There’s no better way to treat yourself than by splurging on a luxurious gel manicure. A little nail art, a few rhinestones, and an on-trend hue give you the same boost of confidence as a spot-on outfit or a really good hair day. Unlike those things, which only last a day or so, a solid gel manicure can last you up to four weeks, if you play your cards right.
You’re probably asking yourself “HOW? My nails usually chip after three days!” Well, thanks to the quick-dry formula, the application process is quicker than regular nail polish and lasts four times as long. That means you’ll have weeks to enjoy your beautiful nail art.
What Is A Gel Manicure?
A gel manicure is a service that uses a gel-based polish and requires a UV or LED light to cure the polish and lock it onto your nails. Gel polish is more durable than regular polish and while regular polish can chip as quickly as two to three days, the gel stays chip-free for weeks.
While gel manicures look just like your regular old mani, the added benefits are that they last longer and feel sturdier. Plus, the beauty of a gel manicure is that anyone can get one, whether your nails are super short or Kylie Jenner-long.
Are Gel Manicures Worth It?
If you get a normal manicure or have a big trip coming up that you want chip-free color then a gel mani is definitely worth the splurge. But if it’s just for one night or you’re on a budget, you might want to opt for press-on nails or a regular manicure.
How Long Does Gel Manis Really Last?
The biggest pro of gel manicures is how long they last. Gel manicures could last up to two weeks with proper nail prep and at-home care, such as cuticle oil and hand lotion. But if you’re really careful, they can last up to four weeks. If you have a bunch of events coming up back to back like prom, internship interviews, and family vacations, gels can be the perfect solution.
Do Gel Manis Damage Your Nails?
Not when they’re done correctly! Gel manicures are not bad for your nails when professionally. It can be damaging though, without proper nail prep, application, and removal. A common misconception is that gel manicures damage your nails when in reality, the removal process is usually the most harmful.
Avoid picking the gel off yourself (we know it’s tempting), and if you’re getting your nails done at the salon, be sure your nail technician isn’t filing, buffing them down, or using a drill.
Many people worry about getting gels because they fear their nails won’t be able to breathe but be assured that nails don’t breathe, as they’re dead, to begin with. The whole idea is a myth, but it is kind of cute to imagine your little nails with micro-nostrils.
Do At-Home Gel Kits Work?
Unless you’re familiar with proper nail prep and application, If not properly done, the gel polish may lift causing some damage to the natural nail.
But if you’re pretty confident in your nail skills, try them out if you want to save money on your weekly mani. At-home gel kits last a bit longer than a regular manicure — maybe 10 days — but are definitely not salon quality. You have to follow the instructions to the last detail and have a pretty steady hand to get a perfect gel nail.
Are The UV Lights Dangerous?
Those purple-colored lights that help your nails dry are actually UV lights. Conventional wisdom says unnecessary exposure to UV rays is bad for you, but they have been part of salon services forever.
Luckily, there have been huge improvements in gel technology, and many brands have converted to LED curing, which doesn’t have the side effects UV rays have on your skin.
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