I’ve been a sucker for all kinds of nail color, and I have quite a huge collection of nail lacquers. I love going to the salon to have my nails done, and I ALWAYS bring my own polish. The reason? First, I know I’m using top quality brands. Second, I love the fact that I can retouch my tips at home when they get chipped. Lastly, I just want to use what I have in my collection. Believe it or not, I still have a LOT of unused polish, so that’s why I use them once in awhile. I realized I hoarded too much — but I enjoy staring at them, so yeah. 🙂
Anyway, the usual salon I visit suggested I get Gel mani instead. I heard it lasted for weeks on your nails, and is less prone to chipping. Two weeks ago, I gave it a shot. The first gel mani I had was Orly Gel FX in Lola. Boy was I impressed! The shine… yes, the shine. It stayed there for weeks!! I had two slightly chipped nails but they were tolerable. The only downsides were:
1) You cannot remove gel mani yourself. If you attempt to do so, you risk damaging your nails.
2) Since they stay on your nails for a long time, you can see your nails growing and the space between your cuticles widening. In short, imagine wearing acrylic nails for two weeks — you get the gist 🙂
3) Once removed, you notice your nails have this “wavy” texture, I guess it’s because of the pushing done to remove the gel.
Okay, so long story short, I was hooked!! I immediately went back after two weeks to get my gel mani removed, and replaced. This time, with Orly Gel FX in White Tips.
I loved it!! It’s the first time I used an opaque white (the kind of white used for French tips), I usually opt for sheer whites like OPI’s Funny Bunny or Essie’s Marshmallow. However, I wanted something bolder, so yeah, I went for white!
A week after today, my nails haven’t chipped despite of all the washing, cleaning, typing, gift wrapping, gift wrapping and gift wrapping I’ve been doing 🙂 In short, so far, so good!! 🙂
Here are the Pros of Gel Manis:
1) They save you more money since you visit the nail salon less.
2) They last longer.
3) I noticed while wearing gel manis, my nails chipping (not mani chipping) lessened by 90%. That means it served as a protective layer for my nails.
4) You get the polished look, with sleek shiny nails that don’t need regular re-application of Seche Vite or your fave top coat.
5) You definitely get your money’s worth
6) They dry FAST. Like in 2 mins tops under UV light – done! Though each coat needs a 2 min UV light exposure, after the process is done, you’re good to go! You’re literally good to go!! No more drying your nails or being careful to chip any edges. You can literally leave the nail salon, get your car keys (feel free to rummage through your bag) and drive home. Oh, you can also stop by for a cup of Cafe Mocha from Starbucks and even eat immediately and the mani won’t budge. That’s why I LOVE IT! 🙂
Feb 2016 Update: The Cons
It took me quite a few months of continuous application of gel manis when my nail technician told me to ‘rest’ my nails.
And so I did..
I noticed that after removing the polish, my nails were sensitive. Like really sensitive. I couldn’t even shampoo my scalp well because they were too soft. I had a hard time getting used to that feeling.
For a few days, I was careful of what I did with my nails. Whenever they grew out, I would cut them really short until I could feel the flesh of the skin under my nails. I just wanted all the ‘damaged’ or soft nails to be cut. I waited for one and a half months to be exact until I had my next gel mani. After what I have on my nails right now, I plan to use regular polish a few times and then resume using gel. I do not recommend continuous application of gel manis.
I guess it can damage our nails in the long run simply because of the chemicals it has. The strong nail polish remover that your nails are soaked in with foil can actually destroy your nails. That said, go easy on the Gel Manis 🙂
However, these things will not stop me from getting these Gelicures. I just need to be more cautious as to how often I would have them done 🙂
How about you, what’s your next Gel mani? What are your comments on gel manis vs acrylic nails? Yay or Nay? Thoughts please! 🙂