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Polygel Nails Will Step Up Your At-Home Nail Game

One of my best money-saving tactics is doing my own nails at home. Having invested in some gel polishes and a UV light, I’ve easily saved $60 a month for the last 7 years. All my at-home laqueristas know what it’s like to always be on the lookout for ways to step up your DIY nails without needing too much skill or breaking the bank. When I learned about polygel nails, I knew that it would be a game-changer.

For me, the biggest flaw of at-home nails is that it’s difficult to lengthen the nail. The industrial-strength nail glue that they use at salons to glue on the tips is hard to get your hands on, and acrylic nails take a lot of skill (and a nail drill!). Not to mention the damage that these methods create to your natural nail. Polygel makes it so that you can lengthen the nails without dealing with acrylic or even gluing on a nail tip. 

Here’s how it works: Polygel cures under a UV lamp just like gel polish, or shellac. First, you apply a normal gel base coat to the nail. Then, use a small spatula to apply the polygel onto a mold that is slightly larger than your nail, and press the mold onto your nail before curing it under the lamp. Once the gel is cured, you pop off the mold and are left with gorgeous, lengthened (if not a little misshapen) nails! With a little bit of filing and shaping, the nails are complete and can be expected to last up to 3 or 4 weeks. Plus, since the polygel itself is usually colored, no painting is needed!

There are countless benefits to this relatively new method for nails. A polygel kit will give you a pretty good bang for your buck; this one on Amazon is $28. A basic UV light can usually be found for around the same price. I’ve found that polygel nails (and gel in general) damage my nails far less than acrylic, especially if I can manage to keep them on for a long time. I also think that the finish of polygel looks better than acrylic or dip powder nails, because not having to use a nail tip means that the nail can be less bulky. 

All good things come at a price. I would say that I spent about 45 minutes perfecting my polygel technique before I was truly happy with the results. Once you figure out the perfect size of form to use for each nail, the right amount of time to cure the gel, and perfect your application technique, you’re golden! It’s a bit of a learning curve, but beautifully manicured nails at a fraction of the price as salon nails are totally worth it.

If you’re a beauty DIY-er like me, polygel nails are going to be your jam. The method is relatively new, but there are plenty of tutorial videos on Youtube already, and I’ve already tested it for you! I highly encourage you to hop on my bandwagon and give polygel a try. 

Hey Everyone- call me Sam! I am a Colorado transplant and senior Exercise Science student at Georgia State. Some of my passions include traveling, birds, reality television, and rock climbing.
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