Gel Nail Manicures – Review Gel Nail Manicures

 Radionphoto/Getty Images

I usually skip polishing my nails. I’m one of those lucky people whose nails are naturally strong and grow quickly. I do like the look of polish, but it always chips within a day or two. Who has the time or money for upkeep? I was excited to test out the new UV Gelife gel nail) manicure at New York City's Dashing Diva.

How Does the Gel Nail Manicure Work?

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, with 30 seconds of drying time under a UV Light in between. A second coat is applied and then allowed to dry again for 30 seconds.

At the end of the gel nail mani, I was amazed that my nails truly were dry. The technician laughed at me when I asked for help getting my keys out of my bag and she insisted I could do it myself without ruining my mani. She was right!

This is the same product used when applying fake gel nails. Dashing Diva currently offers the Gelife Manicure in Clear, Cook Pink and Warm Pink. More colors are expected to be introduced this upcoming fall.

How Long Does the Gel Nail Manicure Last?

As promised, the Gelife manicure lasted for at least two weeks. Those are my nails in the photo at the end of the two weeks. The gel “polish” did start to peel the teeniest bit on the sides, but was only obvious when you looked at my nails closely.

Were There Any Downsides to the Gel Nail Manicure?

The one serious downside was the effort it took to remove the gel polish. I was given a removal kit so I could do it myself at home. According to the directions, you need to wrap each nail with a small piece of cotton soaked in acetone polish remover covered with a small piece of aluminum foil for 10-15 minutes. Everything I need was included in the kit.

Well, I tried this removal process once, twice and a third time. After spending a grand total of 60 minutes trying to remove the gel polish from my nails, I still had crusty bits attached. Not to mention I could practically feel and see the acetone drying out my nails.

It wasn’t until I had my next mani (specifically so I could fix my nails post-Gelife) that I got it all the gel “polish” off. And that was only after my manicurist meticulously filed it off.

Is a Gel Nail Manicure Right for Me?

If you are going on vacation, getting married or the type who like to maintain an impeccable manicure, a Dashing Diva Gelife Manicure may be right for you. It costs $45 — about the same as two manis in New York City.

As for me, I’m sticking with my naked, low maintenance nails.