Said and done, I made an appointment with my favourite OPI nail tech and former neighbour Sara, who invited me home to try the GelColor system, which is the brand's product corresonding to wellknown compedators' systems such as CND Shellac and Orly Gel FX.
For the time being, Sara had a somewhat limited selection of colors, of which I chose Louvre Me Louvre Me Not, the shimmery grape purple that originally came out in La Collecion de France in 2008. I knew a darker, more versatile shade would be preferable, since I'm planning on wearing this for at least a week or until it just falls off.
Sadly, three out of four pictures are presented to you courtesy of my iPhone camera, because I was out of batteries for my compact (I know, I suck), but here they are anyway:
Spanking new manicure, hands posing on top of OPI's new UV LED-lamp. Photo by Sara.
In the last photo you can tell that the manicure is rather thick on some nails, especially on my index. This is due to two things: first that this particular shade went on pretty sheer and needed three coats (and UV gels are of course thicker than conventional nail polish), and my index has four color coats because both Sara and I were a bit unhappy with the color contour and experimented some with additional coatings of both color and topcoat.
Except for the color coats, the manicure consists of both gel basecoat and topcoat, each added and then cured under the LED UV lamp for 30 seconds, after initially preparing clean nails with Bond Aid.
A total of five coats per nail could perhaps be perceived as a little time consuming if you do this in a salon, but the curing is quick, and since I know Sara from before we just used the time chattering away. I also stayed behind for some more chatting while Sara did her own nails in the coral Cajun Shrimp, which, unlike Louvre Me Louvre Me Not, seemed to be very well pigmented and got opaque in two coats. Since Sara is an artifical nail fiend, no basecoat was required on top of her Axxium system nails, which gave her a GelColor manicure in three coats only.
The most problematic issue to handle while doing a gel manicure, is the fact that gel colors tend to shrink very fast, which means you have to stick your little fingers under the lamp lightning fast before that happens. To avoid bare tips, they should be sealed with color at the edges as well. You can still see a tiny bit of tip where the pigments managed to escape before I exposed it to the UV light, though this is mostly noticeable at extreme closeup, of course.
Now rest assured, I will report back on how well the GelColor manicure stays put on my pretty much impossible-to-lastingly-manicure thin, soft, bendy nails. More than 24 hours after application it's still as good as new. And it better stay that way, because I don't have the original Louvre Me Louvre Me Not polish to touch up!
Swedish word of the day:
komma -noun comma
This post seems to lack some, but hey...