I was dying to try gel nail polish but I could not justify the high price of getting it done in a salon. For those of you unfamiliar with gel polish, it is basically nail polish that you cure under uv light which then lasts about 2-3 weeks (depending on how hard you are on your hands).
After some researching, I discovered that it is a lot more affordable to buy the supplies yourself. I opted to purchase my supplies through ebay. When looking at the polish you will notice a price range of about $3 up to $20. When reading forums, a lot of people were commenting that the cheap stuff is not nearly as good as the expensive. I decided to buy my top coat and base coat in the mid range price of about $9 a bottle. I then ordered a couple of colours in this range as well as one at the $3 price to compare. Quite honestly, the cheap polish works just as well as the higher price. I’m positive I will stick with the higher priced top and base coat though as I am sure these are what provide the staying power. I have since ordered another half dozen bottles of the $3 polish.
I work with my hands a lot as I am currently working as a seamstress (only for one more week though, then I am off to start a new career!) and I found that the polish held up very well. I am someone that likes to change up my polish colour frequently, so in all honesty, I have not left it on any longer than a week. But it was still as great as the day I put it on when I took it off! I did my Mum’s nails for her and they lasted 2 weeks before the polish peeled off one nail.
It takes about an hour from start to finish to paint you nails with gel polish. 3-4 coats including top and base coat plus each layer must cure for about 3-4 minutes under the uv light. I usually wait that long for regular polish to dry anyhow and I was having to re-apply polish every other day. Another bonus is the gel polish stays nice and shiny and looks a lot smoother and professional.
On the weekend I decided the apply regular nail polish as I wanted to sport mint green for Easter. I hated it! I had to wait more than an hour for it to dry, it bubbled and was not as shiny even with top coat. After using gel polish, I don’t think I can go back to regular polish.
UV Light@ $25
Gel Polish Base Coat & Top Coat @ $9 ea x 2=$18
Gel Polish Colour @ $9 x2 =$18
Total cost = $61
One application of gel polish at the salon = Average $40
Savings = A LOT OF $$
*You also require alcohol and acetone which are inexpensive.
For instructions on applying gel polish, this is a great tutorial.