Nicely groomed nails are one of the best accessories in a girl’s closet. With new trends in nail color and nail art, it is easy to choose a fingertip expression that highlights your personal style and adds that something special to your look.
But when nail polish chips, peels, or smudges, it can ruin your overall appearance. Like a run in your pantyhose (thank goodness we don’t wear those anymore) or lipstick on your teeth, a messy manicure can become the focus of attention for all the wrong reasons.
If you’re tired of spending time at the salon having your nails done only to see chipping and cracking a few days later, a gel manicure may be just the answer you’re looking for. Since we’re offering a special on gel manicures in October in our Portland salons (sign up for our newsletter at the top of the page to get monthly coupons and specials) we thought we’d take closer look at gel manicure pros and cons.
Gel manicures have staying power closer to acrylics without doing the damage to your nails that can happen with glue or fake nails. The process begins like a regular manicure with your nails being shaped, smoothed, and buffed and your cuticles being cleaned up and trimmed. Then the manicurist will rough up the surface of your nail using an emery board or metal file. This slight texture on your nail surface will help the gel adhere better.
Finally, the manicurist will apply a gel base coat, gel color of your choice, and a gel topcoat. In between each of the application steps, you will bake or cure your nails under a UV lamp. This ensures that the gel adheres correctly to your nails and dries completely. Usually by the time you leave the salon, your nails will be completely dry – no more worrying about messing your manicure as you dig for your keys at the bottom of your purse.
Pros for Gel Manicures
For busy gals in Portland, Oregon, the pros of a gel manicure are definitely intriguing. First, they say that the gel polish won’t chip, crack, or budge once it is appropriately applied to your nails. This is quite different from traditional nail polish that can smudge in the car on the way home from the salon.
Gel-manicured nails also stand up to activities of daily life in the Northwest. Whether you’re growing your own vegetables in the back yard, going clubbing downtown, or camping and hiking in the fresh fall weather, your nails will look great. Needless to say, daily hand washing or work activities won’t damage this manicure either.
Finally, the best part of the gel manicure is the length of time it will stay fresh on your nails. Most salons report that a gel manicure will last for two to four weeks, an unheard of length of time for your nails to look great. The number one reason for a touch up on your gel nails is simply nail growth. After a couple of weeks, your nails grow out leaving a gap at the cuticle with no color that will require another trip to the salon.
Cons for Gel Manicures
If gel manicures are not applied correctly, they have a tendency to lift or peel at the edges. For this reason, it is important to choose a salon where you know the manicurists have been trained well in the gel technique. Students at Phagans are trained in the latest, most hygienic procedures, so you know our student salons and salons throughout the Portland are where our graduates work are all a good bet for trying a gel manicure.
Because the gel polish bonds so tightly with your nail, removal of a gel manicure requires more than just a bottle of remover and some cotton balls. You’ll most likely need to visit the salon again to remove the gel. That process can include the manicurist soaking your nails in acetone and scraping off the gel. This process may need to be repeated a few times to remove all the gel. If you like to change your nail color quite often, this removal system and the staying power of the color may make gel manicures less appealing to you.
Finally gel manicures are generally more expensive than traditional manicures. But if your gel manicure lasts 2-3 times longer than a basic manicure, the additional expense won’t actually increase your costs because you’ll need fewer manicures.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting manicure without going the acrylic route, gel manicure may be just what you’re looking for to pull your look together effortlessly.