The last time I shared my dislike for gel polish on the blog and over on social media, I was met with many a slew of angry emails and disparaging comments from nail technicians (eek) but you know me, I need an OBE for services to honesty and while this piece might well rile more people up, I simply want to share what works for me here, ‘me’ being the operative word.
Also, disclaimer, I have friends whose nails are stronger than ever thanks to gel polish, and others whose snapped from day one. Horses for courses.
We are all different, right and in my case, my nails weep with gels (and took 9 months to recover from acrylics) so I’m waving it goodbye!
Let me offer a little context.
I admittedly got into the cycle of gel over-use on my nails, intoxicated by the offer of every colour in the rainbow and then some (can we just reflect on the task of choosing a colour when we’re given 20 variants on every single shade) and it was after experiencing thin, SUPER FRAGILISIST (no in a good way) nails, some which would also painfully break, that I decided to go cold turkey on gel colour.
The break did me good (as with most breaks) and while I went bare nailed, I did start using ‘normal’ polish again, despite it feeling like I’d time travelled back to 1999, painting my talons watching Friends on repeat.
And guess what? I loved using standard polish plus the results kept me away from the temptation of gel. Very quickly, my tarnished nails improved in strength and started to grow and here we are today: naturally long nails but not too long that this post took three hours to write LOOOONG.
I even made the Instagram Husband Peter take a snap of my nails at the weekend, by the London Eye no less, posing with Oliver’s cupcake no less, looking like the blogging dingbat I am (no less). Shame we didn’t get the wheel in (PEEEETE!!!)
When I popped in for a standard manicure at a salon near my kids’ school recently (hello blue nails- I think by OPI), the technician suprisingly applauded my gel break, advocating that taking several weeks off from ALL polish at a time, gel and otherwise, is usually advised as polish absorbs moisture and leaves your nails vulnerable to breaking.
I asked if I was the first person in a long time to ask for a ‘normal mani’ but I’m not. She said she does regular manis and pedis often. Maybe more us are catching on to the price we have to pay for longer lasting polish both financially and in nail health.
My friend, writer and mum of three, Ekaterina recently recommended Rimmel Super Gel Polish to me (not to be confused with gel polish in salons), and after several months of use, I’m utterly sold on those bad (good) boys. Removable with non acetone nail polish remover as well as being quick and easy to use, in a beautiful, small and non-overwhelming scope of shades to boot (Hot Choccie or Primrose Chills are my faves and FYI I wish conjuring up nail polish names was my job) and a polish which can last up to 7 days + on my nails without chipping, I can’t fault the varnish.
Thanks to Rimmel, I’ve nailed good nails (soz)!
I still make sure I have a break from the polish every few weeks ‘going bare’ for a week or so, but I paint my nails regularly using the polishes and in doing so, I’m not only looking after my nails, I’m also having fun too. I forgot quite how therapeutic filing and polishing my own nails is, and how much I enjoy it. Who knew. Me now.
Why don’t you try it?
I’d love to read about your experiences in the comments.