Goodbye Acrylic, Hello Gel

So this is not so much a review of a specific product itself, but of my experience on nail enhancements over the past 2 years.

When you walk into a nail shop and ask for a full set, more than likely you will be getting acrylics. I have been getting traditional acrylic sets and fills for about the past 2 years. I’ve never been one to keep them the few times I’ve gotten them in the past, but recently I fell in love with all the options of length, shape, colors etc… But, in the back of my head the whole time I knew that my natural nails were probably not in very good shape under there. I’ve been to the commercial nail shops and rented stations and got both experiences. I must say I prefer the nail stations because, in my experience, they take their time since they work for themselves.

After having nail techs tell me I need a new set instead of a fill, the dremel set way too high and overused, my poor cuticles are get ignored and mistreated, I’ve had enough! I need someone who cares about my natural nail health, will spend the time they need and can communicate well with me. And I knew I wasn’t going to find that at any nail salon or with acrylics.

I’ve done the research and been on the hunt for a nail tech that does true gel sets. Many shops say they do, but if you see them dip a liquid into a powder or smell chemicals, it’s not truly gel! Gel is already a liquid in a pot and us cured by uv light.

Thankfully, I am in the SF Bay Area so if I’m going to find that, it should be here. It’s been harder than I thought, but I finally found a nail tech who fits the criteria I’ve been looking for! I got a true gel nail set made with nail forms and I’m never looking back.

If I ever need them removed, they can just be soaked right off, unlike the hard work and damage that acrylics cause. Gel nails are far more flexible and will move with you, and they also look more natural than thick acrylics.

So, if you’re tired of acrylics and want something less damaging, try gel!

Mani Monday: Best Top Coat for Long-Lasting Polish

Best Long-Lasting Top Coat: CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat, $9.90.

When it comes to newly polished nails, nothing is more annoying then when it pretty much chips off in like 2 days. And not everybody loves shellac or has the time or money to get them done; even if you have an at home kit the process takes a while. Alas, CND is to the rescue with their ‘Vinylux Weekly Top Coat’. Be sure to only apply one thin layer. I like to wait at least a minute after applying the two coats of color polish. It leaves your nails with a pretty, shiny, almost gel looking finish. When I start to think “I’m not sure if this stuff actually makes my polish last longer”, I’m wrong. I notice a significant difference in wear the times I don’t use this top coat. It is not a miracle but this stuff definitely gives you at least a few extra days without chips. I have also noticed that this is pretty fast drying as well. I have not tried the CND Vinylux color polishes yet, so far I’ve only used it with other polishes I already own. So I imagine if it does a good job with random polishes that the CND specific ones will result in an even longer lasting mani. The price is definitely a plus too; I found it on Amazon for about $6 or you can find it for about $9-$10 in store.

❤ Emily