I’ve been seeing gel polish manicures for a while now. I’ve always been curious about them. They’ve transitioned from the nail salons into drugstores with gel nail polish. For those who are nail challenged, what’s the difference between a gel manicure and a regular manicure?
I’ll admit, I’m not too big on investing in manicures. I keep my nails cut short and shine them with a nail buffer. I used to wear acrylics in high school, but I’m such a perfectionist. Every time I found the slightest chip, my entire manicure had to be changed. I just didn’t have the time to keep up. And I wasn’t enough of a girly girl to invest in a base and top coat.
What A Gel Manicure Is, and What It Isn’t
There may be some misinformation about gel manicures. Just because something is more, doesn’t always mean it’s better. I did a little research to get some more information.
What A Gel Manicure Is:
- A blended manicure method to blend acrylic nails with natural ones
- A manicure that does not need touch-ups, and can be safe on your nails if removed properly
- A manicure that has a look that is more natural than acrylics
What A Gel Manicure Is Not:
- A gel manicure is not the same as acrylic nails
- A gel manicure is not exactly easier to manage than acrylics.
- It is not a manicure that can only be done at the salon. Like acrylics, you can give yourself gel nails, but you have to do it correctly.
Who Is A Gel Manicure For
Gel manicures have their drawbacks. They take patience but improper removal will damage your nails. While it’s best to get your gel manicure removed at a salon, you can do it at home if you have the right materials. You can use 100% acetone, but it’s best if you get a nail polish remover specifically for gel nails.
While gel nails have a faster curing process than acrylics, you need a UV light for curing gel nails. If you break a gel nail, you’ll almost always have to get it fixed at a salon. If you have the patience to give your gel nails the attention they deserve, a gel manicure may be right for you.
Some More Details
For best results, you should get a gel manicure at a salon. There are at home kits available, and they work pretty well, but you’ll get a most natural look if they’re done professionally.
The cost for a gel manicure usually starts around $25, but they can go much higher depending on where you go. Depending on your lifestyle and body chemistry, they can last you up to three weeks.
If you choose to get them done professionally, it’s best not to go too often. UV light exposure can become bad for your health. There’s no definite answer to the damage it causes, but there may be a chance it could raise your risk for cancer. Again, there’s no definite answer, but be cautious.
UV lighting is guilty for premature aging. If it’s overused, you could develop dark spots on the back of your hands and premature wrinkles on your hands. It’s similar to visiting the tanning salon too often, which also isn’t a good idea.
Also, give your nail beds a chance to breathe before getting another gel manicure. The heavy gel polish puts a lot of pressure on the skin around your nails. Giving them a break will allow your nail beds to refresh.
The Final Word
I’m not saying you should or you shouldn’t get a gel manicure. Everyone is different and knows what’s right for them. If you’re a low-maintenance girl like me, maybe a gel manicure isn’t for you. While they can last up to three weeks, you’re in trouble if one breaks because they aren’t as easily fixed as acrylics.
If you have a special occasion coming up or you’re going on a trip and want to look extra nice, look into them. They’re a nice way to jazz up your natural nails for a while. Make sure you do your research so you’ll be able to give your gel manicure the care it needs, without bringing permanent damage to your nails and cuticles.
To make things easy, give gel manicures a test go by trying one of Avon’s Gel Polishes. I recommend the Gel Finish 7-in-1 Nail Enamel. This polish includes a base, gel-like finish, and top coat all in one bottle.