There is this new craze going around the nail salons of UV Gel manicures! Have you heard of them? I knew nothing about them until I saw something about it on Pinterest, and my curiosity was sparked. I wondered whether they were like acrylics or more like a nail polish, and how the process worked and if it was safe. So, I set out to do some initial research online. I found a few blogs about them, and some general reviews. Most of what I found said that it lasts at least 14 days! THIS was exciting and shocking!!! My regular manicure lasts maybe a day, 2 if I am lucky, without chipping. I typically have to re-do my nails every 5 days because they just start to look embarrassing. So, a manicure that lasts up to 14 days without chipping???? Uh, YES PLEASE!!! My only concerns were A) the price…I’m on a tight budget! B) will it damage my natural nails? C) will it really last 14 days without chipping?? So, I set out to try it myself…..
My first attempt at a UV Gel manicure was right before New Years. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures to show you. I chose a deep metallic red. I kept checking them throughout the week to see if they would chip…..NOTHING! Now, I was SHOCKED! I wash dishes by hand multiple times a day at home, and am pretty rough on my manicures. My nails were beautiful! They were shiny, no chips, and perfectly maintained. My manicure lasted at LEAST 14 days without chips! In fact, it lasted 3 weeks before I got some chips going on. I ended up keeping it for a month before going in for a new one. Needless to say, I was hooked!
So, after having 3 of them so far, this is my review:
– lasts at LEAST 2 weeks before chips
– stays shiny the whole time
– feels thicker than regular nail polish
– not as thick as acrylic
– has some flexibility, so it doesn’t feel stiff on your nails
– feels pretty natural yet protected
– gives you beautiful nails, without worry
– not damaging to your natural nails
– did I say NO CHIPS???? :)
– it’s a rather long process to get them on or change the color…..expect to spend a good 45 minutes to an hour in the salon
– you can’t really take them off at home, I tried and succeeded, but wouldn’t recommend it…..(to remove them at home, soak cotton balls in nail polish remover or acetone and place on top of each nail, cover with foil and let it sit for 8 minutes or so. Then remove the cotton balls and scrape it off with an orange stick as best as you can…..might take a few tries)
– if you have some weak spots on your nails like I do, they don’t chip but after a week you might get a few cracks. they aren’t noticeable, but if you are like me it’s hard to not pick at them!
– its slightly expensive…. around $25 (I find it worth the price since it lasts me a month, and I’m not wasting my time every 5 days doing my nails)
– it uses a UV light, so if you are prone to melanoma or are scared of it, stay away. (it’s a really small dosage so it’s not a big deal, but could be a problem for some)
– not a huge color selection at this point (there are multiple brands, I’ve tried 2 different ones and prefer Shellac, but there aren’t more than 30 colors to choose from with them.)
Overall, I love it! It doesn’t damage the nail like acrylics, yet keeps my nails looking great for weeks! The first time I had them, they filed my nail down a bit on the surface, which worried me, but since then they have not done that. (And when they did, it was with a buffer, NOT a mechanical sander thing.) I will say that for the Shellac, the color of the bottle isn’t necessarily the color it turns out to be. For instance the initial red I chose, turned out darker than I anticipated. The coral pink I just chose (middle-front bottle in the picture at the top of the post) was more pink than I hoped for, (I was going for a more orange-tangerine color.) Even with the slight differences in color, they are still great color choices. The second time I got a UV Gel manicure, I went to a different salon, and chose to do a French manicure. I will not be doing that again. The white got visible cracks quickly and the cracks attracted dirt, so they were darker. It didn’t look nice for nearly as long, and because I chose a different brand, it chipped! I now stick with my colored Shellac. The only other issue is if your nails grow really quickly yours might not last as long simply because of the grow out. (Think like when you have acrylics and they grow out and you need a fill….except no fill, just a new manicure.) My nails grow fairly quickly, and I can make mine last around 4 weeks before I get a new manicure because its unbearable.
Anyway, I heartily recommend them! Give it a try and you will see why I love it so much! I get one every month now :)