Monday, March 7, 2016

Gel Manicure Experiment

On second thought, this floating hand picture is a bit creepy. Oh well...making do with what I have.
Playing violin means short, ugly nails. In the words of my teacher, "they are only too short if you bleed." Ouch. While I appreciate my playing being much improved with short nails, I still don't like them. So keeping my nails neat and polished has become important. I have tried nearly every long-lasting marketed brand and have never made it two days without a chip. And I really don't have time to polish my nails every other day. Granted, it's probably my fault because I'm not exactly kind to my nails. Still... I even tried the Jamberry nail wraps but that turned out to be an expensive disaster that left my nails very damaged.

At home gel manicure have become wildly popular in the last few years for their duration. Late on the bandwagon, per usual, I chose two well reviewed methods and decided to perform my own experiment. Here was the plan:

Method 1 and Method 2

-Paint the left hand with method one and the right with method two.
-Record chip time.
-Paint the left hand with method two and the right with method one.
-Record chip time.
-Repeat three times to make sure data is accurate. (There is a little scientist in me that refuses to be quiet.)

After the initial experiment I alternated prep method, dry time and coat thickness so as to take all factors into consideration. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of Method 2. For me, this method does not last the two weeks the original post claims. But again, I'm pretty tough on my nails so that doesn't really surprise me. It does last a solid 7-8 days and I can totally live with that. And, because it dries so fast, I can paint my nails in the evening without worrying about them getting messed up when I go to bed. Score.

You can find the gel manicure method I use here. Some changes I made: I use Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure for color (it's what I had and I think it looks nicer and hold up better than Essie) and I apply a second coat of Seche Vite top coat after two or three days. That's it! Quick and easy. I love the shiny look of a gel manicure and most of all finally finding a method that lasts!

Do you have a favorite manicure routine?


  1. This post is a lifesaver. After adding an extra two shifts to my work week, my nails have no hope of remaining long/painted more than 2 days (read: so. many. dishes.) I'm definitely gonna give this a go, because ain't nobody got the time or money to purchase regular gel manicures, but my poor nails look so ugly on the regular that I need some sort of breakthrough. XD

    1. Also: I love how scientific you were. It made me laugh, then sigh because I know you're right...;P