If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know for the last few months I’ve become obsessed with gel manicures. It all started with a trip down to Florida. I have a nasty habit of always chipping my fresh manicure when traveling and since I was heading down to good old Florida for some business meetings, the last thing I wanted to do was show up with chipped nails. I caved got a regular old gel manicure from my neighborhood salon and three weeks later I found myself looking at a still shiny, chip-free manicure.
From there I escalated to not just regular gel mani’s but nail art gel manicure’s. During the holiday’s I wanted something fun on my nails that would also last me through several holiday parties and some heavy duty travel, so I booked an appointment at Paintbox Nails in SoHo and shelled out a hefty $68 (before tax/tip) for a fun, dazzling manicure that literally lasted from mid-December to beginning of January. At this point I’ve been hooked and just recently got my third gel manicure of the year and we aren’t even two months in.
What is it I like so much about these manicures? Maybe it’s that my nail artist Miara (who is brilliant) shapes my nails perfectly to my make my fingers look elongated or that they have a menu book full of designs to choose from that can be created with any color combination or that I get to sip bubbly while all this goes on? I don’t know but I now find myself looking forward to now monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) trips to Paintbox. I’ve realized that I’ve now become that girl that has scheduled nail appointments, blowouts, facials. All I need is a cosmo and I swear this could be plotted out for some rom-com.
If you want to jump on the gel manicure but don’t want to shell out the salon prices there are some good at-home alternatives.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel was one of the first on the market and still remains a favorite. You get major shine and the as long as you don’t abuse your hands (I’m talking gardening, hand washing dishes, etc) the manicure will last for at least a week.
Essie Gel-Setter Top Coat – The best thing about the Gel-Setter is it works with any Essie shade of nail polish. I found it tends to last around 5-7 days however you can extend this with a second round of application on the fourth or fifth day.
SinfulColors SinfulShine – SinfulColors is a great, cost effective take on the at-home gel manicure. My last manicure using the SinfulShine collection lasted around 8-days and the shine was top notch.