Monday, April 28, 2014

risk-free gels

Gel manicures are what fake acrylic nails were to the 90's, and both have their risks. Gel manicures are touted as lasting up to two weeks and offer chip-free high shine. High-end salon brands and cheapie drugstore kits are getting in on this gel trend. Typically you need a UV light to"cure" the gel polish, giving it the staying power it needs.

Now here's where the risk comes in to play: The UV light to cure the manicure is like sticking just the tips of your fingers in a tanning bed. No thank you! Some magazines say that you can wear sunscreen on your hands to avoid UV damage, but anyone who has ever had a manicure knows how impractical that is. I just don't see how that would work... what, just after the manicurist has massaged, buffed and cleaned your nails (making them perfect for polish) you're then going to put sunscreen all over your hands to protect from UV damage? And then the manicurist will have to then remove the sunscreen from your nails to keep them clean so the polish can have a nail bed to adhere to, therefore, the sunscreen is taken off! I'm at a loss for how this is practiced in a salon, or if people even do it. I can understand why you want to protect your skin from UV damage and skin cancer, I just don't think the process is effective.

Then there's the nail peeling. Gel nail polish remover is not fun, often requiring nails to soak, at length, in Acetone. Oftentimes scraping is involved and ultimately layers of the nail are left peeling and brittle. Sounds like deja vu? Oh that's where I've heard of this before- acrylic nails!

Some brands have come out with a safer LED light but I say skip all of that and try this new breed of gel products, no lights required!

quickie gelled nails

These gels are mostly top coats (and in some cases a base coat) and will smooth the nails, add a high gloss-factor and make your typical mani last much longer- maybe not two weeks longer, but they come off with regular nail polish remover and no sunscreen required!


  1. Wow, this is super helpful. I was curious about the whole "Gel" craze but hadn't tried it because I figured it wasn't good for me & plus I am kinda cheap & now you have confirmed it for me! Thanks for doing the research & saving me time!
    When I have time I am going to try this brand you recommend.

    1. I'm glad I was able to give you some useful information K.K.! Thanks for reading along!