The pros and cons of doing your own gel manicures

TULSA - Less polish chipping, faster drying and  it lasts up to two weeks? These are just a few of the reasons women love Shellac or gel manicures.

It's dubbed the "miracle mani." Customers, like beauty consultant Carmen Richardville, says the gel manicures make life easy because the polish is basically indestructible.

PHOTOS: Doing your own gel manicure

"I would not go back to regular polished manicures," said Richardville.

Now beauty stores like Sephora are offering at home gel nail kits for a fraction of the cost and you don't need an appointment.

Tricia Holland spent approximately $160 on her Sephora by OPI gel nail kit and says it's worth every penny.

"[The price] is equivalent to three mani/pedis in the salon," said Holland.

Since this mom of twins already has her hands full, she likes this product because she can get her nails done while the kids nap, and doesn't have to worry about a dry time. 

"I could pick them out of the crib without having to stop what I'm doing," said Holland.

Taking the polish off hasn't been quite as easy as in the salon. She said it is the one downside. 

Lacy Milliken, nail technician at Rick Craig Salon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has had 100 percent of her clients switch from regular manicures to gel nail polish just in the last couple of years. Milliken agrees at home seems easier than making an appointment, but says customers should be wary since proper sanitizing materials are not included in the home kits. 

Whether at home or in a salon, gel manicures are credited with helping nail polish sales hit a record $768 million in 2012, according to Time. It seems either way a lot of women are making a choice: break the bank or chip a nail. 

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