About

Andrea @ Chickettes! - sillyHi everyone!  My name is Andrea and I’m a self proclaimed gel polish addict!  The majority of my blog posts are about nail polish or nail art.  Before discovering gel polish I hated doing my nails because the polish always chipped off within a day or two… not any more!  Now my nails are never naked and I’m completely obsessed.

I started out on a mission to swatch all of the Gelish colors available, which I have now completed.  I’ve since branched out and hope to be able to provide information on a wider variety of brands over time. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about my swatches and hope that they are helpful to you when selecting new colors.

I live in Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.  I have one daughter and she’s now college-age (hard to believe) and is attending Ohio State University and is on the med school path (proud mama!!).  I own a small web design business called 2TechChicks and specialize in e-commerce web development and design.

My hobbies include gardening, cooking, reading, skiing, and crafts.  I’m one of the founding members and President of a local community garden. The garden is my home away from home in the warmer months.

Contact me at Andrea @ Chickettes.com (without the spaces!)

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62 Comments

  1. antoinette
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 10:49:42

    where can I purchase this product? I am really interested but not sure where to purchase your product and everything I need to apply gel polish, I already have a uv lamp so wont need one of those.

    Please can you let me know where I can purchase your product.

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Dec 03, 2012 @ 13:53:00

      Hello Antionette – we do not actually sell the products, but many of our posts do have links to the products on Amazon.com where you can purchase them.

      Reply

  2. Nanci Spencer
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 21:00:43

    Hi there, i am the owner/founder/creator of LacQit One Step Gel Polish. We are located in Kelowna BC Canada. LacQit is the first One Step gel Polish that is Instantly Dry with No Wiping required. LacQit is applied in just 2 easy coats, with the base and top coats infused right into the color, curing for 30-60 seconds accordingly. LacQit can be applied to LacQit without removal or soak-off which makes it easy to refresh or change your color or add more strength as you go.
    I notice your blog gets very good SEO. If you would like to try LacQit for a possible mention in your blog please email me!
    Thanks so much , Nanci

    Reply

  3. Oriana
    Jan 24, 2013 @ 18:16:38

    Hi, thank you for creating this blog. I’ve been using Gelish for about a year & love this product. One question: I love the neutral color by OPI Bubble Bath. Do you know of any Gelish or gel color that is similar?
    Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jan 24, 2013 @ 18:51:14

      Hi Oriana. I’m not familiar with OPI Bubble Bath, but I did a Google images search on it and it looks similar to Pink Smoothie.

      Reply

  4. Marcela
    Feb 16, 2013 @ 04:03:34

    Hi Andrea!
    I stumbled upon your site while trying to find IBD’s complete swatch collection of Just Gel polishes.
    The quality of your images are superb and i was hoping you would have swatches of all their colours? Or know where i can find them online??
    This is a huge investment for me and although my first choice was Gelish, it’s just to expensive for me to buy their collection :(

    Please email me on the email I supplied on this comment!

    Much appreciated!

    :)

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Feb 16, 2013 @ 13:20:00

      Hi Marcela – thanks for the note. I only own a couple IBD’s and I purchased them on Amazon.com.

      Reply

      • Bailey T
        Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:02:35

        Diva bride by Gelaze is similar but slightly pinker. I use it for French manicures all the time and it’s the perfect opacity and shade.

        Reply

  5. Jen
    Feb 24, 2013 @ 14:00:47

    Andrea,
    I love Gelish and found your blog about a month ago when I went searching for swatches. You have the best color swatches on the net by far and your tutorials are great! Please keep them coming :)
    I am struggling with teeny tiny bubbles in my base and top coats. I use only Gelish and I don’t shake the bottles. Any idea how to stop these pesky bubbles from happening?

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Feb 24, 2013 @ 17:29:22

      Hi Jen! I’m glad you found my site. Thank you for the compliments. My top coat also has the tiny bubbles and I haven’t yet figured out how to prevent them. When I apply I just make sure to pull them to the tips to get rid of them before curing.

      Reply

  6. Deanna
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 18:29:22

    Hi Andrea:) I am new to your website and I love it! I read your review about Lacqit and it looks so fast and easy. I am a working mom and I really need my polish to last 2 weeks. Do you think Lacqit will hold up or stick to my Gelish? I also have Red Carpet which is great too!

    Reply

  7. stephanie
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 06:13:48

    Hi,

    I love this website. I’m after the gelish love in bloom collection in mini size but I can’t find it anywhere!! do you know of anywhere I could order it that ships to the uk?

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Apr 03, 2013 @ 09:14:08

      Hi Stephanie. The only place that I know of that sells the minis is Sally’s Beauty Supply and I’m not sure if you have them in the UK or if they ship there. I recommend leaving a note on the wall at the Gelish UK site and see if they can recommend a seller. https://www.facebook.com/NailHarmonyUK?ref=ts&fref=ts

      Reply

    • Suzanne
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 07:44:36

      I bought a couple minis but for the cost your better off buying the full size! I buy a lot of mine on Amazon.

      Reply

  8. Joey Z
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 20:32:53

    Hey Andrea,
    I really love your Gelish swatches! I have Bronzed but don’t really care for it. If you’d like it, I’d love to donate it to your “cause”! Let me know if you’re interested.
    Joey

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Apr 22, 2013 @ 09:39:16

      Hi Joey – Thank you so much for the offer! I haven’t tried that color yet and would love to get my hands on it to swatch :)

      Reply

  9. zoe
    May 02, 2013 @ 22:14:42

    Hi Andrea found your website when looking for swatches for Gelish your photos are amazing! They made my life so easy when choosing my next Gelish colours. I would love to know what the Aurora FX colours would look like over the neon collection and also when the new ‘glow ‘collection comes out. I love sparkle. Also have you got any swatches of the differences between the french collections as there seems to be quite a few neutral colours to choose from.
    Again thank you for your time in creating this wonderful site. Looking forward to seeing the new collection.
    From an excited Gelish fan

    Reply

    • Andrea
      May 03, 2013 @ 10:42:16

      Hi Zoe. Thank you for the questions. I will focus more on layering effects after I finish swatching the Gelish colors. The new Glow collection is out now – you can buy the minis in Sally’s, but I’m not sure if they’re available for sale anywhere online yet. I only have swatches of colors, but not with a French tip.

      Reply

  10. Tracy
    May 03, 2013 @ 09:40:25

    I just found your blog the other day and I absolutely LOVE it! Your swatches are great and I love your nail art and tutorials. Thanks so much for doing this!!!

    Reply

  11. Jen
    May 10, 2013 @ 20:09:39

    Ok Andrea, new question… I’m having an issue with gelish removal. I follow the cotton soak/aluminum foil and the top layers “flake” off, including the structure gel, with no problem. The base coat, however, is stuck on there like glue! Any suggestions?
    Thanks!
    Jen
    P.S. You’re from Shaker! I work at the Clinic! We’re practically neighbors :)

    Reply

    • Andrea
      May 11, 2013 @ 16:35:30

      Strange. How long are you soaking? Are you scraping with an orange stick or cuticle pusher? It’s good that you’re getting a really good bond, but stinks that it won’t come off! LOL That’s cool that we’re so close… small world. My mom works at the Clinic too.

      Reply

      • Jen
        May 13, 2013 @ 20:24:14

        Well, I have experimented. I have soaked anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes. 10 is perfect for getting the upper layers off – including the structure gel. Even at 20, that base coat is stuck like glue! I have always used an orange wood stick. I was once a little too aggressive and pulled off layers of the nail – not good! Lately I’ve been using a fingernail to gently “scratch” it off because I’ve found that I can control the pressure and it works faster than the orange wood stick. It’s like it refuses to peel up like the rest of the layers. Do you have this problem ever? I read your new FAQs and there was a blurb there about skipping the gelish base coat step. The only way to find out I suppose is to just try it without.
        I thought maybe the new one-step polishes (like the LacQit you showed us) might be easier to take off. What was your experience with removing them??
        I honestly don’t care if it shortens the length of wear. I’d like to change my polish more like once a week because I get bored with the color. It’s the quality of how they wear (chipping, peeling, shine) and what it could do to my natural nail that I was more concerned about.

        Reply

        • Dee
          May 13, 2013 @ 21:59:05

          I had that problem too…I only put primer near my cuticle and along the tips. HUGE difference. And get the metal cuticle pusher and use the wide end to remove.

          Reply

        • Andrea
          May 14, 2013 @ 12:08:33

          If you want to change your colors up more frequently try using just a regular nail polish base underneath. I do that all the time because I like to change the colors up more frequently and it makes the soak off go much faster (and I don’t use a base at all when I swatch). I don’t ever have an issue with the Gelish foundation sticking like that though.

          Reply

        • Jen
          May 31, 2013 @ 08:42:18

          **update**
          So I tried a using a base coat of regular clear polish instead of the gelish base coat. Everything looked beautiful for about 4 hours. Then I noticed that one of my nails had no polish on it. None. Over the next two hours ALL of my polish “popped” off. No damage to the nail, clearly an easy removal, but not quite a long enough wear for my taste. Back to the drawing board!

          Reply

          • Andrea
            May 31, 2013 @ 09:52:20

            Wow – so it went from one extreme to the other. Boo! I’m sorry my suggestion didn’t work out for you. :( I use CND Sticky base and my gel polish will stay on for at least 4-5 days before starting to peel. Hmm… maybe try a different brand of foundation gel. I’ve heard that the Ink brand soaks off better, but I haven’t tried it.

      • Jen
        May 13, 2013 @ 20:29:08

        P.S.
        I hate that people are using your images without your permission! It stinks that you’ve had to watermark the pics, but I can tell you from doing countless hours of internet swatch searching – you have THE BEST swatches out there! Even with the watermark!

        Reply

        • Andrea
          May 14, 2013 @ 12:09:31

          Thanks, Jen! I hate having to watermark them and cover them, but I think it’s the only way to ensure that people can’t steal them and use them as their own. :(

          Reply

  12. Ashlee
    May 29, 2013 @ 17:01:59

    HI! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! thank you so much for sharing all your tips and designs. I have been using Gelish for about a year now and I cant seem to keep my polish on for more than a week with out it chipping or peeling away from my natural nail. I have researched and tried all different methods and I can’t seem to figure it out! Every time I do a french, it lifts within 3-4 days. I have tired doing thicked coats, thinner coats, doubling up layers of T.I.O….EVERYTHING! My nails used to be long and it seems like the gelish is making them weak as well. now they have all broke down :( Any other helpful hints or tips is appreciated!!! Thanks again! :)

    Reply

    • Andrea
      May 31, 2013 @ 09:57:19

      Hi Ashlee – the bond of the foundation gel to your nail is what makes the polish last. It doesn’t matter how many layers of polish or top coat or how thick they are (as long as they’re cured completely). Make sure your nails are completely dry before applying your foundation – don’t use oils or lotions before applying and clean them really well with alcohol. Also cap the tips with your foundation gel. Gel polish shouldn’t make your nails weak unless you are scraping layers of your nail off during the removal process or peeling the polish off instead of soaking.

      Reply

  13. Lea
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 02:44:13

    Hi! So I’m addicted to you blog and constantly check for new posts. Got a lot of tricks and tips but just happen to run into a big one. I just took of my Gelish Garden Teal Party and it left my nails stained really bad. I tried soaking them again to see if it will come off and it didn’t work. I could not find anything online that could help me. Please let me know if you have any tricks on how to deal with this. Thank you so much! Keep blogging love it!

    Reply

  14. Martine
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 17:01:01

    Hi!! Your Blog is awesome! Wow what a nice collection you have there! I have a question regarding the polish brands! I’m currently using CND Shellac polish, and was wondering if I can use my top and base coat of that brand with Gelish Polish for the color! I saw many beautiful colors on your blog and want to try these out! Do I have to purchase the top and base coat from Gelish?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jun 19, 2013 @ 15:48:39

      Hi Martine – Thank you for the nice comments. You can mix and match gel polish brands.

      Reply

      • Martine
        Jun 20, 2013 @ 10:57:05

        Great! Thank you!! :)

        Reply

  15. Laura Kemp
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 17:25:40

    Hi Andrea,
    Im a beauty therapist from the UK who uses bio sculpture and gelish in the salon. I was looking to order some new gelish colours in and was looking for true colour swatches and happened to find your blog!
    Ive been on here over an hour now & I love it! You really should do your training so you can do nails as a 2nd job! you’d be fantastic! :-)
    Laura x

    Reply

  16. LuckyStarStyle Nail Decals
    Jun 25, 2013 @ 17:49:03

    Hi Andrea,

    I just had a design request from one of your readers, that let me know about your blog. I love it! I would love to send you some designs that you’d like to try. Thanks for the great write up on our waterslide nail decals. The designs are endless and great with gel nails.

    Thanks!
    LuckyStarStyle Nail Decals
    LuckyStarStyle.com

    Reply

  17. Jennifer
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 20:55:25

    Just wondering:
    Can I use a Gelish foundation and some uv gel glitter for colour and then the top it off ? I purchased some uv gel ( glitter and solid colours intended for gel nails) that I want to use with my Gelish products – will they soak off too if I sandwich them in just for colour?
    Thanks, Jen

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jul 06, 2013 @ 00:27:48

      Yes, you can do that. The glitter will soak off with the Gelish foundation & top coat.

      Reply

  18. Emily Lacquerologist
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 17:37:55

    Hi Andrea! Just browsing your blog before I get to meet you on Wednesday at our meet-up!! Can’t wait to meet you in real life =)

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jul 09, 2013 @ 17:48:04

      Hi Emily! I’m looking forward to our meet-up too! Can’t wait! :)

      Reply

  19. Deborah
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 19:00:10

    Hi Andrea!
    I love your site! And I’m doing my due diligence before investing, so what do you think about…
    RE: Shrinkage
    Q. Do you think LED light curing would prevent shrinkage?
    I only ask because you stated that UV flash drying might help, so I wondered if the shorter curing time of LED might be the answer to the shrinkage?
    Thanks for all your blogging! And I LOVE YOUR WORK STATION!
    Deb :D

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jul 10, 2013 @ 09:19:26

      Hi Deb. Flash curing with a UV or LED light helps prevent shrinkage. The key is to get the painted nail into the light as soon as possible so that the polish doesn’t have time to shrink back from the edges.

      Reply

  20. Kathryn
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 15:14:30

    Hi Andrea! I’ve just bought my 15 year old daughter a UV light and 7 Gelish colours (plus the mini starter kit)…and she is having so much fun trying out different designs. We bought the Gelish brand after finding your blog…thank you so much for all the information and the colour swatches! We’re from the UK – just wish we had the selection that you’ve got over there…I’ve just googled INK and can’t find it here…
    I’m looking forward to gorgeous nails at a fraction of what I was paying in the salon. I’m currently wearing Tiger Blossom with Sheek White polka dots – fab! Thanks again!!x

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jul 30, 2013 @ 16:00:03

      That’s great! I hope you both have fun with these polishes! My daughter and I have bonded while doing nails together many times :)

      Reply

    • Suzanne
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 08:04:05

      I buy most of my colors on Amazon.com just type in the color your looking for (and brand) and they give you all the sights and price comparisons. I buy mine from Amazon all the time price range for full size bottles are $7.00 and up!
      I’m hooked on my gelish and love the change also. I bought the Gelish 18g LED and love it. I figured what I was paying each trip to the salon I could buy my own and change colors more often. It has paid for itself over and over!!!

      Reply

  21. Angie
    Aug 02, 2013 @ 16:45:20

    Hi Andrea!

    My name’s Angie and I manage a spa in Toronto. We’ve recently added Gelish to our repertoire (we also use OPI Color Gel) and I have to tell you that without your swatches I never would have been able to place our initial order! Thanks for maintaining such a great site!

    Thanks! x

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Aug 02, 2013 @ 17:20:24

      Hi Angie! Thank you for commenting! It’s nice to hear that my swatches are helpful! I hope to have all of the Gelish colors swatched one day :)

      Reply

  22. GeekGirl3.141
    Oct 12, 2013 @ 19:10:40

    LOVE your site, freaking brilliant!! I’m a web designer in NZ (but grew up in Cali) and just found gel nail polish (OMG) sorry things take ages to find there way to the bottom (top) of the world! Sooo appreciate your posts and am just getting a whole bunch of goodies shipped from the States, can’t wait to play!! Wishing you and your girl a wonderful weekend!!

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Nov 05, 2013 @ 15:25:17

      Yay, a fellow tech geek! ;)

      Reply

  23. Marcela
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 20:33:46

    Hi Andrea,

    I just want to congratulate you. This is great work you do. You do have the best swatches on the net. I was just googling to find out about doing my own gelish at home and found your blog. I’m completely sold thanks to you and your great tutorials and beautiful photos. I bought my gelish mini kit and can’t wait for my led lamp to arrive.

    Thanks a lot for your hard and beautiful work. Best regards from Mexico.

    Reply

  24. Brandie
    Jun 08, 2014 @ 19:17:28

    Your website is awesome! After using your blog for research I purchased the 5-45 LED light, the starter kit and some polishes. The first time I tried it I used night reflection. Even after using double the curing time with the light, the color still came off slightly while applying the top coat and when cleansing at the end, mostly towards my cuticle. What can I do to prevent this? It never happened at the salon when I had them done professionally.

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jun 08, 2014 @ 22:44:59

      Did the color get onto your top coat brush? Sometimes darker colors do require longer curing time, but I’m surprised that it wouldn’t be done after 2 rounds of curing. Do the instructions for the 5-45 light say you should do 30-second or 45-second cures?

      Reply

  25. Gail
    Jun 25, 2014 @ 17:14:07

    Hi Andrea!
    Two questions:
    I know under cured gel is bad so I’m always “over” curing my nails. Will that damage or effect the quality of the product? I use all Gelish products.
    Secondly, opinion needed: do you think that Gossip Girl and High Voltage will work together? (I’m thinking of using HV as an accent nail.)

    Thanks much! Love your website!!
    Gail

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jun 26, 2014 @ 15:21:48

      I’m not sure. When I do nail art my polish is often cured many times, but I’ve never noticed any ill effects of “over curing” them. I’ve read that over curing can cause removal to be more difficult and that it can actually cause cracking with some gel polishes, but as I said, I’ve never experienced these problems. Those two colors would work ok together – they are similar shades but have very different finishes. I personally like more contrast in color for an accent nail.

      Reply

  26. Jill
    Jul 07, 2014 @ 00:16:40

    Hi Andrea! Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. You are my go-to when I need a swatched example of any Gelish color. I have often stood in Sally’s and referenced your blog for color examples before purchasing their clearances colors. Heck, I do the same thing before getting any color on Amazon too… just in the privacy of my home and not with the Sally’s employes wondering what on Earth I’m up to. :) Thanks for your awesome info, fun design inspirations, willingness to help and great photos! The nail world appreciates it all! :)

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Jul 07, 2014 @ 09:21:43

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Jill! :)

      Reply

  27. Nia
    Nov 20, 2014 @ 17:51:28

    Hi Andrea! I was curious about the shelf life of gelish. Does it expire? And what does it look like when it expires, if it does? I’ve been hearing that gel polish doesn’t have a long shelf life (like a year, year and a half). I’m feeling a bit nervous since I have a rather large stash and I don’t want them to go to waste. Have you had any trouble with yours? Sorry if this seems a bit rambly, I feel like my polishes are my babies, haha.

    Reply

    • Andrea
      Nov 20, 2014 @ 18:23:14

      Gelish says the shelf life is 18 months. I’ve had a lot of mine for 3-4 years now and they’re all still ok. Sometimes they get a little thick and then I just add some gel polish thinner and give them a good shake. If they only lasted the recommended time, I’d be very sad! :)

      Reply

      • Nia
        Nov 21, 2014 @ 19:53:47

        Okay, thanks. I was just asking because I’ve had good gossip for a year and a half already and I went to use it and it was mostly solid inside the bottle.

        Reply

        • Andrea
          Nov 21, 2014 @ 20:24:17

          Interesting. I’ve never had that happen. Is your bottle exposed to natural sunlight? The light can get in that little peep hole and cure the polish, so keep them out of the light.

          Reply

          • Nia
            Nov 21, 2014 @ 23:17:53

            Nope, it sits in a solid oak drawer. And I never open the curtains in that room, lol. So yeah, I was pretty surprised to find it solidified. And it was perfectly fine when I used it a month ago. Oh well, as long as it doesn’t happen to the others, I’ll order a replacement. Thanks for the help!

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