There are few things in life that will make you look and feel as elegant and sophisticated as freshly done nails. Be it a nude look, french tips, or a fresh and vibrant colour, immaculate nails just elevate your whole look. And while traditional nail polish will do the trick, it’s quite disappointing when you have to put in a lot of work (or money) just to see it chip off in a matter of days.

Luckily these days salons offer a range of manicures and treatments that will make your nails look fabulous for weeks. Which one of those methods is the best for you is quite a personal decision, but in order to make it easier, let’s go through the basics of gel nails.

What is a gel manicure?

A gel manicure is quite a similar service as a regular one, with just the difference that it uses a gel-based polish. This type of polish requires an UV light to cure, but once that lamp locks the gel into place, it’ll stay there for weeks.

Gel manicures basically look just like your regular old nail polish, but it does so much more. Not only will it last a lot longer on your nails, it also makes the nails sturdier, preventing splitting and breakage and thus helps you grow your nails to the desired length.

What is Gelish?

Gelish is a brand of gel polish that, unlike other gels or gel nails, is applied quite similar to your regular polish. It’s a three step application process: base coat, colour coat, and topcoat. All of these coats are cured under a UV light separately, creating a flexible but strong gel coat on your nails that will last for up to three weeks.

The major benefit of this specific gel polish is that it does not look as thick on the nails as other brands, while still providing strong protection. It’s also quite easy to remove, which is both convenient, but also gentle on your nails and hands.

Shellac vs Gel

Shellac is another brand of semi-permanent polish, that is somewhat of a hybrid: gel polish mixed with regular nail polish. This gives it the best of both worlds – you get the longevity of gel nails, and the shine of regular nail polish. It does come with one drawback, however, as shellac tends to not last as long as gel polish, but it can still look perfect for up to two weeks.

The application process is pretty similar. Both types of polishes are applied in three layers and cured under UV light, with the difference that shellac uses two colour coats and a top coat, as it does not need a base coat to adhere to.

Shellac is also a lot easier to remove than gel polish. Because of the presence of regular polish in it, it can be removed by simply soaking the nails in acetone. This is not only easy and fast, but also quite gentle compared to other methods and you could do it at home by yourself if needed.

Which one should you choose?

In a nutshell: if you are looking for the longest lasting semi-permanent manicure, then gel might be the better option. If, however, you want the look of regular nail polish on your nails, then Shellac is the way to go.

But it’s really a matter of personal preference, and more often than not it’ll come down to colour options. Gel nail polishes come in hundreds of different colours and offer therefore a lot more options than Shellac. To be fair, Shellac also offers over 160 shades, so there’s a good chance that you find your favourite there too.

The easiest way to achieve the look you want is to talk to a nail technician. They will have individual recommendations for you based on the design, colour and finish you want, so book an appointment and don’t be afraid to bring pictures.

Where to get Gel Nails in Cork

The durability and overall look of your manicure will not only be determined by the brand of polish used, but also by the application process itself. You should make sure that the nail technician is skilled and trained in using the polish of your choice.

If you are looking for a salon in Cork with professionally trained staff that uses high-quality products, then consider booking an appointment at Jeff Devine. Whether you choose Gelish or Shellac, you are guaranteed to leave this salon with the most perfect nails that’ll last you for weeks.