As you may know from my Instagram stories due to quarantine I’ve been trying various at-home manicure kits and polishes. Getting gel shellac manicures and dip nail manicures was a normal part of my routine that, as with a lot of things, was put on hold due to Covid-19. Before quarantine I literally hadn’t gone without gel polish on my nails since I was maybe thirteen years old, so it had been awhile. Not wanting to go au naturale I began trying out a few different kits and polishes and these were the results. I honestly feel like I’ve become kind of a pro with at-home nails and I am thinking this something that I can save money on in the future by doing my own nails.
Amazon Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit and UV Light – I’ve already posted about this and initially I loved it, but the gel peeled off after a few days and I didn’t feel like having to go through all of those steps so often was worth it. I think if you used the light with some higher quality gel polish it would probably work better. If you’re interested in purchasing this for yourself and wondering how it works, you can watch my IGTV tutorial HERE. Like I said, you could get this kit and have all of the tools and the light, but I would maybe get some gel polish from OPI or Essie to use with it because those will last longer.
Starter Kit Includes: 82W UV nail lamp, 6 unique salon quality gel nail polish, no wipe base and top coat, 10 manicure tools.
Essie Gel Setter Topcoat – I really wanted to like the Essie Gel Setter Topcoat because I love the idea of just being able to put a gel coat on top of any polish, but this was no better than using regular clear nail polish as a top coat. It also caused a weird reaction with the polish underneath (also Essie) and the surface area of the gel setter shrunk each time I used it. They do however also have a line of polishes called Essie Gel Couture which is meant to be a longwear combination of gel-like polishes with a unique top coat similar to the gel setter. But, due to my experience with the Gel Setter I didn’t give it a try. Let me know if you have and what your thoughts are on it. Here is a picture of my nails with 2 coats of Essie Babies Breath and one coat of the Essie Gel Setter top coat:
As you can see from the above picture, every time I used the Essie Gel Setter top coat it would warp and shrink. I thought maybe it was a one time thing but I used the same combo 3 separate times over 3 weeks and it had the same reaction each time.
Now on to what has worked for me and what I’ve continued using-
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – This gel polish is by far my favorite and has lasts the longest on both my nails and my toes. I have used the color Pink Caddillaquer which is more of a bubble gum pink and my newest color obsession is, Little Peony, which is a subtle very light almost white pink. The miracle gel polish requires no UV light, is easy to layer depending on how thick you prefer your polish to be and dries fairly quick. I’ve been able to get about 2 weeks out of this polish on my nails and I think I’m going on a month on my toes.
Finally, I’ve heard many people talk about The Everything Box from Olive & June, but I did not end up ordering it. It is also an at-home manicure kit and The Poppy universal polish bottle handle would likely help my polish go on smoother, but I just didn’t need all the items included and ultimately I wanted gel or gel-like polish. However, if you’re a fan of clean beauty and don’t care if the polish is gel then you may like this kit.
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