Soak-Off Gel Polish

Sensationail Gel Polish Lamp
This is a legacy post that has been given a facelift. Enjoy!

UV gel polish has been pretty trendy for a while now – probably a year and a half, give or take? Though there are many players on the field and the products are more accessible than ever, there remains skepticism regarding the efficacy of the products as compared to their claims – if I blamed anyone for that, I’d be a jerk.

How I Learned to Love the Gel

Here’s some backstory, for you – holiday season 2012 – a friend expressed curiosity in the¬†Sensationail gel system. Her roommate had one of the kits and seemed happy with it, but my friend and I craved a bit more than this flaky roommate’s thumbs-up. We did some research on it and found the promises of:

  • low-odor application
  • zero dry-time
  • up to two weeks of wear
  • a finish that does not wind up dull after a few days
  • and relatively easy removal appealing.

She bit, got a kit, and liked it. After seeing her results, I pined for one, and my partner got me a kit that Christmas.

Most kits consist of steps involving prepping the nail, applying color gel polish in between a base and top coat, and curing after each layer. I find the process takes me about 30-45 minutes, but I’m a perfectionist about it (nails are my thing). While applying gel polish differs slightly, it is no more difficult than applying traditional polish – the major thing is that you must clean up any “oops” areas before you cure, but it is easy enough. There really is no dry time, just a minute or so¬†of cure time per layer (brands may differ).

The real question is does it really hold up?

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The Great Lie: Gel Nail Cleanser

The Great Lie: Gel Nail Cleanser

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because who doesn’t want to save money on manicure supplies? Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

If you’ve ever gotten a gel polish manicure before, either salon or DIY, you know the final step consists of saturating a pad with gel nail cleanser and wiping off the tacky residue from the newly-cured nail surface. If you’ve done it in a salon, it might be in a nondescript bottle just like the lotions or scrubs may be. At home, it might be part of your gel starter kit. This is often the same solution used to clean the nail before the gel primer is applied.

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