Home Gel Manicures - Do They Work?

This article, entitled Gel Manicures At Home…Saves Over Hundreds Of Dollars But Do They Work? comes from partner site 719woman.com.

Three weeks ago I got my first gel manicure and loved it! I did spring cleaning, yard work, and lots of extra hand washing from a lot of cooking and didn’t have one single chip. Totally worth the $35 I spent. My nails grow pretty fast and except for the fact that you could see where my nails had grown by my nail bed, the manicure was looking great.

Statistically, the average price of a salon gel manicure is $30 to $40 and lasts for about three weeks. I decided to check out a home kit and see if it really worked and if I’d save money.

First of all, I needed to get the old polish off. If you try doing this by chipping the gel off, you can damage your nails. And a cotton ball with polish remover wiped over the nail isn’t going to do the trick. There are gel polish removers on the market so I decided to try the Sally Hansen one that I picked up at Target for $4.99.

To use this, you saturate a small piece of cotton with the acetone remover and then place the cotton on your nail. Taking a piece of tin foil, you wrap it around the cotton tightly and then wait 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, you should be able to gently push off the gel with a cuticle stick.

I will say, this worked great! The directions do say that if it all doesn’t come off the first time, to soak for 5 more minutes. For me, it all came off easily after the first application. I tried the Sally Hansen acetone remover on my left hand but then on my right hand, I tried just regular acetone nail polish remover (that I got for a dollar at the Dollar Tree) to see how that might work (which would save me money and I always have it on hand). After 15 minutes it was almost all off, after another 5 minutes, it worked just as well as the more expensive “specialty remover”.

The kit I bought was Sally Hansen (I wanted to try a “known” brand) which I got at Target for $64.99 (and I was really hoping it worked for that price!) The kit comes with a 6 watt LED lamp, gel base coat, gel nail color, gel top coat, 10 nail cleanser pads, acetone remover, a cuticle stick, file and buffer.

How does it work? After prepping your nails (making sure they are clean and buffing them a bit), you apply the base coat. Your hand goes under the LED lamp for 30 seconds, and then you apply the nail color. After another 30 seconds under the lamp, the top coat goes on and another 30 seconds are needed under the lamp. Wipe off any residue with the nail cleanser pad and you’re done. It’s pretty easy and the LED lamp turns off automatically after 30 seconds so you don’t need to start a mental countdown.)

My left hand was really easy to do but my right hand was a bit more difficult (which is the case anytime I polish my nails.) The key to doing this yourself is to make sure you apply very thin coats of polish. I applied a bit too much on a couple of my right nails and it was too thick and didn’t dry as well.

The kit contains up to 10 salon gel manicures and says each manicure should last for about 2 to 3 weeks. I figured even if I only got 8 manicures out of the kit, I would still save over $200 by doing it myself. Now of course some people like the experience of going to the salon and having someone else doing the work. I personally liked doing it at home because I could do it in my pajamas while watching TV. I didn’t cut and shape my nails before doing my manicure so I don’t think they look quite as good as when I had the manicure done at the salon and I didn’t particularly like the color the kit came with but that’s just my personal preference. Sally Hansen does make a variety of gel nail colors (Target sells them for $11.99 each) so you can choose your own favorite color (over a dozen to choose from.)

So if you want to try doing a gel manicure yourself at home, I do think the Sally Hansen gel manicure kit works.

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