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Oh the age old question... How long does gel last?

The answer to which most people don't like to hear...

Gel polish & gel sets will last TYPICALLY anywhere from 10-14 days.

Some people can go longer-we've had customers pull their manicures for 5 weeks!

While other people are lucky if it lasts 6 days.

This however depends upon 3 major factors:

1. The product

2. Your activities

3. Your body chemistry 

The product-

Not all gel polishes & gel builders are created equal!

And not every salon uses the same products or product combinations. Which is why you should still try the same product at a new salon that you may have had at a previous salon even though it chipped after day 4. The only way you will truly know if it will work is to try it out. We as manicurists are only trained to apply the products and remove the products. We can't guarantee that gel polish will work for you perfectly for the entire 14days that the product's company may have advertised it to last. Gel polish brands can provide varying results as well (which is why we carry multiple brands in our salon). We have had people say many times " oh, that gel polish doesn't work on me, this other brand seems to last longer." This can absolutely happen because each brand is manufactured differently- the bonding components in one brand may play nicer than another on your finger tips.

Your activities-

Are you an avid gardener? Softball player? Preschool teacher? Professional Bon-Bon eater?

Depending upon what you do with your fingers will affect how long your polish or gel (any type) lasts. Keeping your nails at a shorter length may help keep the product on for longer if you're more active in life. Using your fingernails like tools to scrape off price tags & tape or pry open containers is not going to help your polish last. It's going to loosen the bond between nail and product causing it to lift and chip at the free edge. Some salons offer a stronger solution (we offer the 'sprinkle service') that may help strengthen your polish and get you through life with painted nails for a longer period-of course, even THIS may not work for you and that explanation would then bring us to factor number 3...

Body chemistry-

Everyone HATES the body chemistry factor. It's blunt- gel simply DOES NOT work for some people.

It makes you sad, yes. But this doesn't mean you can't have it at all! It just means you're going to need to have manicures more frequently if you want to keep them polished. Or just stick to having your nails done for special occasions when you need them to be polished. Body chemistry can also play a role in why only certain brands will seem to last longer than others. So before you write off gel altogether, try a few different brands. If it just seems hopeless and you find yourself constantly requesting repairs and sending your manicurist sad photos of your chipped polish after only a few days then it may be time to call it quits. 


R.I. requires all Salons & Beauticians to be licensed!

...and you can check the status of any salon or individual's license for yourself online!

As well as file any complaints for improper practices/injuries & infections you may suffer from a visit at a 'not so great salon'.

The RI Dept. of Health needs your help!

They cannot crack down on bad practices unless YOU report it!

It's really quite simple to do, just click on our blue R.I. Dept. of Health badge and it will bring you straight to their website ( Click on the 'licensing' tab on the menu bar and from there you can search for an individual to be sure they are licensed as well as search for any particular salon to be sure it is properly licensed.

Salons MUST be licensed for the services they provide as well

(this is for the public's safety- the D.O.H inspects the facility to be sure their sanitation practices are up to standards for particular services. If the salon is not licensed for the proper services, this means they haven't been inspected and that can put the public at risk for infections).

So be sure that if you're visiting a Salon, they are licensed; here are some general guidelines:

A 'HAIR DESIGN SHOP' may provide the following:

  • waxing & esthetics (skin care)

  • barbering (hair services)

  • manicuring (nail services)

A 'MANICURING SHOP' may provide the following:

  • manicuring (nail services)

AN 'ESTHETICS SHOP' may provide the following:

  • waxing & esthetics (skin care)

Scientists Speak Out –

UV Nail Lamps Are Safe

From driving a car to holding a cell phone on-the-go, hands get more UV exposure from natural and artificial light than any other part of the body. Despite concerns from news sources questioning the safety of UV lamps, an independent study presents the facts.

According to CND Chief Scientific Advisor, Doug Schoon, recent reports fail to properly measure UV light rays, overestimate exposure from UV nail lamps and incorrectly attribute skin cancer. Schoon and two other nail industry scientists oversaw an in depth study of leading UV nail lamps on the market. The study measured how much UV-A and UV-B rays UV nail lamps and natural sunlight emit. The results dispel the myth that UV nail lamps put users at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

To summarize the report:

• UV nail lamps have less UV-B light

(UV-B rays cause of sunburn and most skin cancers) output than natural sunlight. The amount of UV-B rays in ten minute exposure to nail lamps is "the equivalent to an extra 30 seconds in sunlight each day of the two weeks between nail salon appointments."

UV-A exposure (UV-A rays penetrate the skin more deeply causing premature aging.) is equivalent to spending "an extra 1.5 to 2.7 minutes in sunlight each day between salon visits."

Brief sun exposure = curing manicures and pedicures in UV nail lamp

• UV nail lamps use special bulbs with internal coatings that filter out most of the UV-B rays because gel polish is cured by UV-A rays.

• A client’s hand can receive more exposure to both types of UV light while driving a car than they would receive from UV gel and Shellac™ services.

Drying nails in a UV nail lamp is safer than glove-free driving

"The cumulative amount of UV exposure from normal daily activities – driving, running errands outdoors, and sitting under fluorescent lighting – is much greater than the minimal exposure from a UV nail lamp. The anxieties of getting skin damage from a manicure are disproportionate to the truth," explains Dr. David Valia, Director of Research and Development for CND and Electron Beam (EB) technologies, keeps CND at the forefront of this science. CND is dedicated to the advancement of safe and efficacious technologies, as illustrated with the recent Shellac innovation that is safe and convenient for women wanting long lasting manicures.

Press Contacts:

Julia Labaton, Charity Guzofski, Rachel Cooper RED PR

• 110 Greene Street, Suite 706 • New York NY 10012 • (212)431.8873

 Want to be proactive?...

Simply upgrade your gel manicure to the collagen level

with our UV protectant collagen gloves-they block 98.9% of those UV rays!!

For just $10 more at your service.


Please have your dip powder nails REMOVED prior to your scheduled service at Perfectly Nailed. If we are removing your dip manicure, a $15 fee will be charged. We DO NOT offer the dip nail services and here we will explain exactly why:

This is NOT a gel service. If you're being told that it's gel- THEY'RE LYING. Dip nails are acrylic. Now, I'm not saying that acrylic is the devil but these folks are not being truthful about what they're applying to your nail! Folks have come to me with all of the 'benefits' of dip nails and here they will all be explained (maybe even debunked)...

-Sure, dip nails are ODORLESS however that glue they're using to adhere it WILL smell horribly and the vapors will sting your eyes if you get close to it before it's dry. Gel polish is also odorless and-no stinging vapors.

-Sure, dip nails can LAST UP TO 4 WEEKS! That's because it's acrylic which is basically nail cement, it will stick to anything and last. Gel polish can also last up to 4 weeks depending upon the health level of your nail bed & proper application. Even so-you DON'T want this staying power due to one factor....MOLD. When a product is on your nail for an extended amount of time you run a higher risk of mold growth. Especially with a strong product like acrylic. When a portion of your polish lifts over time moisture can enter and produce mold growth. This is less likely to occur with gel polish because the product is thinner and more flexible making it more likely to peel off completely rather than hanging on and creating the perfect environment for mold. Trust me, a naked bum nail is WAY BETTER than a green mold stain that will take weeks/months to grow out.

-Dip nails have vitamins added in so they're good for my nail. You've been had once again ladies! From the research I've done, these vitamins are added to the powder not the adhesive. Think about this for a moment...what's the first layer applied during the dip process??....adhesive. How exactly are those vitamins being absorbed into your nail bed without direct contact?....They're not. If you ask me- This is a MAJOR marketing scheme.

-Dip nails don't require use of a UV nail lamp! Okay, so it air dries- no UV lamp needed...BUT...we offer a collagen glove add-on service at Perfectly Nailed that will block 98.9% of UV rays. Even so, this is not necessary because I'm going to tell you now what no one else is telling you about the UV nail lamps:

*UV nail lamps lave less UV-B ray (the rays that cause sunburn and cancer) output than natural sunlight. The amount of UV-B light in 10 MINUTE exposure to nail lamps is the equivalent to an extra 30 SECONDS in sunlight.

*UV nail lamps use special bulbs that are internally coated to filter out most of the UV-B rays.

*A client's hand can receive more exposure to UV light while driving a car than they would receive from a UV nail service. "The cumulative amount of UV exposure from normal daily activities-driving, running errands outdoors and sitting under flourescent lighting-is much greater than the minimal exposure from a UV nail lamp. The anxieties of getting skin damage from a manicure are disproportionate to the truth" - Dr. David Valia, Director of research and Development for CND.

-resources for this article regarding UV nail lamps were pulled from a CND released article published in NAILS MAGAZINE

Gel polish gives you nearly every benefit that the dip nails will. Gel nails look more natural- the dip nails I've seen come through the salon are very thick in comparison to the gel and the product seems to level out on the nail, taking away the natural nail shape; creating a flat, wide look on the nail bed. And finally....these dip nails are taking us forever to remove (up to 30 minutes) because it is an acrylic combined with glue and it's dulling out our e-file bits. We prefer to file off polish and enhancements to save time and reduce chemical exposure for the client and the technician. So PLEASE have your dip nails removed properly by the salon that applied them prior to your scheduled service at Perfectly Nailed or we will have to charge you $15 for the extra time it takes and the toll it takes on our equipment. We will not be offering the dip nails....Good day!

Gardening got you looking like

the living dead??!

Have you been so good, wearing those gardening gloves and that nasty dirt STILL finds its way under your nails becoming next to impossible to extract?

Try out this handy tip: Run your fingernails across a bar of soap before donning those gardening gloves…it helps out TREMENDOUSLY!

Is gel polish ruining my nails?

Gel polish products do not ruin your nails.

The removal process however, can. The damage that is incurred is not USUALLY permanent damage. It's surface damage that will grow out as new nail plate grows in. If you were to decide to remove your polish and go

au-naturals, your nails will seem really bad until a whole new nail plate comes in. The fingernail regenerates at a rate of 2-3 millimeter per month so you're looking at a 4-6 month wait.

Let's talk about gel polish removal...

The photo to the left is of MY NAILS. I have been wearing gel polish consistently for 6 years. This is what normal surface damage looks like. Notice the ridging in the nails (although this can also come with age), the white spots from trauma (aka-filing & peeling polish off) and the slight separation at the tip where the nail bed meets the free edge (that's from peeling off the polish.) I never soak my polish off. One reason-I have extremely sensitive skin that breaks out when I breathe on it the wrong way.

There are 3 ways to remove gel polish:

1. peel it off.

2. soak it off.

3. file it off.

Method #1.) Peeling off your gel polish is NOT recommended. I will confess though, that I too have practiced this method on myself; you're not doing any permanent damage (as long as your whole nail plate doesn't come off with your polish-honestly, if it hurts trying to peel the polish off…STOP.) Peeling polish off will take AT LEAST the first layer of your nail off with it. Continuing this practice every 2-3 weeks WILL thin out your nail plate extremely quickly, causing the gel polish to no longer adhere properly. Gel polish adheres best to a healthier nail.

Method #2.) First, I will say that soaking must be started with FILING. If the top coat is not penetrated, you could soak those fingertips for hours and all it will do is dull your polish. Soaking is a controversial method. There are some products out there that are supposedly 'acetone free' which you can use to remove the gel polish and I have attempted to use a few…they take a really long time to work, like 45 minutes LONG. And even then you still have scraping and filing to do to remove what did not come off easily. This is fine if you have time to kill at home but personally, I can't be spending 2hours on a gel manicure and my clients-as much as they love me-don't want to sit in my chair for 2 hours getting their nails done.

I have found that PURE ACETONE works best for soaking off gel…but then STILL there is scraping and filing of the tiny bits that did not soak off and personally, it makes my eczema spike into high gear. There are not any supporting studies that I have found to say that acetone is carcinogenic or even to say that it's really all that terrible for your body as a customer using it every few weeks; other than it's quickly absorbed into the human body through ingestion, inhalation and dermal exposure…so don't eat it, snuff it or soak your skin in it! The inhalation absorption rate is in the 70%-80% range which can cause short term effects of eye & respiratory irritation, mood swings,and nausea. It's more detrimental to your nail technician though, due to the constant exposure to acetone all day long…I'd rather not be the coughing, bi-polar, barfing nail tech. Thanks.

Method #3.) Filing off the gel polish should only be performed by a nail technician you TRUST and can communicate with-just sayin'-. Over filing can lead to serious damage of your nail plate while intense over filing can damage your nail bed (the nail bed is the flesh under your nail which your nail plate grows on), which is PERMANENT damage. As long as your polish is properly removed you will not have 'rings of fire' (I see these all too often, it's that red ring, like a c-shape, on your nail…yea, that's not good. It means your nail tech. came EXTREMELY close to filing into your nail bed) your nails will be slightly damaged on the surface if filing is done properly but this damage will grow out as new nail plate comes in. Filing off the polish is much faster, the whole process takes approx. 15 minutes. I prefer filing due to it's ease and being a chemical-free process. It's a dusty process though, I don't like that part. I wear a mask while removing polish to save my own lungs and always have extra, so if you want one JUST ASK!

So to summarize, gel polish is good. The removal can get hairy. I tell my customers straight out that if they want a healthier nail to NOT use gel polish, go with a natural manicure and use a really great polish like CND Vinylux-stuff stays on for a week! But if they just want their nails to look good and polished then do the gel polish! You just have to choose your evil for removal; none of them are that great for your nail. I prefer filing off the gel polish however there are technicians within Perfectly Nailed whom you can schedule with that will gladly wrap up your fingertips and soak off your polish if you prefer that method.

-Article by: Jessica Paquet, RI licensed manicurist.

How long will it take for my nail polish to dry…

and do those nail polish drying machines really work??!

Technically, nail polish takes a full 24 hours to dry completely through. So think about what you do for those 24 hours, because your every move is weakening that polish bond…definitely plan to do 'light work'-I'd say do NO WORK, but c'mon let's be realistic; it 'aint gonna happen!- on the day you have polish applied for maximum wear power!

As for those dryers…

They don't work! If you understand enamel in particular, you will know that oxygen actually inhibits the drying process! The safest way to help is to remain immobilized for 10-15 minutes while that top coat dries.

Couple of quick tips for getting that top coat to set faster:

-Oil will cut the oxygen off the surface and help polish to dry, Solar Speed oil nail spray is good use for this.

-Cold water will freeze dry that top coat, immerse your fingertips in frigid waters for 2-3 minutes (don't use RUNNING WATER; come on man! You've got fresh polish on, this will only push it off and down the drain.)

-Article by: Jessica Paquet, RI licensed manicurist




There is a lot of confusion when it comes to Fungus and Surface Mold.

But I'm here to help you understand better!

*Fungus is an Infection of the living tissue beneath your nail plate. It starts off looking like nothing much at all and eventually takes over your whole digit causing redness of the living tissue around and under the nail & tenderness. The nail itself will develop a creamy yellow color, sometimes green & foul odor while a build up of nasty muck & dying tissue between your nail and the infected skin lifts the nail plate away from the tissue. This can ultimately lead to loss of a nail completely. If this infection is caught during the early stages it can be treated and you can avoid all of this discomfort. BUT YOUR NAIL TECHNICAN CAN'T TOUCH IT. You will need a Podiatrist for this treatment and your technician will likely turn down your service due to the risk involved with messing with an infection of live tissue. If you, or your technician suspect the presence of a Fungal infection, you should seek medical attention.  

95% of toe nail infections are caused by fungus.

The rest are caused by molds (here's where confusion sets in-but this is different type of mold than what I refer to in this article), yeasts & saprophytes. Candida (a yeast) often causes a bright red paronychia (that's the skin around the nail infection). There could even be white fluid collections of what looks like pus. Molds are often found on people with really sweaty, warm feet. Your podiatrist can get you the proper treatment for whichever infection you may have developed but bottom line is that we, the nail technicians, can not treat you.

*Surface Mold results in a stain on the nail plate & it will simply grow out with new nail over time. No need to worry about surface mold, it's just unsightly is all-and we can cover that up with polish. Surface Mold occurs when your gel polish or gel/acrylic nails

(I will refer to these all as 'enhancements' here) begin to lift and moisture becomes trapped between the surface of your nail plate and the enhancement. It's nice and warm in there, it's dark and those are perfect breeding grounds for mold. As the mold grows more and more, it's pigments (yellow/green) begin to absorb into your nail plate. This causes the stain on the surface & sometimes underlying layers of the nail plate. Once the enhancement is removed, the mold is killed and will not progress any further. You will, however -depending upon how long it has been growing there- have an unsightly stain on/in your nail that will need to grow out. trying to buff the stain out can result in damage to your nail plate because doing so will thin your nail out & invite all sorts of nasty things into your underlying live, healthy tissue beneath the nail plate.

Surface Mold is the reason you want REGULAR MAINTENANCE of your enhancements. Do not try to pull that gel manicure, dip manicure, gel fill or acrylic fill for any longer than is recommended. The manufacturer recommendation is every 2 weeks. Leaving product on for longer than 2 weeks raises your risk of developing surface mold. If you notice your enhancement lifts sooner than the recommended 2 weeks, you may have to go sooner between your nail appointments to avoid any issues.

-Article by: Jessica L. Paquet, RI licensed Nail Technician

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