As promised, here's my run down of my experience with my first gel manicure: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The good: it did last forever! In my life, forever for a manicure means 2+ weeks. A normal manicure lasts about two days so this is huge. And my nails ended up growing out more than chipping. Woohoo!
The bad: taking it off is a pain. I went to a salon to have it removed and can probably manage to do it on my own next time, but it's no joke to remove. Makes sense, right? It stays on so well for a reason.
The ugly: my nails are not looking fantastic at the moment. I don't think the salon got everything off of them but even the few that are completely clear have seen better days.
The final verdict? I'll definitely do it again. My nails don't look great on a daily basis anyway so that's not a huge a deterrent for me. I probably won't do one right after another (nor do I have the time/money for that anyway) so that should give my nails a chance to recover a bit.