Only Gorgeous Weddings

Stalking the Prettiest of Pretties

Nails take 2

I hope you enjoyed last week’s at-home selection of hints and tips to get your hands and nails looking tip-top for the big day. If you haven’t seen it yet, click here. This week we are moving on to the professional options:

Salon Manicure:

First up is the salon manicure. Getting a professional to file, paint and polish your nails adds a bit of pamper into the experience, especially if you go down the route of getting a treatment as well.

The pros: A professional is doing all the work for you so you shouldn’t need to worry about wonky lines on uneven coverage. You can combine it with other treatments such as a massage. Not very abrasive.

The cons: It is more expensive than home polish. It won’t lengthen the nails, if you bite them to the quick they won’t look magically better.


Shellac is a new type of treatment where the polish is ‘cured’ using UV lamps and will last up to two weeks. I am dying to try it myself as I am very clumsy and the paint always chips within hours of getting my nails done.

The pros: Long-lasting colour, reviews have been really positive on how resistant to damage it is. It’s thinner and therefore more natural looking to gel or acrylic nails.

The cons: Some reviews reported that it damaged the nail, but this seems to depend on the salon. There is a visible ‘growth line’  at the bottom of the nail. If you change the colour of your nails regularly you could get really bored by the two week line.


Gel is the most common type of false nail. The nail is filed to give an even surface, the gel is then painted onto the nail and either cured using UV or a special top coat or spray. You can have tips done too to lengthen the nail.

The pros: Gel nails are long lasting and have a high polish. With tips it lengthen the nail. Regrowth can be filled in.

The cons: They can cause a LOT of damage to your nails. I’ve spent a while checking reviews out online and it crops up everywhere. There are a poor selection of colours. You need to get them professionally removed.


Acrylics are very similar to gels, just a slightly older version. I found a very helpful article talking about the differences here.

The pros: The majority of salons offer acrylic nails, so no need to search out a specialist.  Can be used in conjunction with tips to lengthen the nails. Regrowth can be filled in, making it long lasting.

The cons: There is a strong odour from the chemicals used. Thicker, so less natural looking than other options. Lots of potential damage to the nail bed.

Nail Art, Charms, Wraps, etc:

These are optional extras that you can use to ‘pretty up’ your nails. Basically they are embellishments that you can attach to your nail to give added design or bling. The wrap referred to here is this kind, not to be confused with silk or fibreglass wraps. I can’t seem to find any supplier of silk or fibreglass wraps in Ireland so have not included those.

Do you have any hints or tips for taking care of your nails? What are the products you love? Have I missed anything out here? Oh, and as Krissy pointed out last week, don’t forget to make your Mr (or future Mrs) give their hands a rub down too!


One response to “Nails take 2

  1. bri May 21, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I know this is an old article but as the nail teacher you should know that gel nails do NOT cause a LOT of damage. Products do NOT cause damage… People do…

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