I don’t go to nail salons. Mostly because of the expense, I prefer doing it myself. But the results can be… meh. Until now.
This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while: a DIY gel manicure system! And particularly one by Sensationail. This is a gel product that is touted as lasting up to 14 days per manicure. And, while I know that for some that’s just too long to go between manis, for me it’s a very attractive concept. I work with my hands and have a very difficult time wearing regular nail polish past a day or so without chipping and scratching it up quickly, causing it to look just plain tacky.
So I made the leap and purchased the $60 starter kit that comes complete with everything needed for the first 10 manicures (they claim, anyway.) Apparently you can also purchase a separate removal kit, but the instructions detail a method of removal that does not require separate purchase of anything other than acetone. Included in the starter kit is the LED lamp, the color gel polish, the gel base and top coat, the gel primer, the gel cleanser, the buffer/filer, and the lint-free wipes. Oh, and of course you get very good instructions… with pictures!
I’m not really sure how long the process takes most people, but it took me around 45 minutes to complete because I was being super-careful about everything. It’s actually a pretty simple process (one which I’ll not detail here), but there are a couple of recommendations I should make:
• Be VERY sparing with the gel primer. Seriously, don’t use much.
• Really try to avoid getting gel on your cuticle and finger. It’s not that you won’t get it off, it’s just kind of a pain doing so.
• Cure your two thumbs together and then each set of the four fingers together each curing cycle. All five don’t really fit well into that mini-lamp-thingy.
• When the instructions say “cap the nail,” make sure you run the brush over the entire nail after capping it so there’s no globby look to the tip of your nail.
One thing I really love about curing nails, as opposed to drying them, is how they are completely hard and dry when you are done. You can’t mess them up by accidentally touching something wrong…you don’t have to run around with your hands in the air to preserve their perfection till they’re truly dry. Once you’re done with the process, you’re done. What I also love is the glass-like sheen they have. Even on a good nail day, I have a real tough time getting them to look that glossy with regular nail polish.
As I’m writing this, it’s day two of having my Sensationail manicure, and I’m not seeing any wear yet. I’ll be sure to update this post by day 14, if not sooner, depending on when I start to see noticeable wear. But for now, I’m very happy with this product (yes, I know they’re probably not fun to remove) and with the concept of the gel manicure in general! I can’t wait to get some more colors (Oh, BTW, each gel color runs about $12)!!
These are supposedly all of Sensationail’s gel colors, but you probably won’t find every single one of them available in stores.