What are Japanese gel nails?
If K-beauty is the king of quirky skin care, then J-beauty is the queen of scientifically-led beauty. And these 'senior' royals are definitely still in business.
The latest innovation to come from our Asian neighbours? Japanese gels.
If you're a big fan of Shellac, gels and SNS nails, you're going to want to try this new technique ASAP. It's said to be just as long-lasting (if not more) than its counterparts, but that's only the beginning of its benefits.
Here's everything we know so far about Japanese gel nails.
What are Japanese gels?
Similar to Shellac, Japanese gels are a professional 'soft-gel' product that provide strong adhesion with easy removal.
According to Paola Ponce, Licensed Nail Stylist and Japanese Gel Nail Instructor, true Japanese gels will have been made in the native country, undergoing strict quality inspections. They are only currently available in small batches, not mass production, further cementing them as a professional product.
They typically come in pots, rather than paint-on bottles, and can be considered as more of a 'concentrated' gel formula.
How are Japanese gels different to Shellac?
There are two major benefits that set Japanese gels apart from regular gel: versatility and strength.
Paola says that Japanese gels are made with cosmetic grade pigment, "allowing for single coat coverage and versatility." This means they "can be used not only for one-colour application but also for nail art."
The strength of Japanese gels isn't just about longevity either. They also offer a soak-off gel builder, which Paola says is 'revolutionary'. Having an in-built gel builder means that nail technicians don't have to use a separate product to create nail extensions,.
The Japanese gel is strong enough to do so and is less 'bulky', too.
How long does a Japanese gel mani last?
If you're after the longest-lasting manicure you can get your claws on, it appears that Japanese gels might win out. Paola says "it should last four plus weeks, if done correctly." No chipping, no lifting.
What's it like getting a Japanese gel mani?
Getting a Japanese gel mani is very similar to getting a regular gel mani. The technician will apply a clear coat first, followed by one to three coats of colour and a clear coat to finish.
Japanese gels are set with a UV lamp and the entire process from start to finish takes roughly the same time as your regular gel mani appointment.
The results are slightly thicker than regular gel (but not as thick as SNS) and the same ultra-shiny finish.
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Main image: @nailartbyqueenie
Have you had a Japanese gel mani? Let us know if you've spotted it in any Aus salons below!