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Gel Manicures: A Complete Guide to Gel Nails

Gel Manicures Complete Guide

Gel manicures are a type of personal nail service that involves gel-based polish application. It involves UV light to cure its polish to dry easily. The curing process helps the gel manicure last for a longer time in the nails. It is more durable and flexible than the regular nail polish. This gel polish is composed of acrylic gel monomers and oligomers which need the UV light to bond tightly together. The Gel Nail Manicures have to be removed by soaking them in acetone which takes time to get off the nails. The time from application of the gel polish and the removal of the gel nails will take some time wherein It should be done in the salon by professionals or the nail technicians. Gel manicures first appeared in the U.S. around sometime in the 1980s. The first appearance of nail polish  was around the 1930s. It prompted the creation of both gel polish and nail polish. Since the manufacturing of gel polish was not advancing during the 1980s, its success did not continue not until today that it flourished and created a trend in the beauty industry.

Gel manicure requires curation by using UV light to dry. This curating process is needed in order to secure a stronger bond to the nails for them to last up to two to three weeks. Once done, a gel manicure will create a shiny and pristine finish on the nails. The benefit of gel manicure is it will survive the wear and tear of one’s day-to-day activities. It is convenient for all individuals since it is lightweight and flexible. Its lightweight and flexible feature causes one to basically do activities with gel nail manicure. The downside is that if not professionally done and without proper care, it will damage the nails because of aggressive peeling or scraping of the nails. In addition, frequent usage of the UV light because of the gel polish curing can cause major skin concerns. Gel nails can make the nails brittle and weak if the gel nails will take longer than usual.

What is a Gel Manicure?

A gel manicure is an application of gel-based polish which requires UV light to cure. It follows most of the steps like the regular nail polish wherein nails are painted, cut, filed and shaped according to client’s preference. One can add styling such as rhinestones and nail art. The gel polish comprises strong ingredients that grasp the nail tighter than traditional polish which makes it possible to lock into the nails. This would make it hold its form to finish the day with a nail free from chipping. Each coat of gel polish will need 30 to 60 seconds at a time to cure in a UV light. After that, it's all done and the Gel Polish Manicure will look glossy and pristine in the nails.

How long does gel manicure last?

Good quality Gel manicures approximately lasts for 3 weeks before it fades and needs reapplication. Days or weeks beyond that is not advisable since the natural growth of the nails will occur and is no longer pleasing and becomes uncomfortable to have such nails. If done professionally, the quality of the gel nail polish will still be the same within the three weeks duration of the polished nails. Natural grown nails are already visible after three weeks, then a new gel polish appointment should be set. 

How to maintain Gel Manicure?

Gel manicures will surely last longer if one takes care of them properly. It requires good nail-prep and at-home care. It requires the use of cuticle oils during the application of gel nails and hand cream or hand lotion before and after application. Listed below are instructions on how to maintain a Gel Manicure.

  • To maintain a perfect Gel Manicure, cuticle oils or serum should be applied to the nails to hydrate and avoid it from dryness.
  • Before the gel polish application, nails should be cut and filed properly to remove unwanted particles or avoid ingrown nails.
  • Put hand lotion or hand cream in order to moisturise the skin and avoid brittle nails.

How much does a Gel Manicure cost?

Gel manicure varies when it comes to its prices depending on the location and styling of the desired gel nails. A basic gel manicure costs around £15. Some cities would charge between £15 to £20 for the gel polish. In some states, gel polish nail services are charged between £10 to £15. Variations of the price depend on the styling, art and other details to add. It tends to have a higher price than a usual traditional manicure, but it will be worth it since the gel polish lasts longer. One can spend less and save more on nail services since the longevity of the product will reduce the frequency of going to the salon or nail technicians more often.

How frequently should you get a gel manicure?

It is not advisable to do multiple changes of gel nails in a week since the cuticle and nail beds can be damaged. In a month, one can do it twice or thrice depending on the nail growth or if the gel polish has chipped or broken. On occasions such as family trips, vacations, parties, or a special event like a wedding, gel polished nails are the key for lasting nail aesthetics that will keep up with the wear and tear of  personal activities. It is more advisable to have gel nails during long vacations in order to avoid the hassle of having broken or chipped nails.

What are the advantages of Gel Manicure?

Gel Manicures last longer in comparison with traditional manicures. It does not easily chip, break, or even peel. Another advantage for Gel Manicures is that it adds protection to the nails. If gel nails are done professionally, it is able to strengthen the nails and hydrate them with the help of cuticle oils or serum. It has a lightweight finish that will feel like an actual nail. It is durable and flexible which will stand the wear and tear of day-to-day activities.

What are the disadvantages of Gel Manicure?

It requires more time to work on the application and removal of Gel manicured nails. It requires the help of professional salon technicians to safely apply and remove gel polish since the cuticle and nail beds are at risk of damage when done improperly. Gel Manicures may last longer when professionally done but tend to be more pricey. In comparison with other types of nail polishes like the traditional nail polish, gel nail polish are priced higher than usual. The presence of UV light during the curation process exposed the skin to damage. The skin becomes susceptible to some concerns like premature skin ageing.

How to remove Gel Manicure?

Gel Manicure lasts longer in comparison to traditional nail polish. Removing them can be difficult and would require an expert’s hands to remove. Removing the gel polish takes time and utmost care but can easily be removed when done according to its instruction. Listed below are the instructions on how to remove Gel Manicure. 

  • Gel manicures needed to be properly and correctly removed. Soak them in acetone for 10 minutes until gel manicures are removed from grasping into the nails.
  • Do not scrape or rub the nails aggressively. It is important to consider the cuticles and nail beds since they are delicate and are made with living tissues.
  • After the removal of the gel polish is done, put cuticle oils or serum on the nails to hydrate it. Apply hand lotion to moisturise the hands from the exposure to UV light during the curation process of gel nails.

What are the best gel manicure polish?

There are three brands which will give the best gel manicure namely, Miracle Gel Nail Polish, Gel Couture, Shellac Gel Nail Polish. Miracle Gel Nail Polish cost £6 which is said to last longer up to 7 days and would still look great. It doesn't chip easily and dries fast during the gel polish application. The Gel Couture cost £5 and has been tested and proven to be fail-proof. The ergonomic shaped bottle attracts users since it has a simple and manageable brush for its perfect application. The Shellac Gel Nail Polish costs £13 wherein users review the product as the easiest to remove and has zero residues. There is no scrapping needed for this gel polish which will avoid damage to the nails.

Can Gel Manicures Damage Your Nails?

Yes, if not done professionally it can damage the nails. It can cause brittleness, peeling, breaking, and dehydration. It will cause damage to the cuticles and nail beds that can lead to weakened nails and break eventually. Frequent exposure to UV light can be very detrimental and result in premature skin ageing. It is advisable to take a polish-free day in order to grow the nails natural and rehydrate cuticles from all the chemicals and substances from nail polishes.

Are Gel Manicures Safe?

Yes, if done professionally, Gel Manicures are safe for everyone. Gel polishing should be done by professionals such as nail techs in order to ensure a safe way of application and removal of gel polish. Standard procedure for Gel Manicure application and removal should be followed in order to avoid damage to the nails and skin. It is not advisable to do a do-it-yourself application since one might break or tear the nails that may cause infection.