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Nope, I haven’t!  The most intensive nail-related treatment/procedure I’ve ever had done was CND’s Shellac, which I don’t think is what most would consider gel nails. (I even went to Shellac’s info page, and it was sure to say it wasn’t a gel polish either!)

— Christine

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I have them now! I’ve had them for a little under a year at this point – I started with acrylics when I got married, switched to gels a few years later thanks to my amazing nail tech, and then broke up with her for two years because I was out of work. I got my nails back after I got my current job, and I love them. My nails always look freshly manicured, thanks to the nails and the gel polish, and it requires no work on my part.

My actual nails are soft and prone to splitting and peeling, and I have a bad habit of biting them, so acrylics and gels are the only way I’ve ever found to keep from biting my nails. You’d think that I’d get out of the habit, but I couldn’t stop from biting them or picking at them the whole two years I didn’t have my nails.

I go every two weeks to get them filled and manicured; I could possibly go every three but I was finding that at three weeks they were getting too long and I was starting to get chips, so now I go every two weeks. The only thing I don’t like is sitting there with my hands under the UV light, but they’re hopefully switching to LED lights soon so I won’t have to worry about it. (And my nail salon is totally clean; they autoclave their instruments, use a fresh file for every client, etc. They’re amazing.)

No I haven’t and I dont’ want to ! My nails are ok, I much prefer to apply a nail polish, gel well how shall I put it ? Here in France it’s seen as a ” low cost ” fashion, no classy woman would do such a manicure except just for fun maybe. It’s very different in the US where most women are used to it, exactly as you trim your eyebrows ( Benefit technique very popular here now ) or as you don’t generally like a French manicure on feet ( which is still trendy here ).

I have had “gel” nails in the past. But I recently started getting opi’s gel and omg. It is amazing. If I had the money id buy the sephora kit to do them at home. Love love!

Yes, I had a series of Calcigel nail treatments a couple of years ago in order to combat my peeling nails and I’d heard good things about it from others. And yes, it worked 🙂 only downside is the cost as it’s every couple of weeks and I just couldn’t justify it as a regular treatment 🙁

No. I’ve seen too many people left with damaged nails from the various chemical overlays out there. I’m lucky to have strong, healthy nails so it’s the last thing I’d want to risk.

Nope, never. I don’t think I’m the right person for fake nails or gel nails. I tend to use my fingers and nails as tools, and I’m a bit accident-prone, so I don’t think those nails would survive my lifestyle.

I love gel nails! I am a nurse and wash my hands all day long so a traditional manicure never lasted more than a few days. I got hooked on gel nails, as they last for 2-3 weeks without chipping or dulling. Recently I have been doing my own nails with the Mally gel nail system sold on QVC with great, professional results at a fraction of the cost ! Yay!

I do my gel polish at home with sensationail kit. I is really easy to do, do not damage my nails at all. In fact, my nails never have been more resistant and long in my life. I really like gel nail polish!

I loved getting gel nails. Real gels, not the so called “gels” by most places that are just acrylics. My cuticles cleared up where they weren’t sore and bloody (I’m starting to think more and more that I’m allergic/sensitive to something in nail polish), they looked even and nice. Sadly I can’t afford the $50 every 2-3 weeks for them.

No, I have never had gel nails and I don’t really know what they are? What does it do? Is this the ‘stuff’ that makes your nails look unnaturally thick at the tips? For some reason, I see a lot of french manicures on nails with really thick tips.

I had the dreaded acrylic nails many, many years ago when I was working and on a plane flying somewhere every week. My own nails couldn’t stand up to the wear and tear of running through airports carrying computer gear, etc so I decided to get acrylic nails. I wish I hadn’t. It took my own nails YEARS to recover. AND my cuticles were rough and thick as hell. I remember walking into the nail salon with the acrid air from all the fake nail chemicals and coming out smelling like it too. I wonder how many years I dusted off my life breathing in that crap.

My nails looked good though! LoL..but not thick like I see now which I find curious and why I am asking.

For girls with thin, peeling nails. One word: Silica You can also try gelatin. I take silica in liquid form every other day and it has helped both my nails and hair. Don’t forget the cuticle oil. Just the action of massaging it in stimulates the circulation and increases growth. I also sometimes massage in my face serum around my nail bed and cuticles.

Gel nails are thicker than regular nails, but mine don’t look “Unnaturally” thick, at least I don’t think they do. What it is is a thin layer of gel painted over the tops of your nails and cured under UV light. Well, more than one. For me, getting a fill goes as follows: 1) file off existing polish and file down gel; 2) wash hands; 3) paint primer on nails; 3) paint some coat of clear bonder or something; 4) paint layer of clear gel on nails and cure; 5) paint layer of “natural” gel (for me it’s a faint pink tint; works really well if you’re doing a french manicure) and cure; 6) apply polish or gel polish, cure if gel polish. It takes about 45 min to an hour but a lot of that is waiting for nails to cure under UV light, so I’m hopeful that when we switch to the LED lights it’ll take less time.

IMO, it’s years better than acrylics. No powders or dust or icky smells, and gels are nonporous so they don’t yellow the way acrylics do. Plus they’re more chip and break resistant. HTH!

Thanks for the explanation! It takes me a lot longer than 45 minutes to do my own nails each week and depending on the polish, sometimes I do them twice a week. My nails are faring a lot better and stand up quite well on their own with the help of the Silicium, but it’s good to know that gel is a viable option. You really cannot beat fake nails for durability, longevity, and convenience. If I were still working in the Corporate world, undoubtedly I would probably have gel nails! Thanks again 🙂

yes. i had them for years and loved the way they looked but they destroy your real nail and mine would grow out before two weeks. it also takes forever just to get a fill.

Actually yes! I used to have them a lot. They are really gorgeous and have lasted months on me. The only thing I don’t like about them is how dirty they get under the nail over a short period of time. My OCD kicks in and I’m like “ewww!!!” haha! Also, the costs add up after awhile to keep up with them. Maybe when I have disposable income then I’ll get them again and keep up with them! Right now though.. not so much :P!!

I’ve never had them, but I had a coworker tell me that she had a particularly negative experience with them. They’re supposed to last 2 weeks, and on her, they started to peel off in 2 days! I felt so bad for her, because she said it cost $25 to get it done.

Yes, I have. When I decide that I want to wear fake nails, I typically get gel. I don’t really care for the damage that acrylic causes my nails

I used to get Japanese-style 3d bio-gel nails… I LOVED them… then my nailist went on maternity leave and I just didn’t trust anyone else with my nails! I still think about them…

Unfortunately yes. They are really popular here in Hong Kong and pretty much every nail salon offers them. Once you start it’s hard to stop because the results are really good while they last. Your nails will not chip or smudge and they are solid and resistant to any pressure. Unfortunately they were damaging my nails to a crazy extent.

The procedure (where I got it done anyway) involved buffing the nails to a papery thin layer and then coating with the gel and curing under the UV lamp. There were times where I could feel my nails scalding under the lamp but I still went along with it purely for aesthetic purposes pshhttt. The thought of the buffing process still gives me goosebumps lol. The final straw was when I got a nail infection on my thumb 🙁

After that I grew my nails out and I’ve been getting Shellac manis since which are so much better and healthier for your nails. They do have their drawbacks but I’ve been really pleased with the results so far. Long lasting, chip free manis with minimal damage to my nails. I will never go back to gel nails that’s for sure.

Hi! Wow, I am kind of shocked how many of you have had bad experience with fake nails. I have had gel and acrylic nails for more than 10 years, never with a break longer than 8 weeks but there is absolutely no damage to my nails. Whenever I take the gels or acrylics off my nails are the same strength than anybody else’s. And eww to those nail technicians who take off layers of the natural nail by buffing it, they should be sued imo.

I had them once. My experience was not that bad but removing them is pain in the bottom and that alienated feeling in the tips of my fingers was strange. i think I’m just not the person to wear them for long time but for some special occasion/costume party/design party would work.

Yes, I had a gel overlay on my natural nails. I had an American nail tech at the time who ran her own business. She used IBD and Creative brand gels, and they were *real* gels, came out of a jar, had a consistency similar to a thick syrup or honey, and were cured with a light. My nails had the most beautiful, smooth glass-like finish. Unfortunately, the nail tech moved from this area and I went to an acrylic overlay. I don’t care what people tell you in these popular one-on-every-corner nail salons, the POWDER that they use and apply and label it “gel” is NOT the same thing. I miss that real gel. 🙁

Yes, I’ve tried gel a few times and vowed never again after a bad experience. It’s true they don’t chip for weeks–they just grow out–but be careful where you have them done because not everyone knows how to apply them correctly. I had one nail tech use glue under them which bonded to my nails and caused extreme damage. Also, the extensive buffing caused damage and sensitivity to my already thin nails. I am still trying to nurse them back to health months later.

No, haven’t had them and I’m not sure I will. My own natural nails are long, strong and healthy. (I end up filing or trimming them down because they rarely break.) I also have plenty of polishes because I give myself a manicure nearly every week. Unfortunately, nearly everyone I know who has had them as had their natural nails weakened. Also, at a minimum of $20 a pop, they’re much more expensive than doing your nails at home. I think for some people they would be a good idea, but I just can’t see them working for me.

I have the home OPI system from Sephora and I LOVE it!! So easy and I get about 9 days out of a manicure, which is the same as when I got them done at the salon for $30 each. My own nails are just….sad and polish only lasts about 1-2 days tops on me. The only complaint is that they need MORE colors!! I find myself wearing non gels a lot recently because of all the interesting colors out there that aren’t gels…

I used to babysit for a lady who did gel nails so she would do mine for free in exchange for babysitting. I liked them a lot but I wouldn’t pay the 35-45$ she charges. They were nice though and lasted 4 weeks on me.

I’ve used both the Shellac and OPI Gel,and I liked the Shellac better. The OPI chipped on the edges a lot although they have prettier colors!I do hair and my nails aren’t wrecked by the end of the day when I wear the Shellac.

To remove gel nails I have found the following method to work best. Get two class bowls that nest, fill the larger bowl half way with water and zap in the microwave for 2 minutes, then take the smaller bowl and put acetone in it and place inside the larger bowl. Soak nails for 10 min, and gently scrape polish off with cuticle stick. Reheat water if needed and soak another 5 min until all the polish is off, use a nail file to gently buff out stubborn areas of polish. Heated acetone makes all the difference!

I’ve never had hard gels but I do my own Gellish/Shellac or whatever brand I pick up. A lot work in a similar way with my lamp. I’m not trained but I’m pretty good at painting my own nails and they last for over 2 weeks normally. I find Shellac is easiest to remove, just buff the surface, soak cotton balls in acetone and wrap nails in foil. I leave it on for 10 minutes and then just push the gel off with a cuticle stick. Easy peasy. I love the way it looks and lasts and my nails get so long when I wear it. They are a little weakened after wearing it – dry mostly and a little peeling as they haven’t had the regular filing they get when I change my polish every few days normally. After a few days of care and moisturiser they are back to normal.

Yup. I’ve had Shellac done years ago and more recently OPI Gelcolor (not Axxium). Personally, I own Gelish colors and base & top coat and a few Gelcolors. I bought a UV light because it works with everything opposed to LED which only works on some (although I’m sure they’ll all work on LED eventually). I love it because it lasts longer than a normal mani but is more damaging. I will skip buffing my nails all the time and always apply lotions and oils to my cuticle. I have oily nails where I can peel off, in one piece, regular polish within a few days but gel lasts about a week. Then I can peel it off with almost no damage to my natural nail. It dries quicker, lasts longer, doesn’t transfer, and stays shinny but it takes a while and is expensive.

got gel color couple weeks ago. It lasted for good two weeks and then I could easily peel it off without any damage to my nails. Would I do it again? Nope. Going back to regular polish. Besides, the color range is so much better than the gelish colors.

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