What Are Solar Nails? The Low-Maintenance Manicure

I absolutely love getting my nails done. There’s something so satisfying about walking out of the salon with a fresh set. But as a busy career woman, I don’t always have time for bi-weekly infills. That’s why I was drawn to solar nails – they last so much longer! If you’re curious about these durable artificial nails, here’s everything you need to know.

What Are Solar Nails?

Let’s start with the basics – solar nails are a type of acrylic nail, created by the professional nail care brand Creative Nail Design (CND). Don’t let the name confuse you – solar nails have nothing to do with solar energy!

Many people assume solar nails are just regular acrylics or a basic French manicure. But they’re actually their own unique product. Solar nails are composed of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) powders and liquids. This acrylic material is designed for strength and longevity.

The brand also offers decorative gel colors that can be layered on top of the solar nails. So while the foundation is neutral and natural-looking, you can still customize them!

Solar Nails Manicure

Why Choose Solar Nails?

So why choose solar nails over other artificial options? For me, it comes down to these key factors:

Longer Lasting

The main draw of solar nails is their durability. The formula allows them to last three to four weeks between fill appointments. Compared to regular acrylics that need infills every two weeks, that’s a huge time-saver!

Solar nails are made with higher-grade acrylics. This makes them more resistant to chipping, cracking, and breakage. They’ll grow out naturally as your nail bed pushes them forward.

Low Maintenance

Thanks to their solid integrity, solar nails require less upkeep. I don’t have to fuss over my manicure or rush back to the salon for a repair.

Their sturdy nail tips prevent pesky breaks that lead to maintenance visits. I also find they hold nail polish better too. The smooth finish helps it adhere evenly.

Cost Effective

While solar nails have a higher initial cost, they save money in the long run. Fewer salon appointments means less money spent on infills. And their durability means less need for emergency repairs or replacements. Their longevity makes them a smart investment.

How Are Solar Nails Applied?

How Are Solar Nails Applied

The solar nail system can only be performed by authorized CND salons. Make sure to verify your nail tech uses real CND products. This ensures you’re getting the highest quality solar nails.

Here’s a quick rundown of the solar nail application process:

  • Cleansing, pushing back cuticles, light buffing, and trimming nails
  • Applying a nail primer to prepare the natural nail
  • Blending solar powder and liquid monomer then “sculpting” the mixture onto the nail
  • Shaping the pink solar gel on the lower nail and adding a white solar gel tip
  • Waiting for it to harden then buffing to perfect the surface
  • Sealing it with a top coat for shine and chip resistance

The whole process takes around two hours. While that’s longer than a regular manicure, it’s well worth it for the results!

Maintaining Your Solar Nails

Caring for your solar nails at home ensures they last their full duration. Here are my top tips:

  • Stick to the recommended 3-4 week refill schedule. Letting them grow out too long makes fills more complicated.
  • Keep nails clean but protected. Wear gloves for household chores and wash gently with a nail brush.
  • Use nourishing products like hand cream and cuticle oil to condition the nails and surrounding skin.
  • At the first sign of a crack, seal it quickly with clear gel polish to prevent spreading.

Removing Solar Nails Painlessly

The removal process for solar nails is easier than with other acrylics.

Here are the simple steps:

  • File off any remaining nail polish
  • Soak nails in pure acetone for 10-15 minutes
  • Gently rub the nails with an acetone-soaked cotton ball

The solar gel will dissolve cleanly without drilling or excessive filing. Make sure to care for your natural nails post-removal. Apply a strengthening base coat, hydrating oil, and consider biotin supplements to get them back in top shape.

How Do Solar Nails Compare to Other Options?

Solar nails have distinct advantages over other artificial manicure options. Here’s how they stack up:

Solar Nails vs. Acrylic Nails

  • Solar nails last 2-3 weeks longer than the average acrylic before needing a fill
  • The application process is essentially the same
  • Solar nails are more expensive because they use higher-grade materials
  • Solar nails have a cleaner, glossier finish while acrylics can yellow over time

Solar Nails vs. Gel Nails

  • Solar nails go longer between appointments, only needing fills every 3-4 weeks
  • Gels are painted on and cured under UV light, while solar nails are sculpted by hand
  • Gel manicures are cheaper than solar nails
  • Gel is gentler on natural nails, while acrylics like solar can cause more damage

The Pros and Cons of Solar Nails

Like any manicure option, solar nails come with their own mix of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of Solar Nails

  • Long lasting between fills
  • Resistant to breaks and chips
  • Allow for easy application of polish that stays put
  • No yellowing from UV light exposure
  • Glossy, flawless finish
  • Faster/easier removal process than acrylics
  • Cause less natural nail damage than other acrylics
  • Cured by air so no UV exposure

Cons of Solar Nails

  • Higher initial cost than other acrylic options
  • Shiny finish isn’t for everyone
  • Application process takes more time
  • Can’t do intricate nail art or designs
  • Some dislike the uniform appearance
  • Potential health risks from chemical fumes during application

Should You Try Solar Nails?

If you love acrylic nails but hate the constant upkeep, solar nails are worth trying! Their durability is unmatched. Just prepare for the high-gloss, uniform look – they have a sleek yet simple style.

For a more eco-friendly option, you may want to consider gel nail tips. And acrylic lovers who like to switch up their nail style may enjoy exploring unique shapes and designs.

But at the end of the day, having beautiful, polished nails for weeks at a time makes solar nails a winner in my book! Just do your research to find an authorized CND solar nails technician. Your manicure will last from one appointment to the next – giving you more time to focus on the important things (likeadmiring your fabulous nails)!

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