No, really, it does exist and it’s the latest trend for your tips. This latest trend is at-home gel polish kits. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a certified nail artist to get your hands on one of these, and there is no special training you need to go through. All you need is the kit and some polishes and you’re good to go.
There are four major kits on the market, including one from long-time nail pro company Sally Hansen. Red Carpet Manicure offers a kit for everyone and a pro kit as well. Kiss, a company known for their press-on, temporary acrylic nails has come out with a kit, with a nifty approach to the French tip. Newcomer, Sensational also has a kit available. All kits fall within the same price range to remain competitive.
All kits use a LED lamp rather than a UV lamp like your gel nails from the salon. There has been lots of talk recently about how bad UV lamps are for your hands and the possibility of premature aging caused by the lamps. Fear not with the LED light. And the polish cures even faster than your salon gel, taking only about 30 seconds per layer.
Another definite plus of these kits is that with their growing popularity, there is a vast array of colors and brands to choose from. OPI, a favorite polish brand of many women, even has a line of gel polishes.
While many of these polishes boast that they last up to two or more weeks with no peeling or chipping, but it depends on the application and the condition of your nails prior to your manicure. The polish must be applied in thin layers, thinner even than your traditional polish. If too much polish has been put on nails, it’s more likely the manicure won’t last.
Ask any nail specialist – the condition of your nails also determines the level of adhesion of the polish product to them. Mee Chong from London’s Mee Beauty Salon says, “If you have particularly weak nails, are switching from salon gel nails, or your nails are prone to lifting and peeling, you likely won’t reach the two week mark with your manicure”.
Some of you may be wary of trying gel and acrylic nails because both can be very damaging to natural nails, you don’t need to worry about that with gel polish. While it does create damage if you pick and pull at the polish, just using the product does not cause as much harm to the natural nail.
Gel polish manicures do take a little longer to apply properly than does a traditional home manicure, however, once you factor drying time in with regular polish, it’s really about the same. But, the very best thing about these gel polishes, besides their long wear, is that once you’ve set the polish and top coat under the lamp, they’re dry. You don’t need to worry about smudges, scratches, or anything. Once they’re cured, you’re ready to go.
While the cost of these gel polishes is a little higher than traditional nail polish, the long wear is definitely worth it. You can even wear your favorite polishes sandwiched between layers of gel polish, so you don’t need to replace your entire polish collection. With no reduction in shine for the duration of their application, and the durability of the polish, it’s well worth the cost of a kit to be able to have these results at home.
[toggle title=”Featured images”]
Article contributed from Brandy Harris, an OPI Gel nail specialist and beauty writer, who now does her own manicures as well as advising friends and family about how to do their own.