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During the pandemic, I stopped getting a lot of my usual beauty services done. I let my hair grow, plucked my brows at home, and did my own nails. While I’ve since ventured out to get a haircut and my brows threaded, I actually don’t get manicures anymore — and it’s thanks to these $14 gel nail wraps I found on Amazon.
I came across the Ohora Semi-Cured Gel Nail Strips when I was looking for nail stickers; I was on the hunt for something that would zhuzh up my usual DIY manis. The strips immediately intrigued me because they’re made with semi-cured gel, which means the nails are only 60 percent cured so they remain stretchy and flexible for application, according to the brand. (If you’re new to the gel world, curing refers to the process of drying gel nails by exposing them to UV light.) Unlike flimsy nail stickers, these strips are supposed to feel like and last as long as a gel manicure. Additionally, they come in tons of really cute designs, and each pack costs between $12 to $14, depending on what you choose.
Ohora nail strips are super easy to use. Similar to press-on nails, you just pick the right nail shape from the sticker sheet for each of your nails, stick it on, trim the excess, and then file it down. Once you’ve done both hands, cure the strips with a UV lamp (you can buy one separately for under $20 from the brand) for about 60 seconds or more so that they harden. Et voilà — you’ve got a gel manicure from the comfort of your own home, and for way less than it’d cost at the salon.
The number one thing I was worried about with the strips was the removal process and if it’d damage my nails at all. I’m pretty obsessed with keeping my nails healthy — I’ve never gotten anything done other than traditional manicures (no acrylics, gel, dip powder, etc.), so this was my first venture into something that could potentially have negative effects on my natural nails. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how damage-free the removal process was. All you have to do is use the pointed end of a wooden cuticle stick (which comes with every pack of strips) to pry them off; I gently stick it under each wrap until it loosens, and then it pops off on its own. My nails always look and feel just fine after removal, but for added protection, I use an Essie nail strengthener in between applications.
If you want high-quality and damage-free, cute nails at an affordable price, I couldn’t recommend these Ohora nail strips more. Shop the brand’s storefront on Amazon, here.
Shop now: $35 with coupon (Originally $38); amazon.com
Shop now: $13 with coupon (Originally $14); amazon.com
Shop now: $11 with coupon (Originally $12); amazon.com