I am a big fan of anything that saves time and makes life easier, especially when it comes to beauty shortcuts. A BB cream that hydrates, evens out your skintone and has an SPF? Gimme. A dry oil that adds gloss to your locks and gives your limbs a silky sheen? Where do I sign up? A lip tint that does double duty on your cheeks? I’ll take ten, please.
So, naturally, when it comes to manis, I go for the easy, long-lasting gel or Shellac option. Two weeks of chip-free, high-gloss nails equals a win in my books. The downside? The removal process can be harsh, and my nails need a holiday now and then to recover – they usually end up weakened and more prone to breakage. Plus the drying under the UV light? Um, hello skin damage!
So when I was recently rounding up Melbourne’s best manicures, I was pretty excited to have a friendly reader alert me to a CBD salon offering organic gel. I booked in quick smart, and was a sucker for the sales spin. Instead of two weeks, I was promised three; instead of damaged nails, I was promised stronger, healthier, happier nails following the treatment. Rather than a couple of minutes under damaging UV rays, I was told these babies would dry virtually instantly.
The verdict? Three weeks in, my nails definitely seem healthier and stronger, and the polish is still chip-free and pretty as a picture. I have yet to remove the polish (since my colour is still going strong), but I’m told it’s a breeze to remove. No more soaking your fingertips off for five interminable minutes in a bowl of acetone, then hacking away with a metal implement of torture.
As for the application, it’s quite odd if you’re used to regular gel. Instead of layers of polish, your fingers are dipped into highly pigmented powder (don’t worry, it doesn’t stick to the skin!). At first I was thinking my nails would end up matte, as this is how it appears during the process. But a final glossy layer was added at the very end, and my nails were shiny as nobody’s business. As promised, the varnish was dry within a minute.
I spent a bit of time trawling the interwebs for info on this new nail trend and, to be honest, what I did find was a bit sketchy and incomprehensive at best. Some nail technicians scoffed at the idea of organic gel and were questioning the composition of this ‘natural’ powder and its ability to improve nail condition.
So, perhaps it’s worth taking the claims with a grain of salt – some even claim to be safe to eat, but if you’re planning on doing that, we need to talk. Personally, I find the process intriguing and the results have impressed. Next time I need my nails did, I’ll definitely be going organic gel. Now, if only I could find one that lasts four weeks…
(I had my organic gel applied at Q&H Nails in the Royal Arcade, Melbourne CBD)