Slob-Proof Nails

Warning: This post contains my affiliate links to a manicure system that is NOT cheap at all.  

Does a Gel Manicure System Really Work at

Random fact about me: As a lover of projects (as opposed to mundane day-to-day things with no dramatic finish), if I paint my nails . . . I paint them a dark or bright or dramatic color.

If I’m going to go through all that hassle, I want it to be noticeable.

While I love a good pedicure, I don’t paint my fingernails often because a manicure rarely lasts more than a day or two for me. IF (and that’s a big if) I can sit still long enough for my nails to actually dry, I generally bang them on something or scratch off something or break one fairly soon, and chipped painted nails look worse than unpainted nails.

But . . . I’ve made a discovery. When I did that segment on ABC World News, my friend painted my nails with her gel manicure set. That picture you see above? Those are my nails . . . two full weeks later! Seriously. TWO WEEKS without a single chip!! That’s crazy talk.

So, while this is by no means a cheap solution, and while I personally haven’t made up my mind about whether I’m personally ready to make this big purchase, I thought I’d share it.

What makes it expensive? Well, it’s not just nail polish. It’s an elaborate system that includes a set for around $40 that doesn’t even have any nail polish in it. It’s just the prep solution and the top coat and the remover and such.

Then, each Gelish nail polish costs around $12-$15. And the most expensive part is the dryer.

But you know the very best part? It’s rock-hard, totally dry and slob-proof immediately after the final time you use that dryer (after applying some kind of top coat, I think). This means that I could immediately get to doing whatever I needed to do right away. No sitting still required!!

Value doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, it means getting a LOT for your money. If you love to paint your nails, a gel nail system might be a good investment.

The links I am using point to the brand of product that my friend used on me.

P.S. It’s not easy taking a picture of your own hand.



There are affiliate links up there, but here’s one more: Don’t forget about Amazon’s 12 Days of Deals for Kindle books! For twelve days, they are offering 3 of 2013′s best selling books per day for only 2.99! This is only for the Kindle versions. I’m stocking up since a Kindle is on my wish list this year, but you can also read the books using a free app for your computer or smart phone. I’ll link to the 12 Days of Deals for Kindle books page each day. ANYthing you purchase on Amazon after you follow one of these links earns me a small commission.



  1. Oh, Dana! You make me laugh! Your warning before your post is hilarious. I can literally hear you through your writing. I just love it! Thanks for making me literally LOL when I read your posts. It makes my days like this one (a bad PMS day) end on a good note.

    BTW, I, too, love this gel system. I just tried it for the first time six weeks ago. I used to hate my hands but now I love them! The best part is that my nails are finally growing and managing to stay long. (They always tore easily in the past.) I think the gel paints keep the nails stronger and protects them better from all our daily tasks. Find a cheap nail salon and it *might* fit in the budget. I will be giving up my Starbucks coffee to support this new habit, but it will be worth it. Both my nails and my waistline will thank me for it!

  2. A much cheaper solution are jamboree nail wraps they are vanilla and heat ( not uv) activated and have no harsh chemicals and you can do them yourself and they last up to 2 weeks on hands and up to 6 weeks on feet check them out there are so ooh many cute prints.

  3. Just a small warning (as a former Dallasite and gel manicure gal). The exposure to UV light can significantly increase aging and the possibility of skin cancer on the hands. My current local derm group recommends UV cured nail treatments should be done only about 4 times per year.

    They are gorgeous though, and mine lasted 2-3 weeks even working in the hospital.

  4. I invested in the CND Shellac version, and I love it. I don’t use it too often, b/c I like to change polish color frequently, but when I know my nails need to look good for a long time, I use it.

    I hate taking it off, though….such a process.

  5. I have another solution, it isn’t quite as instant as the gel nails that use the UV light but by all means safer for sure. I use Gelous nail polish, you can get it at any Sally’s Beauty Supply store for about $5, and the best part you can use it with ANY, I repeat ANY of the nail polish you already have!! It is fantastic, it lasts just as long as the shellac or gel polish from the nail salon, and it is waaaay cheaper.
    I love painting my nails, but you are absolutely right, the wait time is the worst and having an instant dry with the UV is pretty sweet, but at the cost of your health, and your wallet, but mostly your health it would appear.
    Gelous is the best thing that has ever happened to my nail painting routine. I LOVE GEL NAILS!! I can’t grow real nails without polish, they just chip and break and its all kinds of awful, but gel nails are like armor for your nails. It works like this, all coats are thin and dry time is a minute or two, 1 coat of gelous, dry, one coat of nail polish, ANY nail polish, dry, gelous, dry, nail polish, dry, one more coat of gelous then a top coat, or just the top coat. Then DRY, this is the hardest part. Like any other regular polish it will take a little bit to dry. You can try the hands in cold water method, or nail polish dryer (the polish you brush on) whatever your method you need to let them dry, but it is totally worth it!!
    I did my nails before bed once, and I didnt wait long enough and I ended up with the blanket pattern embossed on my nails, should have waited a few more minutes. It is totally worth it though, if you are trying to save cash and not go get your nails done every two weeks, and for sure not sticking your hands in those UV lights every two weeks. If you can sit for about 20 minutes without trying to unzip your pants, or do anything crazy your good to go, after that is just a little tacky for a few hours, but not terrible, and it is thick enough that you can smooth almost any nick or ding out, I use my tongue, sounds gross, but the polish wont come off in your mouth and it does a better job than a finger with prints and you never get it smooth. Anyway, that is my rant, I LOVE GELOUS and it is super easy, and if you ding it and cant fix it your arent out $50 just redo that nail. Mine usually grow out before they chip so almost a month usually.

  6. Uv light is available outside for free. See tge warning on the gel products about not leaving them in the sun.

  7. Brittani A says:

    My best friend and i went in together on a kit. The light bar was only $15, without a fan. Its awesome for saving money on salon quality.

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