I call myself The Nail Lamp Tramp because I have tried them all! At least damn near in my opinion. I wish someone could have given me the basics to help break it down.
So here we go.
I’ll tell you a few of my faves and the not so favorite of the group to help you make a better based decision.
Where do we start:
Whether you are just starting out in the nail world or have been here for a little while, you must have someone online that you follow. That inspires you! Maybe me 😉
I always start here when investigating new or different products. Are my mentors using them? Do they have any reviews or YouTube channels I can scour through? If my fave nail girl has a go to product, I will definitely start here.
But just because it is popular, doesn’t mean it’s the best! I have learned that the hard way.
There are two basic lights you are going to want to choose from: UV and LED.
UV Gel Nail Lamp:
These have been around the longest. The original bad boys, if you will.
UV standing for ultra violet light, is how the gel product is cured onto the natural nail. Originally developed in the dental world, they would use the UV light to cure the fillings in your teeth. Or even more currently, used for teeth whitening. Somewhere along the way, some genius decided to put it on their finger nails and the rest is history!
The most standard model will have four bulbs inside. I would generally stay away from the ones with two bulbs or even one bulb. They just don’t work as efficiently and at the end of the day you will just wish you bought the four bulbs anyway.
Your bulbs should last you a good three months or sometimes even longer. But I would recommend checking in on them every once in a while. If they look a little blinky or dull when lit, it may be time for a change. I also recommend dusting them from time to time. This can make a major difference in your day!
Please stay away from the very temping $20-$40 range on these. In my experience it is worth it to spend a little more. Even $60 will get you a better quality lamp. But no more than $80 for one of these. It just isn’t worth the price. I see them advertised for over $100 or even $200!! Not necessary! Trust me!
The newer kid to the block but will be sticking around for quite some time.
LED stands for light emitting diode. We are all familiar with how these little energy savers are lowing our hydro bills. But they are also packing a punch in the nail world. Not just for Christmas lights anymore!
Unlike the UV lamps, that have four bulbs, The LED lamps have several, teeny tiny little bulbs. Sometimes as many as 50! scattering light all over the nails to make for a perfect cure. I like to look for one that has a really nice dome shape to it. So it is surrounding the hand. Avoid flat or boxy looking lamps. You want the light to “wrap” itself around the product.
Now, the price on these babies can seem a little scary at first. The “professional lamps” that you would buy through a major beauty supplier can cost you up to $300ca! When I bought my first LED lamp I cheaped out. Mostly, because I really liked the color of this particular one, as it matched my new studio decor. Sigh* Mistake number one!! I spend about $30 on my first one and I got about $1 a day out of it. That’s right, it died within a month.
Not to be too discouraged, I decided to up the anti and double the amount I previously spent. So I spent around $60 on my second one and the quality isn’t even comparable! Clearly so much happier with this one! (Click the pic below for more details)
Especially if you are just starting out and don’t want the huge investment, this is my personal pick! It will also come with three replacement pads, so you don’t have to stick with pink if you don’t want to 😉
Listen to your gut. And reviews!
So I guess at the end of the day, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is! Like the $30 lamp for instance. There is a difference between a great bargain and a total lemon.
Agood piece of advice comes from my mother. Who said, when it comes to most purchases, never buy the cheapest or the most expensive. This works when it comes to my experience in purchasing Gel Nail Lamps. That’s for sure.
If I can serve one purpose with my website, its to save you some time and money! Maybe a few headaches in there too!
Also read your reviews!!! I never buy a pair of jeans or shoes online without reading the reviews first. What about a new laptop or TV? Same thing, we always read our reviews. Do the same with your nail lamps!
If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask! And your feedback is always welcome! I hope this helps guide you in the right direction.
Good luck out there!
Cheyanne/ The Nail Lamp Tramp