Full disclosure: I am not one to go get frequent manicures or pedicures. A pedicure here and there to clean up my feet, sure, I can justify that. But keeping up with regular manicures? Why shell out the cash and go through the process of getting an appointment when you can just paint your nails at home?
Obviously, the answer is that a trip to the salon to get your nails done is most likely going to yield much better results than if you paint your nails at home while sitting on some newspaper. Especially if painting isn’t your strong suit to begin with. So when I first heard of semi cured gel nails, I was skeptical. Gel nails you can apply yourself at home, with zero skill required? No painting, no drips? Seems almost too good to be true. But it’s not.
Semi cured gel nails have turned out to be my savior when it comes to having enviable, creative, attention-catching nails, all the time. They’re gel nails that last just as long as the ones you get from a nail salon, but they require half the time and money and just a few simple steps. Here’s everything you need to know so you can rock the coolest nails all summer long.
What Are Semi Cured Gel Nails?
Semi cured gel nails are salon-grade gel nails that you apply yourself at home. The best part? Half the work is already done for you. Rather than painting on multiple layers of polish and curing each layer under a UV light, semi cured gel nails require no painting whatsoever. Instead, you apply adhesive gel nail strips that are already halfway on their way to fully hardened, shiny gel nails. But since they’re only “semi cured,” they still come as flexible gels that you can then shape to fit your nails. The steps are simple.
- Cut and clean your nails. Make sure there’s no excess moisture on your nails, and cut and file them to the shape you desire.
- Apply semi cured gel nail strips. These strips come in packs of at least 20, usually 30 (leaving some wiggle room for mess ups), and have slightly varied sizes and shapes. Select the ones that fit best to each nail and stick them on. There will likely be excess nail strip for each nail. You can file it off, clip it off, tear it off, or even just rub it against a hard surface to get rid of that excess. As I mentioned before, the strips are still flexible gel, so they’re easy to manipulate in the ways needed to fit your nail.
- Cure nails under UV gel nail lamp. This process takes about a minute and, if the strips have gems or other elements, may require an extra session under the UV lamp. You simply place your hands under the lamp for curing and remove once the strips are fully hardened and shiny. Then, aside from some touch-up filing if you deem it necessary, you’re done!
What Makes Semi Cured Gel Nails Different?
As I mentioned before, these strips come already semi cured, requiring significantly less time under a UV lamp. This makes the process safer to begin with, as, if possible, we should all minimize our time of UV exposure for health reasons. So rather than needing a curing session for each layer, as salon-applied gel nails require, semi cured gel nails have whittled that time down to just curing the nails after the one strip is applied. At the most, you’ll need about three sessions under the UV light, but it’s quick, and you’ll really only need the extra sessions if you’re opting for something extra on your nails. Which brings us to the next point.
Unique Patterns and Designs Available at Home
Perhaps the best part of these one-of-a-kind nails is you suddenly have the capabilities of a skilled nail artist, but without the required skills. By this, I mean that hundreds of designs and
nail patterns are available to order as semi-cured gel nail strips.
From spring themes, like flowers and pastels, to solid colors, to earthy themes, to gemstones on every other nail, the options for semi cured gel nails are endless. That’s perhaps what makes them so unique. You don’t need to decide on the spot at the nail salon, and you don’t necessarily need to figure out what goes best all by yourself. The sets available to order could give you inspiration to mix and match, or you can use them as they are. You can also order just sets of gemstone strips, giving you the option to add a gemstone to your set of nails just because you feel like it.
When getting gel nails at a salon or even just painting them on at home, the processes required for a more detailed pattern are much more complex. It requires layering, several curing sessions, and more. But with semi cured gel nails, you can find nearly any pattern that suits your mood, and the process remains the same, with only a little additional curing time added for certain patterns. Going to a holiday party? There’s a set for that. Want to show everyone you’re a dog lover? There’s a set for that, and a set for foodies, too. Just about any unique way you can think of to showcase your nails, there’s a set that already exists for it, with the hard work already complete. Just pop em’ on, put them under the lamp, and you’re done.
So next time you need to have top-notch nails for an event, or if you’ve just decided you deserve them, take it from someone who rarely ever did their nails before. Semi cured gel nails have streamlined the process of getting salon-grade nails, and they’ve turned it into something you can do on your own in a matter of minutes. Don’t even hesitate. It’s time to get some and try them for yourself.