How Do I Choose the Best French Gel Manicure?

S. Reynolds
S. Reynolds
The French manicure consists of a light pink nail bed and a white tip.
The French manicure consists of a light pink nail bed and a white tip.

Choosing the best French gel manicure includes making sure the products used are high quality and that the manicurist has extensive training with gel nail application. Quality gel manicures should be odorless and will not require the use of powder. If you experience a chemical smell or if the manicurist uses powder, you're likely not getting a true gel manicure. When the manicure is done correctly, white nail tips are first applied to the tips of the natural nails, and gel nails require the use of a UV lamp to harden the product onto the natural nail bed. A good French gel manicure will last up to three weeks without the need for touchups.

The French manicure, which has a pink nail bed and a white tip, is very popular with women because it goes with any outfit and always looks polished and professional. Gel nails are more flexible and durable than acrylic nails, which can cause natural nail breakage and do not last as long. Some women — and men — get clear gel applied over their natural nails to keep them strong and shiny.

A quality French gel manicure should be odorless. If it smells like chemicals, it is probably not gel that is being applied to the nails. It may be acrylic, which has a strong, distinctive odor. Gel manicures also do not use any powders, so if the nail technician is using powder to apply the product, then it is not a true gel manicure.

When the gel is being applied to the nails, only a thin coat should be used. Thick coats of gel can cause the natural nails to get hot and feel burned when under the UV lamp. One sign of a quality French gel manicure is the light use of gel, applied in multiple layers. It also is important to ensure high-quality products are being used, and it generally is best to stick with name brands. Low-quality products will reveal themselves quickly, as the gel tends to chip after only a few days.

The best gel manicure will look natural. The type of tip applied is also important when choosing extensions. The white tips should have a natural-looking curve and not extend too far past the natural nails.

A trained gel manicurist will make sure that her clients return to get their gel nails filled and rebalanced every few weeks. The natural nails continue to grow underneath the hardened gel, so the gel needs to be filled to blend in with the natural nail. Then, more gel is applied to the new nail growth and hardened under the UV lamp.

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    • The French manicure consists of a light pink nail bed and a white tip.
      The French manicure consists of a light pink nail bed and a white tip.