Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why I will never get a gel manicure again

If you follow me on instagram or twitter (@whaleflipflops on both), you have probably noticed that I love nail polish. Unfortunately, I am one of those girls whose nails just don't hold polish well and my manicures chip pretty easily. I end up changing nail polishes several times a week (partly due to chipping, and partly due to me not being able to ever make up my mind). I used to get gel manicures done in the States and stopped here partly because of the astronomical cost (I mean some places charge 19€+ for a regular manicure!!! talk about highway robbery) and partly because of how brittle my nails became after getting them done for a while. The other day, I was in Douglas (Germany's version of Sephora pretty much) wanting to get a manicure and I saw that they did gel manicures from Anny (a German nail polish brand that I love) for 20€. I was immediately drawn to the display with all of the pretty, shiny nail polishes. There were so many choices. It was like being in a candy store but without those pesky calories. I settled on Pink Party- a gorgeous shade, and sat down in the chair.
My nails looked fantastic. They were smooth, pretty, shiny, and the manicure was just amazing. After doing several loads of dishes by hand, a day of shipment at work, and a whole slew of other activities, my nails looked perfect. I was enthralled. I could not for the life of me remember why I stopped getting gel manicures. This was perfection. After about a week or so, I started to get really bored. This was the longest that my nails have remained the same color in quite some time, and quite frankly, I was bored with it. Given that I had plunked down 20€ (about $25-27 depending on the exchange rate) for something that the manicurist assured me would last for "up to 3 veeks," I wasn't about to take them off any sooner.

Today was about the 1.5-2 week mark. I have started getting new growth on my nail beds that is visible and to me just looks awkward. Of course you are your own biggest critic and I'm sure that if anyone else had seen my nails, no one would have seen anything wrong with them. Tonight, we got home from dinner, and I noticed that one of my gels was peeling at the corner. I peeled it off. Big mistake. I forgot how brittle and bad my nails look after it. A few of my nails peeled off easily, the other ones stayed put. I have some acetone nail polish remover that is meant for gel polish and is so strong it can pretty much strip the paint off your car. I tried soaking my nails in that. It hardly made a dent. I googled how to remove gel nail polish and found a tip that involved soaking a cotton pad in acetone, putting that on your nail, and wrapping your fingers in aluminum foil for 10 minutes. The only thing that successfully did was make me look like some alien swamp thing. The polish still wouldn't budge. At all. All of a sudden, I looked at my hands, and noticed that they were all blue. After a few moments of panic, I realized that some of the acetone had dripped onto my hands and when I grabbed the box of Reynolds Wrap, the blue dye from it transferred to my hands turning them blue. I ran to the bathroom and furiously scrubbed them for a few minutes. No luck. 

So to recap: I have blue palms and pink polish of 4.5 of my nails. I am not trying to attract a man on Pandora. Tomorrow I am headed back to Douglas to get them to take the polish off and get a real, non-gel manicure. I'm currently thinking #178- Cosmo from Dior.
picture from Polish Police
 And if I ever, ever, EVER try to convince myself that I want to get a gel manicure ever again, someone please smack me upside the head.


  1. Wow. I was thinking about getting a gel mani for the honeymoon. Thanks for this. Now, I won't. Sorry about the bad experience. I would totally want to peel, too.

  2. I love the look of gels, and I wanted to get them on for my wedding/honeymoon - but I agree, it's just not worth it!

    And it does KILL my nails. Blah. I guess beauty ain't free, not in the least!

  3. Oh girl! I'm not a huge fan of gel either. I've just been painting my own nails a few times a week. I'm polish-less today, and I need a good pedicure, but I like to change it up so much! :-) We are kindred spirits like that!

  4. Oh no! I've been contemplating getting a gel manicure for the same reasons you did. My manicures are constantly chipping and I needed some polish that would stay on - definitely rethinking that now! I have fairly brittle nails as well and I don't think it would work out too well. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Personally, I love gel nail polish. It lasts 3-4 weeks without chipping. I've got one of the gel polish kit at Runway Professional. Its really nice and perfect for me. I strongly recommend checking them out.

    cindy xo