Gel nail kit c/o Sensationail
I got really into gel manicures last year but over Christmas I found I was quite enjoying switching up my nail looks and whilst gel manicures have excellent lasting power, they are a little more difficult to apply and remove than normal nail polish. However, I was getting increasingly irritated with the speed at which my nail varnish chipped so when Sensationial got in touch and offered to send me a gel nail kit to review, I was really keen to try it out.
The difference with Sensationail is that the gel lamp is an LED one. This means that unlike the older style UV curing lamps, it takes 30 seconds to cure the gel polish, rather than a couple of minutes. It's so quick and simple to use; and whilst the steps are a little more in depth than just slapping some nail varnish on, it's definitely worth the work!
I was sent the lamp, the essentials kit and two polish colours. The lamp is really small and portable, unlike the UV one I've had previously which was about shoebox sized; this lamp is easy to store away when not in use. It comes complete with a lead attachment and just plugs into the wall.
To prep the nails, I removed all my old polish and used the gel cleanser from the essentials kit to clean my nails. I then added a thin coat of nail primer, and painted a thin layer of the clear base coat on. The polish consistency is pretty much the same as normal nail polish, and if you can apply that, you will be able to do your own gel manicure!
I cured the base coat for 30 seconds, by putting my nails under the lamp. It comes on automatically and turns off after 30 seconds have elapsed. I then applied two layers of this lovely pink sand shade which is a blush toned nude, curing in between each layer, and finished with a top coat. After curing the final top coat I wiped over the nails with the cleanser to remove the tacky top layer and reveal the shine!
The kit was so easy to use, just like polishing your nails with a couple of extra stages in between. The polish lasts for up to two weeks with no chips; dries instantly so there's no smudging and is incredibly shiny and glossy. The most annoying part is the removal-you have to soak the nails in acetone based remover to encourage the polish to lift off. This takes ages and is really boring, plus I did find my nails felt a lot weaker when I was using gel polished concurrently. I will probably go back to regular nail polish for a couple of weeks after this gel manicure before I try another gel manicure again, just to give my nails a break.
Gel manicures are fantastic for special events, or holidays (who wants to do their nails on holiday!?) so you can guarantee a chip free couple of weeks. One you've got into the swing of curing the polish in between each coat it becomes much quicker to do and really very simple, without the constant removal and re-application that regular nail polish demands.
What do you think of DIY gel nails? Would you try them at home?
This post is in collaboration with Sensationail