I am a nail polish addict. I cannot go to a grocery or convenience store without checking out the clearance nail polish and buying like three. My downstairs bathroom has an entire medicine cabinet filled with random colors.
When I was younger, my parents always got on me about my chipped nail polish. If I was going to wear it, I needed to keep it looking nice. I think that mindset has really set in as I got older, and there’s nothing I hate more than having (or seeing) chipped nail polish.
Unfortunately, despite the millions of claims of no-chip polish or awesome topcoat, my manicures always, always chip after a few days.
Luckily, I enjoy doing my nails a few times a week at home while I watch TV (it’s in order to not eat ice cream or Girl Scout cookies–you can’t eat with wet polish hands), but sometimes when I’m running low on time, I have to endure my yucky chipped nails.
A few of my friends from church go to a salon every two weeks and get those UV gel manicures. Apparently, it does last the entire time, and looks great. (And, it’s true! Their nails always do look nice!) Unfortunately, I don’t really have the time (or want to spend the money) getting my nails done that often.
So, the other day, I was in CVS buying facewash, and I saw this kit.
Two weeks of perfect polish?! At home gel?!
I didn’t really believe them, and kept walking around the store. But, as I looked longingly at the discount nail polish rows, I thought about my nails. How nice would it be to not have to repaint my nails every few days? Is that worth the investment?
An in-store coupon and a Beauty Buck deal ended up swaying me, and since I saved like $20, I decided to pull the trigger.
And, let me just preface this by saying… I’m not getting paid for this. No one asked me to review it. This company does not even know I exist.
By this SensatioNail Invincible Gel Polish kit by Nailene is incredible. INCREDIBLE.
Okay, so the first time you do it, it’s a little daunting with all the steps, and it might take you a little longer just to make sure you’re doing everything right.
Basically, step-by-step, here’s what you do:
1. Take off ALL your old polish. They give you a handy dandy stick thing to really get all the nailbeds clean. Don’t do a half-way job, ladies. Also, use a nail file to lightly buff the top of your nails.
2. Use the Gel Cleanser to wipe down your nails.
3. Use a little bit of the Gel Primer to kind of wet your nails. It creates a good base for the Gel to cling to.
4. Use the Gel Base & Top Coat, and give yourself a thin layer across all your nails. Then, stick each hand in the Pro 3060 LED lamp for thirty seconds. (It even beeps to let you know when you can switch!)
5. Once your base has dried, you use your color and do a thin coat. This goes on SO beautifully, and doesn’t glop on like some other cheaper polishes do.
They have a bunch of colors to pick from, but luckily, my little starter kit came with my trusty go-to–a beautiful bright red.
6. After doing your polish, you stick each hand in the light for a minute. Again, it beeps to let you know when you’re done.
7. Do a second layer of color, and let it harden again under the light.
8. Do a layer of the Gel Top Coat, and let it harden for thirty seconds under the light.
9. Clean the tops of your nails with the Gel Cleanser (yes, your nails are totally completely dry after this!) and voila! Your nails will look legit.
Ignore the little black spots on my ring finger–I was doing some touch up painting in my dining room and didn’t get it all off.
But, guys, guys, this is how my nails look after a full week. Not ONE chip. AND, what’s even better, is that if you do get a small chip, it’s pretty easy to carefully just touch up that little spot. I think I got about three weeks out of my last round of gel polish (with little touchups during the second week) before I needed to redo it.
My own little hint to prolong your color? Don’t forget to do the edge of the tip of your nails. It seals the color and doesn’t let anything kind of push it up and back. It’s tricky to do it and not get it on your skin, but after everything dries, any residue on your skin comes off pretty easily.
The only downside? This is hard to get off. I soaked my nails in nailpolish remover, and it loosened it up until I could peel it off. (Yeah, one nice thing is that it does peel pretty easily.) But, taking it off is the most time consuming part, but it’s not as bad as I was expecting.
To do my nails (from scratch) takes me about ten minutes (give or take if I’m clumsy that day). Taking it off takes a little longer, but if you’re watching TV or something, it makes the time go by faster.
But, seriously, I recommend buying this a million percent. The $60 price tag is a little steep at first, but you really don’t ever need another manicure again. I promise. (Plus, it comes with everything–including the light.) And, I think if you buy it from CVS, you can get discounts and rebates with your Beauty Club card. (Mine ended up only costing me like $40.)
Anywayyyy, if you try it out, let me know what you think!
PS: Again, I wasn’t paid for this or anything. I’m just excited about it. Here’s the site
if you want more info.
Update May 23, 2012:
So I’ve been using this kit consistently since I bought it. (I also own a few more colors, like bright pink and coral!) Here’s a few more thoughts now that I’ve had it for a few months:
1. Refills can get pricey. So far, the only way you can buy more of the clear base/top coat is to buy a refill kit which is like $20. For that price, you get more primer, cleanser, nail file, pads, etc, but it kind of stinks because I’m nowhere near to needing more of that stuff. I hope they come out with JUST a clear/base top coat and don’t keep forcing me to buy the entire refill. On the bright side, a little does go a long way, so since I’ve had it, I’ve only had to get one refill kit and am still going strong.
Also, if you want more colors, they are around $10-$11. (Buy them at Walmart. They’re cheaper than CVS.) That initial price kind of stings, but they last a long time. (Be warned though–they package everything so that it looks big, but the bottles are pretty small. But, a little does go a long way. Trust me.)
2. It’s actually not hard to get off (like I thought it would be). For me, at least, I can peel the nail polish right off my nail. I can actually take off the majority of the color without any kind of remover. If you get good, you can peel the entire color off in one fell swoop.
This is good and bad. It’s bad if you are a nail picker, like me. If I even get the smallest chip, I tend to want to pick off all the polish so that I force myself to repaint when I get home. But, it’s good in that once you peel off all the color, you just need to do a few quick swipes of nail polish remover to get rid of the rest of it.
3. YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION AND TAKE YOUR TIME! You’re not going to get good results if you do this in a hurry. My trick is to sit at my kitchen island and paint while I watch television. The more time you take to doing every single step as thoroughly and carefully as you can, the longer your manicure lasts. Now, over time, you’ll definitely get faster/better at it, but especially starting out, really take your time to be perfect. It’s worth it. If you hurry, your nails will chip faster.
4. Make sure to get the front edge of your nail with all four layers of base coat/polish X 2/top coat. Remember how I said it can peel off? The smallest things (like hair) can get stuck in between the gel and your nail sometimes, and the whole thing will come off. By sealing off the top front edge, you prevent that from happening.
5. Don’t take a hot bath or wash your hands RIGHT after you paint. While the bright side of gel manicures is that your nails are instantly dry, I’ve found that if hot water touches them at all in the next few hours, the manicure can almost…melt (for lack of a better word). I had weird melted bubbles on the surface.
My whole mindset for manicures has changed since I got this. I used to be happy if my at-home manicure lasted a few days. Now, I find myself getting upset if one of my nails has a tiny chip like ten days after I did it.