Sunday, May 7, 2017

As I’ve already confessed mentioned, I recently started using the Gelish “soak-off” gel nail polish system, and overall I’m happy with it. There is just one massive downside though: It’s a bastard to get the polish off. Although I’ve only been doing this a few months, and I’m only changing colour about every 1-2 weeks, I’ve already spotted a few trends.

Firstly, the entire internet thinks it takes 15 minutes to remove UV-hardened nail varnish, and that is an outright lie. I have not had one single experience where it’s been that quick. Indeed, last night it took an hour and a half to get the nail varnish off, and this is using the same technique everyone raves about, which is soaking a cotton pad in remover and wrapping foil around one’s fingertip. (I’m actually using a commercial version of this, because I wanted the acetone-resistant dropper it came with, but still, same technique.)

But there’s a definite hierarchy to Gelish polishes, in terms of how easy they are to remove:

  1. Least slow: Plain colour, like Rule The Runway.
  2. Medium slow: Metallic colours, like Oh, What A Knight!
  3. Really fucking slow: Glitter colours, like Are You Feeling It?

Now, part of the reason that Are You Feeling It might have been slow is that I had to put on four coats to get anything like decent coverage. But the benefits of so many coats was also that it made my nails quite stiff, which mean no bending or chipping. However, my other glittery polishes were also bastards to get off, so I don’t think it’s just about how many coats you do.

There is one way to make it easier to get gel polishes off, and that’s to use something like the Dashing Diva Nail Guard – a stick-on under-layer that dissolves relatively easy in acetone. The problem with the nail guard is firstly that it’s hard to put on smoothly, but mostly that it comes off a bit too easily, so instead of a two week manicure, you’re lucky if it lasts a week. Given that a week is a bit better than the day that normal nail varnish lasts me, I guess that’s not bad. but it’s not as good as the two to three weeks a Gelish application should last.

Now, there’s every possibility that I’m missing a trick here, and if I am, I really, really want to know what it is. I will continue to experiment, and will report back. If slowly.

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