The Benefits of Gel vs. Regular Nail Polish
When you go to the local nail salon, you have more then just one option when it comes to what type of manicure you would like. You can get regular polish or gel, or mix them together if you want regular polish with a gel top coat. But a lot of people are not up-to-date on gel polishes and may be missing out.
A regular manicure, if done with great base and top coats by a good nail technician, can last up to two full weeks with no chipping or cracking, like when I go to my favorite nail technician. But sometimes, when I am in a rush and go to a nearby nail spa that does not use all the products that I know work for my nails, the manicure only last a week, and I notice chipping in about two days. Take note of how a good job is done on your nails by a nail technician you really like, so if you are ever in another area you can request a specific base coat be used or have your nails filed down beforehand, etc.
For me, because I like to change my nail color weekly or biweekly to match my outfits or the events I am attending, I use regular polish so I can easily and quickly remove it and do a quick polish change at home or have my nails ready to get a new color as soon as I walk into the salon.
A lot of my girlfriends get gel polish, and they have it on their nails for up to a month. Around the third or fourth week their nails are starting to show the grow out and chipping may have just started, but all-in-all, the color stays solid, thick and they can totally get away with keeping gel polished nails for about a month.
The benefits of gel polish are a longer lasting manicure so you do not have to go to your nail technician as often, and a great finish that looks glossy (or matte as some of the new gel colors are). But also know that in order to take off gel polish, you have to go back to a nail salon so that they can wrap your nails in aluminum foil with special acetone to remove it, which is an extra charge. On top of that, gel polish is more expensive than a regular polish, but also a lot more durable.
It is advisable to give your nails sometime to rest after repeated gel polish manicures because the acetone used to remove the polish can be particularly drying to your nails, and gel polish can also damage your nail plate by removing of the very adherent gel polish.