photo: Spencer Higgins post designed by kristin ess

This past weekend I headed to the nail salon with my roommate for a mani-pedi.  I don’t get my nails done very often because I prefer to do a color change every few days and enjoy painting them myself so this was a treat. When we arrived I selected my color (cherry red) and she, instead of doing the same, informed me she would be getting a gel manicure.  I was curious because I had seen the finished product, but never seen it applied.  I watched as the manicurist applied layers to my roommate’s nails and had her place her hands under a blue light in-between each.  She repeated this several times and then it was done.  They looked beautiful and promised to remain that way for up to 2-3 weeks.  This sounded almost too good to be true so I decided to do a little research on these gel nails…

First, I learned that there are two different kinds of gel nails.  The first is the one my roommate opted for.  This was a light cured gel.  It is a premixed gel that is applied to your nail and then cured using an ultra violet light.  Now growing up in a beach town and seeing first hand the damage cause by UV rays this makes me a bit nervous.  It seems too much like a tiny tanning bed for your hands, so I was very excited to read about the second type of gel nails.  The latter process yields a similar result, but does not use a ultra violet light.  Instead the gel is cured using an activator that is painted on top or simply by dipping your nails in water.  While the first is more commonly used in salons, I’d prefer the second.  These manicures are a great option for ladies that don’t have a lot of spare time for nail upkeep or if you are going on a trip and don’t want to worry about your manicure. Now for a few of the downsides. One complaint is that removal can be a little difficult as it is recommended that you return to the salon to have them removed.  If you try and do it yourself you could take off a layer of your nail causing unwanted damage.  Another downfall is that color options can be very limited and there isn’t much use in investing in a long lasting manicure if you hate the color.  Also, gel manicures can cost you a pretty penny… running several times the price of a regular manicure.  So there are the fact ladies.  What do you think?  Are these manicures worth a try or would you rather just stick with a good old fashion manicure?

XO Lauren

[polldaddy poll=”5378538″]