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, says Duguay-Gordon. "Gel polish is more durable than regular polish," she says. And while regular polish can chip as quick as two to three days, 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 normal manis on the reg or have a big spring break trip coming up that you want chip-free color for, gel is def worth the splurge. They only cost around $10 to $15 more than a regular one. 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 do gel manis really last?
The biggest pro of gel manis 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," says Duguay-Gordon. 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 vacays, gels can be the perfect solution.CRYSTAL CLAWZ Gel Polish range has been thoroughly tested in-house and both you and your clients are going to love them. They're so easy to work with and a little goes a long way. If you're looking for superb quality, great value, excellent coverage perfect self-leveling and long lasting wear (up to 6 weeks) with no lifting, chipping, fading or peeling, then look no further.
Do gel manis damage your nails?
Not when they're done correctly! "Gel manicures are not bad for your nails when professionally done," Duguay-Gordon says. "It can be damaging though, without proper nail prep, application and removal." A common misconception is that gel manis 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 Duguay-Gordon assures that nails don't breath, 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, Duguay-Gordon cautions against using at-home gel kits. "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 manis. 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," explains Miss Pop. "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.