Getting a gel manicure is all the rage right now, and rightly so, because it resists chipping, peeling, dulling and breaking like nothing else! But the cost of maintaining one (especially if you like to change colors often) can get pricey!
There IS a solution: Do your own! Really!
Here is how a gel manicure works:
1. Prep the nail area by filing nails to the desired shape and rough up the nail bed
2. Apply a base coat of UV gel and 'cure' it in the UV light
3. Apply a gel color, and cure again
4. Apply a top coat (different product than a base) and cure again
5. After curing (2 minutes each round) swipe some rubbing alchocol over the nail to dry it (It seems weird, but at that point it is totally dry!)
1. File nails to remove the shiny top layer of gel
2. Soak nails in remover (NOT the same as nail polish remover), for really stubborn color, soak a cotton ball in the remover and then wrap nails in tin foil and leave for about 10-15 minutes
3. scrap off gel
4. Buff (file) nails, and you're ready to re-apply if you want.
An average gel manicure will cost you $35 plus tip, so it can be costly to go every other week (although I can easily get three weeks out of a clear gel manicure)
For the cost of about 4 manicures, you could have bought your own kit and you can do them yourself!
Right now Sephora and OPI have the best set on the market called "gelshine" which is a brush on gel system complete with remover, tools and UV light! The set sells for $149.
whats even cooler, is when you buy the set - you get to pick the color you want in your kit!
A fan of the product posted her 'in store' expirience with the kit:
(Sephora Gelshine color swatches)
When compared to another best-selling kit, Red Carpet Manicure $80 (Ulta and Drugstore.com)
Reviews rated the UV light that comes in the Sephora kit as much more durable and higher quality!
You can also purchase your own salon quality light and buy all the cupplies you need seperatly, but note that you MUST have a UV light.
If you are really serious about at-home manicures and PEDICURES too (hey- if you have the kit, why not get a super long lasting pedicure too?!) consider investing in the Gelish Harmony System (very high quality)
They have over 70 colors and constantly update them
but buying all the equipment and products will cost you about $250 (that's what you'll spend on 6 or 7 manicures in a salon!)
Gelish is the leader in brush on gel technology, and they make it nearly fool proof
You'll also want to stock up on essentials, like cotton balls, orange sticks, and nail buffers
Remember also, that you'll want to purchase diffrent gel colors (unless you like wearing the same color all of the time) and they will run you $15- $25 each
Its also important to note that brush on color is much easier to apply than the powder that you mix.
Its something to seriously consider investing in, you'll break even on the investment in just a few months!