I'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.
These 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.