Beauty tips from the Cayman Islands: Gel nail basics

28 October 2019

By Darla Dilbert

It is common for ladies to be uncertain of what nail treatment they are receiving because there are so many different types and names to choose from these days.

For example, there are gel nails, acrylic nails, gel manicures, shellac nails — and the list goes on.

We also have several different brands of gel nails and gel polish systems on the market, including OPI, Shellac, Gelish, Tammy Taylor, Jessica Geleration and Young Nails, just to name a few.

This can all be very confusing to many women, especially if they don’t know that much about each option and are relying solely on their nail technician’s decision.

Gel nails and gel polishes are two of the most popular nail applications today, so it is good to know more about them if that’s what you’re being offered.

One of the first things you should know is the difference between gel nails and acrylic nails. If the nail technician dips her nail brush in a liquid and then into a powder and the product has a strong odour, it is air dried and no lamp is used between layers, it is an acrylic nail application.

Gel nails and gel nail polish

Gel nails are an artificial nail enhancement that can be applied over your natural nail. They are applied with a brush from a jar or tube. The gel is odourless and to cure it, you must put your hand under a ultraviolet lamp between every coat.

Gel nail polish, however, is applied in the same way as regular nail polish at the end of any nail treatment. It is then cured under an LED light for a longer lasting colour.

Both methods are known to help with nail growth and strengthening your natural nails so long as they are removed correctly. 

We do not recommend that you remove your own gel nail polish because if it is done incorrectly, it could damage your nail bed. The gel should not be peeled off or drilled off with force by you, or your nail technician.

Darla Dilbert is the owner of Eclipze Hair Design & Day Spa and is a qualified cosmetologist and certified trichologist. 

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “Gel Nail Basics’”.