If you can’t stand a chipped manicure, you’re probably already well-versed in the world of Shellac, gel and SNS nails.But there’s a new ‘semi-hard’ nail technique in town that’s a must-try for those who take their talons seriously: Japanese gel nails.Promising longer-lasting results and a more comfortable ‘feel’, here’s everything we know so far about this new mani method…
WHAT IS JAPANESE GEL?
Japanese gel is a professional, soft-gel nail product hailing from (you guessed it) Japan.True Japanese gel products are 5-free and are made in the native country, undergoing strict quality inspection. They’re also currently sold in small batch, not mass production, further establishing them as one of the most professional gel products on the market.
A key feature of Japanese gels is that “they’re able to provide strong adhesion and easy removal when soaking off with acetone,” says Paola Ponce, Licensed Nail Stylist and Japanese Gel Nail Instructor. “As a technician who only e-files, these types of gels file like butter and unlike hard gels, they allow you to differentiate between gel and natural nail so you can confidently file it down [without risking nail damage].”
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JAPANESE GELS AND REGULAR GELS?
One of the biggest reasons Japanese gels are gaining popularity, particularly with nail artist’s in LA and NYC, is because of how versatile the product is.These gels “can be used not only for one-colour application but also for nail art as they’re highly pigmented,” explains Paola. “Japanese gel nail products use cosmetic grade pigment, allowing for single coat coverage and versatility.”And unlike other soft gels, Japanese gel can also be used to build nail extensions. Paola says this is revolutionary for nail artist’s, as it provides the strength of a hard gel “but without the bulk”.
HOW LONG DO JAPANESE GELS LAST?
If applied correctly, Japanese gels should last up to four weeks, if not longer.
WHAT’S IT LIKE GETTING A JAPANESE GEL MANICURE?
Heading to New Pop Art nail salon in Sydney, Ellie had a Japanese gel manicure after being told it would last longer than her regular Shellac.”The process was pretty much the same as a regular gel manicure”, she tells ELLE. “They applied a clear base coat, then two or three coats of colour and another clear coat.”
Japanese gel nails are set similarly to regular gels, using a UV lamp. “My appointment took a while because I got different colours, but I would say your appointment shouldn’t take any longer than a regular gel manicure.”As for the results, Ellie says she definitely prefers Japanese gels over SNS. “For me, SNS just feels really thick,” she says. “Japanese gels aren’t as bulky, but they’re still slightly thicker, and I guess therefore stronger, than a regular gel mani.”Well, we’re sold.