Friday, October 17, 2014
Salon Edge UV Lamp for Gel Nails #Review
I don't post any gel nail art, so you might be wondering what I'm doing with a gel uv lamp. I've actually been dabbling in gel for a little while now. I started with a little 9w, then I bought an LED version, and now I have this Salon Edge 36w UV lamp, which I'm glad to add to my collection!
As you may know, the wattage is just indicative of how much power it sucks in, not of how much light it emits. This unit has 4 bulbs that are 9w each. What makes this lamp work really well is that the bulbs are placed on both the top and sides of the machine, and that the inside is covered in highly reflective surfaces. This helps ensure that all of your nails - even your thumb - can get an even distribution of the UV light.
This machine is about twice the size of my 9w lamp, but it's so lightweight, you can easily take it with you. Its size also means that you can put your whole hand in to cure at one time. Sure, my LED lamp cures the gel faster, but then I have to do my thumbs separately, which actually makes the amount of time spent doing my manicure about the same. The slide out drawer makes it simple to remove the bulbs if necessary, and it allows you to cure gel polish pedicures easily.
One thing that neither of my other lamps have is this handy timer. If you just press the power button, the lamp will go for as long as you want. If you hit the timer button, it will set the timer for 90, 120, or 180 seconds. Most gels cure in 2 minutes, so that's a really handy feature!
Obviously, if you want to do home gel manicures that last, you'll want a UV lamp. But what about someone like me, who changes their polish every day?
I've been giving myself gel manicures every week to 10 days, but only using a topcoat! Having this layer of gel has really helped protect my nails and allowed them to grow longer and stronger than I've ever been able to grow them before. And, unlike acrylic, gel is flexible, so if I hit my hand.. if, if... WHEN I hit my hand on something, it doesn't automatically break the nail.
I did try to fix a tear on my left hand with nail glue, but it didn't work, so I decided that I'd give a soak-off gel system with tips a chance. This is my first attempt, so it's not perfect, and this nail is a little wonky anyway, so I put the tip up higher than normal. It was so easy to use this lamp to cure just that finger for the builder gel, and then add the rest of my hand for the top coat.
For me, the test of a smooth nail is how a holo looks on it. No ridge filler is going to give you the smoothness of a gel nail! Face Stockholm Leto is a gorgeous nude holo, that went on like buttah, and I'm loving that rainbow shine. (I didn't cure the holo - that's just polish I applied over the gel.)
And when I'm done with this, I can use either a non-acetone remover - or I even use my regular acetone one - and remove the polish, and the gel will still be shiny and strong underneath. Of course, the more applications of acetone, the more opportunities for damage to the gel, but I usually get a week or 10 days of constant nail polish changing out of a gel manicure.
If you'd like more information about Salon Edge, you can find them on their webpage, Facebook, and Twitter. I purchased this unit through Amazon.com, and you can also find it (and lots of other salon stuff) on their website.
If you have questions about the safety of using a UV lamp, I did a post with Karen New, owner of Spa Touch, LLC, where she discusses this hotbed issue. There's also lots of new information about the safety of UV lamps. I recommend looking up expert Doug Schoon for more science behind the nails.
Have you ever tried a gel manicure? What do you think about using clear gel as a base to protect your nails?
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.