Do you love to have beautifully manicured nails, but you also hate when your nail polish chips after only a few days?
If you are after chip-resistant and long-lasting manicures, you should try out gel polish manicure, that is already the nail world’s major trend.
It is a type of manicure that uses a soft gel in the form of nail polish. The gel layer acts as an overlay on the nails and lasts for at least two to four weeks. The effect of a gel polish manicure is shiny nails with no peeling, cracking, or chipping.
Nevertheless, gel polish must be cured under UV or LED light. When gel is exposed to the specific wavelengths of such light, there occurs a chemical reaction, polymerization, that converts soft, liquid gel into a hard, solid one. As a result, there is a sticky layer on top of the solid gel that can be removed by wiping it with a lint-free pad soaked in rubbing alcohol.
First of all, prior to gel manicure application, nails need to be well prepared. A reliable nail specialist, or you should:
- trim and shape your nails, and groom your cuticles meticulously,
- roughen up the nail bed with a file or a buffer,
- dehydrate and clean the nail bed with alcohol,
- apply a base coat,
- apply two coats of gel nail polish of your choice,
- apply a top coat,
- use alcohol to remove the sticky film on top of the gel manicure,
- apply cuticle oil to the nails for nourishment.
Remember, though, that each layer of the polish coat needs to be cured under a UV or LED lamp for 30 to 60 seconds before the next coat is applied.
Unfortunately, removing gel nail polish is not as easy as removing traditional nail polish. First, you need to remove the shine from your nails with a file. Then, you need to soak your nails in acetone for 5 to 10 minutes and carefully start to scrape the polish with a cuticle pusher.
Keep in mind, though, to be patient with the process. If you scrape gel nail polish from your nails, you can seriously damage your natural nails.
There are multiple advantages of gel polish manicures, such as:
- natural, glossy effect,
- long-lasting effect with no damage for at least 2 weeks,
- no fading, like in the case of traditional nail polish,
- no nail is damaged if applied correctly.
Nevertheless, there are also a few disadvantages worth considering:
- requiring the use of an LED or UV lamp to cure,
- higher costs than in the case of classic manicures (both at the cosmetic salon and if you opt for a home gel manicure),
- only suitable for healthy nail beds (on unhealthy ones, the gel polish won’t adhere appropriately),
- cuticles can get dry from the alcohol and acetone applications.
All in all, gel polish manicures are a very beneficial and long-lasting type of manicure that guarantees no chipping or peeling. Although it is more expensive than a traditional nail polish manicure, it will serve you longer and will look perfect for up to four weeks.
If you want to try it out, it is worthwhile to use the services of a reliable nail technician, but after some time, you can equip yourself with all the needed tools and start to do gel nails at home.