Friday, October 18, 2013

The Nail Files - Gel Mani Kit

As always, I'm linking with Jennie and the rest of the Nail Files Crew this week:

I’ve wanted to try my hand at “DIY” gel nails for some time now. The hold back has been the cost. Sensationail starts at $49.95 depending on where you shop. Sally Hansen is around the same for the polish kits or $29.99 for the strips kit. I was leaning towards the SH Strip Kits, but I just didn’t like the selection offered. I knew Sensationail had a better selection of colors, but just couldn’t bring myself to drop $50 after missing the $10 off coupon opportunity from their website. So I was just biding my time waiting for extra money or a really good deal/sale. Then along came Groupon with the save:  A start kit and two additional colors for about $5 less than the starter kit! SHUT UP and take my money!!!

Here’s what I got:

And here’s what I did:

Here’s my review (my own words/opinion/thoughts with no type of incentive from Sensationail or Groupon for my services).
Overall, I am thrilled with the process! It’s extremely simply and the directions are easy to follow. The colors included in my purchase are great for me and ones I see myself getting a lot of use from. My only problem was the lack of warning regarding the stickiness/tackiness of the base coat, polish, and top coat after curing before using the cleaning solution and wipes.
I’ve only ever had a gel manicure that was administered by one of the ladies at my local nail spot. So, obviously, I’m not touching my nails between polish coatings to see if they’re dry. I let the pros do their job and I sit and get pampered. I didn’t know that, just because your nail has “cured” in the LED box/dryer that the polish would not be “dry” (by most people’s standards). Think regular polish that has air dried for about 10 minutes but you can still easily put your finger/hair print in it if you touch them. 

The direction say (paraphrased):  base coat, 30 seconds curing, color, 60 seconds curing, 2nd coat of color, 60 second cure, top coat, cure 30 seconds, wipe with cloth and cleaning solution. My mind interpreted the curing for drying. So imagine my freak out when I lightly touch my nail and my finger sticks a little! Seriously freaked out panic on my part. I was on my first coat of color, still freaking out, when I decided to Google this issue. Thankfully I found a review on Amazon by a lady that brought up this issue and how it gets resolved….the cleansing wipe at the END of the process. Calm ensued and I was able to finish. The end is when I realized I’d skipped the second coat of color, but I’m okay with that. The grey is just thick enough with one coat that you can’t really tell two were needed.

So I’m two full days into the manicure and all is well. No chips or peeling corners that aren’t related to broken nails (cause I’ve done that already, no surprise there). But I haven’t been hard on my hands either – no kitchen duty lately, no boxing on Thursday like usual. I’ll keep you posted on how they do. I also want to test out the base and top coats on regular polish to see if that will add some variety to the color spectrum (and the possibility of doing designs and such). We shall see.

Happy Friday, dolls!



  1. Great review! I've never had a gel mani before. Love the grey color!

    aka Bailey

  2. Wow! You're so brave! I'd have been even more nervous than you were. Haha!! They turned out perfectly, though! Awesome, awesome job! And thanks for all the steps! I'm interested to know how long the mani lasts. I hope it's a while! :)