God, even the title is a mouthful! I just got a manicure with this special new-ish nail system, because I wanted to test-drive a wedding manicure that would be longer-lasting than typical polish, since I’m quite adept at ruining manicures in record time. When browsing the website at Frenchy’s, I saw this ‘soak-off gel nail’ thing that was touted as a great option for special occasions, busy professionals who didn’t want to schedule regular manicures, or people going on extended vacations. And I thought that sounded like just the right kind of manicure!
The system worked like most gel nails, I guess, except that after the base coat, two gel polish coats were applied and UV-hardened. Problem is, the color (I went with “Aphrodite’s Pink Night”) is quite sheer and went on paler than I’d pictured, so it’s much subtler than I’d hoped and doesn’t conceal if I have gunk in my nails. (Gross, I know, but part of the beauty of a manicure is making your hands look great even when they’re not, right?) OPI’s description seems to indicate this is by design.
I’m also told I can’t put polish on top of the gel lacquer like I could with acrylics or regular gel nails (as I understand them). But then this Elle link seems to indicate you CAN put polish on! And when I asked about fills/maintenance, they said it was pretty much the full $60 no matter what, but maybe they could do a same-color fill for $45. Hrm.
All in all, I think this service convinced me to give regular gel nails a try for the wedding. I’ve only had acrylics once before and hated them, but so far I’m loving my gel hybrid thingies. My nails are still short enough to be able to type and do everything else I do (I hate the look and feel of long nails). We’ll see how they hold up after a week or so, but if I still like them come July then I’m getting gels for the big day!