When you’re a gel manicure devotee, breaking the cycle can be a testing endeavour: all too often, even the most cautious removal session can leave nails dry, brittle and breaking. But the alternative – a classic nail lacquer – doesn’t quite cut it either, especially when you need your polish to see you from Monday morning through to the weekend.
Alternatives have, until now, been few and far between – but French brand Manucurist has delivered a middle-ground manicure option that really impresses.
Green Flash is Manucurist’s innovation for those who want a lacquer with longevity as well as effortless, gentle removal. It sits somewhere in-between a gel and a regular polish, offering around 10 day’s worth of even, glossy colour that can be removed at home in minutes.
Founder Gaëlle Lebrat Personnaz took over the family-run brand from her mother in 2016, and set out to develop a healthier alternative to gel. “Above all, it was about paving the way for a cleaner and more responsible beauty in a sector that is struggling to innovate and that everyone thinks is difficult to develop and change,” says Personnaz. “For six years now, we have been showing that it is possible to offer healthier, greener products without compromising on quality and durability.”
What is the Manucurist Green Flash kit?
The Manucurist brand offers traditional nail lacquers alongside an expansive line of care products, but it’s the Green Flash ‘gel alternative’ kit that is really stealing the spotlight. Truly unlike anything else on the market, Personnaz describes it as “a long lasting effect, like a gel but easy to remove like a regular polish, without risk to health in accordance with the European regulations and authorised for sale outside of salon professionals".
Indeed, traditional gel manicures pose concerns for some, not only from the way removal can leave the nails weakened and dry, but from the ingredients involved in their formulation. Personnaz highlights the issue of “small, ultra-allergenic molecules called HEMA or DI-HEMA”, which not only have the ability to cause inflammatory skin reactions, but respiratory issues too – especially to the nail technicians breathing them in on a daily basis.
But Green Flash isn’t solely a promising ‘clean’ alternative to the classic manicure: it looks outstanding too. Two coats of colour, applied using the at-home kit, delivers an impressively glossy result that resists chipping remarkably well (trust us: we've road-tested it on the most heavy-handed laptop typists).
How does the Manucurist Green Flash kit work?
The brand’s colour polishes are made with non-volatile copolymers instead of the usual HEMA molecules which bind together in the same way under the rays of an LED lamp. (The brand's own is pleasingly light and streamlined). You may notice your nails feel less ‘hardened’ than they do under coats of gel, but at no cost to the appearance.
Another key difference is the removal process. Rather than heading back into the salon for a tedious buffing and soaking, Green Flash can be removed at home with a gentle remover: simply soak fingers in a cotton pad for a minute or two, before swiping the colour clean away.