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With a collection of nail polishes in the hundreds, you could say I am a manicure addict. Every colour of the rainbow in a variety of finishes, completed with a healthy dose of glitter, is how I would describe my selection of nail polishes. There’s no shade I won’t try or design too daring (I even have cute little sausage dog nail stickers) because having beautifully painted nails makes me feel… well more polished!
However, as much as I love getting my nails done, my job honestly couldn’t give two hoots. Working in a laboratory, wearing tight gloves and washing my hands constantly takes it’s toll on my manicure. We’re talking only a matter of hours before the polish chips and flakes away like my will to live. It doesn’t matter what brand, how carefully I apply it, my work makes no exceptions. As a result, I’m often having to pop my polish of choice in my bag and apply afterwards before I head out for any evening activities.
Since I also don’t have the funds or the time to get regular acrylics/gel nails done at a salon, being able to do my own gel manicure at home is something I’ve desperately wanted to give a whirl.
The gel LED lamp by Sensational promises to cure all gel polishes in a matter of seconds for a no mess, no fuss manicure. Plug it in, paint and pop your hand under, simple. Armed with one of Sensationail’s own Express Gel One Step Polishes in My Cherry Amour, I was ready to nail my nails.
I found the formula thicker than normal none gel polishes but it still applied smoothly and evenly across the whole nail. Once on, I put my fingers under the LED lamp, which senses the presence of your hand. It stays on in intervals of 15 seconds before pausing and turning on again. This is so you can seal any base/top coats for 15 seconds and the actual polish for 30 seconds. I did have to spend a little while figuring out the best position to get my thumb underneath as well (thumb resting on index finger and wrist slightly bent out) but otherwise it was a doddle. After the recommended time, I withdrew my hand, held my breath and touched the polish. The result? Perfectly dry! I honestly couldn’t believe how quickly it set. Normally, I’m hanging round for ages waiting for polish to harden and just when I think it’s ready and I’m desperate for the loo, it still smudges! Not this one, straight away I went round my house cleaning, cooking and not a single dent.
In terms of durability, Sensationail say you can achieve damage-proof nails for up to two weeks. I found mine stayed chip free for around four days. This may not seem long to some but I’ve never managed to keep my nail polish looking good for this length of time! This was without a top coat too.
To remove gel polish you do have to have a proper kit and I found once removed I did have a slight orange tint left on the surface, so I definitely would recommend applying a base coat to protect your nails.
However, what do you do if you don’t have a gel removal kit handy or don’t want to commit to the same colour for weeks? After experiencing the wonders of my Sensationail gel manicure, I was dubious as to whether any gel-like polishes would be just as good.
Korres’ Gel Effect Nail Colour has advanced technology to give maximum shine and long wear colour that lasts up to ten days. The free from formula (no silicone, acetone, phthalate, formaldehyde, camphor and toluene) claims to offer professional gel-like nails without the commitment. Application-wise, it’s like any other polish. Two thin layers provides intense colour with a high shine finish that dries hard in minutes. I do like to wait at least twenty minutes with a polish like this just to make sure I don’t ruin all my hard work but the result is beautifully smooth and glossy.
The Korres Gel Effect Nail Colour lasted a full two days before chipping at work, which is not bad going for non-gel polish. Enriched with sweet almond oil to keep your nails in tip-top condition, I think they make the perfect quick fix gel mani.
*These products were kindly gifted by Sparkle PR. However, all opinions are my own.