Last week I went down to a nail salon in South-East London by the name of Swaggered Nails. Hidden away past the 02 Arena, the salon isn't easy to find but it is run by a lovely young lady by the name of Cherish you has only just opened up her salon in 2011. While I was there I had a set of Gellish nails applied, which is basically like extra hard-wearing nail polish that is set under UV light and is supposed to last for up to two weeks. I had this fab bronze colour applied with a little bit of nail art - which is what Swaggered Nails specialise in.
The process wasn't quick as they have to file down your nails, apply the polish perfectly and set each layer by putting your hand in a UV machine. However, the result is worth it as you're left with a super set of nails that are instantly dry so there's none of that flapping around trying to get your nails to set. Because the gel polish is thicker my nails did feel more protected and it was nice not to have to worry about your polish chipping after a few hours. However, after four days they did start to massively chip so I decided to take them off.
To remove this kind of manicure you need a special acetone nail varnish remover which you soak cotton pads in, wrap around each nail and cover in tin foil. It's not an easy or quick process so you have to be patient and not like me - I basically decided to remove my polish quickly and so didn't do it properly. If you don't soak the polish in the right remover or not for long enough then the gel simply won't come off... as I learnt! If you're going for this kind of treatment make sure you either go back to the salon to have it removed properly or make sure you get them to tell you how to do it!
For a special event, wedding, party, weekend away when you don't want to have to do your nails or top-up your chips, gel nails are definitely a good idea and the way forward. As for every day wear, I think it's too much faffing and too limiting for my busy schedule and need to change my nail colour at least three times a week! This does seem to be the new trend so I'm sure the concept will adapt and change as time goes on, but for now I'll be putting it on the shelf and sticking with my box of colour.
For more information on Swaggered Nails visit their website.