Hand & Nail Harmony (the makers of Gelish) founder Danny Haile (second from right) visited the NAILS office with nail techs Yuki Morooka and Mie Asada. I’m showing off my sparkly red Gelish manicure.
Gelish applies like polish, but must be cured like gel.
Gelish is available in more than 40 colors from skin-tone nudes to bold pinks and reds.
At Premiere Orlando, Hand & Nail Harmony educator Danielle Candido gave me my second Gelish manicure; she picked the color “Good Gossip” to complement my skin tone.
There’s been so much buzz lately about polish-like gels, so I was thrilled when I found out that Danny Haile, founder of Hand & Nail Harmony was coming to the NAILS office to demo his Gelish product line. Like other products in this new category, Gelish applies similar to polish but cures like gel — making it glossy, colorful, and generally chip-free for up to three weeks.
The prep seemed similar to polish-prep, including removal of the cuticle. After that, the nail tech applied cleanser, then a multi-part “base coat” of pH Bond, Pro Bond, and foundation gel. The next step is the application of one to two coats of color (or, you can make a custom color by applying one layer each of two different Gelish shades), then application of top coat and the removal of the tacky layer with cleanser. Using an LED lamp, each layer only needs to be cured for a max of 30 seconds. (With a UV lamp, the cure time for each layer is a max of two minutes.)
As a client, I have always been a polish-chipper, almost inevitably ruining at least one nail the same day as my manicure. So I’ve tended to avoid bold polish colors, even though they would otherwise be my favorites. It’s been pretty liberating for me to have worn the color “Good Gossip” (the second Gelish shade I’ve tried) on my hands for more than two weeks now, with only one small chip on my left thumb (which, to be fair, happened after the two-week mark). So, as a client, I’m sold.
As a nail tech, a plus is that Gelish can be difficult for a client to remove herself. It’s doable, but to be removed in the allotted 15 minute timeframe, you must first “break the seal” (AKA, rough it up a little with a file) before you remove the product with acetone. At Premiere Orlando I watched Nail Harmony educator Danielle Candido remove my first Gelish manicure by filing away the tops of the color of each nail (the sparkly red shade I’d been wearing turned a grayish white), then she soaked some pads in acetone and kept them firmly held on my nails with foil. After less than 15 minutes, she removed the pads and foil and scraped off the remaining Gelish with a metal pusher. It came off completely, then she was ready to apply the next shade (which I’ve gotten lots of compliments on).
Oh, and another plus if you’d like to wear Gelish yourself as a nail tech, is that casual acetone contact shouldn’t ruin a Gelish application (I think due to the “breaking the seal” part of removal). I inadvertently confirmed this last week, as I had to clean up the remnants of a broken polish bottle from my hands and nails. The acetone removed the dark polish color from my fingernails — but left the Gelish going strong.