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Today's Manicures: Gels, Shellacs and More!

By HERWriter Guide
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gels, shellacs and more for today's manicures BananaStock/Thinkstock

Nail salons have changed a lot in the past decade. Newer options have made nail care a lot easier.

Many nail places have upgraded themselves into salons and spas that cater to the luxurious care of hands and feet that many women (and men) have come to expect.

For the record, up to 18 months ago, the only manicure I ever got was gels for my wedding (10 years ago) and I kept that up for a year.

I was simply not one for manicures. That changed with Shellac a year ago, but more on that later.

Traditional gels like the one I got for my wedding are available for women that are long lasting but require "fills".

This means that every few weeks, some of the gel is scraped off and reapplied to make it look fresh. The regrowth of natural nail at the base is filled in with fresh gel.

It's a fairly big commitment to make because taking everything off can damage nails from over-filing them and the chemicals used to dissolve the gel, and it needs to be done every few weeks.

It's also a financial commitment. I tried these gels for a year straight but my nails ended up looking too thick from all the gel (or a bad manicurist?) and I let the nails grow out rather than get all the gel scraped off.

Ultimately, my nails were thin, dry and cracked. The gel would also loosen at the bottom of the nail and could be wiggled up and down! These gels can run about $50 or more.

Shellac nails are the new big thing in nail style. Shellac is a kind of nail gel but without the commitment of traditional gels.

It can be soaked off in a matter of minutes. This kind I tried for twelve months.

What's to love? The fact that I can walk out the door as soon as they are done, without the fear of ruining my nails by searching for my car keys, or having to pay in advance so I wouldn't have to dig into my wallet.

Shellac is shiny, with a great range of colors, from clear or French to an array of pastels and rich, primary hues. It's fairly inexpensive (from $25-50, I paid $35) and seriously does not chip!

I have swum, played tennis, worked out and done gardening, laundry and housecleaning on a regular basis and it still never chipped.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.