It’s finally summer! While manicures and pedicures are gorgeous year-round, they’re especially popular during beach season. Going to a nail salon can be expensive, but painting your nails yourself can take a lot of time—not to mention artistic vision. What is a manicure-lover to do? Fortunately, there are nail sets that do the work for you, like your own at-home nail salon.
What are semi cured gel nails?
If you have ever received a gel manicure or pedicure at the nail salon, then you know that they don’t chip, last longer than ordinary polish, and look adorable. Semi cured gel nails rely on an application process that’s similar to a gel manicure at your salon—except you don’t have to be an artist to do it successfully. Semi cured gel nails are made of real liquid gel and cured by 60%, making them flexible and moldable to your specific nail shape. Stick them on at home as easily as stickers and harden them by placing them under a UV lamp. It’s true that nothing will replace the gossip at your local nail salon, but it will certainly save you time and money to do your own application and curing.
Are semi cured gel nails better than acrylics?
It depends on your style preference. Semi cured gel nails tend to last for about two weeks while acrylic nails last longer. Real gel nails also last about two weeks, and since semi-cured nails are made of real liquid gel, it makes sense that they’ll eventually need to be switched out. Acrylic nails might last longer, but they can look less natural than gel since they’re usually shaped to be longer than the real nail.
Acrylic nails also take longer to cure since they require acrylic liquid and powder to set properly. If set improperly, acrylic nails can also damage the nail bed whereas gel nails and semi cured gel nails shape to your nail. Acrylic nails require your natural nail to be sanded down and, even once they are in place, are quick to break if they get caught on something. The gel material of semi-cured nails can be stretched to fit your nail shape before it is fully cured rather than being forced underneath your nail bed.
Are semi-cured gel nails better than gel nails at the salon?
Semi-cured gel nails will have the same look and feel as a regular gel manicure once they are fully cured. Applying and curing your nails at home gives you the freedom to choose your own style and express yourself however you want. They’re also easier to remove since they are designed as a sticker rather than paint.
How long does the process take?
If you need to get your nails looking cute in a hurry, semi-cured nails are a great option. If you don’t have time to spend an hour or two at the nail salon—which can take even longer if you want a special design—many semi-cured nails are already patterned with adorable decals. Once the stickers are applied, they can cure under a UV light in as little as 60-90 seconds—or four minutes if you choose to double cure them.
Are semi-cured gel nail styles more limited?
If anything, there is a wider variety of style options available for semi-cured gel nails. Because these nail strips and stickers are made of real polish, they’re pre-printed with glitter, shimmer, and other cute, artsy designs. You don’t have to worry about smudging or imperfect placement when the stickers are already designed to fit almost any nail shape. As long as the nails are properly cured, any style you choose will look gorgeous. Semi-cured gel nails can include classic polish styles including a French manicure, glossy, matte, speckled, glittery, and marbled as well as unique styles like animal print, bubbles, or even gemstone designs. 3D elements like pebbles or stones can be pressed into the gel, making for a truly one-of-a-kind set of nails. It’s easy to mix and match patterns and styles, too.
What if I have brittle nails?
One of the top benefits of gel nail polish is that it can protect your natural nails, keeping you from biting or breaking them. When protected under a coat of cute gel polish for two weeks, your natural nails will have time and space to grow. You may worry about damaging your nails when applying gel polish, but semi-cured gel nails can actually peel off in one piece. If you use nail polish remover and nudge a wooden stick under the edge of your nail strip when you’re ready to remove it, carefully pushing in the direction of your cuticle, it should come off with minimal damage. Any unused gel nail strips can also be saved as long as they are stored in a safe location where they won’t be damaged by light and heat.
Whether you’re a long-time nail lover or just starting to grow your at-home polish collection, semi-cured gel nails are a convenient way to give yourself a salon-quality manicure or pedicure at a fraction of the cost. There are so many cute nail polish styles you can sport this summer and it’s easier than ever to give yourself a manicure at home. If you don’t spoil yourself, who will?