What Are Gel Nails? Our 3 Favorite Benefits of Gel Nail Polish
We’re putting it out there: When it comes to gel nail polish, we think our GelColor is simply the best. Better than all the rest. Yes, we’re as bold as our lineup of color choices. With up to 3 weeks of long-lasting wear and intense shine, we’re confident it will change your nail game—but we also want to make sure you have all the info you need to make the best decision for your manicure look. Read on below to find answers to common questions like What are gel nails? What is gel nail polish? and What are the benefits of gel nails?
“What are gel nails?” is a common question we hear from the uninitiated. Here’s the lowdown on gel nail polish and OPI GelColor:
OPI’s gel nail polish is officially called “GelColor Soak-off Gel Lacquer” and in short, a gel manicure is a coat of colored gel that looks deceptively similar to nail polish. It's a thin brush-on formula, designed for high performance and a glossier finish regular nail polish. When it comes to the question of "How long do gel nails last?" In fact, an OPI GelColor manicure lasts for up to 3 weeks.
Simple enough, right? But what makes gel nail polish different than a typical manicure—or rather, what makes an OPI GelColor manicure different than one created with another of OPI’s lacquers?
Can gel nail polish be cured without a UV light? The primary difference between gel nails and a regular manicure is curing:
Between each coat, you cure the color and set the gel nail polish by putting your nails under a special LED light.
How to apply gel nail polish?
1. If you’re wearing polish already, it will be removed.
2. Nails are trimmed, if needed, and shaped with a file. Pick out your favorite nail shape ahead of time!
3. Cuticles are pushed back or trimmed and nails are buffed then cleaned; you may be asked to wash your hands.
4. A nail primer like OPI Bond Aid is applied which brings the surface of the natural nail to the proper pH for optimum adhesion, and a bonding base coat is applied. Finishing the preparation to the nail for long-lasting coverage.
5. Nails are cured under an LED light.
6. Coats of lacquer and time curing under the LED light alternate until topcoat is applied and cured.
7. Nails are wiped with an alcohol wipe; you may receive a hand and wrist massage as well!
Looking for more information on how to apply gel nail polish?
While some gel nail color formulas and curing lights are available for retail, OPI GelColor is available exclusively through nail salons and used by professionals. You can be sure that when choosing OPI at your salon, you’ll receive a stronger, longer-lasting gel manicure.
Can I combine gel nail polish with regular nail polishes?
Being able to mix systems is a common misconception about gel nail polishes. In order to achieve long-lasting color with 3+ weeks of wear, we recommend proper usage of the full OPI GelColor system.
Debunking additional myths about gel nail polish:
Now that you know what a gel manicure is and how it is applied, it’s time to break down the benefits. Here are three of our favorites—and favorites of nail fashionistas everywhere:
1. Enjoy Up to 3 Weeks of Intense Wear & Shine
Yes, you read that right—3 weeks. So if you’ve got a vacation planned, are always on the run, or simply can’t fit in a frequent salon visit, this is the gel nail polish that works as hard as you do without dulling or losing any of its shine. And you get more bang for your manicure buck! Putting it simply, a gel nail polish manicure doesn’t cost much more than a regular one, but the outcome is ten times more effective. You save time and money and your nails will look like a million bucks.
A word of warning: You may receive compliments on your fresh nail color a few weeks after you’ve been to the salon.
4 things you should know before your next gel nail polish manicure:
2. Fewer Chips, More Shine
It’s very irritating: getting a manicure, leaving the salon, and—oh no—chipping your new nail look. What we love about gel nails are their resistance to chipping. “But I’ve had a gel manicure that chipped right away,” we sometimes hear from disheartened nail art lovers. Ah, yes. The truth about chipped gel nail polish manicures lies in the application. While OPI GelColor offers superior shine and long-lasting wear, our gel nail polish can not outlast a poor application. A less-than-stellar gel manicure that leads to early chips may call for looking for a new nail tech.
It’s not just about strength, though. Specially formulated GelColor isn’t just durable against chips—it’s also formulated to ensure high-octane shine for up to 3 weeks, leaving your nails looking as good as when you left the salon. This means you can be tough as nails and GelColor won't dull, the shine will stay so intense that you’ll still be nailing it weeks later.
3. 30 Seconds to Strength & Shine
Not only will you have to schedule fewer salon visits to maintain your manicure, but your salon visits can also happen faster—and you can get on with using your hands faster, too!
A salon service that’s quick and easy to apply, OPI GelColor dries in only 30 seconds per coat under an LED light. That means you can walk out of the salon without worry that your nail color will smudge. It’s equally as easy to remove—just 15 minutes of soaking time and your nails will be ready for one of our 140+ OPI GelColor shades.
So, what is the big deal about gel nails? Just about everything! Start enjoying longer lasting shine and strength—request a gel nail polish from the lineup of OPI GelColor at your next salon manicure.