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Top 10 Gel Nails venues

  1. Absolutely Polished NailsAbsolutely Polished Nails

    Absolutely Polished Nails

    29 / 31 Somerset Place, Little Bourke St., Melbourne CBD 3000
    Rating:
    (43)
    Are your hands or feet in need of TLC, head straight over to Absolutely Polished Nails, Melbourne CBD. This award-winning nail salon has everything you need.
  2. Nail ParadiseNail Paradise

    Nail Paradise

    Shop 4/ 332 Centre Rd, Bentleigh 3204
    Rating:
    (10)
    Enjoy a relaxing mani or pedi at Nail Paradise. The company offers services including shellac, nails, nail art, gel nails, eyebrow waxing, tints, and more.
  3. Bella Nails Australia FairBella Nails Australia Fair

    Bella Nails Australia Fair

    Shop G044 61 Scarborough Street, Southport 4215
    Rating:
    (29)
    Bella Nails is the go-to for all your manicure and pedicure needs. Pop in for a quick polish, or stay longer and treat yourself to an indulgent spa pedicure.
  4. Chapel's Beauty SalonChapel's Beauty Salon

    Chapel's Beauty Salon

    91 Chapel Street, Windsor 3181
    Rating:
    (37)
    Visit Chapel's Beauty Salon, and be pampered to perfection with an exceptional range of services to highlight your natural beauty and boost your confidence.
  5. Two Birds Hair and Beauty SalonTwo Birds Hair and Beauty Salon

    Two Birds Hair and Beauty Salon

    147 Russell St, Melbourne CBD 3000
    Rating:
    (44)
    Two Birds celebrates the art of living well. Enjoy life to its fullest and living in the moment whilst looking your best in the latest hair and makeup styles.
  6. AKI's Perfect 10 Warringah MallAKI's Perfect 10 Warringah Mall

    AKI's Perfect 10 Warringah Mall

    145 Old Pittwater Road (Shop 168A Ground Floor Westfield Warring Mall) (Next to DAVID JONES & CITY BEACH), Brookvale 2100
    Rating:
    (10)
    Aki's Perfect 10 Warringah Mall is warm and inviting. Book in for Shellac, SNS, Bio Gel, Acrylic and French Gel. They also do waxing and eyelash extensions, too.
  7. Pure Beauty By JennyPure Beauty By Jenny

    Pure Beauty By Jenny

    865 High Street, Thornbury 3071
    Rating:
    (50)
    Pure Beauty by Jenny is committed to providing personalised attention and care. Each offering is customised to complement a client's personality and lifestyle.
  8. Julex Nail Spa - PrahranJulex Nail Spa - Prahran

    Julex Nail Spa - Prahran

    514 Malvern Road, Prahran 3181
    Rating:
    (15)
    For the smartest nails in Prahran, book in for a mani or a pedi at Julex Nail Spa. Get perfect nails with polish, Shellac gel, acrylics or an SNS dip powder.
  9. Mollyfuns Nail ArtMollyfuns Nail Art

    Mollyfuns Nail Art

    level 1, 241- 245 Lonsdale street, Melbourne CBD 3000
    Rating:
    (2)
    Mollyfuns Nail Art will customise each manicure and pedicure to the guests' unique needs. The experts offer impressive nail art design, and lash extensions.
  10. Stunning Nails Hair and BeautyStunning Nails Hair and Beauty

    Stunning Nails Hair and Beauty

    1198 Glenhuntly Road, Glen Huntly 3163
    Rating:
    (7)
    Stunning Nails Hair and Beauty is a one-stop shop for treatments, highlights, cuts, eyelash extensions, facial, threading, pedicures, massage, and more.

Gel Nails

There are so many fabulous nail treatments to choose from these days, it can get a little confusing. Acrylics, Gel Nails, Shellac - what's the difference? Let's find out.

Both acrylic and Gel Nails are basically fake nails placed on top of your own. They can be used to extend the nail and give it extra strength. But they are very different in terms of application and use.

Shellac is neither acrylic nor gel. It is actually a blend of gel and nail polish. It can't be used to extend your nail, but it does give you excellent durability.

Teething Problems

Gel nails probably first appeared in the United States in the 1980s. At that time, however, the idea didn't really catch on. This was largely due to problems with the lights used to set the gel.

There was little training available and, if done incorrectly, the process could leave both client and nail technician with burnt fingertips. Making matters worse, home-use ­systems were also introduced, which did nothing to improve the product's reputation.

One decade and a whole lot of research later, gel nails were back. By 2010, well over half of salons offered this as a service and today, well, it's available everywhere.

What is Gel?

These days, however, gel nails come in many forms, including 3-D gels, polish-gel hybrids, soak-off gels and more. In its most basic form, gel is a semi-solid mix of monomers and oligomers that harden to a polymer when exposed to UVA light.

The gel contains photoinitiators - to absorb the light, stabilisers - to prevent discolouration and pigments - to give it colour. Interestingly, it's the pigments that required the most research. Some colours, like white, reflect the UVA light while others, like black, absorb it. This means the nail technician must set the light correctly for best results.

Advantages of Gel Nails

Gel Nails offer many advantages over some other nail treatments. They set faster, last longer and are easier to remove. They give a glossy but natural look, and they are more flexible than acrylic nails.

Hybrid brush-on gel polishes are the latest innovation, combining the best of all worlds. They go on as easily as nail polish and soak off faster than traditional gels. They also give you the durability of gel nails.

The main difference between nail polish and gel nails is that durability. Nail polish contains mostly nitrocellulose resin, which will scratch off. Gel nails use urethanes, which offer excellent scratch resistance.

Weighing It Up

Gel nails are applied in much the same way as nail polish, with a base coat, colour and then top coat. Each coat has to be cured under the UVA light. Properly applied, gel nails are as strong as acrylic but not as thick, so they look more natural.

Cost-wise, gel nails work out about the same as acrylics but bear in mind that you can keep acrylics going with cheaper monthly infills. Soak-off gels last up to 14 days.

When you're choosing a nail treatment, consider your lifestyle. If your nails are in and out of water all day, the gel would be the better option. Because it sticks like a nail polish it's better at resisting water. Acrylics can start lifting if subjected to too much water.

Are Gel Nails Safe?

You may be wondering if the use of UVA light to cure your gel nails is dangerous. Certainly, there have been many debates on the subject. There is no evidence to suggest that having regular gel nail treatments will give you skin cancer. The US Skin Cancer Foundation looked into this and said the risk was far lower than that presented by tanning devices.

If you are concerned, however, you could apply sunscreen to your hands before your nail treatment. Try and avoid applying it to the nails themselves.