Thursday, March 8, 2012

In Acrylic Hell? Try Gel!

I wore acrylics for several years, but decided to give my nails a break last Fall. After removing my acrylic nails, my natural nails were weak and thin. I used NailTek products daily to nurse my nails back to health. My nails became stronger but I had trouble growing them long and my nail polish would only last a few days. In January I tried a Gel Manicure (which is applied to natural nails) and I loved the results.

My nail salon uses OPI Axxium Gel products. I have been a fan of OPI nail colors such as "I'm Not Really a Waitress" and "Lincoln Park After Dark" for many years. And these colors are available in Gel formulation.

 From the OPI Axxium website "OPI’s Axxium gel manicures last up to two weeks without chipping, smudging or cracking. With fifty different shades of axxium soak-off gel lacquer to choose from you will not be disappointed." 

Also from their site~ OPI Axxium

"Available only at professional salons, Axxium acts as an invisible layer of protection for your nails, keeping them strong so that they can grow without breaking. Plus, Axxium gives your nails incredible shine."

Gel Manicure process:
Your nails are prepared for Gel, just as they are for a regular manicure. Then there is a 3 step process. After each step your nails are UV-cured under a UV light for a couple of minutes.

1) Gel Base coat applied
2) Gel Color or clear Lacquer is applied
3) then Gel Soak-Off Gel Sealer

This is usually completed in just 30-45 minutes and your nails are completely dry and smudge-proof. Manicure does not chip and lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. When you have nail growth show or want to change colors, the Gel is soaked off and can be immediately re-applied. I am very happy with my new stronger more natural looking nails. The color I chose this time is "Black Onyx."


  1. I've been thinking about trying this, my nails will just not grow! I'm so glad you wrote this post, I'm going to go to my nail salon and give it a try! Thanks

  2. Amy, love your nails!

    I've never had acrylic nails, just my natural nails. I am a HUGE fan of NailTek products and used them religiously to strengthen my nails after years of biting them. Keep using 'em because it does take a long time for your nails to strengthen back up.

    Funny you mention the gel nail polish manicure. I've been intrigued by it for some time but never was brave enough to get one because I wasn't sure what exactly it did to my nails.

    I recently had a gel manicure (as part of a promotion by a sponsor at a blog conference) and don't think I'll ever go back to a traditional nail polish manicure. I've had it now 2 weeks and it still looks perfect (well, except for the fact that my nails have grown a good 1/4-inch).

    I didn't realize OPI made some of our fave colors in gel so now I'm even more jazzed!

    So for anyone wondering if this gel manicure thing is as great as Amy says, she's on the money!