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Thread: Gel mani/pedi

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    Gel mani/pedi

    I've been talking about this with a patient who has the nicest nails. Gel nails look awesome for a long time and don't chip.

    My reservations mostly revolve around the newness of the compound and how it affects the nail bed. Perhaps not at all but I did hear it somewhere that someone's nails became brittle or otherwise unhealthy with repeated use of gel.

    Has anyone done it? What did you think?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    It's all the rage here in Puerto Rico. My sister does it and her nails are fine.

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    Gels are great.......but in order to take them off you still have to soak them off in acetone. I'm an esthetician and had to learn all the processes. As with acrylic, you should soak them off at least every 3 months, and start over.....it good to give your nails a rest and treat them with cuticle oil to keep them healthy. It's the acetone that dries them out. I like the new OPI nail polishes out now that are gel. You need an UV lamp to set it each coat, the swipe with acetone to harden (it stays tacky if you don't). This stuff is great and will just peel off when you want to remove it. It's what I use now and I love it. Hope that helps
    Addicted to FSU

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    I hate getting manicures because they inevitably chip within a day. My daughter talked me into a gel manicure for my niece's wedding, and damn if it didn't last almost 4 weeks. I'm not sure if they weaken the nail bed, but the only problem I had (my fault because I didn't ask) was how to remove the polish once it started looking worn. Ordinary polish remover does not work, you have to go back to the salon for removal.

    You pay a bit more for the manicure, but it lasts so much longer I think it is worth it. Huge bonus, the manicure is dry instantly, seriously as soon as the manicurist was done, she rubbed a cotton ball over my nails and not a smudge!

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    I have had gel nails for almost a year, and I love them. I get them redone every 4 - 5 weeks, and haven't noticed any issues with my nails. Of course, my nails were rather weak to begin with, so this has given me strong nails that I've never had before.
    Haunting the Princess of Pink since 20/07/11...

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    Oooh, sounds good. I may have to give it a try. Does the gel come in all kinds of colors?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Your options are much more limited than a regular manicure, but the range of colors is pretty nice. I think Opi is coming out with more choices.

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    I usually wear neutrals or dark dark vampy reds (unless, of course I am going to a Sharks game in which case I wear teal ). Oh and this past winter I was really into the mauve grey Metro Chic by OPI.

    But other than that my choices for hands are limited as I need to wear somewhat conservative colors to work.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    I've had gel nails on and off for years and I love them. A friend of mine does them, and yes the color choices are a bit more limited, but when she does them you can bring her any color glitter, dye or other add in and she mixes it with the clear to customize them how you want.

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    You mean Gel polishes, not the gels that are like acrylics, right? If you mean like Axxium and Shellac, I've been doing Axxium for almost a year now on and off. Every couple of manicures I'll go back to regular polish or nothing to let my nails breathe a bit.

    I've found the most important thing with gel manis/pedis is you MUST have a nail tech who's both trained in how to apply them, AND won't rush through it. I've found when the tech rushes the top coat, the gel lifts off much easier. When the tech takes the time to seal each nail properly with the top coat, it lasts for at least two weeks.

    I really do love that there's no dry time and they don't chip. I've had intermittent issues with them lifting, but again, that's the fault of the tech. And you do have to soak them to remove them which is a bit of a pain. Shellac actually makes little wraps that go over your nails so that only the nail really comes in contact with the acetone, as opposed to dipping your fingers on a bowl of the stuff.

    Axxium has a lot more colors than Shellac does, and the only time I tried Shellac, it lifted off after less than a week, so I stick with Axxium. I have it on right now.

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    I've had Shellac a couple of times and was immensly satisfied. It lasted for two weeks as if it had been applied yesterday. Yes, there are not a lot of colors, but my favourites like classic red and dark brown are there, so I'm ok.

    But my manicurist does not recommend to wear it all the time because it dries the nails.

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    I had acrylic for a year or so, but my nails turned yellowish. They were however way harder than before. So I stopped the fake ones and had nice long natural nails for years. They eventually started getting back to their soft brittle natural state. I have been thinking of getting the fakes again so maybe I will try gels.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

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    IceAlisa, I have had gels for about 8 years. I had acrylics for about 2-3 years and hated them. I took them off and let my nails get back to normal vowing never to do it again. Then, 8 years ago i decided to try gels, I'd heard they were less destructive to your nails. and they are. 1. When an acrylic get snagged they don't usually chip nicely, they usually rip half of your nail off. Gels chip and leave your nail. 2. Whenever I've had a chip, my nail is great underneath.

    You can have clear gels done and put any color nail polish over the top that you want.

    You can do whites (AKA a French manicure) with gels. White gel tips with clear pink nail bodies. You can also put nail polish over them, if you want.

    Or, you can do colored gels. They last about 3 weeks, before the nail bed starts to be a little too wide. They hold up longer, but cosmetically I wouldn't go longer than 3 weeks. LCN has the best range of colors and, in my opinion, holds up the best.

    Gels go on, as a gel, and are brushed on thickly. Usually two layers go on, each layer gets a minute under the ultraviolet light. Then they are wiped with alcohol, to wipe the gooey top surface off. Then they use a nail file drill with different levels of sanding fineness. Then they are filed and buffed. Then they put two coats of color on (if you're using gel color) each time they go under the light. Then a top coat which goes under the light. It takes about 45 minutes and I strongly agree with Stormy - go to someone who is good.

    To take them off, they must be ground off. They are not easily effected by acetone. That is why you can use nail polish and remover on them.

    And an added bonus, they don't stink like acrylics!

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    Just a tip for those getting gel nails on a regular basis - use sun screen on your hands.

    I heard a doctor on TV suggest that the UV rays can apparently cause skin cancer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    IceAlisa, I have had gels for about 8 years. I had acrylics for about 2-3 years and hated them. I took them off and let my nails get back to normal vowing never to do it again. Then, 8 years ago i decided to try gels, I'd heard they were less destructive to your nails. and they are. 1. When an acrylic get snagged they don't usually chip nicely, they usually rip half of your nail off. Gels chip and leave your nail. 2. Whenever I've had a chip, my nail is great underneath.

    You can have clear gels done and put any color nail polish over the top that you want.

    You can do whites (AKA a French manicure) with gels. White gel tips with clear pink nail bodies. You can also put nail polish over them, if you want.

    Or, you can do colored gels. They last about 3 weeks, before the nail bed starts to be a little too wide. They hold up longer, but cosmetically I wouldn't go longer than 3 weeks. LCN has the best range of colors and, in my opinion, holds up the best.

    Gels go on, as a gel, and are brushed on thickly. Usually two layers go on, each layer gets a minute under the ultraviolet light. Then they are wiped with alcohol, to wipe the gooey top surface off. Then they use a nail file drill with different levels of sanding fineness. Then they are filed and buffed. Then they put two coats of color on (if you're using gel color) each time they go under the light. Then a top coat which goes under the light. It takes about 45 minutes and I strongly agree with Stormy - go to someone who is good.

    To take them off, they must be ground off. They are not easily effected by acetone. That is why you can use nail polish and remover on them.

    And an added bonus, they don't stink like acrylics!
    I think we're talking about two different things? There are gel nails like acrylics and gel polishes. I'm only talking about gel polishes. Gel polishes can be removed with acetone, they don't need to be ground off and there's no filing at all involved. If you're getting gel polishes like Axxium or Shellac done and they're doing any sort of grinding or filing, they're not doing it correctly. The way they're removed is soaking them in acetone or using the acetone wraps, and then the tech uses a metal cuticle pusher to gently scrape off whatever's remaining on the nail (at least that's how my tech does it), but I know for sure there isn't any grinding at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    I think we're talking about two different things? There are gel nails like acrylics and gel polishes. I'm only talking about gel polishes. Gel polishes can be removed with acetone, they don't need to be ground off and there's no filing at all involved. If you're getting gel polishes like Axxium or Shellac done and they're doing any sort of grinding or filing, they're not doing it correctly. The way they're removed is soaking them in acetone or using the acetone wraps, and then the tech uses a metal cuticle pusher to gently scrape off whatever's remaining on the nail (at least that's how my tech does it), but I know for sure there isn't any grinding at all.
    We must be talking about different things. This is what I have done:
    http://www.lcnusa.com/index.php/gels-a-light-curing

    FTR, they don't grind anything on the color gel. That is much thinner than the base gels.

  17. #17
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    My friend had Shellac and didn't like what it did to her nails. I can't remember exactly what she said but I remember her complaining.

    Sounds like some the most popular colors (very dark red and neutral) are available so I should be OK.

    Also, seems like if you only do it every once in a while, the soaking in acetone shouldn't do too much damage. I have several weeks of vacation coming up in June, perhaps this would be a good time to give it a try.

    Thanks all, for your responses!
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    If you go here- http://www.opi.com/ and click on hands/feet and then Axxium, you can scroll through all the colors available. Not every salon will have every color, but it gives you an idea of what's available.

  19. #19
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    Thanks, Stormy. Off to check it out.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Oh and this past winter I was really into the mauve grey Metro Chic by OPI.
    My toenails are this color for my friends' wedding tomorrow night!
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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