Polished: Calgel Strengthening System

Before Calgel Manicure

Picture taken before Calgel manicure

After Calgel Manicure

After Calgel manicure with French 

My nails were in need of serious rescuing so I decided to invest in a Calgel manicure at Sakura Nail and Spa in the East Village. I constantly make my weak nails weaker by getting artificial nails to hide their weakness, creating a vicious cycle.

Check out the crack on the nail on my index finger in the before picture. I had to keep it wrapped in a band-aid to prevent it from getting caught on things. To fix the problem and help my nails grow without breaking I decided to get a Calgel manicure at Sakura Nail and Spa. 

Calgel is a UV Gel. These UV Gel manicures have been gaining popularity recently. Although they are pricier than a traditional manicure, the results are well worth it since the manicure can last for up to a month chip-free. The Calgel at Sakura is:

[…] 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 […] the days of smudging, chipping and peeling nail polish are over!

The gel allows your nails to breathe, does not cause fungus, and strengthens at the same time. 

My visit to Sakura lasted about an hour and a half. The process consisted of a base coat gel, the nail color gel, a top coat gel and a regular top coat with a clear nail polish. Since I did a french manicure there needed to be two coats of the white gel applied to the tips after the base color. The nail technician did two nails at a time, alternating each hand under the UV light for the gel to set while she worked on the other hand.

The Calgel did not fix the crack in my nail. To address that the technician applied a silk wrap to the nail prior to applying the Calgel. She put on the wrap (that looks like a piece of tape) to half of the nail. Nail glue was then applied over the wrap. After the glue dried, she filed the wrap down until it was level with my nail and did not look like I had anything on.

A Calgel manicure costs $40 at Sakura Nail and Spa. I was charged an additional $20 for the french manicure for a total of $62.50 with tax. That may sound like a lot but after doing a cost benefit analysis, the math checked out in my book. Assuming that it lasts 4 weeks, it comes out to approximately $15.63 per week. Compared to my usual $14 manicure per week that chips within a day or two, $62.50 starts sounding like a good deal.

Sakura offers other cool designs besides a french manicure. You can see some of them over at nitro:licious, where I discovered Calgel. Wendy’s nails look ridic in that post (in a good way lol)! I would have gotten something funky like that but I had to take the professional route and stick to the french manicure.

I highly suggest making an appointment in advance if you are in the NYC area and want to try this since they are usually booked up. They are the only guys in town offering this technology that will help me break free from the chains of slavery from artificial nails.

Glossy Kissez,



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