Manicures are a wonderful way to spend a little “me” time pampering yourself. If you have visited a professional nail salon in the past few years, you may have noticed that there are many more options than there used to be. And one of the biggest questions is this: Regular polish or gel?
Here is how the old “regular” manicure stacks up against the new wave of nails – the gel manicure.
This is the traditional service that includes a process something like this: remove old polish, buff and shape nails, short hand massage, apply base coat, wait for base coat to dry, add quick-dry top coat, pay and go.
Pros: These manicures are the kind you can give yourself at home. They are fast, simple to do, and easy to switch up in just minutes. They’re perfect for the girl who changes her outfit as much as she changes her mind.
Cons: The not-so-great thing about these traditional manicures is that they tend to chip, and right when you need them most.
Who Needs This Manicure: For women who work a full-time job, FYI, your gorgeous nail polish may not last through Friday, leaving you with the task of a mid-week DIY manicure.
The Gel Manicure
This upgrade will cost you more than a regular manicure, and it may take twice as long. The gel polish process is similar to the regular manicure. Nails are cleaned, shaped, and hands are massaged. A gel base coat is applied; you’ll sit under a UV light to dry. Manicurists then apply the gel nail polish, and it’s back under the UV light to set. A top coat is applied, the UV light drying repeats. One nails are set/dry, you pay and go.
Pros: This manicure lasts about 2 – 3 times longer than a regular manicure – up to 4 weeks! Gel nails also keep their shiny finish (chip free) until you remove the polish. Not only that, but natural nails under gel polish have a tendency to grow longer because of the extra strength.
Cons: Gel polish does not go quietly. If you want to remove a lingering gel manicure, you are going to need to soak your nails, and you may even need the help of a UV light.
Note: Always wear special gel manicure gloves or broad spectrum SPF sunscreen under UV lamps to reduce potential skin damage.
Who Needs This Manicure: Ideal for the woman uses her hands a lot (gardening, doing dishes etc), but also wants a manicure that will last through the wear and tear, chip-free. Not for women with unhealthy nail beds, weak or peeling nails or skin conditions affecting the cuticles.
The Bottom Line
If you are an on-the-go type of girl you may find that a gel manicure holds up much better against the regular wear and tear of a workweek. For those who have enough time for touch-ups or don’t have their hands in water all the time, a regular manicure is probably just fine.
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