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Gel Mani Or Regular Mani?

Decisions Decisions. Life is hard.

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It’s mani-pedi season! I love getting my nails done, because it’s like a mini spa treatment for your hands and feet. When you see the salon menu nowadays, you’re likely to see the typical “regular,” “french,” and “acrylic,” services, but now you can add gel to the menu. Gel nail polish is a type of polish that cures under UV or, now more popularly, LED light. The pros of having gel nail polish are that it stays shiny for longer than a regular manicure, it’s tougher, and stronger than regular polish, and it lasts for about two weeks without getting dull or chipping.

I got my first gel manicure just three weeks ago at my local nail salon. I wanted something that would last long, and stay shiny, to hopefully prevent me from biting my nails. Yes, I’m a nail biter. It’s gross, I know. Moving on. The manicure cost me $40. There was no more scraping or filing than a regular manicure. They buffed my nails, so they were ridge free, and shaped my very short, bitten nails to a perfect oval before painting on the first base coat. After a few coats of different polishes, and a few minutes under the LED lamp, my nails were done. Not to mention they were dry the second I took my hands out of the lamp box. A gel polish also has that fake nail look. And by fake I mean perfect. They’re shiny, and the thicker topcoat looks stunning and crystal clear over whatever color you choose. tiffany blue gel nails with glitter accent nailWith gel polish, you don’t have to worry about being careful not to touch anything for the next hour after getting a manicure. They dry instantly, which is perfect when you have errands to run afterwards, or when you have to reach into your wallet to pay for the fresh manicure you’re about to ruin by reaching to pay for it. I know, annoying.

Gel nails can cost anywhere from $25 to $50, depending on where you go to get your nails done. Compared to the $7-$12 price range for a regular manicure, gel can be a bit pricey. So is it worth it? light blue gel nail polish vs regular nail polish

For nail biters, I say yes. Personally, regular nail polish is still soft enough to bite through, and what winds up happening is I bite the painted nails, ruin the polish, peel it off, then continue biting my nails into short stubs. Gel polish is too hard to bite through, so my manicure stays beautiful until I get them redone.

To get a gel manicure redone, you need to give yourself a few minutes of extra time to soak off the gel polish. They wrap your fingers in tin foil with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover for 10-15 minutes, and then start the process all over again.

There are DIY gel kits on the market, the most popular being the Gelish Complete Starter Kit, which comes with everything you need for a perfect at home mani, including the LED light to cure your polish. There are other kits from Sally Hansen, and Kiss, but I always recommend spending the extra bucks at the salon. Your nails will look nicer, last longer, and you’ll be free from worrying about messing up your nails at home.

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