Splurging on a gel polish manicure is a splurge that doesn't fade away in a day or two, it lasts two whole weeks.

Gel Polish Manicure(110289)Credit: Skye McKiernanJustifying splurges is hard in tough economic times, but if you are careful and make a good investment in your splurge it can be more than worth it. My favorite splurge is to get my nails done, but not with regular old nail polish. I prefer the gel polish hybrid manicures like Shellac, Gelish or OPI Gel Color because they last two weeks, or sometimes more for me. They are more expensive than traditional manicures, but worth the added expense because they last so much longer.

A Manicure that Isn’t Just a Manicure

Spending half an hour at a little nail salon down the street will give you a manicure, but a gel polish hybrid manicure is not your ordinary nail polish application. Gel polish hybrids take longer to apply, if done correctly, and each layer is cured separately under either a UV or LED lamp. While traditional nail polish manicures can chip within a day or two, gel polish hybrid manicures tend to last longer, with some products offering a guarantee of two weeks of wear. The extended chip-free wear time makes it so this splurge lasts longer than it would otherwise, making it more cost-effective, too. The increased time it takes to get a gel polish hybrid is worth the time if you consider it extra time to enjoy yourself and take time away from the daily grind that gets you down.

Salon versus Nail Shop

You can get a gel polish hybrid, like OPI Gel Color or Shellac by CND, both at the strip mall type nail shops and at a full service salon. The difference between the two types of shops comes down to the overall experience, and sometimes the training of the technician on the particular type of product they are applying to your nails. Often times salon based technicians go through extra training provided by the brands that create special products like Shellac so they know exactly how to apply the polish to make sure you get the longest possible wear time with no chips or dulling of color. Employees at strip mall type nail shops may be taught to apply products faster to allow for more clients throughout the day, which can sometimes compromise the wear time of your preferred gel polish hybrid.

Making it a Truly Relaxing Experience

A salon type atmosphere also has the edge in providing you with a bit of a getaway from your daily stressors. The hectic life we all lead is sometimes made even more hectic in a nail shop because you rush in, wait patiently for an opening, then finally get your turn only to be rushed through your service. At a salon or day spa there are more relaxing elements including things like beverages, extra services like massage if you want to add those on to your nail service, or better nail and hand products that are more luxurious for your skin. The cost is often slightly more, but when you factor in that you only need to get manicures ever two weeks with gel polish hybrids, the cost difference ends up being about the same as if you had to get a manicure more often.