Long-lasting manicures have been around for a little while now. Essentially, they consist of layers of gel (as used in gel nail extensions) layered onto your natural nails, and cured with UV light. They differ from the gel used in nail extensions as they contain pigment, and therefore act like a nail varnish until your natural nails grow out! They will last from between two to four weeks, depending on how you look after your nails, and how fast your nails grow.
I was invited along to Equus recently to be their nail model (fame at last!) for the new system, Artistic Colour Gloss, which they’re launching next week, and I chose this glorious and gorgeous bronze shade, which I’ve tried to show in a variety of different lighting conditions.
Browns and bronzes aren’t normally shades I go for, but I was very happy with this, as the shade was deep and complex, and I spent a lot of time admiring my nails!
So, how does a gel manicure work? Well, first of all, your nails have to be completely and utterly dry, so a dehydrator fluid is painted onto your nails, and once this is dry, a base coat of clear gel is painted onto your nails, and this is then “cured” under a UV light for a few seconds. The the colour gel is applied in either two or three coats (depending on the depth of colour you want) and “cured” between each coat. A glossy top coat is then applied and this is cured too. Best part is, the second the top coat is finished, your nails are dry and ready to go! No awkward waiting around for your nails to dry before you can leave the salon/pay the bill/drink your tea.
After two weeks, my nails looked like this:
You can see where my nails have grown around the cuticle area (a little), there’s some very minor chipping on the index finger, but there’s a quite significant peel on the thumbnail. I should make clear that is because of my own incompetence and wasn’t the fault of the manicure in the slightest (I got the edge of the nail caught in something, and couldn’t help worrying at it for a day or two …). I was really pleased.
This manicure doesn’t need to be soaked off, either. A day or two after I took the above picture, I had to remove the manicure, and only had some normal nail varnish remover in the house – ordinarily, you’d have this done in the salon with a special removing fluid – but I found the foil method:
(where you put a pad soaked in nail varnish remover on your nail and wrap it in foil to keep in the heat and stop evaporation) worked just as well, though it did take about twice as long (about ten minutes) to get the gel off than it did in the salon. The gel comes away in one piece of film. Enormous fun! I’ll definitely be getting this done again, it strikes me that for fingers and toes if you’re going away on holiday, it’s definitely worth investing in.
The Artistic Colour Gloss gel manicure at Equus salon will cost £50 and is available from Monday 21st February.
The Fine Print: Get Lippie was a guest of Equus. Cheers, Jack!
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