Mani Monday: What Nails Look Like After 3.5 Years of UV Gel Manicures

by Janine on 23 September 2013 · 16 comments

nails after 3 and a half years of soak-off uv gel manicures_BEAUTYGEEKSI’ve had back-to-back soak-off UV gel manicures since April 2010. It started with OPI Axxium for this post here, and this story, too. I’ve worn OPI Axxium, OPI GelColor, Artistic Colour Gloss, Gelish and Entity. I’ve had two experiences with CND Shellac, one disastrous because it’s not meant for naturally soft, weak, peel-prone nails like mine, and one much more successful thanks to CND Brisa Lite, a new base-coat duo for Shellac.

The UV gel manicure brands I wear most often are Artistic Colour Gloss and Gelish, just because of my colour choices.

nails_after 3 and a half years of soak-off gel manicures_BEAUTYGEEKSThese are my natural nails now, more than three and a half years later. They’re clean, bare of polish, beautifully shaped and buffed by nail expert Leeanne Colley at my go-to nail bar, Tips.

To anyone who still insists that soak-off UV gel manicures ruin your nails, please learn this phrase I first heard from Leeanne:

It’s the fools, not the tools.

 

If you work with experienced, skilled technicians who respect the health of your natural nails, you’re in good hands.

To find out more about gel manicures and UV exposure, and get the truth about LED vs fluorescent UV lamps, read this post.

The lovely double-band chain ring with pavé-set diamonds pictured above was borrowed from Noriko Kasai, another Tips client who was seeing Melissa Forrest during my last salon visit. She has just two of these rings left via her jewelry website Kavut.com.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura 23 September 2013 at 1:25 pm

AMEN to this!! Janine your nails have obviously been treated well by a nail professional who cares! We are out there. Maybe a little harder to find than your corner strip mall, but we exist :)

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YouLookHotToday 23 September 2013 at 2:53 pm

Leeanne gives great shape. And yep, she knows how to work her tools. She best. (helps you have nice hands too, Geek).

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Lexie 23 September 2013 at 4:23 pm

AMEN! This goes for any nail enhancement such as acrylics, too. If your nails are damaged after using any kind of enhancement such as gel/acrylic, it’s your nail tech’s fault, not the products they used. I hate how so many beauty ‘enhancements’ have an ‘it’s bad for you’ stigma attached to them – they only ruin your natural nails/hair/whatever when they’re done wrong!

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Janine 7 October 2013 at 11:28 pm

Preach!

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Chris 24 September 2013 at 12:15 am

Your hands are very beautiful! What rings are you wearing? Are they one single piece?

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Janine 24 September 2013 at 4:19 am

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the compliment. The jewelry is a single unit by Made Her Think, two rings linked with a chain. One ring features pavé-set diamonds. It’s available from Kavut.com; a link is at the end of the post. (I love it; was so tempted not to give it back, except I was wearing it only because the Kavut.com owner had kindly let me try hers on.)

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Melody 24 September 2013 at 5:28 am

I second the comments made about the beautiful shape and condition of your nails, and the gorgeous and unique jewellery! Thanks for the link to her site, I will be visiting it. :)

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Marilyn 25 September 2013 at 6:37 pm

Think I have seen hands like yours before. Your Mum’s?

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Janine 25 September 2013 at 7:02 pm

I think so too!

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Fiona Chan 26 October 2013 at 6:09 am

Your nails look even better than mine! And I have never even tried gel or acrylic.

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Janine 26 October 2013 at 10:09 pm

Aww, thanks! Really, I’m thanking you on behalf of Leeanne — she does all the hard work. *grin*

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Betty 26 January 2014 at 9:13 am

As a nail technician myself, In my opinion this is partially correct. The reason why I say this is because I have plenty of clients that have no problem and their nails are perfectly fine when gel is removed. Some have some issues. Not due to the fault of my own, just because different factors such as soft/brittle nails to begin with and the main factor could be medications. Not all clients will tell you what meds they are on, but with my oldest client at 86 I am sure she is on some. Consultation is big in my book. I always talk with clients before using a gel brand. If I see that the nail looks a certain way I always recommend a different product such as Vinylux (a polish that last 7 + days with no chipping)
If not I tell them give gel a try and see how it looks after removal. Also I tell clients NO PICKING! Picking can damage nail bed and could lead to brittle nails for months to come.

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Janine 26 January 2014 at 10:49 am

Kinda proving my point here, Betty. You clearly care very much about nail health — you’re no fool. Sounds like your clients are in good hands.

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SHERRY LINDEN 17 February 2014 at 4:10 pm

PLEASE LET ME KNOW SOMEONE IN MY AREA WHO CAN HELP ME WITH MY NAILS THAT WON’T GROW. I WOULD TRY GEL IF I KNOW IT WILL NOT MAKE MY NAILS ANY WORSE

I LIVE IN LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA

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Florence 19 March 2014 at 1:36 pm

Do you ever apply regular polish over your gel manicure? I love how long it lasts, but I can’t deal with staring at the same color for two weeks.

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Janine 19 March 2014 at 3:26 pm

You TOTALLY can, Florence! In fact, you could get clear gel so it won’t influence the colour over it, or go with white in the summer so you can wear neons on top. You may get only a few days of wear because the polish is going on top of such a smooth, shiny surface, but, the gel will at least protect your nails better than lacquer. After a week, you’ll have that little regrowth gap to contend with, but I’ll let you figure that out. *grin*

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