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ULTIMATE NON-TOXIC GEL NAIL GIFT GUIDE
I have a confession to make: I love painting my nails. Love it. I have ever since I was a little girl — well, 9 or 10, anyway. My Grammy was a beautician, and she did her nails every week. Those things were hard and strong … and long. For a while, she was giving me manicures (REAL manicures) every week. And then I started doing them myself (only not nearly as well). … And then I went to college, and life happened, and babies, and well … I just quit caring so much about doing my nails all the time. You know, life gets in the way.
And my nails got brittle. Really brittle. And I started thinking about how my nails used to be so much stronger when I was taking care of them all the time. Then, one day, I was out at the Five Below store with my two daughters (who are now 8 and 6), and we saw that they had nail polish on sale, 3 for $5. And they had color-changing “mood” nail polish! I just had to try it … toluene, formaldehyde, and all.
NAIL POLISH IS BAD FOR YOU … VERY, VERY BAD
Many major brands of nail polish (ones that I’ve used before) have some very bad stuff in them — chemicals that disrupt hormones, lead to birth defects, and cause cancer, and even some that just lead to “milder” effects like headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
We all know about that nail polish smell. It’s there for a reason — it’s a chemical cocktail. Check out this article for more information about the chemicals that might be lurking in your nail polish.
But it makes your nails look so pretty! And that’s where I get hooked. There are non-toxic versions out there, but with a very few exceptions most of them are not worth your time or your money … at least if you like for your nail polish to last (and I do).
GEL NAILS ARE BETTER … Mostly
While gel nails have been around for about a decade, I’d never heard of them until yesterday. And when I found out there were safe, non-toxic options that would keep your nails looking fabulous for two weeks at a time? I wanted to know more, so I immediately ordered my first starter kit and started doing some research.
Gel nail polish lasts for about two weeks … longer, in some cases, but I don’t recommend keeping it on that long. The longer it stays, the tougher it is to get off (even the “soak off” kind), and that could lead to your nails getting really messed up. Nobody wants that.
Please note that SOME gel nail polishes are NOT non-toxic, so do your research before buying. I’ve done my best to list only non-toxic items in this gift guide, but if you know of better options please tell me in the comments section.
If you’re just starting with DIY gel nails, then this gift guide should help you get everything you need for your first manicure. If you have someone in your life who loves fun, long-lasting manicures, then this gift guide will help you pick out the perfect present (or make the perfect gift basket) for them. Let’s get started.
SUPPLIES FOR APPLICATION
- UV or LED nail lamp – one of these is not necessarily better for you than the other. They’ll both expose you to light that is not really good for your skin (and may expose you to cancer risk, so you’ll need to add …
- Either this or this.
- Nail file
- Nail buffer
- Orange stick cuticle pusher
- Eyeshadow brush (optional – only if you want to add the nail powder)
SUPPLIES FOR DECORATION
- Base/top coat
- Gel polish, of your choice. My favorites are these and these.
- Nail powder or stickers (optional)
SUPPLIES FOR REMOVAL
- Nail polish remover – This is an excellent natural alternative to acetone and other polish removers.
- Cotton balls
- Plastic soak-off cap clips
OR YOU CAN JUST BUY THIS
This kit from NadiaGel has almost everything you or your gift recipient will need for a professional gel manicure. At just under $70 (with free shipping on Amazon), it’s a great bargain compared to buying things separately (everything on this list costs over $150 all together)… especially if you intend to buy more than one color of the gel nail polish.
I hope this post has given you some great inspiration for buying the best gel nail art gift ever! Have you have a gel manicure before? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments.