What: Gelish Polygel System, price starts at P2000
Gelish Polygel System is basically a hybrid between hard gel and acrylic nails. But unlike hard gel, Polygel is not self-leveling and stays where your nail technician puts it; and unlike acrylic, it does not harden until it is cured using LED light. It's supposed to last up to four weeks.
I've always kept my square-shaped nails short since I don't have the luxury of time to paint my tips regularly. Given my brittle nails, whatever polish I swipe on (gel included) tends to get chipped only a couple of days later. The most that I do for my nails is a quick manicure sesh for cleaning, sometimes accompanied by a clear coat of polish. So when I heard of Polygel, I was intrigued by its promise of stronger nails and longevity without constant maintenance.
How I Used it:
Since I have short nails, the technician fashioned a paper-thin extension to fit my fingertips; she cut them into a reasonable length so that they would not disrupt my daily activities, such as typing and writing. Next, she rolled and patted on a pea-sized, odorless, and clear Polygel across each nail and the extension. After which, she applied a solution called Slip (which contains no active ingredients, so there's no need for you to worry if you have sensitive skin). I was told that it makes the Polygel easier to shape and sculpt.
After curing it under the LED light for about 30 seconds, the technician filed my now-long nails to make them look like they're naturally mine. At this point, I could have asked for only a clear coat but I was told that applying gel polish would render my nails stronger, not to mention prettier! So I did just that and even added some glitter for accent. The whole service lasted for about an hour and half for both hands, and since they were dried under LED light, I didn't need to wait too long.
It took a while before I got used to the extensions, but after a couple of days, I already forgot that I had them on! I was even using my nails to open soda cans, switch my phone's ringer button on and off, and fix bobby pins without having to fear that they might break. It felt light and natural, and did not chip off no matter how much I typed or moved. Aesthetically, no one could also tell that I had extensions on. Polygel was molded and filed around my own nails so they didn't look as bulky as compared to ordinary acrylic nails. But while the extensions didn't break, my concern had been about my natural nail growth. After a week though, my nail regrowth still wasn't that noticeable. (See below.)
IMAGE Mark Buenaobra
Overall, I would recommend this to girls like me with brittle nails, and for those who don't always have the time for a manicure sesh. It's also helpful if you travel a lot and need a no-fuss manicure that will last for weeks. The best part about Polygel is its versatility. You can use it to make your extensions look natural (like what I did) or simply overlay it on your nails to make them stronger.
The Polygel System is available at leading salons nationwide, inluding Kallista Nail Pamper Lounge at S Maison, Beauty Source in Greenhills, Beauty & Butter Nail Lounges, Be Pampered Nail Studio in BGC, ECRU in Banawe and White Plains, The Spa at Reveal and Reveal Nail Lounge in La Union, Aura Salon in Uptown Mall and Katipunan, and Nail Distrique in Tomas Morato.
Application starts at P2000 and professional removal starts at P300.