Gel Nail Polish: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly & The Horrific.

Right before heading to Europe at the end of March, I decided to get my first manicure using gel polish.  I had heard many a story about how delightfully long-lasting the polish was and since I was going to be traveling for about three weeks, it seemed like the perfect idea.  Since then, I’ve gained first hand (and ten fingers) worth of experience in the gel game.  Here’s my rundown:

THE GOOD: Zero chipping for days and days and days and days and days and days x 21

As soon, and I mean AS SOON, as your nails are done they are dry.  Totally, 100% and completely dry.  You can reach into your purse to pay and accidentally jam your index finger into your keys without flinching.  You can open boxes without smearing.  You can cook!  You can clean! AND THERE WILL BE NO CHIPPING!  It’s complete and utter liberation in the form of high-gloss, candy-colored digits.

A fresh gel mani

One week later: still no chipping!

Two weeks later: still no chipping!

Three weeks: aside from the growth from the cuticle there is not a dent, chip or flake in sight.  The manicure looks as fresh as the day it was done.

My three week old gel polish mani...other than the growth at the cuticle level--no chipping!

THE BAD: no #nailart

While we’ve seen an explosion of nail art, unfortunately you can’t achieve those awesome graphic designs with gel polish.  At least at my local nail shop they can’t make that happen.  I had dreams of a gunmetal gray with french black tips or eggplant with a reverse glitter ombre design dancing in my head, but I was brutally shut down by the manicurists.  Womp womp.  I ended up working around single-hued digits by adding an accent nail to each hand for some intrigue.

Tangerine polish with yellow accent nails

THE UGLY:  the removal

When it’s time for gel polish to come off, you have to get it removed professionally.  First the nails are soaked so that the polish lifts off.  Then the manicurist takes a tool to scrape the paint from your nails.  This process left a lot of unsightly divits and scraping on the surface of my nails.  After a couple days, my nails had for the most part returned to normal, but I still didn’t love all of the scraping and chiseling required to remove the polish. Oh, and you have to pay for the removal.  Which I’m fine with but it just means that from start to finish I ended up paying about $35 for the mani, which was a bit steep for my liking.

THE HORRIFIC: my nails are mangled.

This past weekend, I removed my second set of gel polish and was absolutely appalled to discover what I found beneath.  My nails, which are normally extremely strong and healthy,  were cracked and flaking.  My entire thumbnail is like a freaking Post-It pad with layers coming right off.  I’ve never seen anything  like it!  No one else should have to see anything like this—it’s extremely unsightly and I’m totally ashamed of what my nails look like.  I know that the damage will grow out (sheesh! sounds like we’re talking about relaxers over here!), but until then I have to figure out how to deal with this:

The current state of my nails.

Le sigh.

THE VERDICT: I’ll probably do it again.

Oh, I know.  Why in the world would I subject my poor nails to gel polish ever again?  The three weeks of chip-free glory are, well, glorious!  Not only was I not at all worried about my polish coming off, but I was constantly getting compliments on them.  I think the next time I do it, I will not keep the polish on for a long time and will wait  longer duration between gel polish manicures in an effort to mitigate any potential damage.  Until then, I’m going to stick with simple polishes and wait for my nails to grow back to health.  The upside: at least now I have an excuse to get into some serious nail art!

Using scotch tape to create geometric designs


Accent nails with regular polish

Reinforcement labels (yes, like those found in the office) to create polish stencils

Have you had gel polish manicures before?  What has your experience been? Share in the comments!


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  1. I git my first gel manicure about three weeks ago. I also loved that it was no chip for someone who is so manicure unfriendly like myself. when I came time to remove the polish, I did it myself using a technique the manicurist told me to use. Cut cotton rounds into quarters, dip them into acetone, put them on your nails and wrap the tips of your fingers with aluminum foil for about twenty minutes. This causes the edges of the polish to flake and you can then remove it fairly easily with an orange stick, though I just used a fingernail. I did one hand at a time so I could watch tv.

  2. I got gel polish / shellac in March, finally got it off in April but my nails are still mangled from the. I think I’ve got 2 more weeks til the mangled part grows out and I have healthy nails again. I think I’m going to steer clear, because mine chipped after 2 weeks. And I’m a picker, so I started picking away.

    However, here’s a trend you should try. There’s a nail salon in Oakland that does this. Japanese Nail Art! Would love to hear about your experience:

  3. I, too, am a fan of the gel manicure, despite the mangled mess that results. I have never been patient enough to go back to the manicurist to get them removed. Once it starts to peel, I just rip them babies off. I did find a drugstore version (made by Sally Hansen) that allegedly does not require an LED light and also has removal pads. Will see if they work. But in the meantime, I’m loving that I can go about my business without worrying about my nails chipping.

    • I bought something similar by Nutra Nail and it worked really well. It’s a uv-free gel color. Only thing now, is that it’s a dark color and I want some bright pretty summertime colors so I’ll save the rest for the fall.

      I got a few gel manicures done professionally and while they look great for two weeks after that they grew away from the nail bed too much and I just peeled them off or used acetone and cotton balls.

      Right now I’m loving ‘Nail Dress’ by Kiss that are nail stickers that cover your entire nail but tougher. I’ve bought two packs and they’re great. You stick them on, file off the excess and you’re done. They have some cute designs and I did everything I normally do with them one. Showers, washing hair, washing dishes, and none of them came off. I just peeled some off a few hours ago and there is a slight gummy residue left but just keep lightly rubbing your nails and it comes off.


      They have fake nails too but the stickers are different and I plan on buying them again.

  4. I was thinking about trying gel polish. My polish starts to chip 2-3 days after a mani because of all the oil I use in my hair and skin. I think I’ll pass after reading this. I do want to try that little scotch tape trick though, I’ve never seen or heard of anyone doing that, so cool.

  5. I was thinking about dipping my toes (fingers?) back into the world gel manicures/acrylic nails but I always hate how my nails look when they come off. So for now its a no go, I may consider if I’m go on a trip or something. For the state that you nails are in now, you may want to use a protein base coat (try Essie or Seche Vite) and lightly buff to kind of even them out ( I like the 4 sided emery boards). HTH!!

  6. When I was in the Us last summer I saw my Mom having hers gel polish removed and that was enough for me to say no way Hosé. So damaging to the nails, although it looks great!!!

    • I have always had very strong nails that grow very fast. I did have the nails removed by going to an inexpensive nail place. They grinded my nails off. Since then, some of my nails do not grow, they just keep spliting. Even filing them does not stop this so I have to cut them. I also have a numbness at the tip of my fingers. I will Never have gel nails again.

  7. I have been wearing gel nails for about 5 months now and I just remove it myself. Once they start peeling, I just peel them off myself, its easy and painless and I dont have to pay the nail shop to do it. If I couldnt peel them I would just dip 10 cotton balls in acetone, put 1 on each finger and wrap each tightly with foil. Let it sit for 5 minutes then slide it off using pressure (I hope that makes sense). Also, since I get my nails redone every 2 weeks, it doesnt bother me that my nails are a little mangled. And as for designs, I gut french tip every time so Im sure you could get the gunmetal gray with french black tips. I have also seen a natural blogger who gets gel nails and she recently just did a post with like a glitter ombre. My friend also gets glitter on her gel nails too. So maybe its just the nailshop you go to. Designs are done the smae its just that you have to go by layers and let each layer dry. So its a little more timely, so that might make the price rise too. But you can buy a gel kit for yourself for around $100 so that you can do as much as you want. But it would get costly to buy multiple colors. Oh and you may also be able to find a cheaper nail shop, b/c I think a basic gel mani at my nail shop is only $15!!!

  8. I don’t think I’d try it after seeing the cracking, some of gel polishes might also have ingredients suspected to be carcinogenic. There are some tips from the HuffPost if you would like to continue getting them:

  9. My nails looked as damaged as yours but the chippings and dents went so deep it was PAINFUL. (although that could be because i removed them myself LOL). im also trying to step my nail game up!

    Follow me on Twitter:@JennWantsaFro

  10. Ok, so here’s my take on it that I posted on my blog…not being an expert, I’m not sure if there’s any difference between “gel” and “shellac”, but my nail lady says there’s a difference….what it is, I have no idea….check out how I managed the design issue–

  11. All gel polishes are not equal. CND has the best shellac polish hands down. It comes off easy and doesn’t damage your nails. The color selection is limited but it’s a much better product than Gelish and OPI.

    I always let the nail tech take off my gel polish. If you have a good nail technician she can give you designs with the gel polish.

    Good luck.

  12. Nails by Annoocj

    Ive been a Master Nail Tech for over 25 years and just looking at your nails after reading your story, the soak off gel nails were improperly removed!! The second time they were peeled off! Ouch!!! When you gave Shellac, Gelish or OPI Gel colors removed, a cotton ball soaked in acetone is applied to the nail and wrapped in foil for 10-15 minutes. Removal should be very light scrapping of the product off the nail. Sometimes you might need to rewrap the nail if the Polish is being stubborn. When using CND’s Shellac there is no need to buff the nail. The other lines you can buff the nail “lightly” 240 grit is sufficient. One extremely important step which most People font follow is to apply cuticle oil at least once a day. This helps hydrate the nail bed. Anytime you have enhancements done there are crucial steps that need to be taken. Always make sure you go to a licensed nail professional who adheres to the strictest sanitation and can educate you on the procedures! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s what we’re here for! If They don’t answer your questions or you feel uncomfortable walk away because they are probably not properly trained.

    • Nails by Annoocj

      As for nail art…the possibilities are endless with gel polished!!! You just have to find someone who loves to do it! I have all my clients hooked on nail art!! :-)

    • Amen to that!! Thank goodness a trained professional commented on this page!! Why oh why do people complain about “damaged” nails after having their gels done when they’re not willing to follow the correct aftercare advice to start with. I have worked with both Shellac and OPI Gelcolor, and so many of both set of clients think that they know best and its almost that we’re trying to con them into spending more than they need to!! FYI! Not the case people!! We actually know what we’re talking about! To become a fully qualified nail technician we have to learn about the Anatomy and Physiology of the hand and nail! We also have to know how to recognise any disorders, diseases and any contradiction as to why we shouldn’t treat!! Xx

  13. I have gotten gel polish quite a few times but I have never experienced any damage to my nails. I remove myself it takes forever but I soak my nails in an acetone jar then scrape the gel off with my own nail. No Damage!

  14. Sorry, the look of gel nails is not that pretty. In addition to damaging your nails and skin, they look cheap.

    The very best, most glamorous and sexy look is a pretty red polish, a nice shiny one like Essie #456 and #464.

  15. Come on people! How many times have we all heard about damage, bad sanitation, improper procedures and the worst of all……illegal products being used! You have got to pay attention and know you are getting what yiu pay for. No reputablule, properly trained, ethical licenced nail technician will do that kind of damage. Do none of you who visit walk in nail salons wonder why they wear masks!?its becaus the dust flying in the air from filing causes lung damage angd liver failure! There is adifference in price becaus they use an extremly cheap liquid containing a chemical called MMA. Google it…youll see. Wise up peeps! BTW……ever wonder why theynever offer you a mask….or why you dont see the nail tech in your salon wearing masks? Think about it.

  16. Scared to get gel now

  17. NEVER AGAIN!! I got my first and last gel Mani in mid-September. Like most, I was delighted at the uber-fast drying time and flawless finish that lasted and lasted and lasted! I got a sheer shimmery gold color that grew out flawlessly on my nails. After a month it started to peel and I was able to peel it right off my nails without even using remover. THEN the trouble started. Within days of removing the super-hard coat of gel, my first two nails cracked, below the nail into the bed. I had to cut them all the way down. Over the next week, 3 more nails cracked below the nail tip, and at this point, 6 months after my gel manicure, I only have one nail that doesn’t have a crack below the tip. I’m sure that one will go too eventually. My nails are extremely brittle and dry, which is why they are cracking, breaking and peeling. I’ve always been blessed with strong nails that grow long quickly, and that is the ONLY salvation as I know the damaged nails will grow out by the end of the year and I’ll have my happy, healthy nails back. NEVER AGAIN will I use Gel– it totally TRASHED my nails!!! BEWARE!!!

    • I totally agree. I have been getting gel manicures for a couple of years now to get away from acrylics. I think gel manicures are worse! I am getting them off today as they have totally wrecked havoc on my nails. I have two nails that have split half way up my nailbed! I dont know what to do. Last time the manicurist put a coat of acrylic over my one nail to stop the breaking from going any further. Never again, I will go back to regular polish and deal with the chipping and repolishing after 2 or 3 days.

  18. I had just recently started using gel nails for 1 month exact changing the colors twice already. Overall, prior to gel nails, I was using regular polish and doing an comparison, I am totally over gel nails completely! I hated the fact that they soak my hands in acetone, and the scraping of gel polish off my nail was the worst! It didn’t hurt, but I couldn’t believe what I was putting my happy, healthy nails into!

    I would not recommend gel nails to anyone. After 1 month of gel nails, I am going to stop before the matter gets worse.

  19. Those of you who are complaining that gel polish ruined your nails, I am afraid that you have been seriously misled. I’ve used gel polish for over a year with no damage. Properly applied, maintained and removed gel polish should *never* damage your nails! Any product, improperly used, can do damage, but that is the fault of the nail tech, not the product. There is a saying in the industry that it is “the fools, not the tools,” that do the damage. The photo under “horrific” shows a set of nails that have been badly damaged by dehydration and improper removal, probably aggressive scraping to remove all the product. No nail professional should ever do this! Nail Industry chemist Doug Schoon has an excellent article about this – pp 124-129 Also, it seems clear that no one gave y’all any aftercare instructions, like using cuticle oil twice a day. Dehydrated nails and cuticle are ripe for damage. Finally, you should not be soaking in acetone. Although acetone is safe, it is a powerful defatter and can dry out nails and skin. Nail wraps should always be used, along with the remover solution for your brand of gel polish. I’ve been doing my own gel polish manicures for over a year now and my natural nails are longer and stronger than they’ve ever been with no damage. If gel polish is causing damage to your nails, you need to switch nail techs!

    • Hi my name is Brittney and I have been reading up on Gel and Shellac manicures. I’ve had a gel manicure a few times and I now know that the polish was not taken off properly (soaking nails in pure acetone). I have been reading about the correct way the technicians should be applying and removing the polish and how to do Gel and Shellac manicures at home. I have read the lamp can be bad for your hands, so you should apply sunscreen to your hands before your polish is put on. I’ve also read that you should only use CND shellac products and you shouldn’t use products with BHA in them. I use cuticle oil daily and apply hand cream many times throughout the day. I also take a vitamin for my nails. I take pretty good care of my nails. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on taking care of your nails and products you use to help them get long and stay strong. I was also wondering if you could share your at home Gel manicure procedure (applying and removing). Maybe you could help me out with things I have heard, whether to be true or false. Sorry to be so long, thank you!

  20. I had gel nails on for 4 weeks, while on a cruise. Looked great – but after getting them taken off at the same nail salon my nails arw awful and \i don’t know what to do. Never, never again

    • Try moisturising cuticle oil into your nails, I find that when manicurists don’t let the Gelish lift enough when soaking it off and then removing it with the hoof stick it really damages but the Gelish harmony pink soak off stuff is way better than acetone :). If u get a buffing file just buff that into your nails with the oil daily, it really helps :)

  21. Alright ladies I have read the good the bad and the ugly reviews for gel nails. I currently use the gel products sold from Sallys Beauty Supply. I have used their products from over a year. If you use the products as directed you will not have damage to your nails. If you pick at them and peel them off or not wait long enough to soak them and apply to much pressure to your nail bed of course you will damage your nails. Please just go step by step using your instructions. I do not have weaker nails or damaged nails due to gel polish and I apply and soak about every 4/5 weeks. For the lady that said her salon didnt offer designs I can do just about anything on my own nails, french mani, flowers, plaid, ect so I’m not sure why she wasnt willing to do it. Mind you I have never been to beauty school just do it on my own learning from what does and doesnt work for me. I love that the gel polish gives me a no chip polish with high shine. Just gives me that polished look with no maintence. Go with what works best for you and I recommend that you do your homework and ask around about the salon you might visit. Steer clear of the cheapest places you will get cheap results.

  22. I’m a nail tech, going on four years now, so not as experienced as some but most definitely experienced with color or soak-off gel. Around the time I finished school and started working in a salon the gel became popular in my area and immediately became my favorite service to do so I’ve learned a lot about it. I’ve worked in 2 Vietnamese run salons(I’m American) , a spa, and and now have my own business. So I’ve experienced how the gel process works in more ways than one. I only work with the natural nail and I mostly use color gel. I do this on nails and toes. I have quite a client list to keep me busy. I recently stopped all artificial services because I prefer to use the gel. Anyone could ask my 40+ clients a month if they experience any of the problems I’ve been reading about and they will tell you no. As a matter of fact most of my clients had artificial at one time and I have made their nails recover, and grow and become more healthy. The nail should never be damaged after a color gel/soak-off gel service. Removal should never be difficult or hurt the client. As for the nail plate being dry, your nail tech should be telling you how to maintain your nails between services. As all nail products are drying, you should be using cuticle oil or a conditioning treatment on the cuticles. A conditioned nail is a stronger, healthier nail. I do have a client who prefers not to use oil because she thinks it weakens the gel. I’ve worked on some bad nails and because of my care and the help of gel I’ve helped improve the nails of many ladies. I have also experienced severe damage from artificial and used the gel to recover and get my nails back in shape. So sounds to me like some of you are seeing the wrong tech. She/he should be able to answer any questions, apply and remove the product with no difficulty and always give follow up care advice! One last thing, a variety of nail art can be done on gel. I use paints, glitter, rhinestones. I do gradient (ombre), color tips etc. There are amazing nail techs out there and I hope that some of you don’t totally give up on the gel. It truly is an amazing product!

    • Hi my name is Brittney and I have been reading up on Gel and Shellac manicures. I’ve had a gel manicure a few times and I now know that the polish was not taken off properly (soaking nails in pure acetone). I have been reading about the correct way the technicians should be applying and removing the polish and how to do Gel and Shellac manicures at home. I have read the lamp can be bad for your hands, so you should apply sunscreen to your hands before your polish is put on. I’ve also read that you should only use CND shellac products and you shouldn’t use products with BHA in them. I use cuticle oil daily and apply hand cream many times throughout the day. I also take a vitamin for my nails. I take pretty good care of my nails. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on taking care of your nails and products you use to help them get long and stay strong. Also,what should I look for at a salon to make sure I’m getting the best Gel or Shellac manicure? Maybe you could help me out with things I have heard, whether to be true or false. Sorry to be so long, thank you!

    • Where are you located? I need help with nails that crack below the nail bed. I’ve tried gel 2 times. I have my nails gelled now, but my thumb nail has cracked under the gel. I dont know what to do.

  23. I have been getting gel manicures for about four months and I love(d) it. Before gel I wore my nails natural because they are normally strong and grow well. However, in the past four weeks I have noticed that my nails feel weaker (bend easily) and have been tearing at the sides more frequently. I am currently at four torn nails, so I decided to research and now see that it is common. Thanks for sharing your experiences, based on them I am going to save the gels for special occasions only.

  24. They are NOT supposed to scrape your nails w/gel!! That is a lazy manicurist, it should be soaked off completely within 15 min. No wonder your nails turned out so bad.

  25. I like some features of gel nails like Gel Nail needs to be filled every 2 weeks or so and It can be worn long or short without any considerable difference between the two.

  26. Yikes! I think you need to find a new nail tech ASAP because your nails should not have been scraped into oblivion or treated this way. I am so happy with my gels and after getting them soaked off (I have either Gelish or Artistic gel polish when I get mine done) there shouldn’t be scraping and torture like that. That never happens to me and my nails actually are stronger and GROW with my gels, which they never did before.

    I think your nail tech hasn’t been properly trained in the soaking off process.

  27. Adding…my nail tech does great nail art with gels! It is totally possible with a skilled nail tech!

  28. Hi! Loved your review- I am a nail tech and I do art with gel! I put two coats of gel color and use a combination of gel and regular polish to do the art including glitter, etc! The result lasts really well!
    One tip for gel polish- You really are not supposed to have your natural nails buffed or roughed up. It was designed to preserve the integrity of the nail. Any filing of the natural nail plate will leave that type of damage (seen in your pics). Not roughing up the nail plate will mean the polish doesn’t last quite as long. 9-11 days on average – BUT, the polish can be easily removed with a soak and a birchwood stick, NOT a metal scraper or file of any type.
    If you decide to go au naturale without a new gel polish coat, a base coat and thin layer of OPI Nail Envy will give shine. Oil for the cuticles will help nourish after the soak off process, which can be drying. There is a way to do it though, and not hurt your nails! More nail techs need to be saavy to these methods!!
    Loved your article, have fun!

    Sarah Howard
    Barefoot Bella’s Spa

  29. I agree they should not scrape your nails to that extent. If they are soaked properly the gel polish kind of just pops off and they just softly scrape the remains. I will say that you should takes breaks in between gel manicures as it can dry your nails out. They use alot of acetone.. remember. If you peel it, that will also cause some damage. In between manicures I put oil on my nails to keep them hydrated, I guess I do this with the manicure as well from time to time. My nail salon is pretty good with doing the art on your nails. I have had french with different colors, gradient and triangles. Follow me on instagram @dayisyoung for pics.

  30. I think I need to get this! I got through Gel Nails some salon expert kills my nails, this leaves me way more control

  31. Ive got my own shellac kit/ gell. and its reaally easy! my nails have never been as strong as they are not. ive always been a chewer but now they are so strong i just dont want to they dont tear and the poish i use on them looks great, im not a fan of colours but when i do do them i mix and match do spots and all sorts of things on them. they look awsome. just make sure you get the right stuff and google it! or you tube!

  32. My 11 year old recently got a gel mani and we literally peeled hers right off! No damage was done. I think the trick is to tell ur manicurist to apply the primer only on the the outer edges of ur nails, in a circle. I would recommend you purchase ur own gel nail kit, it;s way more cost efficient. As far as design goes I got a french glitter blck tip with pastel colored polkadots!

  33. If they told you they cant do nail art with gel, they lied. Im a nail tec, they can

  34. They definitely lied when they said no artwork, I do artwork on almost all of my clients (including the most popular ombre sparkle!), also they did a HORRENDOUS job taking off your gel polish, your nails should NOT look like that after. The only time my clients nails have looked that bad was when they peeled them off on their own (I warn them about this everytime and some of them just won’t stop but it’s never caused by me removing).

    I think you need to find a new place to go to. You will probably have to pay even more than you did because you obviously had an untrained, inexperienced girl doing them, but it will be worth it to your precious digits (and fun for the artwork). I am expensive compared to the “in and out” joints (those places with a hundred people waiting in a line to be done and you can’t book an appointment where your nail tech also isn’t trained properly) but I have a full education (not just nails) in esthetics and good training and don’t ruin people’s nails.

    I have been applying gel polish on myself for over a year and my nails are the same underneath as the day before I first started. I have a picture in my room taken recently of my natural nails after I took off my gel polish and left it off for a week and I had no problems at all.

  35. Wow! Whoever does your gel mani is a bit umm.. Behind. That removal is very unprofessional and I can do the same if not better nail art on gel nails! Find a new salon, girl, and quick!

  36. OMG!!! U guys…. Soak off completely! U can do this at home with acetone or if u want u can file the color off and buff it smooth… No nail damage I’f done properly. And YES u can get nail art in gel nails!!! So silly to think that u can’t… Maybe ur nail tech had a language barrier issue haha. Anyway.. I love gels so much i don’t even offer acrylics anymore….
    -I’m a nail tech in California

  37. I have been getting OPI gel nail manicures for the past few months. I find I like them a lot better than acrylic nails. To remove the gel polish my manicurist soaks a cotton square with non-acetone polish remover. She lays one cotton square across each nail and then wraps each nail with a small piece of tin-foil. After 10 minutes she removes the foil and cotton and the polish wipes right off…there may be a spot or two she will use an orange wood stick to get the residue off…but really not any scraping…And nail art can be applied if you want it too!

  38. I don’t think the salon you got them done at removed them properly, my nails never look like that after, you should do it yourself like mandifran suggested :) x

  39. I have begun doing my own gel nails. THe only way the will look like that is because the technician didnt remove the gel properly and began to scrape your nail. They have tons of products out there to remove the gel nails yourself. Grab some cotton balls and foil and wrap your fingers up tightly. That is the key to tightly wrap them. I have to do one had at a time because I am doing it myself.

    You must be careful removing it because you can damage your nail. I am going to try those nail arts with tape! However, I have used those KISS stickers and I place them on during the last step (top coat). They have lasted for going on 2 weeks! They have not peeled or come off yet. It looks like a professional pedicure! All this done at home, I love it.

  40. I used gel nails for my first time, it’s been on a week and no chipping…. Very disappointed that you can’t do nail art. But I love how glossy my nails stay with no chipping or re-adding clear coats

  41. I think your nail tech did a horrible job!! i do my own gel manicures at home… i NEVER scrap off polish you shouldnt have to if removed correctly. Seriously there are some major issues about the salon you go to i think i would switch places you go… I usually keep mine on a week or two and soak it off for about 10-15mins and dont have to scrap and if i need to push any off i use an organge wood stick…
    seriously reconsider where you are going.
    PLease message me if you want any advice or anything.. or check out they have tonds of advice. but your nails should NEVER look like that after a removal.

  42. Your nails shouldn’t look that bad if the manicurist soaks them long enough. Sounds like it was rushed.

  43. I think you probably just had a crappy job of removal. It’s not supposed to leave your nails looking like s**t. I would reccomend looki g around and trying out different nail salons who offer the plastic nail polish treatment. Not all places are the same, and to me, it sounds like you’re getting jipped.

  44. The nails are one of the most important detail of feminine image. That’s why every woman should be able to distinguish what is ugly and what is pretty nails.

  45. I started getting my nails professionally done at a salon, just having the lady apply a few layers of clear to help strengthen my nails which after having a kid and having a job where my hands are subjected to cleaning chemicals often they have become weak and peel in layers if bumped at all. Well my experience was kind of like yours (though not with the nail art or colors since I did clear) but I didn’t like the way the woman was rough with taking off the polish and pushing my cuticles. After about 5 visits I realized that this was really easy to do and if I bought my own supplys that I would save a lot of money in the long run and be able to do my nails when ever I want (which is weekely because the tips have a tendency to separate from my natural nail after about a week). ALSO a big plus side is that I really care about my nails and am not in a rush to just get to the next customer so doing my own nails had many benefits. And if nobody knew this, if you are good at doing designs with regular polish, YOU CAN USE IT ON TOP OF GEL POLISH. It’s pretty amazing. Thats why I do the clear gels. Then I just polish on top of it doing all the sweet designs that I can and it makes my regular polish last about a week if I’m doing the regular polish only on top of the gels. I’ve also experiamented recently with layering gel, normal polish, and gel again. It’s even better. You remove them just like you would a regular gel manicure but you can do any of the designs you want, have it last a long time, and using only the clear gel polish in combination with regular nail polish saves a TON of money. Especially since I have a huge basket of regular nail polish and didn’t want to spend a minimum of $10.00 per bottle of gel color. I hope this helps anybody that reads this! :)

  46. Even after reading this, I’m still tempted to try them. I just hope my nails don’t peel and flake when I have them removed.

  47. I am sorry you went through this. Clearly, your nail tech was not properly educated or trained with gel polish. It is totally unnecessary and really damages gel polish in the eyes of the public. First off, get a name – know what gel polish they are putting on you and make sure it’s coming out of a proper branded bottle. There are different gel polishes (Shellac, Gelish, OPI, LeChat, etc.) but there are also counterfeit brands as well and they can do a lot off damage. Secondly, you certainly can do nail art with gel polish, in fact it’s great to do a gel mani and then do nail art on top with regular nail polish. You can then remove the nail art with non-acetone polish remover without damaging the base mani. Great for having nail art on the weekend and conservative nails for the workweek. Finally, your nails should absolutely not have been soaked in acetone or scraped; your nails should have been wrapped with the proper gel polish remover and left to soak until the polish flaked off. There should be no damage! I see it’s been a while since this episode and I hope that you’ve tried gel polish again with a better tech and better results.

  48. Firstly, any decent nail tech can give you nail art with your gel.
    Gel shouldn’t be ‘scraped’ off the nail plate, no wonder they were mangled it should be soaked until a slight knock from a cuticle stick will make it fall off without damaging the nail.
    Of course you have to pay for removal, in the hair and beauty industry you pay for the expertise, products and TIME of the expert. It’s not logical to have a slot of experts time given away for free.
    If you removed your second gels off yourself when you have no training or clue what your doing no wonder your nails got mangled.
    The salon you went to sounds like a chop shop where they have no idea how to use gel (no nail art?) or remove.

    I would recommend finding a good reputable salon where the tech can fully explain and answer any questions you have.
    Also maybe you shouldn’t write about things you obviously don’t understand?

  49. They shouldn’t be scraping them off when they remove them, that’s what has damaged your nails so badly. They should wrap them for as long as it takes for them to lift off clear of the nail, only using a tool to lift it, no scraping should be involved. A decent nail technician would know this. You can even do it yourself at home for nothing. Wrap acetone polish removed around the nail for 10-15 minutes and it should lift away :-) save yourae a bit of money! Try another salon once they are repaired…

  50. Got gellish nails done about three weeks ago! Hands and feet! Woke up this morning and my whole big toe nail is falling off!! I mean it doesn’t hurt but I think the gellish Polish dried it out so much it’s snapped the whole nail off

  51. I had Gelish nail polish applied for the first time about 4 months ago, then had it removed and reapplied in about 6 weeks. I was really happy at first because I have such weak nails and it was great, but about 3 weeks after the second application my nails on my right hand started chipping and breaking down to the quick. I had them removed and am still suffering with breaking, splitting and peeling nails on both hands. I think that because I had such weak nails at the beginning that gel nail polish was not the right choice. This was my first and will be my last manicure until my nails have healed.

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