The application of artificial nails dates as far back as the Ming dynasty when women in the higher echelons of society, wore them to signify elevate status and like their commoner counterparts did not have to do manual labor. However it was not until 1954 that more materials were experimented with and in the late 20th century became increasing popular.
Gel nails are an alternative to an acrylic manicure giving the same effect but without the harsh chemical smell and over buffing of the nail. For the best results have them applied by a trained professional whether in the comfort of your living room or a nail salon.
First the nail must be prepared by the removal of any debris such as old nail polish, previous manicure and food or dust particles that may have been picked up just before the process. The nail is then clipped to the desired length and rough edges smoothed with a file. Next, the cuticle is gentle pushed back with a wooden or metal cuticle stick to allow for proper coverage. The tops of the nails are then buffed lightly to assist with the proper adhesion of the gel. Then a coat of primer has to be applied to assist in the removal of moisture and oils from the above mentioned process. The primer is applied using long strokes to entirely coat the nails and to avoid uneven application.
There are two types of gel polish with slight variations to the application technique. The first one is the gel polish that is applied like a nail varnish to the nails and uses a UV light as the drying agent.
The second type has more density and is applied with the same technique as acrylic powder. Starting closest to the tip of the nail a glob of gel is applied in a forward stroke motion to smooth onto the nail. A second set of gel is applied closer to the cuticle and smoothed in a downward fashion towards the nail tip to follow the natural curve of the nail and affect a natural look. This technique also uses a UV light for drying purposes but a longer drying time is necessary because of the viscosity.
Considering that the UV rays are centralized to the fingertip area and the process is undertaken once every month or two week, there is absolutely no danger to wearing gel nails.