Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Another Attempt at Gel Polish

by Maggie Franklin | January 20, 2012

Well. Yet another line of UV-cured polish has come to live on my shelf. Well, a small sampling of another line anyway. Introducing: OPI GelColor.


It's all so confusing. I've totally given up on grumbling about every company in the world using "gel" in the name of their product (except for a tiny few exceptions — which I appreciate). I figure at this point, every nail polish in the world is called "nail polish," so I guess it's just going to come to be that every gel polish in the world is going to be called "gel polish."


What I'm currently working on grasping is the difference between "hybrid" formulas that contain both gel and solvents ... and btw, just what is "gel" exactly, anyway?


When I look at MSDS for traditional/builder/hard gel enhancement products, I see words like "urethane methacrylate," and "urethane triacrylate," "polyurethane acrylate oligomer" and I see some of these same words in the MSDS for some of the gel polishes. And then again, I see some other big words.


Mostly, what I see lately, are a lot of ads from companies that already produce "hybrid" formulas that contain solvents that are introducing "all gel" formulas.


I don't understand why? Why am I supposed to want all gel instead of a formula that contains gel + solvents?


I've been plenty happy with the gel+solvent lines so far — the only one I've had problems with, I attribute to the company starting with a clear glass bottle and leaving a window in the label. Those polishes aren't "thickening" in the bottles, they're curing in the bottles. And yes, I keep my gel polishes on the polish rack on the wall — I think it's ridiculous to expect techs to have 100+ bottles of any polish in their collection and keep them in a dark drawer.


Point being, I have colors from five different companies on the polish rack, four of those lines have been on the shelf for over a year, only one of them has given me fits. So I'm not sure if I'm worried about the formulas that contain solvents or why I should be excited about "all gel" formulas.


All I care about is color selection and how long it lasts on the nail.


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