Everyone’s talking about the new Korean gel nail craze. If you like to keep up with the latest trends in beauty, then you’ll need to know all about semi cured gel nails.
Stick around to get the full lowdown on these amazing gel nail polish wonders!
Are gel wraps a good option for you? Are they worth the money?
How long do they last and where can I get some?
Let’s answer all these questions and more.
This is the ultimate guide to semi-cured gel nails!
First thing’s first, what are semi-cured gel nails exactly?
Semi cured gel nails are gel nail polish strips that are partially cured. You apply them to bare nails just like a sticker and cure them for around 60 seconds under LED light or 120 seconds with UV light. Gel nail strips are great because they last longer than regular nail polish strips.
Okidoke, now that you have a basic answer, let’s dig a bit deeper.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this post:
What are semi cured nails?
Semi cured nails are nail polish strips made from real gel nail polish.
They have adhesive backs so are also sometimes called “gel nail stickers” or “gel nail wraps”.
You’ll need to have a uv lamp or an led lamp if you want to use them to do a gel mani.
The gel polish in these nail stickers is only partially cured.
The gel is not fully set, so the wraps are still, soft, flexible, and stretchy.
This means that gel strips are super easy to apply.
To do a gel manicure, you just stick them on, trim the excess nail wrap with a nail clipper, and then use a nail file to smooth the edges.
They come in different nail sizes and they even have cuticle line markers so you don’t put them on upside down!
Gel strips are usually somewhere between 50 and 70% cured, so you have to finish curing them under a UV light or an LED nail lamp.
They come in lots of different colors, nail sizes, and styles, so you can easily find a cute color, an effect (marble, ombre, etc), or a style that suits your look.
The packs sometimes have 2 or 3 different nail art designs in them, so you can even mix and match yay!
You can also get semi-cured gel wraps with fixed gems on them!
They even make semi-cured gel nails for toes, too.
What’s the difference between a nail polish strip and a semi-cured nail polish strip?
Semi-cured nail strips and regular nail polish strips are basically the same.
They are just made of different types of polish.
The difference between the two is the same as the difference between regular and gel nail polish.
You apply them in a similar way (by sticking them to your bare nails as close as you can get to the cuticle line).
However, you need to use a lamp to cure the gel polish ones.
Gel polish strips take a little bit longer to apply because unlike the regular polish ones, they need to be fully cured.
And gel polish wraps are a little harder to remove (you’ll need a remover that can take off gel polish).
I prefer gel polish wraps because they last longer than normal polish strips.
Where can I buy semi-cured gel nails?
Semi cured gel nails are widely available if you know where to look. Please note that some places only have one brand.
Here’s where I’ve seen them for sale (I’ll do a separate section for Amazon below as they have loads).
- I’ve seen the Glaze semi cured nail strips by Dashing Diva for sale at Sally’s (prices range between around $9 and $15) but that’s the only brand they stock.
- ULTA also has a good selection of Glaze Dashing Diva gel strips (priced between $10.99 and $13.99) but none of the other brands.
- If you go direct to the Dashing Diva website, you can get special edition nails like the Disney X Pixar Turning Red ones that are not available anywhere else.
- If you want one of the well-known Korean brands, you can find 4 of them (Edgeu, Gelato Factory, UUUUU, and Zinipin on the Gellydrops website.
- Walmart carries the Nailog brand ($13 to $16 a pack) and the Danni & Toni brand. These are both good brands.
- Walmart also has a few other brands (Tough Girl, BESTYO, fofosbeauty, GENEMA, YEUHTLL). They are available on the website but I’m not sure if you can get them in-store.
Semi cured gel nails Amazon
Of course, you can also buy semi-cured nails on Amazon.
Amazon is the only place (other than the official site) that has the Ohora brand (check price on Amazon).
This is the brand that’s all over youtube, so if you’ve watched many videos on this, then you may have heard of them already.
They have good quality thick strips with great reviews and lots of super cute options.
How long do semi cured gel nails last?
Semi cured gel nails can last up to 2 weeks with proper care.
You need to make sure that you cure them properly under a UV or LED light.
You don’t need to do this, but if you want your nails to last as long as possible, then use a good quality top coat that’s compatible with gel.
I’d highly recommend using at least 1 coat of gel topcoat to seal the strips.
It’s also important to avoid using your nails as tools, and to keep them away from harsh chemicals like detergents.
Follow this advice and you should get 10 14 days of wear out of your gel strips.
Do gel nail stickers damage nails?
It is possible to damage your nail plates or nail beds during the removal of nail stickers if you aren’t gentle.
But with proper removal, there’s no reason that you should cause any damage to nail beds.
Remember, this is gel nail polish, so you need to soak it off with acetone or remove with an appropriate gel polish remover.
Then gently peel the strip away from the bottom edge.
Its an easy process once you get the hang of it.
Acetone can dry out your nails, so use cuticle oil or another moisturizer after you remove your nails to combat this.
Are semi-cured nails safe?
Yes, semi-cured gel nails are considered safe.
Every brand has a different formula, so it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients before you purchase.
Especially if you have allergies.
Some brands like Nailog, are both vegan and cruelty-free.
Many others, like Ohora, are advertised as non-toxic and are free from lots of chemical nasties like formaldehyde and phthalates.
Pros of semi-cured gel nails
There are lots of reasons to use these amazing nail strips!
Much cheaper than a professional gel manicure. You also don’t need to go to a nail salon.
Last longer than regular nail polish or regular polish strips.
Require very little drying time (4 minutes max if you double cure).
Easy application process (I mean, you’ve been using stickers since you were 2, right?)
Great for beginners. You don’t have to know how to paint your nails.
You don’t have to put your hands under the lamp for as long so not as much UV light exposure
-Saves time, stickers are quicker and easier to apply than painting on gel polish
-They don’t smell. If you hate the smell of gel nail polish then these are great!
-you don’t need a base coat, because the strips are adhesive. but make sure you clean all the oil off your nails to prevent peeling.
-It’s much quicker than painting your nails with gel polish because there’s no curing time between coats.
-They allow you to have amazing nail art with no effort.
This last point is key for me. I love the extra strength and the increased wear I get from gel polish.
BUT, I have never been able to fully master gel nail art. I find it so much harder than doing nail art with regular polish.
I was always getting streaks and bleeding, so I gave up and stuck to just block colors.
But with these, I can have super pretty designs and a long-lasting gel mani.
Cons of semi-cured gel nails
There always has to be a downside, right?
Here are a few cons to using these types of nails.
-Firstly, they don’t always look as perfect as salon gel nails.
-They sometimes wrinkle. This is a problem with the thinner strips. I recommend using Ohora as they are super thick and don’t wrinkle.
-Finding a good size can be a bit tricky at first. It’s hard to gauge the right size until you get used to using the stickers. But you can stretch them out if they’re too small.
-Bubbles. You need to make sure that you apply them properly to avoid air bubbles (which basically lead to wrinkles)
-Peeling. I always use a top coat to stop this from happening.
-You need a uv light or LED nail lamp to cure them
-They get caught in your hair. This drives me crazy! It happens after 2 or three days when your nails start to grow out.
If you’re looking for an affordable and easy way to get salon-looking gel nails at home, then semi-cured gel nails are the way to go!
They are made from real gel nail polish, and last longer than regular polish.
They’re quick and easy to apply, and they don’t require any curing time between coats.
Just make sure you purchase good-quality strips, watch a few tutorial videos, and take your time to apply them properly.
It’s great that you don’t need to buy a full gel nail kit or visit a nail salon to get an awesome gel manicure.
All you need is a uv lamp, a nail clipper, a nail file, a wooden stick, and voila, gel nail perfection!
My absolute favorite thing about semi-cured strips is the nail art.
I love that there are so many cute designs to choose from.
If you build up a small collection you can create amazing manicures and your nails will always look fresh and different.
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about semi-cured gel nails.
So what are you waiting for? Join the semi-cured gel nail party!
I hope that you found this post useful and that I could de-mystify the new generation of Korean nail art for you guys.