Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beauty 411: Gel Manicures

Just the other day I was gawking at how chipped my nail polish already was after having painted them the day before. It wasn't that I was using cheap nail polish, it was OPI. It wasn't that I didn't use a topcoat, I did.
It was time for a change.
When I'm working with my hands all day (and cleaning them every few minutes), my traditional manicure wasn't cutting it. I don't have the patience to do a polish change every other day. That's when I started exploring my options.
There is an Ulta Salon at the other end of the mall I work at. I decided to make an appointment for after work, and try out a gel manicure for myself. It was the second professional manicure I've had. The first was an acrylic french manicure, and I will never get acrylics again. They were painful to get, painful to remove, and just plain annoying to wear.The gel manicure is my real nails, but they look as good as acrylics. 
So here's how my appointment went: I first chose my color. Ulta uses special OPI gel polish that comes in traditional OPI shades. There was about 30 shades to choose from. I picked a gorgeous deep purple "Lincoln Park After Dark". My nail tech filed and buffed My fingernails to perfection. After that she put on a base, 3 layers of polish, and a top coat. She cured each layer under an LED light.
Here's the final result a day later:

They are super shiny and strong! I'm excited to see how long they will stay chip-free. I will definitely be making another appointment for a gel manicure at Ulta. It was an awesome experience and I can't stop staring at my fingetips!

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