Over the past 12 months, long-lasting light-cured manicures have stormed the nail scene. Women who never got manicures (“because they don’t last on me”) are falling in love with color
all over again. I am often asked about the safety of these new long-lasting light cured manicures, so here’s my take.
First of all, I LOVE light-cured polish. they have changed the way I use my hands when I have a manicure. The polish is ultra-shiny, and I’ve gotten up to three weeks of wear, even with scrubbing pots, children, and unpacking boxes. Here are my tips for the enjoying this new trend – safely.
Jane’s “So True” / “So False” Breakdown of Light Cured Manicures
- You should wait always wait 5 to 10 minutes before grabbing for your keys after a manicure. SO FALSE: Light-cured manicures harden to a shine immediately, so you can dig all you want for your keys – right away! This was the hardest thing for me to get used to – I still hold my credit card gingerly after a manicure.
- This polish has to be cured under UV light, exposing your hands to harmful skin damage. SO FALSE: Most types of long-lasting polish can be cured using LED light stations, which are more expensive to purchase but are just as effective in only half the time. Look for salons and spas that offer LED light curing, and avoid UV light stations.
- Long-lasting polish is permeable. SO TRUE: Light-cured polish is permeable, so it won’t trap water and become a breeding ground for fungus the way artificial
nails can. Also, hydrators like cuticle oil can absorb through to your nail and continue to nourish your nail.
- How can it last so long without carcinogens? It must contain toxins! SO FALSE: Many brands of light-cured polish do not contain toluene, formaldehyde or DBP.
- Like gel polish, light-cured polish has to be filed off. SO FALSE. One of the advantages of light-cured manicures is that the polish can be removed using
professional grade nail polish remover. Never allow a nail technician to file your nail bed, which can lead to thin, weakened nails that can take up to six months to grow out.
- Shellac is the only brand of light-cured polish. SO FALSE. There are many, many brands of light cured polish (Nails Magazine is full of them!), and some have a
broader color selection than others.
At Julep, we use all these best practices in our proprietary “Fab for 14” manicure, which features the best professional formulation of “three free” light-cured polish, LED light (not UV), and gentle removal without filing the nail bed. And sometimes my Fab for 14 ends up being Fab for 21.