Months ago, when I went shopping for the Sensationail Polish to Gel, I was faced with two options: just the Polish to Gel, $7.99, or a Starter Kit with the new Sensationail LED Lamp, $23.99. I was like, “Wait, NEW lamp?!”
I bought the starter kit. Yes, I already have a lamp – but I wanted to see what was so, “new and improved,” (or if it was indeed, ‘improved’) about the new lamp.
The new lamp is powered via an included micro-USB cable, and comes with an AC adapter. My desk is also where I do my nails, so it being USB-powered is perfect for me. It’s also way better for travel, should you need to bring it with you – it (generally) means you can travel with fewer cables. Less competition for AC outlets, too.
Instead of an annoying switch-and-button combo, the new Sensationail LED lamp has a motion sensor. The lamp detects when something is placed within and automatically comes on, as well as powers off when nothing is inside. This is awesome for flash-curing any colors that may be fussy about shrinkage.
Additionally, the new Sensationail LED Lamp’s base is magnetic and pops off to support easier use for pedicures. Some professional lamps are bottomless for this precise reason; it’s really nice to see this in a small, home-use lamp.
Sensationail base and top coats cure in just fifteen seconds (compared to the old lamp’s 30). Color polishes cure in 30 seconds rather than one minute. That means the new Sensationail LED Lamp literally cuts your curing time in half if you’re using Sensationail’s polishes. Your manicure time will not be halved, but perhaps reduced by up to one-third.
In my experience, most gel polish brands either required the same or less cure time than Sensationail’s polishes. I would expect similar behavior from other brands but YMMV. I haven’t timed anything, but the 15/30 rule has been perfectly fine so far for Sensationail, Gelish, and Gelaze. To say for certain, though, I’ll need to test it with a stopwatch.
Sensationail also eliminated the shrill chirp that occurs when at power-on as well as when the halfway point is achieved. Instead, the light blinks to let you know that 15 seconds have elapsed.
The Bottom Line
Two words: Worth It. There’s never been a better time to get into gel polish. If you’re already into it, the upgrade is inexpensive, and entirely worth it. You can buy the new Sensationail LED Lamp for $29.99 from Sensationail – but why, when you can get it with the Polish to Gel or in the updated Starter kits for $22 – $24?
PS – Target’s site shows the old lamp in its starter kits, but I bought one of the regular starter kits recently too as a gift and it has the new one.