Since I work at a computer all day, and then I come home and blog by night and then in the meantime I’m working on a novel; you can see how my time of bashing away at a keyboard adds up.
This not only means that I need a real life away from my laptop, but it also means that regular nail varnish lasts about 35 seconds on my nails.
I don’t know if it’s all the typing, or that my nails are such bad condition, but I was getting really fed up of bothering to paint my nails just to lose half of it over the next day or so.
So a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and went and got a Shellac manicure. Which actually lasted 2 and a half weeks.
After listening to rave reviews from a few women at work about how much they love doing their own gel nails at home – and how much money they save in the long run, I hit the internet, and found the Sensationail Polish to Gel Transformer starter kit.
So, I bit the bullet and bought it. at £49.99 it is a little bit of a pricey investment. But like the ladies at work reminded me, I paid £25 for one professional Shellac mani, so even if I only use this 3/4 times, I’ve still saved quite a bit in the long run. Plus, with this kit you can just use the nail polish you already own, instead of having to constantly invest in new colours of gel polish – again adding up to quite a bit in the long run.
The kit comes with; an LED nail lamp (so you can feel all professional), Gel Cleanser, Gel Primer, the Polish to Gel Transformer Polish, and a buffer/file, manicure stick, mixing pot (I’ll get to that in a minute) and lint free wipes, to prep/finish up your mani with. And of course full in-depth instructions.
There are two ways of using this kit to transform your regular polish to a gel.
Firstly, the option which involves the mixing pot. You can add 6 little drops of your nail polish, and 6 of the polish to gel transformer and mix them together before painting on your nails, and then use the LED lamp to dry them before top coating – and lamp drying again.
Secondly, you can just apply two-three coats of your nail polish as usual and then use the polish to gel tranformer as a top coat, and lamp dry.
I’m not going to lie, the first method is a little tricky. Plus washing the pot out afterwards is a bit of a nightmare. But 6 drops of each creates more than enough to do 2 coats on your nails, so you don’t feel like your wasting a load of polish from mixing.
However, it does only take about half an hour – and that includes the few times you have to put your nails under the lamp as I found the recommended 30 seconds wasn’t quite enough. I had to do 2/3 rounds of 30 seconds to feel like it was fully dry enough for the next coat. So, its only a little more time consuming than a regular air-drying polish.
But I am very, very pleased with the results. Not only do you get the smooth, super-shiny finish of a proffessional gel manicure, but it also lasts just as long. Even with all my typing, finger chewing, washing up and everything else that usually chips my nail polish in a flash, my nails were still perfectly un-chipped a week later.
I think they probably would have lasted a good week longer (at least) but I’d chosen a black polish to go with a dress I was wearing the evening I did it, and I was starting to get a little overwhelmed with how dark it was after a week.
The only note I will add here: it is just as horrific to remove as a professional gel mani. Sensationail does offer a gel polish remover, and remover tool. But I went with just soaking my nails in regular polish and scrubbing like my life depended on it. But to an extent – it can’t be a bad thing that it wants to stay on your nails, can it?
And as long as you remove in a recommended way (as in not, like i have in the past, filed, chewed peeled and generally forced a the gel from your nails) then it shouldn’t do your nails any damage. So maybe in future I will be able to keep a regular mani a little longer.
Anyway the second time around (a nice bright summery green, in case you were wondering) I tried the second option.
It says on the instructions that you have to wait 25-30 minutes for the air-drying polish to fully, FULLY dry before you put the polish to gel transformer on – but it barely took me that long to feel ready for it to dry.
This may be because I used a polish which claimed to be an air-drying gel (I love these ones from Seventeen) and then put it under the lamp to dry, but it felt dry enough to top coat within about 5 minutes. And the top coat went on smoothly without any smudging. Again, it took a few bouts of the 30 seconds under the lamp for me to feel like it had fully set, but I am just as happy with the result of the second method.
Since then, I have typed quite a bit and done some cooking, and there has been no chipping yet – so I m hoping this method works as well as the first. Although the reviews do say the first method makes it last a little longer. But I’ll keep track of it and let you know on that one.
Overall, I definitely would say that this is worth the investment. Especially if, like me you’re fed up of normal polish chipping really quickly – and too lazy to constantly be re-painting them.
Have you tried Sensationail Polish to Gel? And if you haven’t have I convinced you?