This year I’ve had three gel manicure experiences.
1. The first was a “CND” Shellac manicure done at a Dashing Diva in Manhattan (I’m so tempted to expose the exact location and the manicurist’s name with the bad attitude, but I will leave that for yelp.
My nails started chip two days into my trip (I got this done right before I went to Vegas).
2. During lunch for my birthday I decided to try a gel manicure at the place closest to my job; BIGGEST. REGRET. EVER. This time was OPI Axxium gel in the shade Lincoln Park After Dark (since I love the original shade so much see swatch here).
This started chipping after about two days after application. I also did not like how “non-opaque” the color looked on my nail. It was as though you could see the uneveness of the layers. When the lady was done it wasn’t even shiny. Ugh. Never again.
3. My third gel manicure was a CND Shellac application done at The Beauty Social. I was beyond impressed with the CND educators and the young lady who did my nails. She spent a total of 52 minutes with me (yes I know I calculated the time). She first gave me a manicure, complete with removing my previous polish, cutting my nails and cuticles, and shaping and buffing the nails. She then proceeded to apply very carefully each layer making sure it was even. I gave her creative license to try any color she wanted. I believe on most of my nails is CND gel color called ashphalt with a sparkly opalesque color on top. The glitter color on my ring finger she made with a mixture of black and teal nail glitters.
I didn’t see my first chipped nail until about a week later. I was very impressed.
Here is what my nails looked like two and a half weeks later. As you can see my nails grew a lot.
The CND folks also gave each blogger Shellac Remover Wraps and Solar Oil.
The premise is that you’re supposed to wet the cotton square portion of this with acetone, then wrap it around your finger for 10 mins. After that, whatever does not come off you can scrape away clean and free.
It worked pretty well.
All in all, I think I am done searching for the most perfect manicure simply because I know it just does not exist. Although gel manicures last longer than a regular manicure (if done correctly), is it really worth the forty bucks?
Here are four things to consider before getting a gel manicure:
1. Do not believe that you will go two weeks without having any chips.
2. The amount of time your gel manicure will last is dependent on the health of your nail bed. If you have thin, prone to breakage nails, the gel will only exacerbate those issues.
3. My manicurist at The Beauty Social told me it is imperative that the salon offering CND Shellac have been properly trained through CND. Trust me it makes a huge difference!
4. Peeling off the gel manicure without properly soaking it in acetone or using the remover wraps will result in thin, malleable nails.
Hope this helps somebody…comment below to let me know about your gel experiences!