Have you found the nail gel of your dreams or are you a polish kind of girl?

6 Feb

photo by Gerard Vogel

To commit or not to commit? That is the question….Are you a lacquer kind of lady or a nail gel girl?



As a nail tech in the studio, a trade educator, a beauty industry consultant and innovator, I have a great passion for the beauty industry, particularly nails, the beauty of the nails, the way we can transform them, the art we can express on them, the way we can accessorize an entire look with them. With that said, I am beyond thrilled to see the rapid progression of innovation in the beauty industry. One thing is for sure, there are enough options for nail color that no one should be caught naked.


Nail Polish, for the non committal interested in 1-7 day wearability

In China, 3000 BC, the original recipe for nail color was born, derived from the ingredients; bees' wax, gelatin, gum arabic, egg whites and crushed flower petals. Also used were oils, hennas and pastes. The first synthetic polish was not introduced until the 1920s.

Eleanor Roosevelt wearing red nails

Colored nail polish was, at one time considered unhealthy and despite the warnings from psychiatrists, Eleanor Roosevelt was the first to wear solid colors.

Nowadays there are so many lacquer colors to choose from and so many ways to wear them, light and feminine, neon, dark and vamp or black patent, with art, 3D or couture coated. We can adorn our hands and our feet according to our moods, our emotional needs or complement the look of the day. Nail polish is an accessory we may wear everyday, apply it in the morning and change the color that evening, its flexible and will cater to the spontaneous.

Technology in the nail industry has come so far; we now have less toxic polishes as companies have removed harmful ingredients, we have faster drying ability, non yellowing formulas, and high shine. We also have new polish lines that focus on longevity such as Sephora's new line “Sephora X,” a highly pigmented, cutting edge, long wearing, high shine nail color.

Fierce-Electric Purple

Gel Nails, for those that appreciate 2-3 week wear, durability and less time on nail maintenance.

In 1990, Elmien Scholtz, founder of Bio Sculpture gel launched the very first soakable gel in South Africa, bringing it to the United States in 2001. Since then, companies throughout the world have been putting chemists to the test to perfect the brilliant idea Scholtz had of creating a nail color mimicking the technology of a contact lens, with porosity, without odor, with long lasting high shine, weeks of wear and repairability. Now you can find multiple gel recipes, different technologies, various application techniques, an assortment of lamps to cure the gel nails, and more. No two nail gels are created alike. You can however, in the sea of gels available either in your salon or over the counter find one that is perfect for you as we now have 6 generations of technology behind us.

What most of my first time clients and first time users of over the counter gels do not know is that there are soakable and non soakable at the salons, which means the gels are gently removed with soak off technology rather than pull off or drill off methods, an important truth to know when having gel applied. Also, another fact that newbies usually are unaware of, there are hybrid soakables which are lacquers with an added photo-initiator to give the nail color the ability to cure in the lamp which works great for those that do not have the time or patience for air drying traditional polish. Hybrids (polish that cures in a lamp like gel) are not for everyone, although they last a bit longer than traditional polish, they aren't for those with thin, peeling and flexible long nails

The other soakable option is 100% gel, an overlay with a bit more integrity and flexibility with the capability to fill imperfections and build a nail to a desired thickness, elongate a nail and do upper arch correcting. Another big plus of the 100% gel option is the no odor factor, which means a lot when in the salon or at home. I actually know someone who took her portable led gel lamp on a train to work where she proceeded to do her nails without offending anyone due to zero odor and 30 second curing.

Find the right kind of gel for you and your needs and the possibilities will be endless… Like a kid in a candy store…

photo by Catherine Armanasco

Gel nails by Terri Silacci with Sephora by OPI Gelshine
Top: “High Maintenance” on base and “Seeing Pink Elephants” for the bows
Middle: Alternating four colors; “High Maintenance (red)” “Seeing Pink Elephants” (light pink) “I'm Wired”(Coral) “It's All About Me” (Dark Pink) with accent of “I'm Already Famous”
Bottom: “Havana Dreams” on base with “I only shop vintage” bows

Terri Silacci deliciouslypolished.com




3 Feb