My First Gel Manicure Experience!

GUYS.  I have jumped ship.  If you know me at all, you know that I am a nail polish MANIAC.  There's nothing that makes me happier than taking the time to sit here and do my own nails.  Whether it just be a polish change or a complete at-home manicure, I am just the queen of all things nails.  This has changed.  


The Gel Manicure has changed my life.  Okay so granted, it's only been one day since I have had it but I can already tell you that I have fallen in love with it.  There are a few things that I wanted to tell you about just incase you were thinking about going in and getting one yourself.  I can almost guarantee that you are going to fall in love too.  

What I Was Expecting

#1: Expensive!?
Honestly, I don't know what I was completely expecting but there were a couple of, I guess you could say, misconceived notions about gel manicures for me.  The only memory I have of going to the nail salon is when I was about 10.  I remember that my mother used to get these outrageously expensive manicures week in and week out and I would always wonder why she would spend so much money.  Granted, they looked great when she came out but I just was thinking how expensive that was.  I thought, going into this gel manicure, that I was going to have to pay about $60-$70 for it and I was outraged.  This is absolutely NOT the case.  

My Aunt put my mind at ease and assured me that I would be only paying $22!  :O  I was completely shocked.  My Aunt was the one that got me interested in getting a gel manicure for the first time so I was taking everything that she said with complete confidence.  I asked her all of the questions that I had in my brain and it was a spur of the moment decision to go and get them done yesterday, I swear.  We were sitting at her breakfast nook in the kitchen dripping sweat from the run we just went on in the 91 degree weather when we just up and decided that we were going to go get manicures!  I feel sorry for the people that were touching us, ew.  Obviously we washed our hands and made ourselves look semi-presentable but we both felt gross coming straight from a run.  

#2: A Normal Manicure?
I totally thought that it was going to be just like a manicure.  You go in, you pick a color, you sit and wait and then finally they help you.  I thought after the manicure was done, you were to sit there for ages and let them dry.  I thought you had to dig awkwardly through your purse for your wallet and eventually grab out your credit card/wallet to pay.  This was not the case at all!  Being that I was such a no0b at gel nails, I think it showed on my face.  The woman (I could tell) was totally making fun of me.  I'm okay with that.  I didn't ask any questions because I wanted to refrain from acting a fool and that was the best choice possible, as I ended up doing everything perfectly fine.  Except for one thing.  Upon the entrance of my nails into the lamp, the smallest fuzz stuck right into the wet polish.  Five minutes later, the lady was blaming me for bumping my hand onto the top of the lamp.  I knew FOR SURE that I didn't bump it.  I made sure that I very carefully was sliding my hands in and out of the lamps because I am so incredibly clumsy.  Needless to say, she just completely re-did it and everything ended up being perfectly fine.  

#3: Heat And Lamps!?
Now I guess this technically could have gone under the 'Normal Manicure' section of this post but I had to differentiate because of my interesting story about messing up the nail (natural Brittany move).  I was absolutely amazed at the way the gel manicure process went.  It was nothing like any other manicure has ever been for me.  First, they clean your nails (this is about as normal as it gets).  There's a base coat that is applied once and then you stick your hands in these small neon lamps that are glowing with heat underneath the table.  Now granted, I knew the process but I had just never gotten it done before.  

Once the base coat is applied and your nails are sitting under the heat lamp, you are prompted by the artist to give your hands to her and she starts applying the color.  Now depending on the color that you select, the amount of coats my vary.  With that being said, between each coat, you are to put your hands back under the heated lamps.  After the top coat is applied and you wait significantly longer than between each coat, the artist takes rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball and rubs it on your nail.  At this point I was freaking out wondering why she was trying to ruin my nails.  I mean obviously I trust them, they know what they're doing, but I just was like 'Ummmm.. what?'  Needless to say, you take out your nails from the heat, she hits it with the alcohol and then its COMPLETELY DRY.  

I was literally amazed.  I still was fumbling around for my money to pay like an idiot and the artist was like, 'Oh honey, don't worry, that's dry.'  I felt like a complete idiot haha, but hey!  I wasn't sure.  Overall, my experience at the salon was absolutely amazing.  I am so happy that I went and that my Aunt took me to such an awesome place called Star Nails.  Now I'm sure that you all have places wherever you live to get gel manicures but if you live in the Ocean County/Jersey Shore area, I would suggest Star Nails for sure!  They have this really awesome program where you get a card and for every service you get, they check it off.  Eventually when you reach 10 services, you get a $20 credit.  This almost equals out to a free gel manicure.  Pretty awesome.

Here are some photos of my nails.  I am so pleased with the way they look.  They're shiny, perfect and this is such a perfect color to have on the nails if you are looking for 'office appropriate/interview friendly.'  I cannot wait to go insane with the colors over the holidays and everything.  I hate to say it, but I think I might be making a big change in my nail polish collection.  Time to clean it out a little bit and give some to my 11 year old neighbor.  And we never thought this day would come.  

Sorry for the awful angles of my hands.  Ew.  Anyway!  Send me a tweet/leave a comment and let me know if you have ever gotten a gel manicure!  Is there anything that I must know about getting them in the future or am I just super excited and probably sounding psychotic (lol).  Thanks for reading!  -Brit.

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