Monday, August 11, 2014

NOTW: Friday Night Mani - Gelish

There is a lovely nail shop near my house that I have been to several times that does an excellent job with pedicures, Shellac and waxing. I needed to give my nails a break from gel manicures to let them breathe and I am trying to be more mindful of my spending, so I have been doing my own manicures and pedicures at home. I finally got around to using the Gelish Basix Kit I picked up last year and Shake It Till You Samba Pink from the free kit from this post. I already had a lamp from a Gel Haute Polish kit I ordered 2 years ago, a mini LED, that is decent, but does not cure fast.

The Gelish Basix Kit comes with: Mini Gelish Ph Bond, Mini Gelish Foundation, Mini Gelish Top It Off, Mini Gelish Nourish, Mini Gelish Cleanser, Mini Gelish Artificial Nail Remover, Instruction Brochure, Instructional DVD, Mini Wooden File, Orangewood Stick, Plastic Pusher and Prep Tabs.

What the website says: The Gelish Basix Kit a complete package of the essential products necessary to properly apply Gelish from start to finish excluding a light and your choice of Mini Gelish Soak Off Colored Gels.

The routine goes like this:
  • File & shape nails, then buff the surface
  • Clean nails with Cleanser
  • Apply Ph Bond
  • Apply 1 thin coat of Foundation, cure for 1 minute
  • Apply a thin coat of Gelish color and cure for 2 min, repeating for each coat. To achieve the most opaque color, I did 3 coats.
  • Apply 1 coat of Top It Off Sealer and cure for 2 minutes.
Seems easy enough and it was but it is time consuming applying each coat and then curing, totaling about 27 minutes. That is not including the time to paint the nails and clean up around the edges before curing. This process took about an hour and I did this while watching TV, so maybe a little longer as I got distracted. ;). My gel manicures usually last me just over 2 weeks. I am hard on my hands with several hand washings throughout the day and I like to wash the dishes without gloves. A regular polish manicure will last me a little over a week but tip wear can show as early as 3 days. If I could wear gel polish all the time I would, but you have to give your nails a break to maintain good nail health.

When I first bought the Gel Haute Polish kit, I was hoping it would be similar to CND's Shellac or OPI's Axximum, but I was pretty disappointed. The color just wasn't even when applied and cured. I thought it might be from the base and sealer since I did try another brand of color gel polish with it and had the same poor results. Gelish on the other hand applied evenly, without any patchy areas. I was excited to see such great at-home results! I would like a stronger lamp like the Gelish LED 18G Light that they use at the salon and that is a pretty hefty investment. Overall, I am pleased with Gelish and will continue to do my own gel manicures for the most part, but splurging at the salon every now and then. 

Pros: -Same salon results
         -Lasting manicure
         -Cost is cheaper than going to the 
           salon (creating a kit will pay for 
           itself after about 3 uses if the
           salon charges $20+$5 tip)

Cons: -Time consuming
          -The fumes from the chemicals

Cost: Items can be purchased at Sally Beauty with their discount card.
Gelish Basix Kit $44.95
Gelish MINI Soak Off Gel Nail Polish $13.99
Gelish MINI On The Go LED Light $29.49 (this plugs in to any USB port. A separate plug is available for $17.49)
Kit total: $88.43+tax

Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes! If you have the time, patience and means to create your own kit, I would suggest Gelish for great results. It is an investment, so shop around for the best deals. You may find a better price online, but purchase from a reputable seller to ensure that you are getting the right quality product.

On a safety note, as someone who used to get their nails done pretty frequently (acrylics and overlays) I had some growing concerns about the UV curing light used after seeing reports of cancer due to exposure. I made sure to purchase an LED lamp instead of a UV to cut down the risk. It does not fully keep you away from harmful rays, but reduces the amount, making it a safer option. A great blog about the comparison can be found here - UV/LED Nail Lamps: Are They Safe?

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