I recently won a green-themed giveaway and since I had some crazy nail drama today (see below post) I decided to forego the aforementioned promise of nail art to show you one of the “gems” that I won, Brucci’s Black Emerald. Black Emerald is a black jelly based green glass flecked duochrome (green and burgundy but all of the pictures of the burgundy look black- you’d have to see it in person) and I adore it. This polish went on in two coats and satisfied my less than peachy nail mood….
I had another break today and my nails have been looking kind of raggedy and all different lengths lately, so I decided to suck it up and get gel nails. I won’t keep them on for very long and in every post that I have them, I will say so, since in my FAQ it says they’re natural. I wanted to do a review of the process and the product so here it is!
I went in, picked a color and sat down. I told him I wanted square gels just longer than my longest nail right now. Then, he CUT my natural nails OFF!!! (I was NOT expecting that, I did research and read several times that they can just pull the gels further than your nail and sculpt them!! I was devasted!) He then buffed the surface quickly with a nail drill buffer and glued on tips.
He then buffed the tips and set gel into my nail bed and pulled it to the ends of the tips. After each nail, I put it in a UV light to cure. I nearly cried because it STUNG!!! Badly! He said that it was the gel activating but it hurt like hell. After the initial sting, it was ok. I had to put both hands in for something like 3 minutes after each individual nail was done.
Then, he took a very coarse nail file and sculpted the sides of each nail and the tip, followed by sculpting the top of the nails with an air drill to make them thinner and smoother.
He then put on a coat of clear gel, which then set in the UV light for a minute or two. He then told me to wash my hands. After that he put on two coats of polish (OPI’s St. Petersburgundy) which showed massive VNL but he wouldn’t do three, he topped with one coat of Seche Vite and made me sit under a UV light/drier for ten minutes.
The pros: The nails are really strong and thinner than acrylics They don’t feel any different than my regular nails because the length is about the same, it just feels a tiny bit thicker. I already bashed my hand into my car door and no breakage! Also, you don’t need a base coat, they’re always shiny even after you remove polish, you can use pure acetone and they won’t come off, and they look more natural than acrylics.
The cons: They were heinously expensive, you can’t remove them at home (they say, but I’ll be trying the “file the tops and cottonball/aluminum foil method when I take them off), it hurts like the dickens to get them applied, my cuticles are a wreck after the filing and sanding, and, when they break, they shatter and require a pro repair.
Overall, it was a fail for me. I don’t know if I’d get gels again or not, probably, but not there. He cut off my nails without telling me he had to do that, the gel stung like a mother when activating, he only used two coats of a jelly polish when it clearly needed three, he flooded my cuticle more than once (and when I mentioned it he said he’d take care of it and never did, so I removed all of the polish after I took pics) and oh yea, some of the tips were filed crooked. I want to be nice and say it was a great experience, but it wasn’t my best. For $45 I’d probably go buy more polish and do my nails at home. But, I’m a perfectionist, OCD about my nails, and deeply attached to natural nail growth, so maybe it’ll work for you. After I fixed them I like the nails, just not the salon.