My Experience With UV Gel Nails


In the last few years, gel nails have no doubt become one of the biggest hot shots in the nail industry and I can totally see why.

With a similar chemical nature with acrylics, gels come pre-mixed in the form of a gel and are then painted thinly onto the surface of the nails before each layer is cured under an ultra-violet lamp. Gel nails also claim to be natural-looking, thin, clear, non-yellowing, non-porous, odorless and resist lifting.

Since I just started at a new job a month ago, I decided to give myself a treat to test out what gel nails are all about. I got tips that were airbrushed French with gel overlay just like the picture above. The full set costed me $50 with tip included and 45 minutes.

After I was done, I couldn’t take my eyes off my nails. They were smooth, shiny yet so natural-looking! Plus since the color was airbrushed, it did not chip the slightest bit. As an added bonus, I have also completely stopped biting on my nails because of the gel.

Two weeks later, my nails started to grow out so I went back to the salon. When I was told the nails needed to be filled every two weeks with each filling costing $25-30, I decided I wasn’t ready to commit so I had them removed.

The removal process took a lot less time and I paid $10 plus tip for it. It involved soaking my nails in acetone and LOTS of filing, which ended up making my nails really weak =(

Nonetheless, getting gel nails is a fun experience and I’d definitely do it again for special occasions.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE,, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. hi this is renee and i just had my nails bye a student a mayland community collegeand an they are gel but the dont look that so good…. and i want to know how to make my nails look good… and i would realy like you to e-mail me back and give me hint at my yahoo name it is

    thank you Renee Moreno

  2. Hey, I know this is long over due but I was just looking online for gel nails and came across this. I have had gel nails on and off for 4 years and I have to disagree with you on the
    “Overall, getting gel nails is a fun experience. I would definitely recommend it if

    1) you have the time and money to maintain it

    2) you do not have to use your hands much (no typing, dishes or opening anything)

    I clean and cook and I am actually very hard on my nails and I can type pretty fast with them.. you just shouldn’t have them too long but I can still do all those things with very long gel nails.. I just wanted to share that with you! LOL Everyone thinks that you can’t do all those things just because you have gel nails but you totally can it just depends on how you go about doing those things with your nails.

  3. I had gel nails for two months — it took time to maintain but they looked great and the polish lasted for at least two weeks. I decided to have them removed because some of my nails had broken. It took a long time to have them soaked and “pulled” off. Once they were removed my nails were paper thin (because the surface had been buffed so much) and most of them just ripped off. I can’t wear my Ebel watch because my nails aren’t strong enough to open the latch. It’s been over two weeks since the gel was removed and I have to keep my nails super short because they are still so thin and will break. I would not recommend gel nails because vanity isn’t more important than having healthy nails.

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