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Top 10 Gel Nails venues

Here is our pick for the top venues offering Gel Nails from around Australia.

  1. Absolutely Polished NailsAbsolutely Polished Nails

    Absolutely Polished Nails

    29 / 31 Somerset Place, Little Bourke St., Melbourne CBD 3000
    Rating:
    (48)
    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. Splash BeautySplash Beauty

    Splash Beauty

    40 Tweed Mall, Cnr Wharf & Bay Streets, Tweed Heads 2485
    Rating:
    (9)
    Splash Beauty offers convenience and fabulous treatments. Known for their fabulous facials, you can get microdermabrasion, waxing and eyelash extensions, too.
  3. Julex Nail Spa - PrahranJulex Nail Spa - Prahran

    Julex Nail Spa - Prahran

    514 Malvern Road, Prahran 3181
    Rating:
    (20)
    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.
  4. 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.
  5. The Nail Hair and Beauty Room MorningtonThe Nail Hair and Beauty Room Mornington

    The Nail Hair and Beauty Room Mornington

    Shop 6, 211 Main Street, Mornington 3931
    Rating:
    (6)
    Overhaul your look with The Nail, Hair and Beauty Room. Choose from eyelash extensions, nail treatments, waxing, hair colouring, airbrush tanning, and more.
  6. Chapel's Beauty SalonChapel's Beauty Salon

    Chapel's Beauty Salon

    91 Chapel Street, Windsor 3181
    Rating:
    (40)
    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.
  7. Two Birds Hair and Beauty SalonTwo Birds Hair and Beauty Salon

    Two Birds Hair and Beauty Salon

    147 Russell St, Melbourne CBD 3000
    Rating:
    (59)
    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.
  8. Salon OasisSalon Oasis

    Salon Oasis

    Shop 1/720 Main Road Edgeworth NSW 2285, Edgeworth 2285
    Rating:
    (59)
    Relax, indulge and rejuvenate with Salon Oasis in Edgeworth. Choose from an array of pampering treatments including full body massage, deluxe mani or facial.
  9. Ivy Hairdressing & Beauty SalonIvy Hairdressing & Beauty Salon

    Ivy Hairdressing & Beauty Salon

    19 55 George Street, Parramatta 2150
    Rating:
    (50)
    The guys at Ivy Hairdressing in Parramatta are committed to creating individual and unique looks, injecting passion and flair into each cut and colour.
  10. Celestial Nails & BeautyCelestial Nails & Beauty

    Celestial Nails & Beauty

    24 Eco Crescent, Narangba 4504
    Rating:
    (14)
    For the most serene and peaceful beauty treatments, book in Celestial Nails & Beauty. Opt for a heavenly facial, massage, wax, manicure, or lash treatment.

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.

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