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Semi-permanent varnish or gel nails : what are the different techniques?

       Semi-permanent varnish or gel nails: what are the different techniques?

Semi-permanent varnish or gel: what are the different nail techniques

Nail polish has known various trends and in recent years has diversified by its mode of application and its composition. Applying a semi-permanent varnish or gel facilitates the beauty routine of many women who do not have to reapply a varnish almost daily that risks flaking or being damaged within 10 minutes. We will also see that some varnishes offer a more natural composition to take care of the nails and even products specially designed for women undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Pharma GDD sheds light on all these techniques while informing you about the health of your nails.

The history of varnish

The custom of coloring the nails goes back to the dawn of time. We know that from 3000 years before Jesus Christ, the Chinese used a kind of colored lacquer, then applied later, in 600 before JC, on their nails of gold and silver to show their royal belonging.

In Egyptian Antiquity, the use of Henna made its appearance bringing a brown-red color.

Ancient Egypt also had a color code as a social distinction. The women of royalty painted their nails a ruby red color while the women of popular origin used pastel colors.

Fashions have crossed the centuries to see, little by little, the disappearance of the use of varnish which was for most people synonymous with bad style because it was frowned upon to show a brilliant manicure. Sobriety and discretion were the order of the day, preferring short, discreetly varnished nails.

It was only during the 20th century, in Western countries and more precisely around 1930 that the fashion for varnish made its big comeback with Hollywood cinema and its muses such as Rita Hayworth or Jean Harlow who launched the fashion for red. scarlet on the nails.

The 70s, known for their eccentricity and a sartorial revolution, offered blue, green, and others that were all the more "flashy" in connection with the "Flower-power" years.

The 80s kept pace with metallic and electric colors to finally fade and return to more nude and discreet shades like the French-manicure in the 2000s.

Why do we speak of French manicure? Little anecdote ... This expression straight from the United States, was invented in the 1970s for Hollywood stars in reference to the "French-Touch" which evokes the elegance and refinement of French fashion, a kind of homage.

This naturalness of hue also makes it possible to associate any clothing color without fault of taste.

In 2011, increasingly sophisticated techniques resulting from various technologies are changing nail polish methods, such as semi-permanent gel which ensures optimal manicure for 2 weeks, and permanent gel a technique that offers the longest duration. , about 4 weeks.

The different nail polishes

Ordinary varnishes

Nail polish has evolved over the years by offering shades and components that are less harmful to the nails. These varnishes offer a double-action, adorning the nails while providing care to the matrix to strengthen and harden them.

It is important to choose compositions without formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), just like the parabens of carcinogenic endocrine disruptors, without toluene, a solvent that is very irritating to the respiratory tract but also to the eyes. This component is mainly used in the manufacture of explosives.

More and more brands are going “green” by offering healthier compositions, especially for varnishes enriched with urea and silicon, the aim of which is to protect and strengthen the nails during chemotherapy.

Indeed, during the duration of the protocol, the nails are particularly weakened and can fall because they are dehydrated and depleted in various minerals.

This kind of silicon-based nail polish fixes calcium and fights against demineralization of the nail. The silicon will stimulate the production of keratin in order to make the nail stronger. For the sake of complete protection of the integuments, these varnishes have the particularity of being provided with a sun filter, to preserve the nail matrix from harmful UV rays and their anti-migration pigments will prevent the nails from staining.

To obtain a perfect varnish application, you will need to use a base coat to protect the nail and apply two coats of lacquer varnish.

The topcoat is recommended to ensure shine and hold and promote homogeneity of the varnish while protecting it.

A fixer will also be recommended to speed up the drying time and avoid any incident.

semi-permanent varnish or gel : what are the different nail techniques

Water-based varnishes

Water-based varnishes are also developed to avoid any controversial substance, by facilitating its removal and avoid the use of a nail polish remover that can weaken the nails. They will wash off with just soap and water. This type of polish is ideal for little girls who want to be like their mom.

Semi-permanent varnish or gel: what are the different nail techniques

Organic nail polish

Organic varnishes are made from natural ingredients based on corn, potato, wheat, and cassava capable of competing with other varnishes with more chemical formulas. Of course, they do not last more than 2 days, but they prove to be a good alternative in terms of ecology and health and are rather used for an occasion, not for everyday life.

Gel and semi-permanent varnish: the nail art revolution

Applying gel is a more complex technique to apply than applying varnish. It needs to be performed by a professional nail technician called a nail technician when you are a novice. For the more experienced, more and more brands have been created and accessible to anyone who wishes to perform their installation themselves.

This type of service requires nail preparation, that is to say, that you must first perform a manicure by pushing back and cutting the cuticles to provide a clear nail and prevent the gel from settling on these small skins, which are liable to cause the gel to detach.

For this, it is necessary to bring manicure accessories such as emollient water as well as a cuticle regrowth or quite simply small boxwood sticks that we surround with a little cotton. Then, you will need to use pliers to delicately cut the small skin and cuticles and finish with a light massage of the nail around the edges with sweet almond oil.

Semi-permanent varnish or gel: what are the different nail techniques

Semi-permanent varnish

Semi-permanent nail polish is a good compromise because it can be applied like nail polish or with a brush without going particularly through a professional. It requires the application of different products to prepare the nail and a UV or LED lamp to catalyze the varnish.

Semi-permanent varnish is a combination of classic varnish and acrylic gel which provides better resistance than ordinary varnish and is removable with acetone. It makes the nail brighter and more opaque. This technique allows you to keep a varnish for 15 days without being chipped or tarnished.

It will be applied in 4 or 5 layers on natural nails. This is the same process as a standard varnish application. You will have to start by polishing the nail to facilitate the adhesion of the many coats then proceed with a special semi-permanent varnish base application than 2 or 3 coats of varnish and a layer of topcoat for the finish. The semi-permanent varnish is dried under a UV lamp intended for the nail salon which hardens the varnish and gives it a solid shape.

The UV or LED lamp facilitates the drying of each layer of varnish applied. This technique catalyzes the varnish.

A semi-permanent varnish application takes between 25 and 30 minutes when the service is done in an institute.

The semi-permanent varnish should be completely removed after two weeks with the natural regrowth of the nail starting to show. The removal called "removal" takes a little more time than a simple application of solvent, about 30 minutes. You must first carefully sand the first layer of semi-permanent varnish then apply a solvent with acetone and let the product act on the nails for about 15 minutes using small tweezers that hold the cotton on the nail.

Finally, it will be necessary to use a cuticle pusher and emollient water to remove the softened varnish. Finally, to rid the nail of the fine greasy film that persists, it is advisable to use a "cleaner" to "degrease" the nail.

Semi-permanent varnish or gel: what are the different nail techniques

Permanent gel

The installation of gel is a service to be done in a beauty salon or a nail bar to be carried out in the best way. The permanent gel is formulated from pigmented acrylic polymers that are applied to natural nails and will harden and then give a thicker and more rounded effect than semi-permanent varnish. It is also possible to lengthen the nails with a gel specially designed to obtain prostheses that will harden and take on the appearance of a nail so that they are all the same size.

Before starting to apply the gel, you must first file the top of the nail and its contour using a coarse-grained file in order to cancel the shine of the horny plate.

Then, it will be necessary to apply using a special brush a first base coat of adhesion then let dry 30 seconds under the UV or LED lamp and apply a "primer" without acid while avoiding the cuticles.

The first layer of base UV gel is applied and dried under a lamp. The first coat of color gel is applied and catalyzed and then covered with a thicker second.

it will take a to finish apply 2 thin coats of finishing gel then catalyze for 2 minutes under the lamp and then "degrease" the excess UV gel using a "cleaner" and apply a moisturizer and cuticle oil

A complete installation takes about 1h45 and the removal takes about 45 minutes or even 1 hour in the institute.

For people who wish to leave the gel longer than 15 days, it is also possible to make a "filling", that is to say, to add varnish on the space of the nail which has grown and avoid remove everything. However, it should not exceed more than 4 weeks with the same application of the gel.

However, this technique is not recommended when the nature of the nail is fragile and soft. The nail needs to "breathe" and return to its natural state.

It can suffocate and be brittle. This is due to the different layers of varnish (about 5 or 6 including the base and the top coat) which form a weight on the nail and cause support and an occlusive effect.


It will be preferable to perform a complete removal than to leave the nails natural for a few weeks before repeating.

Semi-permanent varnish or gel: what are the different nail techniques

Semi-permanent varnish and permanent gel: the health risks

It should be borne in mind that the nail allows the penetration of active ingredients and harmful products. It is porous in nature which makes it particularly sensitive to chemicals such as detergents which attack and deteriorate the top layer of the nail which becomes brittle. Gel polishes are formulated from formaldehyde, xylene toluene, and other toxic chemicals which are bioaccumulative, meaning that they remain in our body and are not eliminated. They pass through the liver, respiratory system, and skin. The routine of the beauty salon weakens the nails by dehydration making them more fragile and thinner.

This type of nail polish applied permanently, can damage the nails due to the abrasive binder and sanding which facilitates the adhesion of the varnish or gel. The fact of applying an occlusive product can also generate bacteria, fungi between the gel and the nail which will gradually develop and create a fungal infection of the nail. To avoid this, it is necessary to use accessories, sanitized equipment, and use great hygiene.

The drying process via UV lamps is considered the worst step in the process as they are likely to lead to UV exposure, brown spots on the hands, or even sunburn with repeated exposure. The use of LED lamps is also recommended because it represents much less danger. Placing your hands under the UV lamp makes the skin dry and has the same effect as sun exposure without protection.

To minimize the risks, it is advisable to apply sunscreen to the hands when using a UV lamp.

New nail technologies are making life easier for women by providing them with long-lasting wear and shiny nails for several weeks. However, it is necessary to know how to use the different products while leaving the nails to rest from time to time or to opt for ordinary silicon-based or organically formulated varnishes to take care of his dander safely.