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Is a Gel Pedicure for you?

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Beautiful feet with pristinely painted toenails are on everyone's wish list for summer. But wouldn't it be good if the fantastic feeling of pretty toes lasted longer than the time it took to paint them in the first place?

If you have never indulged in a pedicure before, you will be amazed at how fantastic your feet feel after just minutes of professional pampering. A good pedicure should leave feet feeling comfortable and light as if you are walking on air.

Feet are often left until last when it comes to receiving a little care and attention compared to our face and even hands, so a pedicure treatment really can make a huge difference. Let's face it – it's just not that easy to trim your toenails or apply your favourite polish unless you're a contortionist. Having an expert cut and shape your toenails can help prevent the pain and potential infection associated with ingrown nails. Good beauty therapists can also spot other problem areas before they become serious.

But what’s different about a gel pedicure?

The primary difference between a standard and gel pedicure is the kind of polish that we use. Standard pedicures will use a basecoat, two coats of regular polish in the colour of your choice and a topcoat. This kind of polish is slow to dry, and although we can speed this up with a UV light, the polish may take several more hours to be fully dry. How many of us have wandered around in flip flops for what seems like a lifetime waiting for our toenails to dry only to touch one by accident and watch the shiny surface disappear and the colour smudge?

Unlike a regular pedicure which can look dull and chipped after only a few hours or, if you're lucky, a few days, a gel pedicure gives you near-perfect nails for at least a month. Chip-free polish with an intense shine, as gorgeous as the day you had them done. And if you have zero patience for the dry time of traditional polish, a gel pedicure takes minutes to dry completely.

So, if you don't yet have the confidence to wear a strappy pair of sandals to an outdoor music event, or if you're planning a holiday, even if it's a staycation, a gel pedicure will guarantee perfect toes even if the weather is not onboard.

A word of warning. You will need to resist the urge to stare at your feet all the time after a gel pedicure, as this could be potentially hazardous if you're out and about in the City of London.

What gel products do we use?

We use several gel products at Beauty Essence, each one containing a different amount of gel. The more gel a product has, the more hardwearing it is. The less gel the polish contains, the easier it is to remove, thus reducing the need for buffing and the potential for nail damage.


Shellac is not pure gel polish; it's essentially a mixture of gel and standard nail polish that's cured and hardened with a special LED lamp, so you get a shorter drying time and lasting wear. Shellac typically remains chip-free for about two weeks. Because Shellac is softer than pure gel polish, it soaks off more quickly and is thus gentler on your nails.

Gel Bottle

Gel Bottle is a buildable soak-off nail system. It is safe and kind to natural nails. Gel Bottle products are highly pigmented, chip-resistant and offer long-lasting shine.


Gelish was one of the first soak-off professional gel nail polish brands on the market. It's a brush-on durable gel polish that lasts up to a month without chipping or peeling. There is a wide colour choice and drying is quick using an LED or UV lamp.

GELeration by Jessica

GELeration from Jessica is a sophisticated soak-off nail system. This long-lasting colour gel comes in a fantastic range of Jessica colours! The gel protects the health of the natural nail and allows weak, bitten or problem nails the opportunity to grow while giving excellent results that last for up to 3-4 weeks.

Bio Sculpture

Bio Sculpture contains the most amount of gel of all our products. It is odourless and applies like regular nail polish but without the need for build-up. This gel polish is exceptionally hardwearing, dries under a UV lamp in 2 minutes and lasts up to 2 months without chipping or splitting.

For more information about which gel product would be right for you, please call or email us at the salon, and one of our beauty therapists will happily answer your questions.

How long do gel pedicures last?

As a rule, pedicures generally last longer than manicures as there is less wear and tear on your toes, even if you're on your feet all day.

And as we know, gel manicures usually look good for 1-3 weeks depending on the gel polish and what you put your hands through (e.g. washing up, gardening, cleaning). So, you can expect your gel pedicure to last between 4-8 weeks, depending on the gel product.

Gel toes usually don't chip; they are more likely to grow out. At this point, you can choose to have the old gel removed, and new applied to keep your toes looking fresh and neat, or you can take a break for a couple of weeks between pedicures to let your nails breathe a bit without polish.

If you're booking a gel pedicure, always let us know if you need the old gel removed, as we will need to add a little extra time to your treatment.

Can gel polish damage your nails?

Just like a gel manicure, gel pedicures have the potential to disturb the health of your nails. However, a lot of this damage occurs when you try to remove the gel polish yourself. We recommend that you get the polish removed by a professional so you're not peeling off your nail with the polish.

It can be a good idea to give your nails a bit of a break now and again by spacing out how often you get a gel pedicure, thus helping to reduce nail damage.

Can I go swimming with gel nails?

Yes, you can go swimming.

Both chlorine and saltwater are harsh on regular nail polish, discolouring and lifting the polish. Gel nails are more hardwearing, and for an occasional dip in the sea or a few lengths in the pool, they will emerge unscathed.

If you’re in Central London, you’ll find our salon to be a haven of tranquillity. The perfect place for a spot of foot pampering. Our friendly, experienced team of therapists are ready to welcome you.

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