Being somewhat disenchanted with my last shellac mani that chipped the day after it was done, I decided to try a new salon. I’m glad I did because it gave me a chance to experiment with a new (to me) nail dip powder system called Nugenesis, and because nail dip powders have been all the rage lately (even though they’ve been around since the 80’s), I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about.
Nugenesis is an ‘organically processed’ powder that is described as non-toxic, odor free and air dries with no UV needed. It is also infused with Calcium + Vitamin E to strengthen your nails, and it lasts. At this point, I’ve had several Nugenesis manis and they’ve lasted 3 weeks on average without chipping. I also discovered that after my first mani, the horizontal ridges I had running across both thumbnails had almost disappeared and my thumbnails were now smooth. My theory is that the ridges were caused by a vitamin and mineral deficiency and that this is why the Calcium and Vitamin E in the Nugenesis finish gel got rid of them. My dermatologist told me the ridges were due to pushing the cuticles back, but after these Nugenesis manis I now have new insight into the true cause – time for some calcium supplements. Another positive aspect of the Nugenesis manis was that my nails did grow a lot longer as the tough outer shell of the product protected them for several weeks.
So there are some real positives with Nugenesis. I did discover however that the nail dip powder really is just acrylic, methacrylate polymer to be exact, and this ingredient can cause skin irritation as well as serious eye irritation. I reached out to the company to find out exactly what they meant by ‘organically processed’ but no one answered my questions. Another thing to be aware of is that the base gel contains Ethyl 2 Cyanoacrylate,and so does the finishing gel. Cyanoacrylate is the same adhesive found in Krazy Glue + other superglues. This of course makes sense as you need an adhesive to ensure the product stays on the nail, but it is something to bear in mind if your goal is to limit your exposure to chemicals. Also keep in mind that their liquid activator contains chemicals that have been tested on animals, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats specifically. Unfortunately I did not discover this until after I’d had several of their manis. Nugenesis dip powder also contains Titanium Dioxide, a known carcinogen. The product is also extremely hard to remove, which is a plus in terms of longevity, but not great for those who like the freedom of home removal. You generally have to soak in acetone remover for at least half an hour (maybe more) to get it off, and drilling may still be needed, and this can really weaken your nails, which defeats the whole purpose for me. Also, it leads to a vicious cycle in that your nails are now weak and you want to have them done again to strengthen them – great for the nail salon, not so great for you, your nails or your wallet. For more information on the ingredients in Nugenesis’ products, check out their Safety Data Sheets.
Overall, although my experience with Nugenesis was positive in that the manis lasted longer than any others I’ve had and the Calcium + Vitamin E eliminated ridges in my nails, it’s not something I will do going forward as I don’t like the fact that their products contain chemicals that were tested on animals, and I have health concerns about repeated exposure to those chemicals – it is definitely not a natural nail product. The removal process also weakened my nails significantly. The price tag for a Nugenesis mani is also steep at $45 a pop. Going forward, my goal is to develop a nail growth plan that is healthy and sustainable, focusing on internal supplements for nail growth and natural, non-toxic nail polish. If you do want to try Nugenesis, ask for shaping/contouring especially at the nail bed once the products have been applied, so that the thickness of the layers doesn’t create a ‘shelf ‘ at your nail base that will catch on things and ruin your manicure.
Hopefully this review provided you with a clear picture of the pros and cons of Nugenesis nail powder so that you can make an informed decision on your next trip to the nail salon.
Image above shows Nugenesis #118 – Rave Red in matte textured finish