If there is one thing that I am not, it's a nail artist. I can do simple things that include strips of tape and polka dots (sometimes). The most advanced nail design I've done is the drippy nail, which is just kind of a glorified polka dot, to be honest with you.
I do love having pretty nails, though. I had a gel manicure done for my wedding and I absolutely 100% loved it. It wasn't like fake acrylics - just a pretty and sturdy nail polish that lasted a few weeks. In that time, too, my nails grew and didn't chip or break.
My lovely sisters-in-law gifted me with the Red Carpet Manicure brand at-home gel polish kit, which comes with all the materials you need, as well as a red color polish and your own mini-LED lamp. After my wedding nails were off, I decided to give it a whirl. I also picked up a pink color, along with a gold glitter and nude.
It was awesome! Since I tried it for the first time in January, I think I've used it at least 4 or 5 times for my fingernails and once on my toes. It's easy to use (the instructions are very clear) and only takes about 45-60 minutes total, depending on how many times you need to refer to the instructions and how many coats of the color gel polish you apply.
- Make sure you do push your cuticle back as far as possible before you apply any of the base or polish. If the polish is on your skin at all once you cure it under the LED, it'll be way more likely to peel off.
- When the instructions say a thin layer, they really do mean a thin layer. I dip the brush in the bottle before I paint each nail and then wipe pretty much everything off before I apply it. If you put too much on, your nails will be bumpy and thick and really weird looking from the side. Learn from my mistakes.
- I haven't perfected this yet, but try to have all of your layers of gel polish go over the edge of your nail a little. That'll protect the tips of your manicure, otherwise it might chip a little easier.
- After everything is all done, I take a cotton wipe, load it up with the "Purify" solution that was included, and go to town on the nails. And then I wash them immediately in cold water. I don't know if that does anything, but it helps to get all the stickiness and oily feeling off your nails.
Last night when I gave myself a manicure, I decided to use another brand of gel polish that I picked up at Walgreens. The brand was Sensationail and the color was what got me: Heirloom Lilac. When I applied it, I immediately liked it more than the colors of RCM that I have. It only took two coats to get a nice opaque cover, whereas the brand that goes with the kit I have takes almost four coats until you can't see your nail underneath. The only issue is that the next day when I did the dishes, a few of the nails on the left hand got weird blue streaks. I don't know if that has to do with the polish not matching the actual RCM brand gel or not, it's just kind of a bummer. See below:
Do you have a gel polish kit at home? What brand do you have and what polish do you use? I love it! Spending a little under an hour to do my nails is not too bad when you take into account how long the polish will last, and that you have absolutely zero drying time. (I think that's my favorite part!)
You can find the Red Carpet Manicure Gel Pro Kit at Target or Sephora, as well as Amazon. Well worth it!