Worth it? Ohora Semi-Cured Gel Nail Strips

Ohora Semi-Cured Gel Nail Strips

Before I got into gel manicures, I used to do nail art all the time. This also consumed a lot of time, which was okay back then because I HAD time. Then, I got into gel and got 10-21 days out of a manicure. As my time faded, so too did my interest in nail art. Even now, I don’t dislike it. I just can’t spend hours on my nails 1-2x a week, and I never picked up gel art.

Enter Ohora Semi-Cured Gel Nail Strips

I had never tried nail strips – neither classic nor curable gel. Though I appreciate the art-on-demand aspect, they didn’t strike me as something I needed to try. I have good polishing skills, and I can live without art. So, I dismissed them for my own purposes. This goes for both gel AND classic strips – just had very little interest at their price point.

Last July, some of the Ohora Semi-Cured Gel Nail Strips went on sale. I bought a pack that featured a tortoise design, and left them untouched until mid-October. It was then sufficiently Autumn, so I gave them a shot.


I was pleasantly surprised that using these things is pretty damn easy! Match up sizing much like you’d do for a press-on nail. Carefully peel from the backing. Align with your cuticle and gently but firmly press to adhere, ensuring no bubbles or gaps.

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Gel Does Not Damage Your Nails

throwback picture from this throwback post!

Everyone, breathe: gel does not damage your nails! After seeing one too many complaints about how, “gel damages your nails,” and all of these, “gel rescue,” type nail recovery products, I’m losing my mind.

Root Cause

If you’ve experienced nail damage after having gel nails, I’m not gaslighting you. Many people DO experience damage after nail enhancement services. My goal isn’t to make you feel crazy! You aren’t.

My goal is, however, to correct a common misconception and improve understanding of nail enhancement processes. Gel does not damage your nails.

If you’ve experienced weak, thin, peeling, or sensitive nails after removing gel, you aren’t alone. The issue isn’t the gel – the issue is how the nails were prepped.

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Manicure Monday – 11/11/2019 – OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress

OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress - GelcolorOPI I’m Not Really a Waitress – Gelcolor – Two Coats

My boss often says, “You never get tired of the classics.” Usually, this is a response to a joke or movie reference that makes him laugh; I find it to be true for nail color and cosmetics just as well.

An Old Flame

When I was a sophomore in high school, I grudgingly agreed to attend Homecoming with my group of friends. Generously, one of my friend’s moms carted us off to treat us to manicures and pedicures. It was the first time I’d gone to a nail salon; faced with a wall of choices, I plucked OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress from the wall and had it applied to my fingers and toes.

Soon after, I bought a bottle of it. Back then, spending $8 on a bottle of nail polish was unheard of to me. But I’ve purchased countless bottles in the time that has passed.

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Manicure Monday – 10/14/2019 – Red LED Gel Lamp

Red LED Gel Lamp

Red LED Gel Lamp

I ultimately bought this incredible red LED gel lamp (and a bunch of other stuff ?) from The NaiI Hub. It isn’t clear who the manufacturer of this lamp is; it lacks branding, and I’m not entirely sure if The Nail Hub is claiming this as one of their products. Either way, frankly, I don’t care because it is excellent. My experience has been nothing but positive since I started using it in July.

Curing My Gel Manicures

For years, I’ve been using Sensationail lamps to cure my gel manicures. They’re what I started with! Eventually, I added their newer model lamp to my nail tool collection. After a couple bad cures with good formulas, though, I started to wonder if it was time for a change. I suspect the LEDs weren’t getting enough power, and here could be plenty of reasons for this:

  • The micro USB cable I used to supply power to it could be bad.
  • The AC adapter could be bad.
  • The power relay in the lamp itself could be bad.

Rather than asking my husband to embark on an electronics teardown for diagnostic purposes, I decided to upgrade my lamp game. (I might still ask him for help with that, though – for science, for a backup, for a small travel lamp etc).

Why Red?

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Manicure Monday – 7/8/2019 – China Glaze Pink Plumeria

Last week, I got what ended up being a highly disappointing dip powder manicure at a salon (siiigh) for my birthday. It was super pretty but something about my nail tech’s application – or maybe the product itself – just didn’t jive; more on that another time. Frustrated, after I removed the (fun, pretty, summery) product, I opted to clothe my naked digits with a gel polish manicure. I knew I wanted pink but I didn’t want to go full neon and go for China Glaze Shocking Pink (wore it recently, is great, just not how I was feeling at the time).

Color Inspiration

So – I’m having a bit of a grapefruit moment. I can think of nothing but palomas even though I am a space cadet and keep forgetting to buy some damn grapefruit when I’m at the store.

Gorgeous, right? Check out Preppy Kitchen, John makes some cute and tasty looking stuff!

Anyway, China Glaze Pink Plumeria gives me grapefruit vibes something fierce – so its settled. I’ve featured it on the blog before, in a pedicure, but I wanted to give it another go in that format and with Sensationail Polish to Gel. I picked it up when I bought a bunch of bright colors earlier this year; when I was researching my tentative selections and saw swatches for Pink Plumeria, I required it.


I’m going to go a bit out of order and talk about my pedicure first. Like most of the neon-adjacent pearls, Pink Plumeria is gorgeous but slightly annoying to apply. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for China Glaze to update their traditional brushes to be more in line with modern brushes. That meant I had to redo a few toes more than once to get everything to lay right, not streak, etc. The color is so lovely that its worth it, though. On my toes, I did a standard application with Gelous Gel Coat base coat and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. They look great, just like the the first time I used it for a pedicure and snapped a photo:

China Glaze Pink Plumeria

Polish to Gel Application

On my fingers, I made a Polish to Gel cocktail. I played with the ratios a bit and ended up with probably 2-3 drops Pink Plumeria to 1 drop Polish to Gel, but it’s worth noting that the gel’s drop-size was larger due to the larger brush. Either way, it applied beautifully this way; I didn’t entirely expect this, but the gel really helps mitigate the quirks of the neon-pearl polish. It cured nicely in spite of my tampering.

And look at how magnificent it came out! I kinda think I want to just turn the entire bottle into a franken-gel. It was so much nicer to work with, and its beauty isn’t compromised at all in this format. It is fantastic on my skin tone (which is less obvious in the picture below; for some reason the polish presents accurately, but my skin did not) and even though its a bit bright, I don’t think it would be, “too much,” for most workplaces.

China Glaze Pink Plumeria with Sensationail Polish to GelChina Glaze Pink Plumeria & Sensationail Polish to Gel

What are you wearing this week?

Manicure Monday – 5/20/2019 – Sensationail Beat the Heat

Sensationail Beat the Heat

How ridiculous is this yellow?! Sensationail Beat the Heat is crying for summer. I’m behind the curve again (oops). I applied this manicure two weeks ago on the twelfth and wore it up until the 26th – so I got a full two weeks out of it. This week, I’m wearing Diva Bride again – maybe I’ll post that next week.

Sensationail Beat the Heat

I remember the first time I saw this rich yellow creme gel polish. Someone had done an amazing ombre sunset manicure all with gel polish and this was the yellow in it. The manicure itself was incredible, but I just remembered being like, “Damn, I’ve never seen a yellow gel polish before!”

So, from that point forth, I wanted this damn color in my collection. It has been literal years. No; this is not an exaggeration. When Sensationail launched this vibrant yellow, they first only made it available in UK. Damn!

Then, they made it available in the US – but it was online only for ages. Considering (at the time), I had all the other Sensationail colors I wanted, I wasn’t going to shell out for shipping for a single bottle of gel polish.

By wonderful happenstance, I saw an Instagram post of theirs suggesting it would be in stores. The very next time I was in Wal-Mart, I made a beeline for nail polish and




Yoink. Mine at last!


This picture is two coats and it is damn near opaque, but I found myself wishing I’d done a third; in certain light, you could see the smile line of the free edge of my natural nail. It wasn’t bad or obvious though; most people wouldn’t notice but I’m occasionally known for being a mildly neurotic perfectionist with this and many things.

Application was good and up to par with Sensationail’s consistency. It wore like a champ with no lifting or misbehavior; I got my first chip on the thirteenth day of wear.

The Bottom Line

I actually can’t find a link to a store that carries it, but if you aren’t allergic to paying nearly as much in shipping as the product you’re buying, you can get it from Sensationail here. Their site still says its online only, but that’s not the case – I definitely picked it up in store a couple miles from my house. :) Happy painting!