Hi lovelies! As many of you will know, I work as a Beauty Therapist - now in my own salon (M Spa in Bishop's Stortford, if any of you are close enough to pop in!!) and I get a lot of clients, friends and other bloggers asking me this question very often, 'do I need to go to a salon for gel nails when I can buy a lamp myself?'. I thought I'd answer this on here as I feel it needs a little more explanation than a simple yes or no! First things first, there are now tons of gel lamps on the market on sites like Wowcher, in Boots and available to buy on eBay, Amazon etc... but this doesn't mean everyone should use them. I'm going to put it out there, I disagree with UV and LED lamps being marketed to the general public as something suitable for home use.
While it is okay to do the odd set of gel nails yourself at home, there really is a reason that professionals go on training courses to qualify in treatments like Shellac nails. Despite looking very easy and appearing no different to applying regular nail polish, there really is a specific way to do gel nails that comes with proper training and practise. Obviously gel nails can be done with a lamp you purchased in Boots and of course, you will get a longer lasting mani than if you just painted them with regular polish, but when it comes to removal, you can damaged your natural nails if this isn't done properly, you also won't get the professional finish to your mani that you'd get in a salon. These polishes that you get on these sites may also appear to be the same as the ones you'd get in a salon, but they are absolutely not. Unless a brand is a 'salon brand', chances are the quality won't be the same. I'm a firm believer in professional brands when it comes to nails, as they are so easily damaged, you want to know you're using products that are definitely safe and recommended by professionals.
I'm not completely shunning the idea of home gel kits, as obviously for those who can't afford or don't like to go to a salon they're good, as they'll always provide you with a slightly longer lasting mani, albeit not as long as the one you'd get in a salon! The one thing I have seen though and completely disagree with, is girls buying these lamps and offering gel manicures to 'clients' with no qualifications whatsoever. For one thing, these girls are not trained and are in no way insured should something go wrong. While doing this for friends and family may be fine, I definitely disagree with anyone charging the general public for services they aren't qualified to do.
So, in conclusion, as a professional, my advice would be to always go to a salon, or have a mobile beautician come to your house to have a gel mani, but if you must do it yourself, do your research, be careful and definitely don't offer services you aren't qualified to do!
What do you think? Do you do at home gel manis? What do you think about people offering these services outside of the salon?