a Vintage Los Angeles Lifestyle and Fashion Blog


How is a two-week manicure possible, you ask?  Via soakable gels.  My friend Lily turned me on to soakable gel polish.  It isn’t like acrylics, where they build up the nail with a tip and then put a thick coating on top.  It is more akin to a very study manicure.  It is a polish that they harden with a UV light box.  It doesn’t make your nails longer, as there is no tip involved, but it does make them a touch stronger, though very flexible still.  They are also not as damaging as acrylics.  To remove the polish, they soak a cotton pad in acetone, put it on the nail, cover it in foil and let it sit for a little while.  Usually by the time they are done foiling all of the nails, it is time to start removing the first ones that were put on.  Then they use a hand-held metal scraper to scrape the now softened polish off.  If they used an emery board, the polish would gum up the board.  Yes I know that sounds harsh, but it isn’t bad – no worse than pushing back the cuticles, and certainly not as damaging as the dremel tool sander they use on acrylic nails. And who can complain about a manicure that lasts two weeks?  For my first experiment I actually went three weeks, as I wanted to see how long they really lasted.
half moon gel manicure by Lady by Choice
Finished product.  A half moon manicure (tricky with gel polish, but still doable.)
half moon gel manicure by Lady by Choice
End of week one.  Showing a little cuticle grow-out, but still looking good.
half moon gel manicure by Lady by Choice
End of week two.  One of my nails developed a tiny chip and the “moon” is getting bigger.
But the rest of the nails (unseen) look good.
half moon gel manicure by Lady by Choice
half moon gel manicure by Lady by Choice
 End of three weeks.  Not so much a half moon anymore as a waxing gibbous (yes, geeky, I know.)
Tips are showing their wear (and dirt under the fingernails from gardening).
By the end of three weeks and a day of serious pig-skin glove labor in my yard, a couple more of my nails started to peel and chip at the tip, but looked shockingly good for being a three week manicure.  With a regular manicure I’m lucky if I get a full day before something chips.  If you wore a light color, you might be able to stretch it to three, but I wear red, so the growth at the cuticle shows too much to go any longer than that.
They are a little more expensive than a normal manicure, but not too much more.  Is it worth it?  For me it is.  My natural nails peel very easily and tear down to the quick.  I actually used to hurt myself frequently because of how easily they split.  I used to wear acrylics just to help protect my nails – sounds silly I know, considering how damaging acrylics are, but my fingers in the short-term were protected.  With the gel manicures, I get a little bit more protection on my nails than bare nails without the damaging effects of acrylics.
So I think I’ve found a solution to having nice nails that have a protective little shield on them.  For me personally, it is a win.

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