There’s nothing quite like splurging on a luxurious manicure. An on-trend hue teamed with a touch of nail art or glitter can give you the same boost of confidence as a really good blowdry. Unlike that, which only lasts a day or so, a professional gel polish can last you several weeks. In fact, stacked up against a regular manicure, gels not only last longer, but they also feel stronger, and cast a mirror shine that quite simply is virtually impossible if you have regular polish. So what should you know before upscaling your mani and pedi with gel?
Gel and acrylic are not the same
Acrylic nails are made with a powder dipped in solvent and can add length to short nails. Sometimes acrylic nails come in colours, but usually they’re clear or natural-toned. Gel polishes can only colour your existing nails but are more durable than regular polish as the gel is hardened by curing under a UV or LED lamp.
Gel nails are not harmful and will not damage the nails
Nails do not need to breathe and so having a gel polish will not harm the nail’s health. But your nail beds and cuticles are made of living tissue, which is why you need to be careful during the application and removal process and why you should leave the entire gel process to a qualified nail technician rather than option for a DIY job.
Keep your nail beds hydrated
To ensure your manicure is long-lasting and your nails look as healthy as possible, use a cuticle oil and moisturizer. This will not only protect the skin around your nails, but your actual nail beds, too.
So what happens during a gel mani appointment and how is it different to a regular mani? As with a run-of-the-mill mani, a gel manicure starts with cutting the nails, filing them to the desired length before lightly soaking the hands and trimming the cuticles. The polish itself is the point of difference: You’ll start with a base coat layer that primes your nails for the gel coat, which is a special kind of polish that gets firmed up under a UV light. After each coat is painted on, you place your hand under a UV light for 30 seconds. A glossy top coat goes on top, take one final minute under the lamp, and you’re done. Hello to chip-free nails that you will just love showing off!