GEL POLISH REVEALED: Pros, Cons & Clarifying the Myths!

Beauty, Fashion, Fitness & Nails


GEL POLISH REVEALED: Pros, Cons & Clarifying the Myths!


Today’s focus is on Gel Manicures & clearing up the many questions and concerns regarding them!

Here are a few of the negatives I’ve heard from various women regarding gel manicures.

  1. Time Consuming
  2. After soak off damage to my natural nails
  3. $$$

Now let me shed some light on the subject.  For the past month I’ve been wearing gel polish and it’s virtually been my saving grace!  Since I’ve taken up the sport of power lifting on several occasions I’ve been victim to random nail chips.  I finally decided to try out some gel polish to see if it would protect my nails during my training cycles.. and it definitely has!

So with that being said… if you do a lot of physical activity or anything that may cause your nails to become brittle or fragile I would highly recommend giving a gel polish manicure a try.  Not only will it save your nails from breaking but it will also aid in their growth!

First off… when thinking about getting a gel polish manicure I would research where you plan on having it done.  If you go to a random salon on the street there’s a high probability that your gel polish will be applied as well as soaked off incorrectly which can most definitely lead to damaged nails.

Here’s a check list of products that I’ve personally used and been extremely pleased with.

Gel Polish Brands

  1. Essie

  2. Gelish

  3. Gel II

  4. CND – Shellac

Another big thing is the method and product which the salon will use to soak off your gel polish.  Many salons soak a cotton ball in pure acetone and wrap your nail with tin foil and soak for 10 minutes.   In some cases this could be fine, but for people with fragile, thin nails there’s a big potential for damage when soaking off with pure acetone.  What i would recommend is asking the salon if they carry CND Shellac Nourishing Remover.  (Price Range: 8oz. bottle $7-$9)

CND Shellac™ Nourishing Remover
Safely removes CND Shellac enhancements, tips, wraps and adhesives from the nail plate.

This product has most definitely been my saving grace… it doesn’t dry out your nail beds when removing the gel polish!

There are 2 other key factors when getting a gel manicure.  One is …. make sure your nails are completely dry.  1 hour prior to getting your gel manicure DO NOT WASH YOUR HANDS!  When you wash your hands regardless of whether you think your nails are dry … they’re not.  So,  what happens is the gel polish will run and shrink away from your nail when it’s applied.  It’s a major pain in the neck for manicurists and the chances of your manicure lasting the full 2 weeks is again.. slim to none!

Another key factor to prolonging your gel polish manicure and preserving the health of your natural nails is using cuticle oil on the daily while wearing your gel polish.  Apply it to your nails in the morning or apply it at night.  Which ever time you works for you.. ..JUST DO IT!  This will keep your nail beds properly hydrated, for when it’s time to soak off your gel polish.  Many companies make cuticle oil.  I personally like CND Solar Oil.

So, to sum it all up here are the key points you need to know regarding gel polish.

  • Find a quality salon that carries either Essie, Gelish, Gel II or CND Shellac gel polish

  • Ask if they use or can get CND Shellac Nourishing Remover to soak off the gel polish when you’re ready for your next polish change.

(PS.  all salons are able to purchase CND Shellac Nourishing Remover... it’s a little bit pricey but well worth it.  It’s sold at CosmoProf and Salon Centric- 2 beauty supply stores with locations nation wide — open to professionals only.  Or you can buy your own bottle online.  I provided direct shopping links to all of the products.)

  • DON’T WASH YOUR HANDS (1-2 hours) PRIOR TO GETTING A GEL MANICURE!  The gel polish won’t stick to your nail.

  • APPLY CUTICLE OIL DAILY – Ask the salon if they sell small bottles of cuticle oil.  Cuticle oil is key to maintaining your gel manicure and keeping your cuticles and nail beds properly hydrated and to prevent damage.  If they don’t sell the oil, pick up a small bottle at CVS or any local drug store.

  • Applying heat to your nails during the soak off process, when your nails are wrapped in tin foil the heat will activate the soak off solution and cut your soak off time in half.  Average Soak Off Time: 10 minutes

As far as the price for a quality gel manicure… well that can range between $30-$40 and a gel manicure should last you at least 2 whole weeks if applied properly.

Take a look at the difference 4 weeks made!  In the first picture I’m wearing Pink Lace Veil by LeChat overlaid with glitter confetti.

PinkLaceVeil - LeChat

The next set of photos was taken a few weeks later wearing “Lust At First Sight” by Gelish.  (This photo was taken about 3 days after I did my gel manicure so if it looks a little scuffy.. that’s just me being rough with my nails.)  I absolutely love this color.  It’s a deep brownish purple.  Very monochromatic and can be worn with just about anything.  It’s probably my favorite color to wear right now.



Not only has gel polish protected my nails during my training it’s helped them grow long and strong.  So if you’re one of those skeptics… keep in mind all of the thing’s i’ve mentioned in this post and definitely give it a shot!  I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay tuned for more nails on Tutorial Thursday.. Nail Art inspired by Fashion!


(Photo Credits: Nails by Holly for The Trendy Nail)
Disclosure: The products used in this post were purchased by me. Affiliate links appear in this post. When you purchase through an affiliate link, you help support this site. For more info view my Disclosure Policy



Comments: 2

  1. skincarez4u says:

    For anyone out there try to soak ur hand in acetone remove shellac is wrong. To much soaking will make ur nail break n weak. Shellac is great the only thing make ur nail thin is the tech n urself. No experience tech will buff out the shellac thats will thin out ur nail bed. First take a file rough the top coat of the shellac. Then foil the nail with acetone n cotton ball. Leave it for 8min get woodstick push it out if som part is not remove rough it with a file n foil fir another 3min. If you leave the foil tight enough for 10min ur shellac will come out without any problem. This post described pros and cons of shellac nail polish very nicely. Thanks

  2. skincarez4u says:

    I currently have shellac on my nails – I have had it on my nails about 3 weeks – it is time to get them redone. I noticed some lifting near the edges and pick a little bit off of one of my nails… the nail underneath is yellowing. Why is that? Please tell me the pros and cons of shellac nail polish

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