There's a lot of pros when it comes to in-salon gel manicures. There's the pure indulgence of having someone else paint your nails, the unbelievable speed of the process, and of course, the two-week insurance against chips. The cons, however, sometimes outweigh the pros - like the damage to your nails, the need for touch-up appointments and the serious cash injection the whole maintainance thing requires. If you're hooked on the glossy, 3-D shine of a gel manicure, but over the commitment of salon services, the new breed of at-home gel-effect polishes are sure to tickle your fancy.
How do I give myself a gel nail manicure?
The method involved in a salon gel manicure is painting the nails with a special kind of reinforced polished that dries and sets (called 'curing', to those in the know) under a UV light. This is what protects against chips and also makes the drying process take almost no time at all. While you can purchase pro-standard UV lamps online, some still worry about the damage that the service can do to the nails. Which is where these bad boys come in - curing in natural daylight, there's no need for a lamp, and they offer the same kind of chip-resistance as their salon counterparts. Plus, at-home variations tend to have more of a shade range than your local mani-pedi joint, and come in at a fraction of the price.
How do I remove my gel nails?
Removal's a doddle too - most melt away with gentle nail polish remover, taking away the need for the harsh acetone soaking of the nails that happens when your gels are removed in a salon too. The jury's out on whether the longevity is quite as good as the full pro experience, but for the commitment-phobic or those who don't want to splash the cash, this is the perfect fix.