Varnished Investigates: Calgel Part 1


Photo courtesy of Marie Claire

I’ve been hearing a lot about this popular new nail product called Calgel, so I decided to do some research on it. Apparently Calgel is the next big thing and is advertised as the healthy alternative to acrylic nails, which have been known (and I am a first hand witness) to leave your nails brittle and weak. The Calgel website describes itself as:

“… a superior gel nail system that promotes nail health, making it the healthier alternative in nailcare. It also soaks off in just 15 minutes! Calgel won’t lift, peel, chip, go rubbery or damage your own nails with harsh acrylics or drills. Calgel doesn’t interfere with nailbed metabolism which is why it can actually strengthen your own nails giving you the nails you always dreamed about. Calgel can be used on tips or as a natural nail overlay, and is available in over 80 colors, so the days of smudging, chipping and peeling nail polish are over!”

I’ve seen some crazy Calgel designs which initially sparked this investigation, like the famous gradient style so I googled some salons in NYC that use Calgel. The first that popped up was Valley, which is located on Elizabeth street in Nolita. The service is quite pricey starting at $50 which doesn’t include nail art/design. They also do the very new and hot trend Minx which have been spotted on celebrities like Beyonce and Angie Martinez (I’ll cover Minx on another Varnished Investigates post soon). Here’s some pics I snagged from the Valley website:


Another salon that popped up on my google search was Sakura which I’ve also heard about. Sakura is located on the Upper East Side on 2nd avenue and in the Lower East Side on 1st avenue. Their Calgel basic manicures are $40 and $20 for the glitter/graduation style.  Here’s a picture from their site:


So this investigation is still open until I get the chance to try this Calgel fad for myself! Of course it would have to be a day when I miraculously come into some money, but hey miracles happen everyday!

Have you tried Calgel? What are the pros and cons? Is it better than acrylic as advertised, have you noticed a change in the health of your nails?

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  • kathy

    I ‘m trying calgel polish now far I love it. Lots of colors to choose from. Easier to take off then OPI which my clients are not happy with when it comes to soaking off.

  • Nita

    Thanks for the feedback!