Sunday, May 13, 2012

Update: After 5 days

Update: Removal 

I mentioned last week that I removed my acrylic nails after three years of going to the nail salon every 2-3 weeks to have them cut down, filled, and painted. I love having nice looking nails - even the slightest chip would have me repainting my nails, sometimes even a day after doing them myself, so acrylics suited me well. But frankly, I just got tired of the hassle - I spent at least an hour at the salon and sometimes that didn't include drying time. Something that was supposed to be relaxing was now just turning into a chore. And the cost -around $50 a month to maintain, sometimes more when I got a pedicure too.

After removing my nails last week - I've already painted them three times due to chipping and it was driving me nuts!

So I set out to solve this conundrum.

My Google searches all seemed to point me in the same direction: gel nail polish. Gel nail polish is like regular nail polish but it is cured with a UV or LED lamp to create a manicure that lasts up to two weeks with no chips. I thought gel manicures were only available at the salon with products like Shellac and axxium but lucky for me gel nail polish is now available at your local Wal-Mart.

Yep. Wal-Mart. What don't they sell there?

I found the Sensationail kit for $50 at Wally World (I looked at CVS too but no dice). While 50 bones seemed a tad bit expensive, the box said it was enough for 10 manicures so that works out to $5 a mani. And most other gel nail systems were much more expensive, somewhere around the $100 mark. And, after reading so many great reviews about the product I felt like it was a safe bet.

The kit came with a gel primer, gel base and top coat, gel cleaner, raspberry wine nail color, LED lamp, buffer, cuticle stick, and lint free wipes.

I was super excited when I got home to dive right and in and start painting but this is a type of product that you really want to follow the directions on for optimal results. But to my surprise the directions were relatively simple.

1. Shape and buff nails.
2. Use a lint free cloth and the gel cleaner to cleanse nails.
3. Swipe on a coat of gel primer and let air dry.
4. Paint a THIN coat of gel base onto nails staying clear of cuticles then cure under the lamp for 30 seconds.
5. Paint a THIN coat of nail color onto nails then cure under the lamp for 60 seconds. Repeat with a second coat of color and cure for 60 seconds.
6. Paint a THIN coat of gel top coat onto nails then cure under the lamp for 30 seconds.
7. Wipe nails with lint free cloth and gel cleaner to remove moisture layer.

At first glance it doesn't seem simple or quick and I'll admit my first thumbnail took me 10 minutes because I kept re-reading directions. But once I repeated the process it was SUPER quick. And the best part, my nails were instantly dry. Not kinda dry where you have to avoid picking up your keys or rooting through your purse. I'm talking 100%, send a text message, dig to the bottom of your purse, D-R-Y.

I think I'm in love. My nails are super shiny and look like they came straight from the salon. The box says up to two weeks of "dazzling damage proof wear" so I'll just have to wait and see but I'm pretty positive it's going to last. I'll be sure and report back in a few days.

Removal might be a different story but again I think following the directions are key. I'll have to soak my nails in acetone for about 15 minutes before the color will budge but we'll just have to wait and see.

P.S. This was just my experience with this product, Sensationail (Nailene) does not know who I am nor asked me to promote their product. I just love sharing great stuff!


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  1. I'm excited to see how you like this! I can't stand when my nails chip either and had thought about buying the supplies to do my own Shellac.

    1. This is definitely a more affordable option than salon manis or other gel polish options. The lamps seem to be the expensive part. Other good news is that there are other colors available for $10..not too shabby!

  2. Keep us posted about how they last and how hard or easy it is to remove.

  3. I'm going to try this! NOTHING stays on my nails for more than a couple of days... not acrylics or nail polish! I've been wanting something that will make my nails thicker. This sounds like a GREAT option.

    1. If you try it I want to see your results!

  4. I've read about these! I was wondering how well they will hold up! I'm definitely following you! Saw you over at Positively Splendid!

  5. I just bought "chipskip" by opi ($10.00 a bottle, but had a $3.00 off coupon. Painted my nails last wednesday and no chips, but the polish is just barely receding on the tips. I am interested to hear how these last. =0)

    1. Checkout the updates at the top of the post - I made it a week and changed polish due to breaking two nails while cleaning. I'll have to look out for chipskip so I can do something a little less intensive than the gel nails some weeks. Great tip, thanks!

  6. I have done my own manicures, mainly French, for years, using OPI nail polish (which I think is the best acrylic polish). Since I do my own, I decided to invest in the gel system as well. I've done about 4 manicures so far, and they have held up tremendously. One even lasted 3 weeks. Removing the polish, however, is really a pain, but it's all worth it. I asked my hairdresser if they are bad for your nails, and she said as long as you're not over-buffing, they should be fine. Just my 2 cents to help you out.
    Fondly, Tami

    1. Thanks Tami for the input...I hope my current color lasts three weeks, that would be epic!