Between my new kitten, work, and a few other things I've had going on, I feel like I haven't had enough time to spend on my nails. I'm trying to organize and catalog my polish collection... and organization is NOT something I was gifted with! Anyway, my nails are too stained to leave naked and I really just can't spend the time painting them every day. (It probably doesn't help that I'm insanely hard on my nails and they aren't naturally strong... so polish always chips very quickly for me.) Based on that, and the fact that I wanted a UV lamp to see if a Gel topcoat would help lengthen my polish wear, I ended up purchasing the Sensationail (cute pun, right? haha!) Starter Kit from my local Walgreens.
Sensationail is a gel nail system that DOES need to be cured under a UV lamp. The starter kit came with the UV Lamp, Gel Primer, Gel Base & Top Coat, a polish color (I didn't use the one it came with because I bought a different color), and gel cleanser. It also includes some lint-free wipes, an orange stick to push back cuticles, and a nail file. When I originally tried this brand I used the old lamp I purchased because it was on sale with Seche's UV Topcoat. So I just got one of the nail colors (Purple Orchid) and tried that lamp. MAJOR fail. The light didn't seem to get around my entire nail so the sides didn't cure right, things smeared, it was a disaster! So I went for the lamp that came with the kit. It does need an outlet, so if you want to try this, just be aware of that.
The process to apply is pretty simple. The instructions say to start by lightly buffing the natural shine of your nail with their provided file. I didn't use their file for that, mostly because my nail are just too fragile, so I used a buffing block. I couldn't tell a difference. Then you can use the provided wipes and gel cleanser to clean off any other natural oils and left over dust from filing. After that you apply the Gel Primer. I watched the video from the web site and there are two different ways you can apply the primer, to your entire nail or for easier removal, just around the edges. The primer is a liquid, sticky substance that you put on with a super short, stiff brush. You don't cure that step at all.
After the primer has had a few seconds to dry--it's still tacky. I learned hair and lint WILL stick to it if you aren't careful--you apply the gel base and topcoat. Cure for 30 seconds. Then the color comes next. The color gel polish you cure for 60 seconds. Application on this was pretty difficult. The polish flows differently than normal nail polish and if you get it on your skins/cuticles, acetone does not remove it so clean up is nearly impossible. (Although, if anyone has tips there, I'd love to hear them!) One benefit seemed to be that since the polish doesn't dry like normal polish either, you could take more time patching up missed spots or going over the same area to make sure it's covered well. The directions say to do 2 coats, but I did 3 to make sure everything was evened out. Each coat is cured for another 60 seconds. After that you apply another coat of the base and topcoat, cure for a final 30 seconds and viola!! You should have a manicure that will last up to 2 weeks.
Oh boy, long winded post! Pictures now! Purple Orchid is a deep, cool-toned purple with blue glass fleck (I think?) shimmers. The shimmer give the polish dimension in low light sparkles in the sun. The pictures are surprisingly color accurate!
Click to enlarge any of them! I'm indoors but tried to capture the shimmers by the window!
On a side note, using this as a base/topcoat to sandwich regular polish seemed to lengthen the wear time. I used a holograph polish (Layla Ultra Violet) since they are notorious for not wearing very long unless you use the special base coats for them. (I don't have any soooooo, yeah. Chip city.) I went 3 days without a chip which was impressive. So I do have high hopes for this brand's wear time!
Thanks for checking in! I'll include overall opinions and a general review of this experiment in my follow-up post. Hope you all have a wonderful day!
****Disclaimer: All products in this post were purchased by me****