For those of you who aren’t familiar with gel manicures, your life is about to change. Say bye to chipped nail polish and not being able to pick anything up until your nails are dry! Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t! But there are some things you should know before you commit. Here are seven facts about gel manicures that every newbie should be aware of.
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Gel manicures are more expensive.
The price of a standard manicure varies depending on where you live and where you go. The cost of a gel manicure also varies, but usually starts around $30.
Gel manicures last much longer than regular manicures.
They won’t chip like regular nail polish does, which makes the cost worth it for a lot of people. Gel manicures are great for special events, because you don’t have to worry about the polish chipping or smudging before it’s dry! Plus, you can get the manicure a few days in advance, which makes fitting a mani into your busy schedule much easier.
You can also get a gel pedicure.
The same process applies to your toes too! Pedicures tend to last much longer than manicures in general. This is because toenails grow three to four times slower than fingernails. A gel pedicure will last even longer than the regular pedicure and should look good for quite a while.
If you’re really into gel manicures and want to save money by doing it yourself, you can buy your own UV nail dryer. I would advise getting a gel manicure from a salon before you purchase a machine to make sure that you actually like it.
You don’t have to wait for them to dry.
Unlike regular manicures, gel manicures dry by curing under a UV or LED light. As soon as your manicure is done, you’re free to go! No worries about leaving the salon with your nails still wet.
Be careful with the UV lights.
Although there’s still a debate on whether or not UV light radiation from gel manicures can cause skin cancer (the exposure time is pretty minimal), you should definitely be aware of the potential risk and the broader conversation about the safety of the UV exposure.
Removing a gel manicure can be harsh on your nails.
With normal nail polish, you can just take the polish off whenever you want. With a gel manicure, you can’t just take off the polish with regular nail polish remover. After a while, the gel can begin to lift as water gets under it, but it’s important to make sure you don’t pick at the gel. Ripping off the gel can take layers of your nail with it, doing damage to your nails.
To remove the gel polish, you typically have to soak your nails in an acetone soaked cotton ball wrapped in foil for 10-15 minutes. This can leave your nails dry and brittle. Taking time between gel manicures to let your nails repair is recommended, and using something like Aquaphor to rehydrate your nails can help reverse some of the damage. Most salons will remove a gel manicure for you for five to ten dollars, or even free if you are having your nails redone.