Everybody’s out here getting gel nails and having manicures that last multiple weeks and I’m over there being a dirty hippie with my big-5-free natural nail polish that doesn’t stay that well and is sometimes hard to get off (with acetone-free remover)… but that’s a’changin’! Turns out there’s a new natural seaweed-based gel in town that is big-5 free with no toluene, formaldehyde, DBP, BHA or solvents. It’s called Bio Seaweed Gel, and they have it at a great, cheap salon in Fountain Valley!
My go-to for the past couple of years has been Pink Petals in HB, which is bright, clean, quick, and huge—so you can always get in even with a group, which is nice. They also offer a decent selection of big-5-free traditional nail polishes.
But when I heard about Bio Seaweed Gel, I looked into salons here that did it, and gave Kim’s Salon a shot. It’s a hidden gem: all of our foot and hand massages were very long, and we were all very pleased with the quality of our manicures! Three pedis, two gel manis, and one no-polish mani later, we left very, very happy. The no-polish mani/pedi combo is only $26 (!!!) and the gel combo is only $41 (!!!).
Even without the chemicals, some of the hesitation around gel nails are the dehydrating gels used to prep the nail—that’s not used here, though they do use alcohol to completely clean the nail—and the UV light used to cure the gel. That is a factor here, but at 2 minutes of exposure, it’s minimal versus the other UV exposure I get. I also ordered a bottle of my own gel polish, because you can apparently DIY, curing the gel polish in the sun!
I’m pretty excited about the new, natural seaweed gel and this new nail salon find technically in Fountain Valley but very near Newport Beach!