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Julie Kandalec

Get The Safest Gel Manicure

Written on June 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm , by

A few preventative meaures will ensure your gel-manicured nails stay healthy.

Ah, the price of beauty: When it’s time to remove our lustrous gel manicure, we’re left with scraggly nail beds. Yikes! Before brittle nails turned us off from gel lacquer for good, we asked Julie Kandalec, a celebrity manicurist in New York City for the 4-1-1 on preventing shredded beds and keeping tips in top shape.

Survey the salon “Going to a reputable salon is most important for a safe gel experience,” she says. “When the product is improperly applied or removed, it can compromise the top layer of the nail.” CND Shellac and GelColor by OPI let you search for a trustworthy location near you.

Remove wisely “Be sure the gel polish is being removed properly to preserve the health of your nails,” Kandalec says. “Most brands should come off with soaking. Never, ever pick it or let someone file gels off!”

Take a break She recommends doing two to three sessions of gel polish for no more than two weeks per manicure (the longer you leave them on, the more time the molecules have to crosslink, making the gel more difficult to remove). Then remove the polish and do regular manicures for at least a month before going back to gels.

Heap on hydration Be sure to properly moisturize nails and cuticles both during and after the removal process. Kandalec recommends applying cuticle oil at least once a day to keep nails strong between appointments.

—By Cody Marick, beauty intern

Senior Editor Bethany Gumper’s DIY Nail Art!

Written on June 6, 2012 at 10:29 am , by

Bethany's beautiful two-toned manicure!

When Senior Editor Bethany Gumper came by our desk showing off her DIY nail art, we had to share: The dual-toned mint green and purple manicure is perfect for late spring/early summer, and looks intricate but is super-easy to do. She modified these simple instructions from Julie Kandalec, a celebrity manicurist in New York City in our May 2012 “Nail It!” feature:

  • Paint on two coats of a base color, like mint green, and let your nails dry.
  • Using an accent color, such as lilac, swipe two more coats over half of your nail.
  • Finish with a topcoat for shine and staying power.