Meg here! Writing from The Big Apple, going to attend The Gotham Awards tonight where I will be sure to ask the A-List what beauty items/gifts they’re buying for the holidays. Yes, Roxy will be with me as well. I’ll be sure to ask her too.
A funny thing happened to me Saturday in the city. I went to go get a manicure, because it had been Three Weeks. Yes, you read that right. My color was still on, although starting to grow out at the nail base. I only had 2 slight chips. I had to request something new and exciting, I had to request my NATURAL nails be cut and then filed. Cut!! My natural nails needed to be cut and filed! As a nervous Nellie disgusting nail-biter, I thought I would have a better chance seeing Jesus then seeing this day! How did it happen? Let me tell you all about my new obsession, Gel manicures. The love affair started in August and I need you to run through my nail history time line to understand.
10 years-18 years old: Natural, painted still always biting.
18 years-33 years old: Acrylic Tips, sometimes silk. Always on. Would take periodic brakes because my real nails underneath would a. either get too thin or b. become discolored and disgusting. This vicious cycle would keep me running to get the fake nails put on to hide the damage I had done to the real ones.
34 years old: Still Acrylic tips but only for television or special occasions. Trying to get the real ones to just look decent.
35 years old: Try the new “gel/shellac” craze. Do it consistently. From August to this past Sat. (end of November) giving my nails a break with just a standard manicure with regular color right now. I’m just doing this break because I heard it is important to take a break every now and again so your nails don’t get too thin. I have yet to experience this, decided to err on the side of caution.
What is the difference? Just like in a regular manicure, cuticles are pushed back and nails are filed. Nails are also buffed, so the gel adheres more strongly. Next a coat of gel “polish” is applied to each nail, then drying time under a UV Light in between. A second coat is applied and then allowed to dry again. This process is repeated about 3 times on each hand.
I first tried this because I would be traveling to South America for 10 days of an extreme schedule. Left little time for sleep, never mind time to tend to my nails myself and I didn’t know if there would be any nail salons on the itinerary. Guess what? No nail salons on the itinerary . I would not stop raving about how awesome my nails were holding up to my friend Jo Piazza. I couldn’t believe how they looked salon perfect even after rigorous hikes and packing. I thought I was driving her crazy until we got back to the States and she sent me a tweet “Loving my Gel Manicure that @Megsmakeup insisted I get!” I had converted her. It makes sense. Jo is flying around the country doing all sorts of TV interviews for her book “Celebrity Inc” so she needs camera ready nails without a lot of maintenance.
The color that I’ve been picking pretty consistently for this season is “Asphalt” a super deep charcoal. My nails look amazing for two weeks, if I push (and no, they don’t look “amazing” at 3 weeks but still decent) I can get 3 weeks. This is great for a busy person that needs great looking hands.
The cons? These are not “cons” for me, but complaints I have heard some say. “It’s hard to take off” yes. I love that about it. However, if you do constant polish changes then this may not be for you. I never try to remove my own gel manicure. I have the nail technician do it. She soaks cotton balls in acetone and then wraps my fingers in tin foil. I sit like that for about 5 minutes. Then she takes her tools and scrapes it off. My nails still look super healthy and strong. I swear, it’s amazing how great they look. This costs an extra $10 at my salon but I don’t need hassle over $10 so it’s just easier to have it removed right where I’m having the new color applied.
The price? It varies city to city. It cost me $45 at my salon in West Hollywood. It really costs $55, I always tip at least 20% because I believe tipping is how we get into Heaven. It’s pricier then the normal manicure but it lasts so much longer I think it evens out. I got my nails regular color Saturday and I’m looking at 2 chips as I type this. I’m never going back. I’m sticking to gels!
How about you? Have you tried gel mani’s? What did you think? I’ll purchased 3 gift certificates at my salon to give to friends for their birthdays. I’m sure once they try it they’ll become die-hard gel fanatics like me!