With the rise of DIY gel nail kits, you can have a salon quality manicure at home without spending a fortune. But before you grab your kit and start slapping color on your nails, it’s important to understand what is actually going on with your digits when you get a gel manicure.
Nail Gels are applied to natural or fake nails and need to be cured under a UV or LED light for application and removal. The process usually starts with buffed nails and cuticles are pushed back or cut (this is an important step for your health). A base coat is then applied followed by two color layers, and a top coat to protect your polish. Once all of the layers are in place, they are cured under a special light for 3-4 weeks to dry and set.
Once cured, gel nails are extremely durable and do not chip like regular nail polish. They also can be worn in a variety of colors and styles including French and full nails.
They are also more flexible and will not break when you jam your fingers into something like a counter or door handle, which is a problem with acrylic nails. They also look a lot more natural than an acrylic manicure and are very light.
There are different types of gels and each one is designed for a specific purpose. Hard gel is the strongest and is designed to support false or natural nails. It is cured to a non-porous finish so that it will not absorb acetone and other liquids. Soft gel is similar to regular nail polish and can be soaked off with acetone.
The type of gel you choose will depend on your nail strength, the look you are after and your budget. If you are looking for a more natural look, soft gel is a great option as it can be worn on its own or with regular nail polish. This type of gel is infused with vitamin E to keep your nails strong and healthy.
Another type of gel is gel-X, which can be layered with acrylics to strengthen them and add length. They are a little more expensive than a regular gel manicure, but they last longer and don’t chip as easily.
Gels can be difficult to remove and may require a longer removal time than a traditional manicure. It’s best to have them removed in a salon by a professional to avoid damage. You can also try at-home removal methods. Julie Kandalec, a professional nail artist who has worked with celebs like Sydney Sweeney, says to avoid mixing products and manufacturers and to only use the recommended curing lights to prevent under or over-curing.
Although gels can last a long time, they are not as durable as your natural nails and can become brittle with overuse. It’s important to rehydrate your nails between polishes by applying a good nail and cuticle oil daily to help keep them strong. You can also use a protective nail shield or wraps to prevent nail chips from occurring while wearing gels. Gels à ongles