Beauty Fridays: Bio Sculpture Colour Gel

I don’t usually guinea pig myself much but when I heard that there is a nail polish that lasts for three weeks without chipping and still good for your nails, I just had to get a little adventurous and give Bio Sculpture’s Colour Gel a try.

No, this is not the tacky chunky gel nail that is popular with strippers and Snookis. It’s basically a nail polish in gel form and it’s not rough or damaging on your nails. It’s free of toluene, formaldehyde, phthalates and parabens so there is no stinky smell or fumes during the application.

top row: week 1, week 2, week 2 + Butter’s “All Hail McQueen”
bottom row: week 3, after light filing, soak-off removal

APPLICATION: I opted for “Berry Medley,” a nice bright fuchsia. The application was basically the same as a regular manicure: base gel, colour gel and top coat, the only difference was that each step had to cure under the UV light. Unlike the application of the gel nail, there was no filing of the nail needed.

RESULT: My nails looked amazing! They were not Snooki chunky and looked really natural. The colour was bright and shiny and it went almost three weeks without a single chip. I even experimented by painting over my gel with regular nail polishes (see picture) and the gel is so resilient that the polish or the acetone didn’t hurt it a bit. To match your gel exactly, you can purchase its nail polish twin by Bio Sculpture. Towards week three, I did notice some bubbling but by that time my nails had grown considerably and it was time for removal anyways.

REMOVAL: Bio Gel is a soak-off product (if you do this, make sure your salon knows the difference between the different types of gel products). First, the gel was filed a tiny little bit without the file actually touching the nail itself. Then individual nails were soaked for 10 minutes in Bio Sculpture Gel Remover to break down the bonding of the gel to the nail. The gel then easily peels off your nail and voilĂ ! Easy.

COST: My application cost $55 at my salon here in Vancouver (Bling Nails & Beauty Lounge). The removal is $10 if added on top of a regular manicure.

Bio Gel Colour range

Would I recommend it? Absolutely! Especially for those with busy lifestyles or those heading on longer vacations. Let’s face it: who wants to waste time painting nails in a hotel room?

There are also similar soak-off applications like CND Shellac and OPI Axxium that are getting rave reviews. Michelle from Beauty Editor prefers loves loved Shellac and Janine from BeautyGeeks is gaga over OPI Axxium.

PS. Please excuse my chubby baby hands. When I was modeling over a decade ago, a photographer told me that my hands didn’t match my face or my body! He was right, LOL.

  • Hey – caught your tweet on this so was dying to read about how this went for you. I really want to try it! (I’ve actually only done the Shellac – not the Axxium – so can’t really compare those two. And I probably should update my post on Shellac as I also found it really dried out my nails and made them very peely and weak afterward. Boo.)

    This sounds really good – love that it doesn’t have all those chemicals. (I assume the difference between this and Shellac is the fewer chemicals…)

    And not looking “Snooki chunky” is always a good thing – haha!

  • Great shade, Anya! And what a shade range! A friend of mine does Bio Gel too and loves them.

    Only thing is that there is an acrylic or standard gel that has Bio in the first part of the name that is NOT soak-off and easy on the nails like this. Newbies, beware if anyone hauls out powder to mix! Soak-off gel formulas look like gel, not powder, ever.

    Next we have to try Gelish, Anya!

  • Great review! I’ve been hearing a lot about these long-lasting gel manicures and they sound very intriguing. I read somewhere that the downside of some (as Michelle said above) is that the removal process can weaken nails, plus the UV light used to dry the nails can cause skin damage. Using hand lotion with SPF before drying would be a good idea.

  • Michelle and Lisa,

    I think the soak-off solution is loaded with chemicals, but I was told that in 10 minutes it can’t really do much damage to the nail. My nails did look really matte after (probably peeled off a tiny bit of the very top layer of the nail) so they lost some their shine but nothing a little buffing couldn’t fix. Thickness-wise, they looked pretty much the same as before the application. BTW, great tip on the SPF Lisa!

  • Good point re: that BioSculpture is free of toluene, phthalates, formaldehyde and parabens (does nail polish even need parabens?).

    Axxium is free of the following:
    – ethyl methacrylate (EMA)
    – methyl methacrylate (MMA)
    – formalin
    – toluene

    Shellac is free of toluene, formaldehyde and phthalates (DBP), as well.

    I have fragile, weak, soft nails that tend to peel. Repeated Axxium applications and removals did not damage my nails in any way (the technician I go to is ACES), but my nails and Shellac didn’t get along so well. Shellac is softer than Axxium, and rather than chip, it peeled, taking layers of my already peely nails with it. I tried a regular manicure afterward but had to take it off the next day because the polish chipped off where my nails had peeled. I went a week in bare nails after that but couldn’t deal. I’m back in Axxium to prevent my nails from shredding any further, and they’re brilliant now.

    I don’t think UV can damage the nails at all — you’re only under weak 9-volt bulbs (vs 400 volts for tanning beds, I think) for 2 minutes at a time, and your nails are in fact protected by the gel. You could try a hand cream, but you risk smearing the gel before it cures.

    The soak-off is acetone. I don’t know how much the nails and skin can actually absorb — it seems more harmful to polish and gel. *grin*

  • Anonymous

    I love my bio-gels and Lynn at Bling Nails does a great job.

  • I love Janine’s extensive research on this subject. A true beauty geek!

  • Er — sometimes “geek” is the stronger part of that combo. *grin*

  • This sounds like a great product! I hate it when nail polish chips after a few days, though I’ve recently found a few that last beyond a week. To be honest though, I get bored so easily, I don’t really know if I need a polish that will last me three weeks…

  • I love how you documented the wear of the bio sculpt gel through the weeks! They have a great range of colour too. And I loved the way your nails looked with it on, they looked so bright and shiny! I am concerned about the bio soak thing and the chemicals but since my nails hardly see the light of day most of the time, it should be ok haha.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much for your post on Axiuum and Bio Sculpture Gel! Now I can bravely visit my manicurist Yuki @ idalias salon! She’s been trying to introduce me to her new services. After removing my acrylics I choose a regular manicure and have been suffering since. I will definately go for Bio!