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Everyone keeps talking about the new trend in nails and most are still trying to understand what a gel manicure is really all about. If you haven't tried this type of manicure and are debating whether or not you should, or if you had a negative first experience with it (as I did), then this blog is for you.

To set the truth free about gel manicures, I was able to get some factual information from one of the leading companies on the market, City Salon Spa. To start, you should know that a City Salon Spa manicure is the only non-gel manicure on the market, which makes it less damaging to nails. If you have ever received a gel manicure your experience was probably troublesome when it came to the removal of the polish. My first time around it was difficult to take off professionally and it ruined my nails, leaving them cracked, thin, and frail.

If your local nail salon does not offer City Salon Spa, don't just get whatever gel manicure they are trying to sell you. Go to a salon that carries City Salon Spa products. Results of City Salon Spa should last about two weeks or longer—no chipping or fading. There are 30 shades of lacquer, and they can be layered for endless possibilities. That's a key statement here because I keep hearing "they don't have any good colors” as a major complaint. Your your nail salon should be savvy enough to know how to pair the colors together to create new ones that satisfy your style.

The process goes like this: after a dry manicure—pushing back cuticles, shaping nails etc, the technician prepares the nail surface with ScrubFresh, a product that helps the polish adhere better. She then layers on a base coat and has you place your hands under a City Salon Spa (UV) lamp for 10 seconds. Next comes two layers of color after each, you “cure” nails in the lamp for two minutes, and a layer of top coat, which is cured for two minutes again. Nails are dry at this point, which becomes more apparent when the technician wipes the tops of them with alcohol to remove the sticky layer on stop. The final step: a swipe of City Salon Spa Solar Oil on cuticles to moisturize them.

As mentioned before, the manicure should last two to three weeks depending on your level of activity with your hands and how delicate you are in your daily activities. When you return to get another manicure, the salon will us acetone nail polish remover to take the polish off. My experience has been that they wrap my nails in cotton soaked acetone secured with foil. The actual removal of the polish should not be painful or difficult. If your technician is having a hard time removing the polish, chances are he/she either didn't allow them to soak long enough (10-15 minutes) or you didn't use certified Shellac product to begin with (which happens a lot).

Some may argue that receiving this type of manicure isn't good for your overall nail health, but I would argue that the cost, convenience and time that it saves me is worth it. Being a true "girl on the go" in a sales position where I'm frequently in front of my clients, I need to keep my nails properly maintained. This type of manicure keeps me from having to squeeze in a weekly nail appointment.

I'd love to hear your comments about your experience with the new nail technology. Can you vouch for the credibility of Shellac (non-gel technology) or have you had negative experiences which have lead you to believe it’s not for you? Either way… let us know so we can learn from each other on this one.

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