Calling all women with weak, fragile, splitting, shredding, ripping, cracking, peeling, or chipping nails. Despair no longer, because gel nails have arrived!
 
Since I was born, I’ve been cursed with nails that constantly peel and shred. Gross. Pretty much every nail treatment solution out there, I’ve tried, to no avail. I’ve often considered getting acrylics just to avoid the short length and nasty shredding, but after seeing the after-effects of my friends’ nails after a go with the fakies, I didn’t want to there either.
A couple of months ago, however, a friend of mine and I hit up a nail salon in Irvine, California, where they took one look at my nails and suggested I go for this new thing called a gel manicure. Since I didn’t know what that was, I opted out, but since then I did a little homework and decided I needed to give these puppies a go.
 
Conclusion:  I’m sold.
 
How it works:  There’s little to no filing involved. Like a regular manicure, they clean up your nails and cuticles ahead of time so they’re primed for the color. The manicurist then put on some sort of base coat to make it stick. After that, she applied two coats of a thick, clear gel to my nails. In between coats, I had one hand in a little box that had a UV light in it, which apparently cures the gel. After that, she did two coats of colored gel in OPI Axxium color Aphrodite’s Pink Nightie (they had cute super cute names!), alternating again with the light between coats. When she was done, I put my hands back in for three minutes.
 
 
They then sprayed some solution on it to make the gel non-sticky and finished off with some cuticle oil all over my hands to soften everything up. I washed my hands, and ta-da! Perfectly shiny beautiful nails that I couldn’t mess up five minutes after when I was scrambling for my car keys.
 
Pros
 
* Nails are super hard — pretty much like acrylics
* Nails have the chance to grow out and get stronger underneath
* Color lasts for a long time
* Nails stay super shiny
* Nails aren’t wrecked.
* Costs less than acrylics.
* Takes less time than acrylics.

Cons 

* A little bit more than your regular manicure. Mine cost $25, and they can go up to at least $50 depending where you live.
* You can’t take the gel off with regular remover. You have to go back to the salon to have them soak it in a special solution to get it off (or get a new manicure!).
* You’re using UV light on your hands. Probably not the best for your skin, but some salons like Shizuka Salon in New York City are now using LED lights, which are better for your skin and take less dry time.
* Some studies have shown adverse affects from gel manicures. Just remember there may be a risk visiting a salon for any type of manicure.
 
If you’d like to watch how it’s done, check out the video below to get an idea of what you might experience at a salon.
 

Results:

The whole process probably took less than an hour, and I am absolutely in love with these nails. 
Here’s a pic of my nails at day three. Shiny and perfect!
 
Day 3
 
 
Today is day nine of this wonderful manicure, and I’ve posted some pictures below. As you can see, the tips of a few of the nails chipped just a bit. On the few that got snags, I simply filed them or used fingernail clippers to clean them up. One or two nails started to loosen just a bit at the cuticles where the nail started to grow out, but that’s to be expected. The gel also peeled off a little bit on my thumbnails, but that’s because I whacked my hands against the side of the pool when I was swimming laps at the gym. (Note to self:  look where you’re swimming dummy!) I’d say they still look pretty awesome, though.
 
Day 9
 
 
Overall, I am very happy with these nails. My natural nails have been given the chance to grow out a little bit, and it’s been so nice having hard nails that dont shred everytime I grab a pencil or brush my hair. I’d definitely recommend this kind of manicure, and I’m even taking my mom next week!
 
So ladies, how about you? Have any of you tried gel nails yet? Will you try them in the future?