Nude nail polish can feel fresh, clean, and simple or make you say ‘why even bother painting your nails’?! I, for one, lean to the ‘fresh & simple’ side and love a nude mani. But I can never leave anything plain, so I decided, why not throw some polka dots into the mix!!
I am SO excited to share this at-home gel nail polish kit review because it’s a product I am truly LOVING! I was a little hesitant at first about the price of the kits on the market (starting at about $60) and if it would truly last up to 14 days. But let me tell you, it has surpassed my expectations. I am a gel manicure convert!!
I purchased the Sephora by OPI Gelshine system (retails for $159) but was hesitant on the price so I found an only-used-once kit on eBay for half the price. While I started out with the OPI kit, I have used gel polishes from Red Carpet Manicure and gelish, so the polishes and light/kits are basically interchangeable.
The process of applying gel polish is really no different than regular nail color. There’s a base coat, 2 layers of color, then a top coat. The only thing different is the use of the 30-second LED light inbetween each coat. It doesn’t take more than 15 minutes per hand from start to finish and as soon as the top coat has cured, your nails are COMPLETELY DRY. No joke, completely dry! You won’t be able to smudge then or scratch them. It’s so amazing not to have to be worried about messing up my nails. I have to be honest, I still catch myself walking around like I have wet nails afterwards!
Keep reading to check out how it’s done…
And now for the finished product & how my nails looked after 14 days (YES, they lasted 14 days!!)…
Pretty crazy, right?!!!? Normally I wouldn’t walk around with my nails looking like this (all in the name of beauty research!) but truthfully, the only part that looks bad is the new nail growth. The rest of the polish is virtually the same as day one! This is after 2 weeks of typing, cleaning, yard work, hand washing dishes, and a million other little things that usually ruin a manicure after just a few days.
And did you notice the shine my nails still had after 14 days? Gel manicures have this amazing shine that lasts for the whole 14 days. It’s better than any top coat I’ve ever used.
I know some people have commented on the difficulties they’ve had with removing the gel polish, but my experience has been nothing but easy. I will say though, that they may have been using the soak-off removal method and to me (although I haven’t used it) it seems like a pain in the ass. Who would want to sit with their hands in a bowl of remover for 20 minutes?!?
Using wraps (these ones came with the Sephora Gel Kit) or the foil technique makes things a lot easier & you can still continue to do things around the house. I’m kinda cheap, so I like to wrap 2 or 3 nails at a time and then reuse those same wraps on the rest of my nails. Gel polish doesn’t come off like regular nail polish, so the pads are basically clean (and already soaked with remover) when I put them on the next nail.
In all honesty, this At-Home Gel Manicure Kit may be one of my best beauty purchases. The upfront cost of purchasing the kit may be a bit daunting but the initial basecoat, top coat, cleanser, LED light, and other tools will last for many, many, manicures and the continued expense will really be the purchase of new polishes. From the brands I’ve researched, prices range from $10 to $17, which is pretty much in line with any polish from Ulta or Sephora. But… this polish lasts up to 14 days!!!
When I originally saw the inspiration image in a magazine, I was instantly drawn to the mani (although I guess I was supposed to be looking at the bag!). I’ve played around with gold leaf on my nails before, but never really liked the finished product… until now!
Rather than making the nail look like one solid sheet of gold, like I’ve tried to do in the past and always ended up with chips, this mani is intentionally chipped making the gold leaf application much easier.
Here’s the step-by-step…
1 I picked up gold-colored leaf at my craft/hobby store. This package was $8.99. This might seem a little pricey for a mani, but there are so many sheets in the pack and you use so little for your nails, there is more than enough left over for other projects!
2 Take a small area of the gold leaf sheet (slight bigger than your nail), and with tweezers, remove little pieces of the leaf. This will give it the flecked appearance on the nail.
3 I painted my nails with 2 coats of nude polish to get even coverage. Then I painted only one nail with top coat.
4 When the top coat has almost dried, take the gold leaf sheet and press it on to your nail. (When you touch the top coat, a finger print should be left behind, but if it smudges, then it is too wet and the leaf won’t stick.)
5 Press down any gold leaf sticking up and remove from skin.