Saturday, September 3, 2011

Feeling A Little Gel-ous?

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Hey Everyone!
Lately, I've noticed a new trend growing in the nail universe...gel manicures.  They are the same as a regular manicure except instead of regular nail polish, once your nails have been buffed, cut, and your cuticles are pushed back, a layer of gel polish which is similar to acrylic is applied to each nail.  After each coat of gel polish is applied, your nails are left to dry under a UV light for a couple minutes to dry and set the polish, this is continued for several coats until they are done.  It wasn't until i learned that the manicure promises to remain that way, almost completely chip free, for 2-3 weeks that i become intrigued and decided to do a little bit of research.

Firstly, there are two different ways to get a gel manicure.  The first way, the more common way in salons, is a light cured gel.  This is a premixed gel which is applied to your nails and cured under a UV light.  The second way is similar, except the gel is cured by using an activator that is painted on top or by dipping your nails in water.

A few pros to getting a gel manicure:
1) When I go on vacation, i always get a mani/pedi before i leave.  Of course, my nails look fantastic when i leave, but by the 2nd-3rd day, they're chipped and don't look so hot anymore.  Gel nails last anywhere between 2-3 weeks without chipping, which means that you won't have to make any nail touch ups or stress over the state of your nails during your vacation.
2) Which brings me to my next pro, they don't chip like a regular manicure does.
3) If you're the kind of person that doesn't like/have time to remove and re paint your nails often, gels are for you!
4) Although gels are a wee bit more expensive than a regular manicure, if you're the kind of person who get's their nails done on a weekly basis, gels can actually save you money.  
5) No more drying time!  When i go to the salon, no matter how hard i try, i always end up smudging or in some way messing up the polish on at least one of my fingers.  With gel polish, that isn't a problem because the color sets when it's under the UV light, so once your mani is finished, your nails are 100% dry! 

A few cons to getting gel manicures: 
1) Gel manicures are more expensive then regular manicures, which is something to keep in mind if you only get your nails done once in a blue moon.
2) Removing them can definitely be a pain.  Unless you know how to properly remove the color, you have to go back to your salon to get it removed, as peeling the color off can really damage your nails. 
3) The full manicure takes anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
4) Probably the most major con would be the UV light.  Although the UV lights most salons use is pretty minimal, you're still exposing your hand to UV rays, which CAN be harmful.  This is something to consider before deciding whether to get a gel or regular manicure.

What do you guys think of gel manicures?  Have you ever gotten one, if not, would you?  Let me know below.


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