Look what I did you guys … my very own gel manicure (also, a red pedicure, not shown)! This is my new jam.
I used to get manicures sometimes 2x a week (?!). I look back at those days from my current time-for-nought, cheapskate vantage point and ask myself why I wasn’t the HAPPIEST PERSON ON EARTH during the years ~2004-2009. One thing’s for sure: I had a lot of time on my hands - LIT’RALLY.
Anyway, those days are over. I got pretty good at doing my own nails, but I still can’t always find the time. I’ve splurged on gel manicures in the past but I don’t love the expense.
Enter these conveniently boxed items ->
Sally Hansen is pretty much my gold standard when it comes to product innovation for nail, and I swear by their Salon Effects nail polish stickers, so I had a good feeling (that’s why I accepted this sponsored post, in case you wonder how I make these decisions). Still, I was surprised that this was so mistake-proof, really turned out nice … and lasted.
Here’s how it goes down:
First and foremost, READ THE DIRECTIONS! There are lots of tips and they’re important. Plug in the little lamp, file and clean your nails (with the enclosed wipe) and then apply the base coat. Press the little button and wait 30 seconds - the lamp turns off by itself.
Apply the color coat. I used Shell We Dance - the kit came with a burgundy red but I wanted to tiptoe into this operation. Don’t hesitate to really wipe down your nail with the brush to ensure the color is thin. It’s not like nail polish - it doesn’t gunk up when you swipe through it, but it goes on thick and it’s important to keep the layer on the light side. Then cure again. Repeat with a second coat, and cure.
Make sure to take the polish over the tip of the nail for BOTH COATS! This felt kind of unnatural to me, but it’s essential for making the manicure last … otherwise it can peel up at the tip. I kept a thin eyeliner brush (that I only use for nail stuff) and the included acetone at the ready - that way I could clean up any polish on my skin.
You’ll notice throughout the process that your nails feel tacky - this doesn’t mean they’re wet so don’t go crazy with the lamp. Just follow the directions, like I said!
Apply the top coat, cure again. Then finally, wipe with the cleansing pad. It feels strange to swipe just-finished nails with a wet pad but this is an essential step and leaves your nails shiny.
I loved this manicure and repeated it on my toes with the burgundy red included in the kit. I would never share a picture of my feet on the internet but this at-home pedicure thing is one of the better things that has happened to my life.
If you’re terrified of removal based on your experience with salon gel manicures - don’t be. The technique they recommend is super easy and fast, way better than soaking your fingers in a bowl of acetone and my nails looked fine afterwards, not parched.
I cosign this purchase for yourself or for a holiday gift for anyone in your life who can decently do their own nails. You will LOVE it! If not, write me.
Does this: Truly easy and awesome-looking gel manicure at home
Is this: Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Polish Starter Kit
Get this: Online at Target and at many other retail + drugstores
Price: About $64.99
And now a word from our sponsor:
Sally Hansen’s Salon Gel Polish™is a professional at-home gel system that delivers the salon experience at a great value. Compared to regular nail polish, this gel polish gives you high-gloss, mirror shine color that lasts for up to 2 weeks without dry time, chipping and smudging. It’s never been so easy to get a salon manicure at home – saving you time and money! Get up to 10 gel manicures in a starter kit! Disclosure of compensation (at the bottom of your post):
Compensation was provided by Sally Hansen via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sally Hansen.