Hello! It's been a while since I have given a product a big thumbs up here, so it's about time, right?
Gel nails are all the rage around here right now - either Shellac or Gelish are applied at the salon for between $30 and $40, and last about 2-3 weeks. I loved acrylics, but would obsess about every little bit of growth, and found myself going to the salon too often for fill-ins. I felt like I was spending too much money on fingernails, and I'm frugal about my self expenses.
And the concept of gel nails is interesting to me. I like to have my nails painted, but since the whole Incoco deal (only available online and now more expensive than before) fell through for me, I don't have the time to paint them only to have chips within a day or two. At the same time, for the money...I'd rather have my nice, big, insanely long, decorated acrylics that were my signature look for so long. And since I know that isn't a good option for the above reasons, I considered investing in my own system to do gel nails at home. Red Carpet makes a great starter kit that costs about $60 at Meijer, with additional polish colors for $10 each.
I was actually considering treating myself to the kit when I saw the Nutra Nail Gel Perfect Nail Color display.
For $11, you can give yourself a gel manicure with no UV light needed (the most expensive part of purchasing any of the the at home versions)...and not for just one manicure, because you'd have the whole bottle of color to use for multiple times. From a cost factor, this seemed like a win, so I thought, I'm giving it a try.
In each kit, you get three small bottles of product - an activator, the color gel and a small container of cleaner to use between coats to keep the color brush from getting goopy.
I shaped my nails, pushed my cuticles back, and scrubbed my nails with a nailbrush and some grease fighting dish detergent. I've found that this really helps with manicures...getting the natural oil off my nails seems to help with adhesion. I then slicked on a thin, even coat of activator on one hand, then immediately went back to brush on the color gel coat as instructed. After, I wiped the color brush clean and dipped it in the cleaner. Then, I repeated the process on my other hand.
Then, did the whole process once more on each hand.
Even though it was my first attempt, I was blown away. It was COMPLETELY dry immediately. I'm not talking the kind of dry normal polishes promise, where it's kind of dry but not really, and you can easily dent your nails if you don't sit still for an hour or so. I'm talking like completely dry, go ahead and wash your car/fold the laundry/dig a hole for your new swimming pool dry.
I used Dahlia, a very dark shade, and after three days, I had a chip. Because I am a polish picker, I did what I usually do and picked. Had I not picked, the manicure would have lasted much longer. But I took that color off and replaced it with another shade on Thursday night (I think it's Orchid, but I'm too lazy to get up and check right now) and I have not had a chip or scratch or anything. Amazing!
I've read some semi-negative reviews online from people who were expecting this product to perform exactly the same as the salon versions. I wasn't expecting that, so for me, this is a great DIY alternative that is affordable and reasonable. If I get a week out of a manicure, I'm pleased, especially since the application is so speedy. Also, please note, right now there is a $2 off your next purchase in each box, and $1 off on the remover coupon in each box.
I think if you give it a try, you'll like it!