Calgel Nails – A Review

I know Calgel has been around for a while but I just tried it for the first time! Here’s what mine looked like–

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What is Calgel?  It’s a gel that is painted on your nails like a polish then cured by a UV light.  The main reason why I wanted to try Calgel is because the I’ve been having issues with my nails tearing.  The gel is supposed to protect your nails against breakage and it’s not supposed to lift, peel, chip, or go rubbery.  Its also supposed to last for weeks!

After oogling pictures of beautiful nails at local nail salons, I decided to go with a Japanese salon because they are known for their cute embellishments and meticulousness! I ended up choosing a pink design with glitter and a cute bow on my ring finger.  My technician shaped my nails, cleaned up my cuticles, then started painting the gel on.  The gel was cured under a UV light and I could feel a warming sensation from the chemical reaction but it wasn’t unpleasant, just different.  After the clear coats, she applied some glitter and applied each of the larger pieces of glitter by hand.  YES.  INDIVIDUALLY.  The bow is a little charm that was rather expensive but reusable!  (She said it was like jewelry)  It’s stuck on by several extra layers of Calgel on that nail.  Overall, it took an entire hour.

This is wear and tear after a week–

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My first impressions of Calgel are that it’s AWESOME!  Why?  Because it was–
– Super low maintenance.  No chipping or peeling.
– Lasts forever!
– My nails were protected against breakage and tearing
– Cute design!  I got lots of compliments. 🙂

However, I do think there are cons to having Calgel done.   Mainly that it was–
– EXPENSIVE.  My set was $60+, not including tip.  (The little bow charm was extra)
– A little bit tricky to remove, may make thin nails

After 3 and a half weeks, I took the Calgel off.  The removal process worked like this–the technician sands the top of the gel so that it’s kind of rough and then soaks your fingers in a clear liquid called “Calaway,” which is made to ‘lift off’ Calgel nails.  The liquid is cold but you feel the same warming sensation all over your fingers!  It took me by surprise but it wasn’t that unpleasant.  Then, the technician sands off whatever else is left.  That’s it, you’re done!

Afterwards, I felt that my nails were thinner then usual.  This might just be me, especially because my nails aren’t the strongest to begin with.

Overall, would I do it again?  …Maybe.

– Yes!!!  No nail peeling and really pretty nails, especially for special occasions

– No.  A bit expensive to upkeep and I prefer my nails short.

I trimmed my set after two weeks and got scolded–you’re supposed to wait until the refill to trim.  Otherwise, you could damage the gel with clippers.  Oops!

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