Tuesday, January 20, 2015

As a massive nail polish addict, I review lots of regular nail polishes but I've never used gel nail polish so when I was sent this Sensationail home gel starter kit, I could not wait to get started. I've been getting so fed up of painting my nails and spending ages on nail art only for it to completely flake off or peel within a day so the prospect of a gel manicure which lasts up to 2 weeks without chipping sounded amazing! The kit is so compact and small I couldn't believe the box had the lamp and all the starter accessories I needed for a complete gel manicure inside it. I was so nervous to start the manicure as I thought it would be a load of complicated steps but it wasn't at all. The handy application instructions really helped loads and after a visit to the Sensationail Youtube Channel , I was ready to start my first gel manicure at home...

The French Manicure Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit contains:
  • 100 x French Manicure tips in 10 different sizes
  • Pink gel polish 3.69ml
  • White gel polish 3.69ml
  • Gel primer 3.54ml
  • Base/topcoat 3.69ml
  • Gel cleanser 14.6ml
  • 12 x lint free wipes
  • Double-sided nail buffer
  • Manicure stick
  • Pro 3060 LED nail lamp (Power 7W +/- 10%)
  • How-to Booklet

This kit retails at £69.99 and is available from the Sensationail website. I think that is fantastic value for money as you get so many products and the LED lamp. The perfect kit to get started with and once you've used up your products they are individually available from the website also so you can replenish what you need without having to buy a whole kit again.

To start off you have to remove any previous nail polish and file your nails in to your desired nail shape. Then you lightly buff your nails with the pink side of the nail file which is included in the kit. This will remove the natural shine from your nails and prepare your nails for the gel manicure. 
Then using the lint free wipes also included, gently wipe over your nails using the gel cleanser. This is rubbing alcohol so smells very strong but removes any dust from buffing and natural oils. 
Your nail should look clean and shine free after this step as your nails will be perfectly cleansed and buffed ready for your primer and base coat. 
I then applied a thin layer of the gel primer all over my nail, I'm not 100% sure if your supposed to paint your whole nail with this or just the outer part of your nail around your cuticle, I couldn't quite figure out what the instructions meant but this is supposed to help with the removal of your gel manicure. 
Then the fun starts, I applied a thin layer of the Gel Base and Top coat polish to every nail. This then has to be cured in the LED lamp for 30 seconds, starting with both thumbs at the same time and then your fingers, as you cant fit your fingers and thumbs in the lamp together. 
The LED light is very clever, it cures the nail polish so quickly and beeps after 30 second for you to switch hands and then it shuts off once the complete minute of curing your nails has finished. Once the base is cured it feels tacky and you should avoid touching them as your natural oils from your fingers can interrupt your manicure, but for the purpose of this review and curiosity I did have a poke and they where sticky. This is because the LED lamp brings the moisture layer to the top of your nails and once your manicure is complete you remove the sticky layer with the cleanser to reveal a completely dry shiny gel manicure.
I then painted my nails with two coats of the pink gel polish, curing each coat for 60 seconds. I could have only painted one coat but as the pink in the kit is very sheer coverage , I wanted it a bit more pink so layered it twice. It gives a pretty natural french pink finish to your nails.
I then cleansed the sticky layer of polish off my nails and the pink was completely dry and super shiny. I could have left my gel manicure there if I wanted a natural manicure. The white tips are interesting, they are not french white tip stickers , they are actually a layer of polish. Sensationail state - Note: These tips are not stickers, they are a very thin layer of actual polish to give a beautiful seamless finish to your French manicure. However, this means they are fragile so great care should be taken when applying. 

The White tips where so easy to apply, you simply remove the tip which best fits your nail size and then place it where you would like your french tip. Then as you can see from my above picture you will have an overlapping bit of tip. I then folded it over ensuring there where no bubbles or creases in my tip and buffed off in a downward motion the excess white tip. Leaving only the french tip perfectly fitted to my nail. 
The white tips really made the manicure look totally professional and I couldn't get over how easy and effortless they where to apply. To finish off my gel french manicure, I painted my nails again with the Gel Base and Top coat and cured that for 30 seconds in the lamp. Once Id cleansed them to remove the sticky moisture layer, my nails where finished. 
I could not stop touching my nails once they where finished as they felt so shiny and smooth. It was as if id had my nails done professionally at a salon but id done it myself at home! Im so pleased with this kit! I was so pleased with it I called my mum straight away and told her she was booked in for a gel my house hehe. 
My mums nails came out exactly the same as mine and she was so pleased with them! It took me around an hour to do both my nails and my mums but this was because I was taking my time with it being my first gel manicure and I wanted to do it correctly, but i think with a regular gel polish it wouldn't take longer than half an hour. Which with no drying time and being able to crack on with your day without the worry of denting or ruining my nails is well worth it! 

Now..down to the facts. My French manicure unfortunately didn't last 2 weeks, it lasted 6 days... which doesn't sound great but it was all down to the french white tips. They started to peel slightly at the edges and me being me picked at them stupidly. I think the white polish would have lasted longer as the pink gel polish under the white tips once I had successfully peeled them all off, still looked fantastic and hadn't chipped at all. Since this French manicure I have experimented with a Gel Sandwich , and no I haven't eaten the gel polish. I have simply applied the gel base coat and cured it, applied a regular non gel nail polish and let it completely dry over night, then painted a gel top coat and cured that. My Gel Sandwich is still going strong 7 days in and no sign of chipping. I'm obviously getting a growth gap now as my nails grow so fast but I will be sure to do a full Gel Sandwich post for you soon. With my job being so hands on my regular nail polishes chip and peel in less than 2 days so a 7 day wear is fantastic for me!

Have you tried the Sensationail Kit? What are your thoughts on the gel manicure home kits? 

I hope you enjoyed this review!
Thanks for reading,

*This post contains products sent for review purposes. All reviews are 100% honest and my own opinion. 

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  1. I love the Sensationail Lamp! I bought this kit ages ago, but it wasn't with the french tips.. I've never seen anything like that for a gel manicure, quite interesting really!
    I have since stopped using any Sensationail product but I use the lamp every time I give myself (and my mom or another client) a gel mani! Thanks for an honest review, too. So many people are not telling all the little details. I agree with you, 7 days is better than 2 days for a normal polish manicure.

    Much Love,
    -Stephanie Eva


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