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It's been nearly a year since I tried my first gel manicure. I'd previously been under the illusion that gel nails were best left to the pros. While it's still nice to swing by the nail salon every so often, I'm completely confident that gel manicures are a DIY must! From durability to duration, there are heaps of reasons to love gel polish.
Here at Nayld, we stock three of the industry's best brands of gel polish. With new colours coming in constantly, you can always fill your gel polish cravings here. However, there's no point having all that gel unless you have the right light to make them shine! This week on Beauty HQ we've put together the ultimate buying guide to help you buy the perfect nail curing lamp!
The key difference between UV and LED nail lamps is the curing technology. LED lamps harness a newer directional lighting technology. They use targeted bulbs to direct light at the precise points your nails lie, whereas UV lamps emit a broader scope of light.
The targeted light used by LED lamps is what enables them to cure quicker.(5-60 seconds for LED vs 120 seconds for UV).
LED lights also last significantly longer before needing a replacement. The optimum lifespan for LED is up to 50,000 hours compared to a UV lamp's 100 hours.
Given the above facts, many nail techs now prefer to only use LED curing lamps. That being said, your needs may not be the same as a busy nail salon! A UV light offers the benefit of a lower price point. If you're simply using your lamp for personal bi-weekly or tri-weekly use, a UV lamp will last you many manicures before a replacement bulb will be needed! The second advantage of a UV lamp is that it's a safer bet in terms of curing. UV lamps do not focus their light as rigidly as LED lamps. Therefore, it's easier to create a perfect cure without having to concentrate on perfect hand placement.
We suggest this lamp as the ideal starter for new gel users! The affordable price point and easy operation make the 5-45 a great pick for your first LED nail curing lamp. It's super efficient LED bulbs produce a lot of light compared to traditional UV lamps, allowing your nails to cure so quickly!
FYI: The 5-45 lamp can NOT be used with some of Gelish's other professional products including Gelish Hard Gel and Gelish PolyGel.
Consider the 18G+ the big sister of the 5-45. She's related, but she has a few bonus features and a bit more diversity than the 5-45!
The 18G Plus can cure ALL gel systems in the Harmony family. This includes Gelish Gel Polish, Gelish Polygel and Gelish Hard Gel. The 18G has different settings to suit the specific system you're working with.
This powerful nail lamp is chock full of innovative features! The 18G Plus includes a 60-second "comfort cure setting." This feature helps to mitigate burning or heat spikes by gradually increasing power for the first 30 seconds.
The 18G Plus helps you save time by curing faster. The removable tray makes it easy to use this lamp for pedicures. The protective eyeshield protects any UV rays from coming into your line of sight.
Another one of our favourite big-name brands, Color Club offers their own LED lamp for use with gel polish.
Why make this lamp your go-to? While it's possible to cross brands between your gel polishes and lamps, we recommend playing it safe whenever possible! If you're already stocked up on Color Club's gel polish, opt for their LED lamp to seal the deal!
Sticking with the same manufacturer allows you to rest assured, knowing that all elements of your nail routine were created to be cohesive! Sticking with the same system prevents any uncured gel from accumulating on the surface of the nail plate.
BONUS: This lamp, along witl ALL Color Club products are now 30 percent off on our site! Shop now to score these massive savings!
Opt for UV if you've had trouble curing gel polish in the past. As we mentioned above, the targeted lighting technology used by LED lamps leaves greater room for error when it comes to curing. UV lamps have a broader scope of light. making your hand placement less crucial.
After about 100 hours of use, you'll need to replace the bulbs in your CND UV lamp. We stock a convenient 4 pack so you'll never be caught without the curing power you need!
CND's LED lamp is also a great choice for nail queens who have their own supply of CND Shellac polish. While we do not currently stock this professional range, we're a big fan of the hybrid gel/polish technology!