Mama's Got a Brand New Mani

Remember the days when getting the perfect manicure was as simple as picking your favorite hue of polish at a local salon? That's no longer true thanks to a bevy of new manicure options that put Mama's classic manicure in a class with rabbit ear televisions.

Today's mani options include several no-chip varieties such as Shellac, Gelish, GelColor and Axxium by OPI. This week, we've rounded up what you must know about the newest manicures and which type may be right for you.

No Chip In This Armor

A no-chip mani is the Holy Grail of nail care but with new technology comes new concerns. When opting for a Gel Manicure of any kind, be sure to choose a reputable salon that won't over file your natural nails before applying the product. Some filing may be necessary, but too much filing to the nail itself (not the tip) can cause damage. Also, some experts recommend opting for salons that use LED lights to dry nails rather than UV dryers as a way to limit UV exposure to the hands.

Shellac: Created by CND, the Shellac manicure promises 14-day wear, a mirror finish, no drying time and no damage to nails. The Shellac manicure includes application of a base coat, a color coat and a top coat which is then cured with a UV Lamp. The Shellac formulas is 3-free, can be used on natural nails or enhancements, and is removed by a nail professional in about 10 minutes with no filing necessary. Recently, CND announced that it is introducing "additives" in July of this year, 12 pure pigments and lustrous effects that can be layered over Shellac.

Gelish: Created by Hand & Nail Harmony, Gelish is a soak-off gel polish that is best applied professionally at salons and spas. The gel applies like polish but is cured with an LED lamp in 30 seconds (or two minutes with a UV lamp). Available in 72 shades plus EFX via the Magneto line, Gelish manis are said to last up to three weeks and are also best soaked off by a professional. Some say Gelish is more affordable than the other gel manicures on the market; compare prices at your local salon or spa.

OPI GelColor: OPI recently launched a new LED-cured soak-off gel manicure called Gelcolor -- not to be confused with Axxium by OPI which has been around for several years. Gelcolor goes on like polish, cures quickly, and lasts for weeks. Gelcolor needs two minutes per coat under fluorescent UV light bulbs too cure but unlike Axxium, Gelcolor can be cured with LED lights. Gelcolor comes in a polish bottle, unlike Axxium which comes in pots, and has a thinner consistency than Axxium.

Whichever manicure you choose, one thing's for sure, with the newest long-lasting gel manicures you'll visit the salon less frequently for maintenance, freeing up more of your time for things like errands, workouts and meetings. Maybe Mom was on to something with her old-fashioned manicures after all.

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