Gel Manicure: Pros and Cons

This weekend, I decided to go back to having my nails done with a gel manicure.  I originally tried this about 3 years ago when OPI first came out with their soak-off gel manicure product, and have continued to get my nails done on and off over the years with it.  The last time I had a gel manicure was for my wedding – I had them done in a french manicure style, and it looked very natural and pretty!

This time, I went with OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques:

I like this color because it’s a nice purply, browny, gray shade that looks good on everyone’s skin tones.

On a side note:  one of the prongs got bent on my engagement ring and the diamond is loose…I have to go to the jeweler today to fix it.  My hand looks so naked without it (so bummed!).  😦 

..Anyway, back to the gel manicure…since I’ve had this type of manicure done so many times over the years, I thought it might be helpful to give some of its pros and cons:


  • The manicure lasts for about two weeks and keeps that freshly-painted look!  No chips!
  • The price isn’t too bad.  My nail salon charges $25 for a gel manicure and $15 for a regular manicure – the gel is definitely worth the extra $10.
  • As soon as the nail tech is finished painting your nails and they cure in the UV dryer for about 5 minutes, they are totally dry!  You don’t have to worry about fishing your keys out of your purse and therefore ruining your entire manicure 😉
  • Companies like OPI are coming out with more and more of a color selection to choose from, so there are more “on trend” shades these days (when this product first came out, there were only a handful of shades available).
  • If the color starts to look dull after a while, you can throw a fresh coat of clear polish over your mani and it looks good as new!
  • It’s not as damaging to your nails as acrylic or other “fake” nail treatments.


  • If you are at all like me and like to compulsively peel things, this may not be the manicure for you.  I find myself peeling off the polish after a while…I can’t help it!
  • To remove the polish, you have to soak your fingers in acetone.  It’s really drying, could be irritating to your skin, and is not very pleasant.
  • My nails grow super fast, so after about 2 weeks, it’s extremely evident that I need a manicure!!
  • You don’t get to change your polish color as frequently as you might like…I have a ton of nail polishes at home, and I don’t get to use them when I have a gel manicure.
  • This manicure has been hit or miss depending on the nail tech.  I’ve gotten this mani done before and it lasted beautifully for the full two weeks.  Other times, it started lifting and peeling after a few days.

Have you tried a gel manicure?  Do you love it or hate it?


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