Today I took myself out to a salon and got my first ever gel manicure. For years I have done my own nails without any issue or problem, I actually kind of enjoy doing it, I find it relaxing. Lately though, I don't seem to have the energy or patience to keep up with them. My nails have been extremely brittle throughout this never ending pregnancy so they have been chipping like crazy. So instead of painting them every three days or so to have them look nice (which I prefer) I've had to do them every other day. That is just too much work. Here I thought the pre natal vitamins were supposed to make your nails grow but lucky me, I've had the opposite effect.

Anyway, I've never had a gel manicure and kind of walked into the salon blind as far as pricing goes. I asked for shellac at first and learned that apparently shellac and gel mani's are essentially the same thing. Is this true? I picked out a neutral color that would match everything (similar to OPI's Bubble Bath). She gave the usual mani, soak, cuticle maintenance, but only a very rough file. I was a little worried as she started painting without the edges and tips of my nails being smooth but she is the expert so I didn't say anything. She did what I believe were two base coats and I placed my hand under the UV light after each one. Then two coats of color also using the light between each one. Finally a top coat and more of the UV. It was weird, I could kind of feel a burning sensation on my beds when I would first place my hand under the light. : /

The application was sloppy in my opinion and if I am paying money for a professional to do my nails I expect the polish to get as close as possible to the cuticle and the line where it ends to be smooth, not jagged and like the polish has been dragged out too much. I know I should have expressed this to them but I already felt demanding as I had to ask three times for a mask. It wasn't terribly expensive or anything but I honestly expected more. The edges of my nails were smooth after all the polish was applied at least. Hoping that this mani lasts for at least two weeks with no major chipping. If this is the case I am considering investing in a UV light of my own and some gel polishes, top and base coats so I can start to do this at home. I enjoy the process but not doing it so often and I'm sure once my baby arrives I'll have even less patience for this. Anyone do at home gel manicures? What brand of polish do you use?

If I could post this to the beauty sub blog I would but the name of it is escaping me at the moment and I doubt I have posting privileges anyway.