Whether you’re a nail art devotee or just want your nails to look nice for work, a gel manicure gives you that fresh, long-lasting, flawlessly applied look that is just about impossible to achieve with regular polish. It’s an easy way to make a statement with your nails and can last on average 2 to 3 weeks (depending on the brand). While they may look artificial, they are more flexible than acrylics, which means you are less likely to chip them. The best part is that they dry much quicker and don’t emit any nasty fumes during the curing process so you can walk out of a salon and go about your day without worrying about your nails.
However, the popularity of gel nails has also generated concern among dermatologists because of the potential risk of skin cancer due to UV exposure during the curing process and the tendency of manicurists and DIYers alike to damage the nails when removing the polish. It is also important to note that not all gel polishes are created equal. Some contain harsh chemicals that can damage the nail, especially if you are prone to peeling or have brittle nails.
The first type of gel is soft gel, which has a liquid consistency and is usually cured under a UV or LED light for 30 to 120 seconds. This product can be used alone, as a base coat before painting your nails, or even over your natural nail to add strength. It is available in a wide range of colours and will last for about 2 weeks with proper upkeep.
Gel polish is the second and most popular type of nail enhancement, and it is a colour that is applied to the natural nail for a more polished look. It’s similar to regular nail polish but dries in a much faster time, and it lasts for about 2 weeks with proper upkeep. It can be removed in a few steps using an acetone soak.
Hard gel is another form of nail enhancement, and it is often used to add length and shape to the nails. It can be sculpted to any shape from Cardi B’s pointy stilettos to a more modest oval, and it can transform super short nubs into red carpet-ready nails in just a few hours.
While at-home gel nail kits can be a convenient and inexpensive alternative to a salon manicure, they typically don’t last as long as a professional service and require a lot of practice to get right. If you do choose to use an at-home kit, make sure you follow the instructions carefully and apply it to a clean, dry nail plate. Always moisturize your hands and nails and apply cuticle oil frequently to avoid brittleness between applications. Also, never pick or peel off your gels, which can cause damage and also make it harder for future polishes to adhere. Gels à ongles