*An update added a few months later:
I've heard some concern about the lights used to cure gel nails being carcinogenic-possible cause of skin cancer. I don't know...it's the same kind of light that is used in tanning beds-not that that makes anyone feel better. ;) I thought it would be worth adding a note here if anyone should happen upon this post later that there are different lights that don't cause skin damage available (LED lights). They dry faster as well...but are more expensive running about $200. This is the reason a lot of people are buying the cheaper cure lamps and using a towel to cover their hands or simply using sun screen at the beginning of the manicure.
Also, I want to stress here since the video I mentioned has been removed (still many tutorials on how to do this available online). Your manicure won't last as long as I've stated unless you do super thin layers which aids proper drying and adhesion. If the layers are too thick, it raises the polish off the nail slightly while curing and will eventually peel. By thin layers I mean, get almost all the polish off the brush before applying to the nail and gently and slowly stroke it on. This is not like typical nail polish and won't start to dry up and get gummy if you don't use a big glob of it. Also, make sure to clean up any nail polish that may get on you skin to prevent the polish from peeling up as well from the edges. That's all. =)
I never thought I would see the day...that I had to actually trim my nails back because they got too long for one or that I would be posting anything about nails at all. I like things that work better...and at home gel nails (Gelish-Harmony brand specifically) is one of those things. While everyone and their dog have already blogged, tweeted and facebooked about it, I thought it was still worth the news flash to other moms out there that maybe haven't heard. The initial set up is about as much as two manicures at a salon...so it's the same cost as the traditional polish at home after you get a light-but it looks way better. Main differences...you only do this about once a month, maybe twice. Seriously. We're talking 12ish times a year and you don't think about it the rest of the time. If you're lucky enough to be out on a date with your sweetie and look down at the menu, you won't think "sheeesh, should have done my nails quick before we left" instead, it's like "yeeesh, my nails have grown out a lot...when was the last time I did that gel stuff...hmmmmm...two weeks ago". They stay shinny and you have to redo them because it looks bad from growth at the top of the nail...but this stuff stays on... seriously, I beat on them hard day in and day out. They have to go under the light to cure, but when you're done, the nails are totally dry, like go wash dishes right afterward dry. That's about all I have to say about it...once you get into the swing of it, it's really fun to pamper a sister or friend with a salon grade nail polish too. =) I put a how to movie along the side panel if your interested-it's got all the tips that I would write out here if someone asked how to do it. Be sure to remove any gel nails as shown so you don't peel your nails into layers. Here's a picture of nails about two weeks after application; looking a little rough on top...but I just put cuticle oil on them and go on with my day-you have a great day! =)
Though Christian likes to hold a cup like mommy...he doesn't share my interest in nails-neither does Luke. ;)