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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review - Gelish Gel Polish System

I didn't go into this so I could blog about it initially, Chev and I were just hanging out and drinking at our friends Ryan and Stefanie's house last Friday night and Chev was pretty much handing out manicures with her fancy Gelish system. She asked if I'd like my nails done after Stef's were finished, and I agreed. My nails were in desperate need of some kind of flourish. Being the mother of a crazy toddler and in a seemingly endless state of dishwashing not only wreaks havoc on my nails, but leaves me with virtually no time to do them. Also, unlike a lot of women I know, I'm not an "OMG LET'S GO GET OUR NAILS DONE!!!!1" type of gal; I'd much prefer to do them myself, ha! I'm a control freak in that way, but I knew that Chev was pretty fiercely devoted to Gelish and was very experienced with the process. Now I'm super glad I had her do it for my first time not only because of how amazing this stuff is, but because it probably would have taken me twice the amount of time if I had done it myself, what with the layers of polish and having to alternate my hands under the UV lamp for two minutes each (apparently LED lamps cure the polish quicker, though- in 30 seconds!).

The next morning.

I opted for a bright purple with leopard spots, naturally. The latter had the craziest process: you get these little metal plates with various designs engraved into them, paint the polish over whatever design you want, scrape off the excess, transfer the design onto a crazy stamp-like thing, then quickly push the stamp across your nail. The whole process is super arduous, but what I'm trying to get to here is that it's totally worth it. My normal manicures take less than a day to chip or get those super annoying indents in them. I've had the Gelish manicure for FIVE DAYS and it still looks totally amazing! And that's through cleaning three different houses! I'm pretty sure I'm sold on this stuff!

Day 5! Also, yes, my nails really did grow that fast D:

Obviously, removing it may be the only issue, but that looks like a fairly simple process in which you just soak your nails in an acetone-based remover for 15 minutes.

If you wanted to go into a nail salon and get this manicure (be sure to Yelp "Gelish", 'cause not a ton of places do it in my general region, just Seattle), it'd probably run you about $50 for a new manicure, and $35 to fill an existing one (but who wouldn't want to change it up?!). I'm pretty tempted to get the system myself, which would run me about $135, but it really pays for itself within like 2 1/2 manicures!

If you're a DIY kinda gal like me, you can get a starter kit with bonding agent, foundation, topcoat, gelish nourish, mini cleanser, and mini remover for $49.95, gel polish in a plethora of colors for $14.95 each, and a mini LED lamp for $69.95 (all available at Sally Beauty Supply). Design plates ($6.50 each) and stamp/scraper set ($4.50) can be purchased through Konad. Honestly, you're probably gonna have to make a night of it if you do it yourself, but I think it's a decent trade-off for having a gorgeous manicure for up to 3 weeks with no chipping!

I'm so mad I didn't know about this stuff when I was working in retail! Hangers are SO gnarly on manicures (and your hands in general), so I often went without. This stuff would have powered through that, and I probably would have broken less nails!

Have any of you ever had a Gelish manicure? What did you think?


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