Personal Growth

4 Important Pros and Cons of Gel Manicures

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Nails have become as crucial to a finished look as any hair and make-up routine. Your ten digits are essential to looking fabulous. With this in mind, gel manicures have become all the rage. While the finished look is flawless, are they worth the extra bucks you spend compared to a regular manicure (or, better yet, doing your nails yourself)? After getting my first gel manicure this week, here are the pros and cons of this nail craze.

1. The Process of Gel Manicure

Pro: Gel polish works differently from regular nail polish; use a UV lamp to dry layer by layer rather than air dry at the end. By the time you’re done getting them done, your nails are dehydrated and ready for you to touch everything. There’s no torturous time sitting and wondering if they’re dry or trying to text without smudging. For those who rarely even get out of the nail salon without a chip, the quick dry process is a significant plus for the gel mani.

4 Important Pros and Cons of Gel Manicures

Cons: Getting your nails done takes longer than usual to get the results a gel manicure offers. The multiple layers are a careful process, and if you’re getting nail art, the intricate detail takes much more time than a solid color. Taking them off also requires a soaking process, which can take ten to thirty minutes, longer than just a quick swipe of nail polish remover. The gel is not the way to go if you’re looking for fast results.

2. The Effects

Pro: Although you may sit at the nail salon longer than usual for a gel manicure, you won’t have to return as quickly. Gel manicures can last up to two to three weeks without chipping. A regular manicure can chip anytime and usually looks messy in less than a week. Spending time in one sitting means having perfect hands for longer with no worries or fuss.

Con: A gel manicure requires putting your hands under a UV lamp for a few five-second intervals during the manicure for the gel to harden into the indestructible no-chip mani. Although this is a concise amount of time, any skin exposure to UV rays is a risk for skin cancer. Doing this once in a while will most likely not be a problem, but frequent gel manis could seriously increase your risk of melanoma.

3. The Designs

Pro: You’ll be amazed by all the intricate nail art designs you can choose from during salon manicures. Gel polish allows nail techs to add delicate dots, strips, and floral patterns that would be impossible with regular nail lacquer. Each layer dries completely hard under UV/LED light, meaning your nail art style will stay pulsating and intact for two to three weeks.

4 Important Pros and Cons of Gel Manicures

Con: While the options are plenteous – more intricate designs may require extra time with your fingers curing. Decorative art + fine details, and multiple accent colors need careful drying of each coat. This extended drying translates to lengthier service times vs. a traditional solid color mani. But the tradeoff is worth it for those lavish nail looks!

4. The Lifespan

Pro: You’ll love resuming your routine quickly after your appointment. Gel manicures provide a long-lasting polish that withstands daily activities like workouts, chores, and swimming. Unlike traditional lacquer, which may begin peeling within days, your mani will stay chip-free for nearly two weeks.

Con: The extended wear time means removing the gel requires a longer soaking process than regular polish. Soaking bare nails in acetone for 15+ minutes is necessary to fully dissolve the polish instead of instantly wiping it clean with remover. Set aside time to soak off immediately if bare nails are preferred. Overall, the durability far outweighs the tradeoff of extended removal time.

4 Important Pros and Cons of Gel Manicures

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