How To: Gel Nails 101
From C+C -- Ladies, what’s the longest you’ve gone with a chip-and-smudge free manicure? For me, it’s about 5 days max, and that’s when I’m having a really good week. Manicures and pedicures are luxuries that women treat themselves to but it’s an unwritten law that we’ll have to maintain that luxury with a fresh mani/pedi within about 7 days of the initial procedure. That mentality is changing with the growing popularity of a new wave of nail technology called soak-off gel nails.
At first glance, soak-off gel nails look like nail polish but they last almost twice as long because an ultraviolet lamp is used to cure the color to the nails which yields results that can go chip-free for at least 14 days.
The process of getting a soak-off gel set applied and removed should be done by a professional. It is similar to a regular mani in many ways but has a few distinct differences. A base coat, two color coats and a top coat are applied by a manicurist, but between each coat the soak-off gel is briefly cured using the UV light. We already know that depending on the number of coats of color and other accents that are used, it can take anywhere between 10-30 minutes for nail polish on a regular mani to completely dry. The UV light on gel nails allows polish to completely dry within seconds of exposure to the lighting.