Gel Polish

Gel Polish – The Good and The Bad

curing lamp

If you have had acrylic or gel nail extensions, the gel manicure basically follows a similar process without doing as much damage to the nail. This is why a gel manicure has such good staying power. Which means if not done correctly, the manicure also suffers the same lifting and peeling as a set of extensions.

It is always a good idea if you decide to have a gel manicure, to ask for recommendations and look online at reviews for your local nail salons to find a good place; as a lot can go wrong if they are not very experienced at doing gels, not just lifting can occur but bad damage to the nail and cuticle area that you will be growing out over a long period of time.

So how is a gel manicure done?

The nail is first lightly filed (for the gel to adhere better to the nail plate). Then a gel base coat is applied, this will then be cured/ baked under a UV lamp. Another coat of gel is applied now in the colour you have chosen and cured again. Finally, a top coat is applied and cured once more. The nail is then wiped down to remove stickiness and the nails are done; instantly dry!

The good points of a gel manicure.

  • One of the most appealing aspects of a gel manicure is it will not chip or peel. The length of time it lasts on your nails looking perfect is impressive. It usually lasts between 2-4 weeks.
  • If you are going away on holiday or just away for a business trip, you will not have to worry about your nails looking anything but perfect.
  • It is also very durable and holds itself in inclement weather.
  • If you go shopping, do some gardening, do the cleaning, or generally tackling whatever life has thrown at you, you are safe knowing your nails will still be looking neat and beautiful.
  • The manicure is instantly dry once done with a mirror like finish; so no waiting time  at the end of the manicure process, or worrying about smudging for hours afterwards.

The bad points of a gel manicure.

  • As the gel bonds so tightly to the nail, the gel will need to be soaked off with pure acetone wrapped in foil for 15-20 minutes at a time, (which is very harsh and toxic) as well as scraping away of the gel polish. This could need doing several times to completely remove the polish. This is extremely harsh on the natural nail, over time leaving them thin, weak, sore and prone to peeling and breaking.
  • If the gel is not applied correctly they can lift and peel at the edges. Leaving that supposedly perfect manicure a hot mess and a waste of money.
  • Gel manicures are much more expensive.
  • You cannot change your nail colour very often. Just something to keep in mind if you attend different parties, events or meetings. If you like to colour match, or you simply get bored of the same colour after a few days a gel manicure may not be suited for you.
  • Repeated application or changing of the colour with no breaks result in brittle, peeling,sore extremely thin, dry nails.

gel polish

Now you know how a gel manicure is done, along with the good points and the bad points associated with it. Personally, I think having the gel option is great if you need it to last for 2 weeks like going away on holiday. Other than this option I would avoid having a gel manicure and opt for a gel like finish manicure. There are many different brands available, in a rainbow of colours with great staying power and  a mirror like finish.

This is just my personal experience and knowledge of having and doing them. I am showing you good and bad points of the gel manicure so you yourself can make an educated decision when considering having one done at a salon. I hope this helps at least a few people who are thinking about taking the leap into a new way of doing their nails.