I have been looking into these gel kits for a little while, but I was slightly skeptical. I had only gotten gel done a few times, years ago. Even then they just used it as a top coat for my acrylics. Since I vowed never to do acrylics or anything remotely damaging to my nails, I've had to deal with a cycle of growing out and breaking until my nails were strong enough to be on their own. I had read up on gel manicures and the pros/cons and cost. I decided it wasn't something I needed. Enter the Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit. It looked interesting, even if it was wildly expensive by my standards. So I sat on it, did some research and read reviews on the various at home kits out there. Finally I decided to go with Sally Hansen. I've used their nail strips, top coats, and nail polishes before and they haven't disappointed me. They must know their stuff right? It definitely helped that there was a super sale at Target and I got the kit for $61.99! They usually retail anywhere between $64.99 to about $72.99, depending on store and location. You can get these at most Walmarts, Targets, Duane Reade/Walgreens etc. I was super excited and just picked it up right away. It was a sign from above that I had to have it. I was a little disappointed that they didn't have the color I wanted, only Wine Not and Shell We Dance. I had really wanted to try Red My Lips. No biggie. I took up Wine Not (Shell We Dance looked to pale for my tastes, although it could be pretty on others.) I will admit it still took me a few days before I broke it open and used it. I felt a little intimidated by it, as silly as that sounds.
|This is everything that come in the box, full sized polishes and nice size acetone|
I can tell you that once I read the directions, it wasn't that bad. I dove right in and went at it. Surprisingly easy, if not a little tedious, steps. Shape and clean nails - the nail wipes are just alcohol pads. Base coat, cure, one layer of gel polish, cure, second layer, cure, top coat, cure. Final wipe with alcohol and done. Just be careful to not get any on your cuticles or skin. I learned the hard way when I let it all cure and tried to peel it off afterwards. It ended up lifting it off my nail and I was left with a horrible mess. Some reviews I read, people were complaining that it was still sticky or wet when cured and never dried. Yes it is sticky when you finish curing, but that stickiness is what you wipe away with that final swipe of alcohol. After that, luxurious shine and hard to touch nails. Also one coat had pretty good coverage, at least in this color. I probably didn't need 2 coats.
|First attempt - color is not true to the bottle/box|
|ELF Smoky Brown. Excuse the ashy skin|
|2nd attempt. Much better. Trying out watermarks|
|slight chipping. horrible cuticles.|
- Easy to use, clear instructions
- LED light is less harmful than UV light
- Removal is painless, doesn't require scraping
- Long lasting, doesn't damage nails
- Color was not true to the color on the bottle cap, or on the box
Have any of you tried any at home gel kits? Got some tips and tricks?