and only gel for me. #onceyougogelyounevergoback

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Jessica! It’s not earth-shattering, by any means…but I love a good money-saver when I can find one!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Your sweet comment makes me think of Peter Pan: “Oh, the cleverness of me!” Ha ha. Love a good Disney reference. I am an Orlando-nian now, after all. #stillhaveyettogotoDisneynowthatwelivehere

  6. says

    Lauren, I have those conversations with my craft tools too! 😉 I talk to them all the time! ha!ha! :-) what a great idea you had and it’s very pretty too! love it! :-) unfortunately, I haven’t treated myself to a good manicure lately :-)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      You deserve a good manicure, Ingrid! Yes, you do! If I could, I would watch your little guy for an afternoon so you could get out and get those nails pampered. You work so hard and give so much to your family and to blogland…I wish I could give that gift to you, friend. Maybe one day….

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha! I know! The Silhouette knows no bounds! Sassy step-ladders and glittery manicures…it’s all in a day’s work for the Silhouette. :-)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Bethany! You are a sweetheart on so many levels. Hope you can use this idea someday!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Wow! Way to make me blush with your “ingenious” comment. Thanks for boosting this gal’s ego tonight, Maaike! Hope you have a wonderful week.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Hooray! (It makes me feel better to know I’m not alone in these things.) I really do need to name my Cameo. Do you have a name for your sewing machine, Amy?

        • thethinkingcloset says

          You crack me up, Amy! I love it! I really need to name my Cameo…and I like the direction you took with the workhorse name. I might have to follow in suit! Clyde…Matilda…Gertrude (these were all my husband’s suggestions when I asked him for workhorse names…ha ha!).

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha. Thanks, Mom! That means a lot coming from another sparkler in the world (and I’m not just talking about your pretty sequiny tops…). Looking forward to our sewing date tomorrow!

  7. Carmen Lucero says

    Thanks for the tips (no pun intended!) and the free file! Now I can extend my geli mani too!


    Carmen L

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha! I love me a good pun! Good one, Carmen. And I’m glad to know that are other geli mani fans out there that can use this trick. Go crazy with it! 😉 Hugs back.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      You’re very gracious, Paula! I have hope that your turn will come to win a Silhouette! And thanks for the kind words on the nails. It was a simple concept, but ended up looking even better than my imagination first pictured it! Phew! 😉 Have a great week.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Do it, do it, do it! I usually get my nails done as some sort of reward. It can be motivating! (And I need motivation…especially when it comes to exercise. Ha ha.)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I can almost hear your exclamations of joy through the screen! Thanks, Camila! Hope you and your family are doing well! Hugs back.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Melanie! It was one of those random ideas that struck me one day that actually ended up working out quite well! (It doesn’t always turn out that way, but I was grateful it did!) So glad you joined us this month for The Silhouette Challenge!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I love saving money myself. Now, finding a way for me to save money AS WELL AS others? Well, then I’m happy as a pig in mud. Oink! (Thanks for passing it along, too, Jeanie! Hope your daughter finds it useful!)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Alisha! And yes, I used Silhouette vinyl…I’ve never had a problem (except for that one time it wasn’t properly lined up under the rollers…then it was a mess). Do you usually just feed in the roll or cut it and place it on the mat? Maybe I can help you troubleshoot! Because vinyl is oh so much fun to work with.

      • says

        Oh, I work with vinyl all the time. It’s just I’ve tried the nail art with my vinyl and I never get it as good as yours! But then again I don’t do my nails very often. Haha

  8. Karen L says

    BAAHAAHAAA – That’s all I can say. You NEVER EVER cease to amaze me or give me a GRAND chuckle!!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Happy to make you laugh out loud, Karen! (Or at least erupt into laughter virtually…which is almost as good as I.R.L!) Have I told you lately how happy I am that you are now the proud owner of a Silhouette? Verrrry happy indeed.

  9. Marmie says

    Congratulations to Aeti! Hope she contacts you within the time frame.

    That is such a clever way to extend a manicure. The reference to Batman made me chuckle!

    The glitter on the solid pink is a nice touch! xxoo

  10. Marmie says

    Congratulations to Aeti! Hope she responds within 48 hours.

    That is such a clever way to extend a manicure! Love the glitter with the solid pink!

    Chuckled about the Batman comment! :-)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      She did respond, thankfully! And was overjoyed as she had been praying for a Silhouette! (Love it when that happens.)

      And thanks – – it was serendipitous that the one glitter color I had on hand matched the bubblegum pink of my manicure.

      Ha ha, and I’m glad you enjoyed the Batman comment. We’ve seen Dark Knight so many times now, that Batman references flow like a river. :-) See you one week from today, Mama!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha. You and me both, girlfriend. I love that meme, “I’m so crafty, I sweat glitter.” One of these days, I’m going to use my Silhouette to stencil that on a bag. You want one, too? :-) Lol.

  11. says

    So clever! Love your sparkle! I actually created nail art w/ my Silhouette recently too. But I just made tiny little butterflies out of white vinyl to put on my big toes.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Oooo! Little butterflies sounds like fun! And after mastering the triangles, I’m tempted to try other designs…butterflies might have to be next! Thanks for the spark of an idea, Coley.

  12. says

    What a genius idea! The best part is that you don’t have to have a super steady hand to get those perfect triangles. I usually stay away from designs at home because I tend to get a little messy.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      My hand was quivering like a flame the whole time; I would have been lost without a stencil! (Or rather, my triangles would have become blobs.) Hope you can use this trick, too, Valerie!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I’m basking indeed! Thanks, friend. You are too kind! Congrats on receiving the award yourself! Joyosphere is a wealth of inspiration, so it is well deserved.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Totally! I’m sure with all of that digging of your toes into the sand, pedicures wear out quickly…nothing a little triangle stencil can’t fix!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Marilyn! You have no idea how excited I am that you are now the proud owner of a Silhouette! (Though I’m sure it won’t quite feel real until you her in your hands.) Congrats again!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Kelley! Hysterical how desperate I am to get another week or two out of my gel mani? I blame my Scottish roots! We’re rather cheap thrifty! Ha ha.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Rebecca, thank you so much for the feature! Off to check it out and say thanks over at My Girlish Whims.

  13. says

    THIS IS GENIUS! Wow, the silhouette can really do anything! But even more amazing was your resourcefulness and thinking of this idea. I love the “second wind look” even more than the original nails! Also, I heart that your cameo spoke to you…oh, inanimate objects having human personalities…:)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha. So delighted that you’re inspired by this little “life hack” so to speak! I really am such a huge fan of gel manicures, but I’m also stingy. So, this little fix helps me get the most bang for my buck. :-) Can’t wait to hear what you think of gel if you try it out, Amy!

  14. says

    What an excellent idea! Very pleased I came across this. I searched for how fast do gel nails grow out… now it doesn’t matter. Thanks :)

  15. says

    This is genius! My nails break easily and I am so hard on my hands regular manicures never last more than a day. However, I got a DIY gel manicure set and love it. My polish lasts a lot longer. But with the gel on, my nails seem to grow super fast. Love that you were able to find a way to make it last a little longer! So clever. :)

  16. says

    Such a great idea and thank you for the free file!! Love this and will be including it for my nieces for Christmas! I found this post via Pinterest. :)
    Thank you!


  1. […] How genius is this?  By our very own Lauren at The Thinking Closet, this tutorial is nothing short of life-altering!  Making your gel manicure last EVEN LONGER?  I’ll take it.  With sparkles?  Again… I’ll take it.  I don’t need to say any more, do I? […]

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