As a girl who can’t keep a manicure for longer than 4 days, I was really excited about gel with its promise of no-chipping for two weeks!
My first experience with gel polish ended the day after I had it applied when it all peeled off. You can understand I was a cynic for a while. However, as the market grew, I figured I should give it another shot at a new salon. I lucked into having a very meticulous esthetician (Traci at Trina’s Nail Salon in Buckhead) give me a fabulous manicure that lasted the two weeks the gel polish promises! Since then, I’ve been a gel junkie and have tried all the brands with a couple different girls at Trina’s salon.
So far I’ve tried: Shellac, Gellish, Voss, and OPI. I’ve heard about: Akzentz, Bio Sculpture Color Gel, CalGel, Dashing Diva Gelife, IBD, the list goes on. For more on brands, go here.
What I’ve found is that it’s not the brand of polish that matters, but who tends to your cuticles and how they apply the polish.
Your cuticles must be pushed and cut back as far as possible. When they grow back to the edge of the polish, they push against it, causing the polish to peel up. Also, if the polish is applied over your cuticles, your mani doesn’t stand a chance. So you’ve got to run the gamut of estheticians before you find the right one. Then choose your polish on color not brand.
Wait, there’s more.
After getting a few gel manicures I started to think, “this can’t be good for my nails.” Kind of like the hair extensions that made my hair thick and beautiful…until I took them out. In a gel manicure, they buff off the enamel of the nail, apply chemicals to replace it, and then bake it dry almost instantly with UV light. Ugh. If you want to read about the effects of the chemicals, click here. It seems the one we need to look out for is BHA, butylated hydroxyanisol, which is a “cancer-causing agent.” The UV light is pretty self-explanatory.
I never get to the part where I have to soak it off, which dries out your nail bed. I find peeling it off to be a great distraction while sitting in horrific Atlanta traffic. (I’m sure that’s bad for your nail bed too.) I let my nails rest a week before returning to Trina’s for more gel. It’s really the only thing that has ever worked for my nails. I’m thinking about wearing finger-less gloves from now on to protect my hands. As for the BHA, I’m just hoping it gets fried in the baking process.
And you? Now that you know the facts, will you continue to get gel manicures. Leave your comments below!