Nail Polish of Steel (or in this case, Orly)

Do you like working with your hands a lot? Do you pick on your nails? Work constantly with scratchy objects? Couldn’t-care-less with a hidden, underdeveloped kikay side? If you’re all this and more, then Orly’s Gel Fix nail polish is for you.

I have a major fixation with my fingers. I nibble on my nails, I pick on my cuticles, I bite the tips. I like keeping my hands occupied. Nail polish is a recent kikay development that I’m slowly warming up to. On a practical note, it helps me control the nail-biting which, at 22, is no longer an adorable habit. The thing is, it never lasts with me. I sew, I make crafts, I slam my hands on so many things. The coat of colored protection becomes counterproductive because when I see it dull and scratched up–which is usually about three hours after application–I feel compelled to just peel them off and resume with my biting. I’ve never stepped out of a salon without a chip!

My editor was invited to try out Beauty & Butter, a nail art salon that prides itself with being the premiere spot to use gel nail polish in the country. Thankfully, Jo was kind enough to let me tag along. Let me just clarify that at this point, my interpretation of the “gel” polish is pretty much like regular cutiks but in a thicker, colloidal setting.

Jo opted for the Orly massage while I selected the Orly Gel FX Manicure. It seemed the most intriguing to me, especially since I felt normal polish was difficult enough to apply. My attendant, Shiela, however, was kind enough to explain to me the difference:


I love how girly yet non-girly the salon looks.

1. Apparently, the gel version, like the regular one, is done in multiple coats. Every coat for the former, however, has to be dried under a special type of LED light, including the top and base layers. I like how the base coat gave my nails a clean and buffed finish. I almost told Shiela to stop because I liked them as is.

2. It’s creamier than regular polish, but it’s not exactly the thick and gooey mixture that I imagined. It’s just–heavier. For more durability and strength, I suppose.

3. It’s chip-proof, scratch-proof, and peel-proof! It’s almost like it’s part of your nail… Or rather, it is your nail. The gel supposedly lasts for three weeks. It’s advisable to remove it after that period not because it’s worn buy because ewwy nail and cuticle growth will start to show. You’ll have a perfectly manicured part on the tip with a bit of bare nail showing near the bed.
Very grunge.

4. Because it’s totally extra strength, you cannot remove it with nail polish remover or even the highly discouraged extra potent acetone! Shiela even dared me to try to rub acetone on my nails as soon as I get home. Only a special Orly solution can wipe it clean, which, of course, you can get only at the salon (it’s free if you had your nails done in Beauty and Butter). I find this strategy terribly shrewd. No one in their right mind would trek to a salon just to have their polish removed! You go to salons for something more purposeful like getting your nails redone, ordering a foot spa, have a massage, the whole enchilada! Treatments you’ll end up getting after having your nails cleaned just so you won’t waste a trip.

5. It’s really advisable for girls with thin and feeble nails like mine. Because it’s thicker, it gives the illusion of stronger nails. I forgot to ask Shiela if it would stain the nails especially after such an extended duration. Looks like I’ll have to update this post after a month.

I chose a neutral shade (Pink Nude) after a painstakingly long selection process. I initially decided on a pretty pink hue but I remembered that I was going to be stuck with the color for at least three weeks and the soft Pink Nude seemed more versatile and practical. Orly’s Gel FX is a commitment, but I think I’ve found the perfect nail polish for me.

A naughty girl pressed the LED dryer just because the attendant wasn’t looking! Hahaha please excuse my Frodo fingers!

Beauty & Butter has branches in SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM San Lazaro, and SM Cebu. Watch for Jo’s review coming soon on

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