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What’s Gel Nail Polish

How Much Stronger Is Gel Nail Polish Vs Regular

Gel VS Natural Nail Polish & Whats Right For You! (Talkin Tuesday)

Gel polish lasts between 2-3 weeks at the minimum, while regular polish is lucky to go a week without chipping. With light wear, your gel nails last at least twice as long as a normal polish, but realistically they get you four to six times a standard manicure mileage.

In terms of retained wear and tear, gel polish will not chip the way regular polish is known to. If applied correctly, it is also not likely to smudge. The strength of this type of polish is evident in its removal process, and its clear that you have to be very intentional about removing your gel polish to prepare for a new application.

Whats The Difference Between Gel And Builder Gel

The gel is a product that helps with the construction of solid and durable nails. It comes in gel form and is applied directly to the nail. The gel helps protect the nails from breaking and splitting and can also help to improve their appearance. Builder gel is a thicker gel applied in layers to build up the desired thickness. It is then cured under a UV or LED light. Builder gel is more challenging to remove than regular gel polish.

How Much Do Gel Manis Cost

How much you’re going to pay for a gel mani really depends on where you live, but also what kind of look you want. Basic one-color gel manis start around $35 to $40, according to Duguay-Gordon. But if you want crazy celeb-level nail art, it could end up costing up to $100 or more and that’s not including the 20% tip.

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All About Gel Nail Polish

Gel manicures cost more in the salon than regular manicures do – and you almost always need to get them done in a salon.

Gel manicures also take much longer to finish. The process to apply the polish is much the same as the traditional manicure. Your nails will get shaped and clean, your hands will be taken care of, and the base coat is applied before the color.

Then, the application process changes. After the gel base coat has been added, your nails will be placed under a UV light to “cure” the polish. Each new coat gets set in the UV light after application, right down to the top coat.

Why go through this long process? Many people love the gel nails because they last much longer than standard manicures. Gel polish doesn’t chip, so you can keep it on for weeks at a time. You’ll only need to get it changed or removed when your nails grow out too far.

If you’re trying to grow your natural nails out, gel is also a good choice. The gel adds a layer of protection that helps keep your nails from breaking.

However, one drawback of gel polish is that it’s very hard to get off. You might even find yourself going back to the salon for gel polish removal. The polish has to be soaked off. And, if you get gel manicures often, you’ll want to use sunscreen to protect your hands from the potential UV light damage.

That said, gel manicures are great if you use your hands a lot and want your nails to last.

You Can Remove Gel At Home

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Although the salon is ideal, it is possible to remove gel polish at home if you really want to. But you’ll need to approach is the right way to avoid damage.

Soak cotton balls in pure acetone polish remover, and attach a cotton ball to each nail by wrapping it in foil. Keep the acetone on the nails for 15 minutes or more to soften the gel. Then, gently slide it off each nail using a cuticle pusher.

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Gel Manicures: A Complete Guide To Gel Nails

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Olive & June

Looking for a manicure that will last through vacation, busy work weeks, and days filled with hands-on projects? Its time to consider getting a gel manicure. But before you do, there are a few things you should know first. To help you polish up on all things gels, keep scrolling for some expert tips on getting and maintaining gel manis.

Meet the Expert

  • Sarah Gibson Tuttle, CEO, and founder of Olive & June
  • Evelyn Lim, Paintbox chief educator
  • Anastasia Totty, LeChat Nails educator and professional gel nail artist

Uv And Led Curing Lamps

As you shop around for gel nail polish, youll see that there are kits that come with curing lamps, lamps you have to buy separately, and polishes that say they dont need one.

Some of these lights are UV and others are LED. You may notice that LED is more common. Whats the reason for this?

Whats the Difference?

The differences between UV and LED curing lamps are stark. UV light takes about two minutes to cure nail polish. LED, on the other hand , takes 45 seconds or less. UV light is a type of light source thats invisible. It comes from the sun and is used in tanning beds. LED contains UV light among other different types of light.

Thats the big difference: gel polish hardens when its exposed to several types of light. So, a UV lamp takes longer because its just one type of light, but LED can do it all, and quicker, too.

Another difference is that LED lights arent as harmful. UV light can cause skin cancer and early aging. If you frequently use gel polish with UV lamps, you increase your risk of damaging your skin. Its still a risk with LED lights, but its minimal compared to UV lamps.

Do I Need a Light at Home?

Whether you need a curing lamp at home or not will depend on the type of polish you get. If you get the traditional gel polish, then yes, youll need a curing lamp. You can use either UV or LED, but youll probably end up with LED just because theyre more common these days.

How to Safely Use UV Lights

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Which Begs The Question: Are Dip Powder Nail Kits A Diy Or A Dont

Full disclosure, Ive only ever done my nails with the usual lacquer and have never worn acrylics. Gel manicures have intimidated me for years due to my worry about harming my natural nails. But when I saw my sister-in-laws dip powder manicure on social media, I was inspired to try one for myself. Plus, now that I had plenty of time on my hands, I felt ready to dress them up. I bought a Peppi Gel dip powder starter kit online and figured that as long as I followed the instructions to the T, Id get it right in one try.

Wrong. So very wrong. Dip kits take more precision than it seems or at least more than Im used to.

How Do I Remove Gel Nails

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Again, you can ensure a fuss-free removal by heading to the salon to get them removed by the pros, But, given that this takes an hour-ish out of your day and costs around a tenner, plenty of people prefer to DIY it.

First off, you need to break the bond between the gel and your actual nail. Very, very gently, buff the nail. This will break the gel’s seal. Next, cut out ten pieces of cotton pad, one for each nail, and soak in acetone nail varnish remover. Cut out ten pieces of tin foil. Pop each cotton pad piece on top of a nail, then cover with one of the tin foil pieces, twisting at the top.

Chill for 15 minutes, unwrap and gently push off, using a cuticle stick.

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What Is A Top Coat Nail Polish

A top coat nail polish is also called a clear nail polish. It basically does like how its name describes it: a top coat. It seals your polish off and makes your polish not only to dry off easily, but it will also make your nail coating to stay longer without chipping, peeling, and scratching.

How Many Layers of Polish Do You Have to Have on Your Nails to Make It Last Longer?

If you really want to wear your polish longer and keep it from breaking or chipping, you would want to have your nails properly prepared before applying the color coatings. You will also need a base coat, the pigmented color , and a top coat .

The base coat bonds the nail polish with your natural nails and fills in any surface imperfections on your nails. The base coat makes the nail polish to stick better on the nails, while the top coat protects the nail from harmful elements that may scratch off, chip off, or peel off the pigmented coatings on the nails. It seals in the nail polish and prevents water from ruining your manicure and pedicure. It also keeps the color and luster on your nails to remain as the first time it was applied to your nails.

With a high-quality top coat, you can extend the look and feel of your polished nails for more days. You may apply another coating of the top coat after several days to extend your manicure and pedicure for even more days.

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Is The Uv/led Lamp Dangerous

The difference between nail polish and nail lacquer, and gel nail polish is in how it dries. Gel nail polish dries under a UV or LED lamp instead of in the air like regular nail lacquers.

When gel nails are set, your hands are exposed to a brief but strong burst of UV light. LED lamps have gained popularity for their shorter curing time.

While they are not dangerous to use, its always important to protect your skin. Put a broadspectrum sunscreen on ahead of time or wear UV shield gloves specifically made to be worn during the curing process.

Always make sure that youre using a curing lamp that is up to standards for the best protection for your skin. This will help you avoid any potential negative effects. At ORLY, we offer a Professional LED Gel Lamp for exactly this purpose.

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Gel Nail Polish Remover Prices

You can expect to pay from less than $1 to more than $2 per ounce for gel nail polish remover, depending on the brand, format, and ingredients.

Inexpensive: For less than a $1 per ounce, you can find many liquid gel nail polish removers that contain 98% to 100% acetone. These powerful removers might contain some extra moisturisers like vitamin E and/or grapeseed oil. Some are designed for general nail polish removal, while others are specialised for gel nail polish.

Mid-range: At $1 to $2 per ounce, youll see more formulas specifically designed to remove gel nail polish. Some of these removers also include a nail file for pre-treatment of the nails.

Expensive: For over $2 per ounce, youll find some of the most effective acetone-free, organic, and hydrating gel nail polish removers. These removers may also come as a kit that includes a file or stick to remove excess nail polish.

How Long Do Gel Manicures Last

Gelish Soak

Olive & June

Thanks to the curing process, gel manicures typically last anywhere from 10 days and up to three weeks. Totty says, “Gel manicures are designed to last around three weeks. Because of natural nail growth and wear and tear, anything beyond that usually does not look great. There are ways to improve wear with strengthening base gels like LeChat Liquid Gel Builder that will make your gels last longer.”

And while gel polish alone is known for lasting longer than traditional lacquer, how its painted on plays a big role. When applying gel polish , you want to make sure that your nail beds are as dry as possible. That doesnt mean brittleinstead, there shouldnt be any water, lotion, or oils on your nail plates, as the presence of such could prevent your gel polish from latching on.

As with any mani, chips and broken nails are still a possibility with gels theyre just not as likely. If you do chip or break a gel, it helps to have a nail file on hand at all times. File it to a shape you love and leave it be if you can, Gibson Tuttle recommends. If its obvious and you cant return to the salon immediately, we recommend finding a similar polish to cover up any gaps in the color.

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Cons Of Gel Nail Polish

On the flip side, there is a certain amount of truth to the horror stories that you’ve heard. Celebrity dermatologist Dr Rashmi Shetty advises caution about the toll that it can take on your nails Gel nail colours are packed with chemicals that hamper your natural growth. From the preliminary filing of the nails that makes it very thin, to the salon removal where the nail is dipped in acetone, the nails and the skin around it, both bear the brunt of the chemicals.

Chen counters, Gel nail polishes are used safely around the globe, and the exposure to the UV lamp is comparatively milder compared to the tanning beds that are widely used abroad. The use of acetone in the removal process can dehydrate the nails, but it is temporary and a healthier nail eventually grows back and edges it out.

Is Gel Polish Damaging The Nails

Gel polish does not thin or damage the nails. It actually provides a strong protection to the nails because of the continuous coverage. This can only be enhanced by using the right and quality raw materials.

It is important to know about gel polish that it can be dissolved and filed, but only using the right methods:

For example if you try to file or remove it at home, you can cause serious damage to your nails. So it is recommended that you consult a nail specialist.

My further advice is that if your nails are brittle and thin then instead of traditional gel polish, it is better to ask for a gel reinforcement as well as to prefer rounded shapes because they are harder to damage than square ones.

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Townley Girl Disney Frozen Peel

The Townley Girl Disney Frozen Peel-Off Nail Polish was made to be safe for children to use to paint their nails, but there is absolutely no reason the polishes cant be used for adults as well!

This set includes an incredible 18 colors, ranging from glittery and opaque, and including colors such as pink, green, yellow, orange, dark blue, sky blue, red, and more!

Being non-toxic, the polish is safe for children aged 3 years and older to use. The polishes are water-based, and all have a delightful bubble gum scent that makes them such fun to use!

Once painted, the formula dries quickly on nails, so you or your little one do not have to sit around for ages waiting for the polish to dry.

There is no need to use nail polish remover, as the colors easily peel off when it is time to change colors, and do not cause any harm to the nail when removed.

The colors are bright, fun, and glittery! They can be matched with your outfit and your mood, and you can share them with your little one too.

Deborah Lippmann Quick Drying Top Coat

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A celebrity manicurist, Deborah Lippmann is famous and known for her own line of quality nail products. Vogue Magazines loves her Quick Dry Top Coat and so do lots of nail-a-holic girls out there!

This clear nail polish dries to a high gloss hard finish in just a minute. And it does not peel nor bubble. But, thats not all!

This top coat is manufactured 7-free! Meaning it does not have any of these 7 dangerous chemicals usually added to nail polishes: xylene or TPHP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, formaldehyde, DBP or dibutyl phthalate, and toluene.

It is also a vegan and cruelty-free nail polish!

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How To Remove Gel Nail Polish

Gel nail polish can last two or three times longer than regular nail polish. However, its durability and staying power can make it hard to remove. Here are some basic steps to follow for better nail polish removal.

  • Prep your materials. Gather ten cotton balls and ten pieces of aluminium foil cut into rectangles large enough to enclose each fingertip. Youll also need a nail file and skin lotion.

  • File your nails. This is to remove the top coat of polish. You only need to file down until the sheen is gone.

  • Put lotion on the skin around your nails. This keeps your skin from drying out.

  • Soak a cotton ball in polish remover and place it over your fingernail. Make sure to cover the entire nail surface.

  • Wrap the fingertip and cotton ball in a rectangle of aluminum foil. This holds the remover in place on the nail.

  • Soak your fingernails for 15 to 20 minutes. If the polish has been on your nails for a long time, give it an extra few minutes.

  • Press on the foil and move the cotton ball gently back and forth across the fingernail. Remove the cotton ball and foil. Most, if not all, of the gel nail polish should come off with the cotton ball.
  • Many Salons Dont Carry The Treatment Due To Sanitation Concerns

    Check your salon before you make an appointment. A huge risk for dip nail manicures is sanitation. It is incredibly unsanitary for multiple clients to dip their fingers in the same container of powder, even pouring the product over multiple clients nails and allowing the product powder to fall back into the container is an easy way for nail infections to be passed between clients. If you notice techs applying the dip powder in either of those ways, LEAVE and go to a different salon. Ultimately your health and safety are of utmost importance, so its critical to do some research due diligence beforehand.

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