i am addicted to gel manicures. the first time i got one, i couldn’t believe what i’d been missing: instantly dry nails, a chip-free mani for two weeks straight, and an extra-shiny finish that i just couldn’t get with a regular manicure. however, i quickly discovered the downsides of this treatment: the price tag (it’s hard to find a good one below $35) and the tricky removal process (soaking your nails in 100% acetone for 15 minutes can’t be good, right?), not to mention the damage it was inflicting on my nails.
i know i’m not the only one loving the gel manis. readers have caught the bug and they’ve been writing in begging us to review the at-home gel process. everyone wants to know how it compares to the salon experience and we at the glossarie are here to serve.
when it comes to the diy gel manicure, lara and i are extra partial to this gel lab set from deborah lippmann. at $45, it’s certainly not cheap, but the one-time purchase costs almost as much as one gel manicure plus tip in the salon. two coats of polish between the coat of arms base coat and shining armor top coat guarantees a shiny finish comparable to a salon gel mani, and it lasts, chip-free for a solid five days. the best part? it’s super easy to remove (polish comes off with regular nail polish remover) and my nails didn’t feel stripped or dry the way they usually do after a gel manicure. it falls somewhere in-between a standard base and top coat and the near bullet-proof effects of the salon gel process. if you’re looking for an extra long lasting manicure without the damage, our most favorite nail guru has got you covered.