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October 3, 2011

Pros and cons of gel nail polish for manicures

woman getting manicure

Gel nail polish has been one of the most popular trends in the beauty industry for quite some time now. And with good reason! It offers a longer-lasting manicure that looks great and doesn’t chip easily. We’re going over the pros and cons of using gel nail polish for manicures! 

The manicure and pedicure stations at Phagans Clackamas Town Center Location.

What Is Gel Nail Polish?

Before we jump into the pros and cons, let’s first discuss what gel nail polish is! Gel nail polish is a type of nail polish that is cured under UV or LED light to harden and set the polish. It’s different from traditional nail polish, which air dries and can also be prone to chipping and smudging. 

If you’re tired of spending time at the salon having your nails done only to see chipping and cracking a few days later, a gel manicure may be just the answer you’re looking for. 

How Does It Work?

The process begins like a regular manicure with your nails being shaped, smoothed, and buffed and your cuticles being cleaned up and trimmed. Then the manicurist will rough up the surface of your nail using an emery board or metal file. This slight texture on your nail surface will help the gel adhere better.

Finally, the manicurist will apply a gel base coat, a gel color of your choice, and a gel topcoat. In between each of the application steps, you will bake or cure your nails under a UV lamp. This ensures that the gel adheres correctly to your nails and dries completely. Usually, by the time you leave the salon, your nails will be completely dry – no more worrying about messing your manicure as you dig for your keys at the bottom of your purse.

Gel helps reduce chipping, especially in the first week.

Pros for Gel Manicures

For busy gals in Portland, Oregon, the pros of a gel manicure are definitely intriguing. Let’s take a closer look at the pros of getting gel nail polish! 


One of the biggest advantages of gel nail polish is its longevity. Gel nail polish can last up to three weeks or more. 

Dries quickly

Unlike traditional nail polish, gel polish dries quickly. You can get on with your day-to-day activities without fear of smudging your manicure. 

Great finish

Gel nail polish gives a smooth and shiny finish to your nails. This is because the polish is cured under UV light, which gives it a polished finish. 

Variety of colors

Whether you prefer bright colors or muted tones, you can find a color that suits your style and personality. 

Strong nails

Gel nail polish is great for those who have weak or brittle nails. This is because the polish provides an extra layer of protection which helps prevent breakage.

Cons for Gel Manicures


Gel nail polish is more expensive than traditional nail polish. This is because the process of applying gel nail polish requires specialized equipment like a UV lamp. Also, the polish itself is more expensive. 

Difficult to remove

Gel nail polish is notorious for being difficult to remove. You can’t simply wipe it off with nail polish remover. You need to soak your nails in acetone for a significant amount of time. 

Requires Professional Application

While you can apply nail polish at home, gel nail polish requires a professional. If you don’t have the necessary equipment or experience, you can damage your nails. 

UV Exposure

The UV light used to cure the gel nail polish can be harmful to your skin. If you’re getting a gel manicure, it’s important to apply sunscreen to your hands to protect your skin! 

Bottom line

Gel nail polish is a great option for those who want a long-lasting and shiny manicure. It offers a variety of colors and can help strengthen weak nails. However, like anything good in this world, it does come with some drawbacks. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if gel nail polish is the right option for you. 

If you’re wanting to schedule a gel manicure with us, you can do so here. We can’t wait to see you!

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I wanted to know if a gel manicure could be harmful to your health in some way.


I decided to get the gel manicure wasn’t happy.I been getting regular manicures for the last 5 year weekly so when I decided I was told it wouldn’t ruined my nails so not the case. If looks like or appeared I gotten acrylics nails. I had to cut my nails for the next 2 months allow my nails to heal. I would not recommend gel nail polish to a natural woman. Due in time in it takes layer of your nail. Lessons learned…..

Brenna Carrigan

You can’t peel them off yourself. That’s why that happened to your nail. You must get a piece of cotton ball, but pure acetone on it and with aluminum foil wrap around the nail. Then it literally peels off, leaving your nails perfect.


gel DOES chip and peel. I’ve had it done 13 times total, different brands, salons, etc., and it STILL does. I am not impressed at all and would never recommend it.


I just had my first gel manicure and it’s been 6 days with no chipping or peeling. I can’t speak for the removal process just yet, but hopefully it’s not as damaging to my nails as some make it out to be. For now though, I love it and my nails look great.


I am getting a manicure and pedicure tomorrow.I want to get acrylics,but i dont want to ruin my nails and im kind of a tomboy. I am temped to try the gel nails but it sound like there is negative comments on them and i am young so long nails kind of ruin plans. Any tips??


I had my first ever manicure two weeks ago, and I chose gel nail polish. It has held up wonderfully! I wash dishes every day (no electric dishwasher in our house) and generally use my nails as tools. No cracks, chips or lifting of the polish. I love it and will have it done again.


I got a gel french manicure for $20 2 days ago. The polish has chipped in 2 places. I would get it done again but I would try a different salon. Supposedly gel polish is supposed to last for 2 weeks.


I got a gel nail polish manicure it was awesome the first day…but by the second day my middle finger nail was already chipping…then the next day I noticed my pinky finger was chipping…what is going on? Did they do it wrong? Should I get my money back? Should I put a top coat of regular nail polish on top of my gel nail polish so it stops chipping? Lost at what to do.


Found you while searching for help!! Am up to my 3rd gel mani and I love, love them!! They last wonderfully well and stay shiny…but, I can’t get this one off! My first lifted a bit after 10 days; I peeled it off, the second was professionally removed after 2 weeks for a color change during a vacation. The tech at the spa on the cruise ship applied a polish line I never heard of…it has worn like iron, but it is now 4 weeks old..I have soaked pads in acetone, wrapped each nail in foil..and waited…and waited, for nothing!!… Read more »


I am 7 days into my first gel manicure. I had 2 shows on Sunday with wardrobe changes all day and a week full of typing. No chips, the color is as strong as ever.

I am looking forward to seeing how long I can stretch out the manicure for and to seeing what the removal process is like.

I was gifted this at an event by CND Shellac and so far am very happy.

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Faline D

I had a gel manicure done over a year ago, before going on a trip. My nails looked great. BUT I developed a nail fungus for the first time in my life. I usually wear gloves when doing dishes, since my hands tend to get very dry. So this should have protected my nails as well. Still when I had the gel removed three weeks later, I notices that a part of my nail was discolored. It was yellow. It turns out that I developed nail fungus. Painful and ugly. I saw a dermatologist, and was prescribed pills that I… Read more »


It says you had removed them after three weeks, but you’re supposed to get them removed after 7-14 days. I think that’s why you got nail fungus.


I have been a nail biter for 30+ years. The only time I’ve been able to grow them has been when I’ve been pregnant (and they break as soon as I do something). I have rarely painted my nails in the past. Last year, my husband had his 30th high school reunion. I decided that I wanted to do a pink/white set. I had whelps the next day on my face and neck. I am allergic to formaldehyde (formaldehyde is in the pink/white process but I didn’t know it) and was sad to remove the nails the very next day.… Read more »


A whelp is a puppy. I think you mean welt, although that is a bump caused by a physical contact injury. The proper term for an allergic reaction, of the type that you appear to being attempting to describe, is a hive.


I’m so glad you made the clarification. I don’t like reading comments or blogs because of the terrible spelling, syntax and wrong choice of words as in this case. Sometimes this alone is a bit entertaining!


Who asked for a grammar lesson? Sheesh


I have been getting gel manicures for quite some time and it all depends on where you get them done. I recently got them done(6 days ago) and they are all peeling and making waves in my nails. THIS IS HORRIBLE i much rather just get acrylic then to pay all this money just for it to peel off. 🙁 it looks good at first, but def not worth choosing over acrylic. It also damages your nails if not put on correctly.

Mary Lou

Are there any types of allergic reactions to cuticles from having the gel polish manicures?


I have had very week nails for as long as I can remember and as soon as they get long they brake. I have tyres many different things to make them stronger but I have not found one that has worked yet. I have read some bad and good reviews and am still not sure. I want something that will last and harden my nails so they don’t brake. I have been looking at getting acrylic nails for a while but I don’t want them to damage my nails. Recently I have been looking into gel nails and reading reviews.… Read more »


I had a gel nail french manicure done around 10 days ago. It was the first time as I usually do my own nail painting. My nails are very strong thankfully but I hate having to repaint them constantly because of chipping. The gel manicure looked okay, not great though, but by the next day two nails had already started peeling off. I’d paid £40 at the Opi nail salon in Manchester airport for them! To make matters worse, I broke out in an angry red rash on my face and neck which then became hard, scaly and extremely dry.… Read more »


Bottom line is that if gel is applied correctly, then no-one should have any of the issues being reported. Get them done properly by a recommended salon.
The gel itself isn’t to blame for chipping or peeling – the application process is just as important.
As for allergic reactions…I’m sure a reputable salon will allow you to have a small amount applied to 1 nail as a test before committing to having them done completely if you are concerned.


Had a gel polish pedicure today, I have brittle toe nails, and they break easily. After much research decided to got ahead. The process was fantastic, and they look fab. Being a bloke I obviously decided to have a clear application of the gel polish, and my nails are now stronger feeling.

I originally thought that this was for you girls, but my manacurisist told me that loads of men have this done for similar reason. I’m told it very hard wearing.


I have had my gel nails for 2 weeks now and have not had any issues with chipping. And best part is I still have a good week or 2 before I have to go back (due to nail growth) I have not personally had the gel removed from my nail but I have a friend who did and her nail was still beautiful and strong. Just go to the salon where you got them done and have them remove it, since they are trained to do so. I am now officially addicted to Gel Nails! Mine even change colors… Read more »


I am in ceramics and have class every single day other than the weekend, and my gel manicures and SOMETIMES REGULAR manicures stay in shape and perfectly fine! don’t know why some of you are complaining about it maybe because its too pricey for you!

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Happy Valley, OR
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