Midweek Manicure // Trying Gel

This week’s mani is a bit different. This weekend some girlfriends and I, on the way home from a Jafra party I had done, decided on a whim to get our nails done. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself! And, it was nice to think that someone else would file my nails and put on the polish and pamper me for a few minutes.

I instagramed this picture of the color I chose for my mani/pedi.

Essie Big Spender

Essie – Big Spender

I have the color on my toes and love it, it’s a nice bright purply-pink. Then when it came time for the mani, I got to thinkin’ that I might like to try a gel manicure. I’ve been thinking about investing in a gel manicure kit for myself, so I wanted to try it out, see how it looked, how long it lasted, etc. I went for the traditional french tips.

Gel French Tips Mani

Another not-so-great cell phone photo but whatevs.

All in all, I like the gel. It’s lasted a bit longer than my typical non-gel manicure but I have had a few *issues* including the fact that it kind of lifts and peels at the edges around my nail bed. I seem to have this problem a lot (as I did with the Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail strips…). Has anyone else ever encountered this problem? Maybe I just have weird fingernails. Also, it’s only been 5 days since the mani and I’ve started to have some chipping. It might be because I’ve been doing lots of dishes and laundry and things like that, but I thought it would last much longer.

So, I suppose this post is more of a call for input. If you’ve ever tried a gel manicure please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought. Was it worth the expense? How long did it last for you? Would you do it again? those kinds of things. I’m wondering if investing in my own gel kit would be worth the expense…Thanks :)


9 thoughts on “Midweek Manicure // Trying Gel”

  1. I have had a gel manicure that I got for a wedding that lasted a long time (OPI products), but I don’t like how you have to remove gel polish.

    1. I’m not too keen on the removal method, either. I don’t like the idea of using pure acetone and the drying effects it has on skin. Also I’ve been reading a bit about the UV lights that are used to cure the gel during the mani process…At least if I did them at home I could control the kind of light used and I’d have more control over a few other parts of the process. My gel manicure didn’t use OPI products this time around but I wonder if maybe those would be worth a try if they’re longer lasting.

      1. I really do like OPI, and they have the same color in gel and non gel often, but I am in complete agreement about the affect on my skin.

      2. I have had designs done in both shellac and in acrylic paint with shellac over it. I do stick my hand under UV light and at first I really had a hard time with that. They make ridiculous looking gloves you can wear to prevent your hands from UV effects and for a while I was applying sunscreen before my shellac manicure (they don’t rinse or massage your hands until the nails are done for shellac). At this point I’ve stopped worrying about it. The UV is supposedly less than a few mins in the sun. I haven’t ever been to a tanning salon and rarely go to the beach so I figure I’m all set with my UV exposure.

      3. I’ve seen the gloves, they make me think of Michael Jackson, haha. I think putting sunscreen on your hands before the mani is an excellent idea. I’ve also read that you can use LED lights instead.

  2. I get a shellac mani every 2-3 weeks. lasts forever! I only have to go back because it looks stupid as they grow out. I go to my salon but I used to go to one of the asian nail places (for lack of better wording). At the Asian salon they would grind down my nail polish and then soak it off in pure acetone. I hated that. They never ground my nails just the polish and I got varying results in terms of the quality of the mani. I now go to my hair salon. The price is only a few dollars more and I get one on one attention in a private room. I always go to the same nail tech who does amazing work. She uses the CND line and OPI products. OPI take longer to remove but each product line has its own ‘remover’ solution. It takes about 5 mins with CND and about 15 with OPI to remove the polish. I just soak my nails and then the polish lifts and she scrapes it off. I haven’t ever tried it at home. I do have a huge bucket of OPI nail polishes but I’ve become too lazy to do my own nails!

    1. Yes I’ve seen your shellac! I’ve been wanting to try that along with the gel. I’ve read that shellac is less drying for nails which would be nice. Is the curing process the same? You stick your hand under a UV light? I also wonder about the possibility of using ‘regular’ polishes with a gel or shellac top coat. It would be great to have a super long lasting mani but still be able to do some nail art. Thanks for commenting, Shan!

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