Nailing it!

Okay, kids, listen up. I need, no, I absolutely must tell to you something of a revelation.

Actually it's such a revelation that I think I just jinxed myself. As I went to get my iPad to type this from bed (at 11:59 on an exhausting Thursday, welcome inside the life of a blogger/writer/French professor/doting grandmother/pantsuit aficionado/2016 presidential candidate...wait that's not me!), I broke the nail on my left middle finger. Thankfully, since I've got a gel French manicure on, it doesn't stand out that much.

Today, kids, we're talking about gel manicures.

And like every good story, it starts like that:

(more or less)

After a stressful day at work this February, I took myself on a well-deserved shopping trip (because #selfcare, duh!). Looking at my bare nails, I thought I might as well go get them done at my favourite salon. I had stopped getting my nails done (or doing them myself) because with the cold weather and stress (and the fact that I wash all my dishes by hand because I don't have a dishwasher), the polish would start to chip after half an hour, and my nails would inevitably break. Especially the nails on my middle fingers, which have been continually breaking for over a year. And lastly, the amount of cat hair floating around and ending up literally everywhere especially on wet nails, and the presence of a cat that would inevitably knock an open nail polish bottle off the table before requesting to be pet, like, immediately, deterred me from giving myself at-home mani-pedis.

I went in, and when I picked my colour (a pretty red from OPI), the nail technician that was assigned to me told me that I had picked a gel colour. I was going to put it back and get a regular colour when she asked me, "do you want a gel manicure?"

Now, I had heard about gel manicures from a lot of different sources, some raving about them and others (mostly online sources) claiming that they were the best way to get anything from ten different types of cancer to permanent muscle damage.

However, with my current nail dilemma, I felt tempted by the possibility of having shiny polished nails that would remain perfect for several days without any effort from my part.

So I turned around, sat down, gave the nail technician the bottle and told her that I would go for it, to which she replied that I wouldn't be disappointed.

And boy, I wasn't. I SO wasn't.

I told you it's a revelation.

The first thing that surprised me was how easy the application was, and how there was literally no drying time after the polish layers cured under the LED light. I was startled when she just wiped my nails off after the final curing and gave me a hand massage to finish the treatment. I paid (for the first time, after my treatment was over!) and walked out without worrying that I would ruin my wet polish.

I also couldn't stop admiring my nails. The application was so seamless, so perfect, and so incredibly shiny, and it didn't feel heavy at all.

And obviously, what I couldn't get over was how long it lasted, and how my nails had become stronger and didn't break after two days.

Two weeks later, I decided to remove the polish myself because my nails had grown to the point where there was too much of a gap between my nails and the cuticles. So I read instructions online and wrapped my nails in cotton pads soaked in acetone, covered by aluminium foil that made me look like Turandot and got me attacked by Julia. For some reason I thought of doing both hands at the same time, which required a level of dexterity I didn't know I had. Then after the soaking came the scraping, which was far from being my favourite part. My nails looked like a complete disaster underneath.

So two days later, I returned by the salon (with my figurative tail between my legs). I got scolded by the same nail technician for removing it myself and ruining my nails She was able to minimise the damage, and after I got my second gel manicure done, she made me promise that I would never let anyone but her ever take it off. (For those of you wondering, they remove the polish with an electric file that makes it easy, effortless, and most importantly removes the polish and not a layer of nail underneath.)

Ever since, I've been getting gel manicures every three weeks. To say that I am sold is a massive understatement; I feel silly for not having tried gel earlier. It would have saved me a lot of frustration over nail polish that begins to peel off two minutes after you've applied it. And not to mention our hands look so pretty and elegant for days and days, and here at FGDC we have nothing against whatever boosts our confidence!

As to colours, I’m pretty much sticking with my usual classics. Shades of red, burgundy, navy blue (amazing for the winter but surprisingly for the spring as well), and a French manicure. We’ll talk in more detail about the French manicure in a future article (and about what is a true French manicure and not the stuff you see on porno actresses), but it is by far my favourite and when I go get my next gel, I’m almost certain it will be a French manicure again.

Have you already gotten a gel manicure? Would you ever try? Let us know in the comments below!




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