Gel Nail Polish Fiasco

Yes I used the words fiasco and polish in the same sentence.

And yes I understand countries are at war, people are dying and hungry.

And no I’m not equating my nail issues with the problems of the world.

I’m just trying to tell you what happened when I decided to give gel nail polish a try.

So here we go:

I’ve been hearing an awful lot of great things about gel nail polish for a while.

Not only from the shop where I’ve been getting my manicure/pedicure done for years.

But also online via various bloggers and product reviews.

My nails grow really long and are relatively strong.

However I rarely get any color on my hands because I wash them so much and they end up chipping in a day or less sometimes.

But everyone kept telling me how this gel nail polish lasts 2 Weeks!!!

Doesn’t chip and wouldn’t damage my nails.

So finally in June for my birthday trip to Palm Springs I decided to give it a shot.

Gel Nail Polish Take 1

They came out fabulous.  I loved them and they lasted 2 weeks.

The process is pretty labor intensive and lengthy.
After each coat of polish your nails are placed in a uv light nail machine.
This process for all intents and purposes bakes each coat of polish.
Thus creating the strength and giving the polish its ability to last 2 weeks without chipping.
The problem came when I went to have the polish removed.
The nail technician proceeded to soak my nails in acetone and then scrape the polish from my nails with a metal cuticle pusher.
I noticed that my nails were soaking for a good 30 minutes total and that my fingers stung quite a bit from both the acetone and the force it took to scrape the polish off.
I thought okay maybe this is because of the dark color.
So for my second go round with gel nail polish, I decided to go with a french manicure.
I figured the lighter color would lend itself to a much easier removal process.
I was wrong.
Beyond wrong.
The moment the nail technician placed my nails in the acetone they began to burn.
When she began to scrape my nails it felt like she was taking not only the gel nail polish off, but also my nails themselves.
It was so painful that I had her stop.
Cut my nails down as low as possible to get rid of most of the gel nail polish.
And then buff in an attempt to remove the remainder.
But even the pressure of buffing was too much.
She wasn’t even able to get all of the polish off.
The pain was just too intense and concentrated.
When she was done and I looked down at my nails (what was left of them),
I almost cried.

Nail Pain

And it wasn’t even the aesthetics, though they looked horrible.

It was the pain and all of the damage that I could see had been done.

I spoke with the manager of the salon before leaving.

Explaining and showing her what the gel nail polish had done to my nails.

Also letting her know that I was extremely unhappy because I had been assured multiple times before trying the product that it would not harm my natural nails.

All she could say was that maybe I should only use it for special occasions.

What??  Huh??

Ummm no.  I will not ever use this product again. 

Actually I’m pretty sure that I will be returning to my boring manicure ending with no polish or a light buff .

(I mean as soon as my nails heal and can actually stand to be touched).

I will continue to let my nails heal and cut off the polish as they grow out.

But man I wish one nail technician or review of this stuff had mentioned the process of removal.

So that my friends was my experience with the highly toted gel nail polish.

And I’m putting my two cents out there in case someone else is considering trying this product.

Have any of you had a bad experience with a product that everyone else was raving about?

Product Used – Professionally applied in a licensed salon:

Cacee Soak-Off Gel Polish



5 thoughts on “Gel Nail Polish Fiasco

  1. I never had this done, but I’ve been hearing nothing but good reviews about the product. Polish that last two+ weeks sounds too good to be true and I guess it is. I would never have it done on a regular basis, but I may do that before I travel and don’t want to worry about maintaining my (home) manicure while on the road. I don’t like the idea of the UV light – I would have to think more about that one.

    I will keep an eye out for more reviews on these products.

    • Hi Carla. This is exactly why I decided to post this. I’m not saying that the product is good or bad. It’s just not good for me. I figured it might be helpful for someone else to read about my experience just so they can make up their own mine on whether to try it out or not. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It is appreciated

  2. Pingback: Nail Care Routine « Haven't We Done This Before?

  3. Hi,
    I’m an a nail technician.
    It’s awful that you’ve had such a bad experience.

    Firstly it is clear that mistakes have made by nail technician.
    1. A hand should nit be placed in acetone for 30 mins!
    2. There are great remover foils out there which any nail worth their salt will use so the acetone is placed on the foil and wrapped around your finger for 10-15 mins. This allows the acetone to just make contact with the nail area not the entire tip of the finger.
    3. As for scrapping the polish off, this does have to been done but should be done lightly.
    Gel polish is meant to put on in very thin layers so it’s not thick on the nail. Its possible for your gel polish to have been too thick on your nail and therefore when removing she scrapped too much and damaged your nails.
    4. It’s obvious from the picture she has buffed/filed way too hard as a result has bruised your nails. I’m afraid this Kind of dammage to the nail plate makes it obvious that the nail tech doesn’t know what they are doing.

    Again I’d like to say you’ve had a bad exprience and I feel awful for you but there are some really good nail techs out there and gel polish does not damage the nail if applied and removed properly.

    Lastly, I would certainly contact the place you got done in writing with a formal complaint!

    It will take a while but

    • Hi Helen
      Yes, after the experience I’ve learned that they just weren’t properly applying/removing the gel nail polish. I no longer use that nail salon. As for giving the gel another try with a different technician. I doubt I will ever do anything to my nails besides a basic manicure. It’s too much of a chance. It took me almost 3 months to grow out the damage. And even now my nails are not as strong as they were. I know they will improve just because I naturally have strong nails but just the thought of having to go through that again is too much. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your knowledge with my readers. I truly appreciate it.

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