Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Soak Off Gel Nails

I've mentioned on several occasions that I keep a thin layer of acrylic over my natural nails to keep them from breaking.  While this is a bit of a stigma in a nail world that pushes "natural",  without this support my super thin nails would keep me at down to the quick nubbins so natural isn't the best option for me since I prefer some length.
I'd been discussing gel vs acrylic with the guy at my nail supply store and he recommended I try the newer soak off gels since they would add strength without the bulk and they are supposed to cause less damage. (I'm on the fence on this one since acrylics cause minimal damage if done properly.)

Since I do my own acrylics I couldn't see putting my nails in the hands of the great unknown of a nail salon for gels (too many scary videos on YouTube about improper practices, unsavory personal experiences with salons, and just too much $$) so I figured if I ever got a UV lamp I'd give it a try.

Here is the video I found for the product I decided to use.

Yesterday I took the plunge and picked up the stuff for a basic gel mani,  a lamp at Sally's and dove in.

 My supplies: 
Light, Nail Prep (from the makers of Gellish brand) Gelac base coat, Snow Fall and Top Coat.

Here's what I'm hoping to get from gels
  • Simpler application and removal
  • Strong yet more "natural" looking nails (ie not as thick as acrylic and minimal growth ridges)
  • No lifting at the edges or popping up at the nail base
  • Cleaner/easier removal of traditional polish
For starters I love that you can just brush this stuff on like you would polish.  No shaping, filing etc like you do with acrylics and for me at least it takes significantly less time.

Now I know there are some glitches here but they were my first attempt so be kind, but I really am liking the gel so far.  Obviously it isn't as thick or ridged as the acrylic so I'm having to get used to having some flexation (is that a word? Who cares, it works here)  of my nails.  And the shine is quite simply amazing.  Like nothing I could hope to achieve without umpteen layers of top coat.  I'm really interested to see how it works with wear and removal of traditional polish over the top of it.
Pardon the flubs, but look how nice and thin. 

So this is day one with gels, time will be the judge on how well they wear, if they actually protect my nails the way acrylics do.  
Jobe nail stickers with Seche Vite top coat
I would say that each hand takes about 20 minutes from prep to top coat cure (It would be 10 but they recommend doing the thumbs separately) and since I always had one hand under the light I have to do one at a time.  Still, less than an hour for gorgeous shiny nails...  I'm totally down so far. 

Do any of you do your own gel nails?

Oh, and just a quick reminder if you got all the way to the end of my post here.  Don't forget to enter my 100+ follower give away.  The entire Katy Perry collection is up for grabs!  

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