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Test-Driving the DIY Gel Manicure: Mani Monday

As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.

Other than a pedicure or two during the summer months, I almost never set foot in a nail salon. I’m a strictly DIY kind of girl when it comes to nails, so I haven’t been tempted to try a gel manicure. Sit in a salon for half an hour or more, and then come back to take it off? No thanks.

Enter the at-home gel mani. I hate chipped nails as much as the next girl, so with a promise of chip-free nails for two weeks, I had to give it a try.

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OPI Launches A Short Film Starring….A Horse!


In the mood to look at more polish? You’re in luck

Nailing It: Repairing Your Nails After A Gel Manicure

Operations associate, Loren, has a thing for nails—and we can’t blame her. We love reading about new finishes and fun techniques, so we enlisted her to post regularly about all things manicure- (and pedicure-) related. Check back every week for Nailing It, Birchbox’s dedicated polish series.

Glossy polish that lasts up to three weeks without chipping? Sign us up. But as appealing as gel manicures are, they can be damaging to nails if they’re not done right. We recently told you that the UV exposure in the drying process of gel manicures is causing a stir among health experts, but that’s not the only thing to be worried about. Gel manicures can also leave your nails extremely soft, thin, and peeling if you don’t go to a great salon. However, there are ways to prevent these after-effects. Follow these steps to keep nail strong and healthy.

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Mally Launches a DIY Gel Mani Set!

At a recent QVC event, I was lucky enough to snag a moment with one of my favorite makeup moguls, Mally Roncal of Mally Beauty. Of all the exciting launches, it was her new gel manicure system that caught my eye. Normally, you’d have to go to a salon to get a gel manicure, but Mally is making it easy to get long-lasting lacquer from the comfort of your couch. Here’s what the pro had to say about the system:

"Mally beauty is all about high-performance, bullet-proof makeup; makeup that is not going to come off until you decide to take it off. For me and for my clients, it is really important that we look great all the time, from head to body to toe. The only thing that was missing was nails. We were getting our nails done and they were chipping and looking trashy and this was the perfect segue. Bullet-proof makeup and bullet-proof nails."

Would you be interested in a DIY gel manicure set? 


If you’re more of a nail art fan, try nail strips!

Could Your Gel Manicure Give You Skin Cancer?


Gel manicures, like CND’s shellac, have been growing in popularity as a long-lasting, durable nail option since the mani lasts for up to two weeks chip-free and is dry the minute you walk out of the salon. (Many a doorknob and purse zipper has been cursed when I’ve smushed my newly-painted non-gel nails.) But recent research has shown that the UV lamps used to set gel lacquers on fingertips may be a cause for serious concern.

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