Beauty Blog: My testimony and the truth about gel nail polish!

21 Jun

For the past couple years, women have rejoiced over a new option that gave them a flawless manicure. I also joined in the revolutionary idea of nail polish that didn’t chip, but now I’m over it. I’m convinced the long-lasting gel polish manicures we all bought into are a wolf in shiny, glittery sheep’s clothing.

Hand model shows off gel mani, good luck girl!

If you’re not familiar, the gel manicure is a thick, gel-like polish applied to the nail and hardened/cured using a UV light. It looks like regular nail polish, but lasts at least two weeks on the nails with no chipping. I used it frequently after I got engaged because I wanted my nails in tip-top appearance to complement my new ring. I also went back and got more gel mani-pedi work done before my wedding so I could have a flawless look on the big day and honeymoon without having to fuss with my nails. Now I’m paying the price. My nails are almost down to nubs! They’re chipping, peeling and cracking at the slightest bang or thump against anything!

My biggest issue with the gel manicure is not extra cost, extra time it takes, chemicals in these various products or even the controversial UV light. My disappointment and outrage stem from the damaging process of getting the polish put on and taken off. Nails are filed and buffed before the polish is applied. Weeks later, when you’re ready to take it off, they’re buffed, soaked or wrapped in acetone, scraped and buffed a ton more to get off that old polish residue. This excessive acetone soaking and buffing leave your real nails so thin and weakened because the top layers have been sanded and scraped away. *now in my girlfriend tone* “You have a choice at that point, ignore it and get more gel put over your damaged paws or let that mess grow out!”  I knew I didn’t like how it ruined my nails last year, but I couldn’t resist the urge for a flawless manicure before the wedding and went back for more! Despite the urging from my last technician that they use the utmost care, I still experienced thin, weakened nails after this last few go-rounds with gel polish.

UV nail light, be careful girl!

Some might argue, the nail tech is at fault, but I really don’t think so. The product has to be taken off and these steps are necessary. The upper layers of your nail being damaged are part of the price you pay. Now I do believe, some nail salons, those that are reputable, staffed with licensed technicians and not greedy for profits, will admit that any semi-permanent substances attached to your nails for long periods of time will leave your nails temporarily damaged until they grow out. According to an article found at ConsumerReports.com, there are continuing problems in salons across the country with false advertising, various and undisclosed or even FDA banned chemicals in use, and even reports of people experiencing pain from damage done in the process of getting gel manicures and other cosmetic nail procedures.  It’s enough to make you want to stay home with an emory board and pair of nail clippers.

I wouldn’t say I’ll never go to a nail shop again, but I will say I’d probably opt for plain mani-pedis from now on with minimal buffing/filing. I’d also look to make sure the salon is reputable instead of eye-balling for cleanliness and crossing my fingers. Here’s one site that can help you find licensed nail shops in your area. Click here.

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