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Gel Nail Kits...Which is the best?

Started 1354296556.373 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1354487984.263 by Liz_UMD

I am on the hunt for a gel nail kit with an LED lamp.

I am looking for somethning that doesn't ruin my natural nails, and is easy to remove without a lot of scraping. I have looked at Sensational, Red Carpet, Malley, and Opi Gelshine.

1. Do the different brands of LED curable gel polishes make a difference on wear and Removability?? (I read you can use any LED curable polish with any LED light.)

2. If you use these systems (or another one I didn't mention), could you please comment on how you like it and, especially how easy it is to remove the polish, and how it affects your natural nail?

Thank you so much! {#emotions_dlg.rolleyes}

~Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle.~
~My Grandma's motto: Is it nice, is it true, would you like it said of you?~

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katkitty1354298115.0274730 PostsRegistered 12/12/2007

I saw the demo on the Sensationail and that gal was filing the tar out of the tops of her nails! lol. With any acrylic or gel application you do have to 'etch' the nail for the product to adhere just like you'd do with acrylic application. Aren't these polishes just the same gel nails that have been around forever except now color is added?

Found this too:

Q: Can Shellac (and other soak-off hybrid gels) damage your nails?

A: Yes. Hybrid soak-off gels (e.g. Shellac, Gelish, Axxium) are less damaging than the old style long-lasting treatments which needed to be filed off for removal (often taking a chunk of your natural nail with it), but a recent study found that they still caused significant weakness, thinning and brittleness. In one measurement, the nail was measured to be about 50% thinner!
This is something to be aware of, since gel polishes are often seen as good for nails. Thin-nailed girls - be careful!

Interested to hear other's results with any system and how their natural nails hold up!

tsavorite1354308900.0374752 PostsRegistered 10/10/2005

Hello Rochestershopper! I just purchased the Sensationail Kit. Since it was on such a great sale I couldn't resist LOL....I decided to get it to test it out on one nail just to see. I did my thumb nail yesterday....worked awesome...also I have a tear in the nailbed on my thumb and figured this would do a good job of holding it together until it grows out. Instead of nail glue/super glue or a tea bag glue patch which just doesn't work that well.

So what I did is the base coat and then another coat of clear gel top coat only. I will see how this holds up and then how difficult it is to remove and if it damaged my natural nail or not.

I wish I could share that info now but I am in the testing phase....there are other ladies here that do there own at home with these kits and say it has not harmed their nails....that's why I decided to at least give it a go. I only invested $34 for the starter kit and figured this would be at the very least a great thing to use for when I get the dreaded nailbed tears that take so long to grow out and hurt.

Last edited on 11/30/2012

Last edited on 11/30/2012

"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil -- it has no point."

katkitty1354310316.0634730 PostsRegistered 12/12/2007
On 11/30/2012 tsavorite said:

Hello Rochestershopper! I just purchased the Sensationail Kit. Since it was on such a great sale I couldn't resist LOL....I decided to get it to test it out on one nail just to see. I did my thumb nail yesterday....worked awesome...also I have a tear in the nailbed on my thumb and figured this would do a good job of holding it together until it grows out. Instead of nail glue/super glue or a tea bag glue patch which just doesn't work that well.

So what I did is the base coat and then another coat of clear gel top coat only. I will see how this holds up and then how difficult it is to remove and if it damaged my natural nail or not.

I wish I could share that info now but I am in the testing phase....there are other ladies here that do there own at home with these kits and say it has not harmed their nails....that's why I decided to at least give it a go. I only invested $34 for the starter kit and figured this would be at the very least a great thing to use for when I get the dreaded nailbed tears that take so long to grow out and hurt.

Last edited on 11/30/2012

do you have to lightly 'etch' or file the top of your nails before polishing? If not, the demo was misleading!

Does long term use do damage to the nail? Short term may not be a problem, only continual use.

Has anyone used this method of polish long term?

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tsavorite1354311041.0434752 PostsRegistered 10/10/2005

Hello katkitty....I forgot to mention this....I did NO filing/sanding on the top of my nail to make the gel polish adhere to my nail. I do not plan to EVER either LOL! Another poster here...I think her name is lizard dance or something like that talked about this...she never does it and the product sticks just fine. I have thinner nails and sanding on them would be a horrible mistake for me so I get what you are saying. I had arcylics long long time ago for about 1yrs and they sanded them WAY to much and I got what is called hot spots....very painful and also a fungal infection on my pointer finger. So I stopped that immediately.

I will post my review in 13days when it's time to remove this thumb nail one I did. HTH

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"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil -- it has no point."

MissKlynn1354311444.582539 PostsRegistered 6/22/2012

I've had gel nails done at a salon twice, I have pretty thin nails that peel and break easily, thought this would be great way to grow my nails and have the polish last. The first time the technician did buff/etch my nails and the polish lasted well over a week, but then they just started peeling off taking the top layer of my nail with it. The second time at a different salon she didn't etch my nails and the polish started peeling off in less than a day. May depend on your nail type I guess, but for me I only got the long-wear benefits when the nails are etched... which is damaging for sure!

I too have been super tempted by the steal of a deal on the Sensationail set thinking I could control my results more if I could do it at home. It's been in my cart for a week now but I have yet to checkout.

Anxious to hear tsavorite's test results! Was the application easy doing it yourself? Which color did you get?

WEN: Shoulder length thick naturally curly hair, brunette with deep red highlights.
SKIN: Mid 30's, sensitive combo skin.

A Walker1354314079.8831234 PostsRegistered 1/4/2011

Hi Rochester Shopper!

This is the best time to be thinking about a gel polish system because with the holidays, it's SO nice NOT to worry about chips and needing to re-do polish before YOU want to! It's also SO nice to have that incredible shine! I will tell you everything I've learned below, and send you to places I've already written quite a lot on in my experimentation on these boards, so hopefully something will help you out, and anyone else reading this, if removal scares you or if you're having problems with removal.

I'm going to address gel polish removal first because that's what scared me the most, and what made me cancel my Mally TSV 24/7 Gel Polish System pre-order before finally ordering it at the last TSV minute lol. After reading some horror stories about removal, I began reading some sensible stuff online, visiting YouTube sites on 'removing gel nail polish' and watching videos on different brands... both application and removal. This all made me realize they can't continue to sell gel polish without being able to remove it... especially since salons use it all the time with great success, and remove it the same way we do at home! So, I set out to explore the removal process so I wouldn't damage my nails for a great gel manicure and easy removal. I realized patience in removal is equal to patience in drying time with regular polish. To me, removal of gel is better than drying time in regular polish, because regular polish never shined the way this gel shines, and never lasted as long!

Here is all I've learned about removal: On the Beauty Forum under Mally, go to my Post #13 in How do you remove Mally's gel nail polish? and my Posts #26 and #29 in Who has received the Mally gel nail TSV - tell all thread. I wrote at length about my removal experience because I have no problems with removal whatsoever. My nails are in perfect shape, and I continue to use the method of placing a cut-up cotton square with acetone remover/Mally's remover on it, or pre-made wraps like Mally's or Hands Down, wrapping each finger, placing in a plastic baggie for drips, then placing a towel around my hand. I wait 10 minutes, check a finger by squeezing and twisting the wrap that went on first, if some polish still remains stuck on my nail, I put it back on and wait another five minutes. The plastic bag and towel over it help to keep warmth in. The salons do a version of this too. Warmth facilitates easy removal. I also use the pre-saturated acetone remover pads you would buy for removing regular polish, cut into 10 pieces per pad, stick each piece on each finger, then use tin foil. Works like a charm and very easy to do! I NEVER buff out the shine of my natural nail before applying the gel, and I ALWAYS buff out the shine of the gel top coat to break the seal before removal, which allows penetration of the acetone into the layers of gel polish, for easy removal.

Regarding systems, I bought the Mally 24/7 system when it was a TSV and I couldn't be happier! It has a beautiful carrying bag that fits everything so neatly, she has quality products which have never lifted or failed on me yet, and she offers any help you could possibly need by emailing or calling her place of business. It is a complete kit, no thinking involved lol. She now has LOTS of colors from which to choose as well! I LOVE the little triangle card to show me the order in which to apply the products, but you'll find it is quick and easy to do. I am SO happy I went with her TSV!

Regarding other systems, there are many of them out there and people rave about them too! The prices range from well below Mally's to above, it's just according to the product line and what's included, and sales. Because I already have the LED lamp, I've experimented using other gel nail polishes like SensatioNail, Gelish, Sally Hansen, Sephora by OPI GelShine, and now Red Carpet Manicure. I looked for colors I like that require an LED lamp, then I followed Mally's instructions replacing her color polish with my color choice by different brands. So far, I have to say, I like Mally's polishes the best for staying power and shine, but the others work very well too. One thing I noticed... check the amount in the bottle that you get for the prices. There is also one out there called Haute Gel, a system is sold on HSN and Target online, that no top coat or bottom coat is required... you just clean the nail and polish, then clean off the tackiness and you're done. Never tried that one yet.

I still use regular polish because I have so much of it, and I've also tried the gel-sandwich thing where you sandwich regular polish in between gel bottom and top coat. That worked fine too. It was a little weird removing because gel polish comes off in pieces whereas regular polish wipes off, but it worked fine. I still prefer using all gel to this method or all regular polish, because I was waiting for the regular to REALLY dry well before using the gel top coat, so that was silly to me. If you don't allow it to dry well, the moisture underneath the gel top coat causes the gel top coat to buckle as it dries. The regular polish needs to be totally dry.

With so many systems and so many sales... you should be able to find something you love. I love my Mally and prefer her polishes, but have also had good luck with other brand LED polishes using Mally's system. Good luck with whatever system you get and have fun! HTH!

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Last edited on 11/30/2012

Tsukiko1354315196.493732 PostsRegistered 3/11/2006Arizona

Great post A Walker! {#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

I have the Sensationail which I love and currently purchased Sally Hansen Instagel Strips and I also bought the Gelish base, top coat and color nail polish. I have tried the last two yet but will try the Sally Hansen this weekend.

I never file the top of my nail. The Sensationail has a liquid bonder that goes around the edges of the nails. I once forgot to use this and the nail polish peeled the following couple of days but with the bonder they last 2 weeks.

For the Gelish I am going to skip the bonding process and just wipe my nails with rubbing alcohol to see how that works. I've read on other message boards that the bonder that comes with Gelish makes the removal process more difficult and many have had great success with omitting this step and just wiping their nails with rubbing alcohol or acetone. We'll see how that works out, if not then I will use my Sensationail bonder around the edges (never over the entire nail!).

I report back with the Sally Hansen kit once I see how long they last. They say 2 weeks but lots of reviews say they peeled the next day. I just really got it for the cute tiny lamp. If I need to repair a nail (which has happened occassionally) I'll be using the baby lamp for this.

Tsukiko1354315514.26732 PostsRegistered 3/11/2006Arizona

Just wanted to add these are not the same as the gels used for acrylic nails. I had acrylics for a very short time in the 80's and this is something different entirely. The ones for the acylics dries hard, brittle, and the new polishes dry with flexibility. It's like coating your nails with liquid plastic. The lamp cures it and then it really has the texture of something plastic-like.

nycbiggurl1354318496.41627 PostsRegistered 5/29/2010

Does anyone know if Mallys gel manicure kit is coming back? QVC is sold out and no waitlist. I checked Mallys site and they are only selling one of the polishes.

tsavorite1354318536.384752 PostsRegistered 10/10/2005
On 11/30/2012 LizzardDance said:

Great post A Walker! {#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

I have the Sensationail which I love and currently purchased Sally Hansen Instagel Strips and I also bought the Gelish base, top coat and color nail polish. I have tried the last two yet but will try the Sally Hansen this weekend.

I never file the top of my nail. The Sensationail has a liquid bonder that goes around the edges of the nails. I once forgot to use this and the nail polish peeled the following couple of days but with the bonder they last 2 weeks.

For the Gelish I am going to skip the bonding process and just wipe my nails with rubbing alcohol to see how that works. I've read on other message boards that the bonder that comes with Gelish makes the removal process more difficult and many have had great success with omitting this step and just wiping their nails with rubbing alcohol or acetone. We'll see how that works out, if not then I will use my Sensationail bonder around the edges (never over the entire nail!).

I report back with the Sally Hansen kit once I see how long they last. They say 2 weeks but lots of reviews say they peeled the next day. I just really got it for the cute tiny lamp. If I need to repair a nail (which has happened occassionally) I'll be using the baby lamp for this.

Hello LizzardDance!

I remember reading your posts about the sale on Sensationail over the BlackFriday sales weekend and did pick up this kit online for a great price. I have a question for you....if you saw my previous posts in this topic....I only did my thumb nail as a test nail. I used the cleanser 1st...then the primer...then the top/base coat...then another top/base coat application. I skipped any gel polish or regular polish. I am testing it out to see if it helps me grow out that nailbed tear. I saw many online using it this way...then they would paint a color of regular polish and regular top coat on.

My question is the bonder you are talking about....do you mean the primer in this kit? and why do you not apply it over the entire nail? The directions said to do that....but if it's not necessary and one can get the same good results then I would like to do it the way you are talking about. Do you just trace around the nails outer edge or what??

Thank you for clarification....hopefully I won't have a difficult time in 13days removing my one nail.

Hi MrsKlynn.....I got the pink chiffon...didn't use the color though. And it was so easy.

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Last edited on 11/30/2012

"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil -- it has no point."

nycbiggurl1354319346.543627 PostsRegistered 5/29/2010

I just checked on the brands of gel manicure kits mentioned in this thread and I just purchased the SensatioNail Kit from Drugstore.com. It was on sale and the cheapest of all stores selling it. I also purchased two more colors. The kit I purchased comes with Raspberry wine and I ordered the taupe and mauve as well.

Thank you ladies!

Tsukiko1354322418.6732 PostsRegistered 3/11/2006Arizona

Hi Tsavorite!

Yes the primer that comes in the kit. I don't have the instructions but I remember seeing on their Youtube video to apply the primer around the edge of the nail in an oval if that makes sense. I was reading some of the post on other boards that the gals who put it all over the nail bed had a hard time removing the product. Since you only have a couple of coats of the clear maybe you won't have this problem. I've never just put the clear coat on so I can't really give any advice on that.

For those that are on the fence about gel polishes I would say that like anything else, this may not work for everyone. One gal did hers and her moms nails the same exact way, her nail polish peeled in one day, her mother's lasted 2 weeks. I think maybe chemistry may have something to do with it. Also those who experience thinning of the nails, I'm not sure but maybe this is due to an allergic reaction? I would say before investing in any kit find who has the cheapest one for sale right now and go with that one. If it doesn't work out at least you wouldn't have spent a ton.

I use both regular and gel polishes but I really love the gel polishes. Sometimes I don't feel like redoing my mani every 3-4 days and with the gels I don't have to worry about that.

Good luck everyone!

Rochester ­Shopper1354322609.5774928 PostsRegistered 7/20/2011Michigan

Hi katkitty, tsavorite, A Walker and LizzardDance:

Thank you so much for your informative responses! I so appreciate you sharing your experiences!

A Walker, you really helped me feel better about the removal process. I did go back and read your gel nail posts in the Mally forum.

The Sensationail Starter Kit is on sale at drugstore dot com for $34.99. Even though it does not have as many items as Mally, it's pretty tempting. This lamp is also 7 watts, and the kit includes:

  • Gel cleanser
  • Gel primer
  • Color gel polish
  • Get base & top coat
  • Lint-free wipes
  • Double sided nail buffer
  • Manicure stick
  • LED Lamp included
  • Instruction sheet

I just checked Mally's kit, and it is available for $164.88 and free shipping.

~Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle.~
~My Grandma's motto: Is it nice, is it true, would you like it said of you?~

A Walker1354322860.9531234 PostsRegistered 1/4/2011
On 11/30/2012 LizzardDance said:

Great post A Walker! {#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

I have the Sensationail which I love and currently purchased Sally Hansen Instagel Strips and I also bought the Gelish base, top coat and color nail polish. I have tried the last two yet but will try the Sally Hansen this weekend.

I never file the top of my nail. The Sensationail has a liquid bonder that goes around the edges of the nails. I once forgot to use this and the nail polish peeled the following couple of days but with the bonder they last 2 weeks.

For the Gelish I am going to skip the bonding process and just wipe my nails with rubbing alcohol to see how that works. I've read on other message boards that the bonder that comes with Gelish makes the removal process more difficult and many have had great success with omitting this step and just wiping their nails with rubbing alcohol or acetone. We'll see how that works out, if not then I will use my Sensationail bonder around the edges (never over the entire nail!).

I report back with the Sally Hansen kit once I see how long they last. They say 2 weeks but lots of reviews say they peeled the next day. I just really got it for the cute tiny lamp. If I need to repair a nail (which has happened occassionally) I'll be using the baby lamp for this.

Thanks! After reading so many of your great tips, I wanted to put down as much as I could about my experience. That removal process seems to be a horror for some, and I don't want it to ruin the gel nail polish experience for anyone! The benefits are so great... removal shouldn't hold anyone back!

I think not polishing off the shine of your natural nail keeps them in great shape because you are doing nothing to damage them. I also agree that using the bonder as you do, around the circumference of the nail as opposed to using it all over the nail, helps in removal.

LOL to the cute tiny lamp! I think that lamp is absolutely adorable! It will be interesting to see how you like those strips!

medsec1354323269.28311 PostsRegistered 11/3/2012

Just a FYI: I got the Shellac and when I went back to the salon to have it removed and redone, the manicurist said this is for a once in a while treatment, and to do it continuously would damage your nails. Others have said this isn't true. I have very bad nails, peeling all the time, so I need some help.

A Walker1354324028.0971234 PostsRegistered 1/4/2011
On 11/30/2012 Rochester Shopper said:

Hi katkitty, tsavorite, A Walker and LizzardDance:

Thank you so much for your informative responses! I so appreciate you sharing your experiences!

A Walker, you really helped me feel better about the removal process. I did go back and read your gel nail posts in the Mally forum.

The Sensationail Starter Kit is on sale at drugstore dot com for $34.99. Even though it does not have as many items as Mally, it's pretty tempting. This lamp is also 7 watts, and the kit includes:

  • Gel cleanser
  • Gel primer
  • Color gel polish
  • Get base & top coat
  • Lint-free wipes
  • Double sided nail buffer
  • Manicure stick
  • LED Lamp included
  • Instruction sheet

I just checked Mally's kit, and it is available for $164.88 and free shipping.

Hi Rochester Shopper!

I'm SO glad that I put your mind to ease a bit! I know I can get a bit wordy lol, but I can't tell you how many times I went back and forth wanting it SO much, then reading horror stories about people scraping their nail beds to shreds..... so I just sat calmly and thought about it before ordering. I realized they have been doing this in salons with great success, so there HAD to be a way to remove it... or they'd be out of business!

I firmly believe that patience is the key to successful removal... but also like LizzardDance and I both do... no buffing off the natural nail shine in the beginning of the application! It made NO sense to me that each time I wanted to apply a fresh polish, I would buff off my shine! So I figured I'd try it without, and see what happened! Also, like I said to LizzardDance, I think using the bonder/primer around the nail circumference and not on the entire nail is another reason we don't fight removal.

Since I got the Mally as a TSV (I believe it was $149?), I felt a little better about the price, however, at this point in time I would be hard pressed EVEN THOUGH I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT if that's something you want, to recommend passing up all the FABULOUS sales going on, especially with all you get in the SensatioNail Starter Kit for the price AND the fact so many use and love it too! Plus, you can use Mally's polish if you'd like her colors! However you decide to do it and whatever kit you decide to buy... read all the online reviews... watch YouTube videos because there are TONS of them... and you will be totally fine and feel confident in application and removal! I totally stand behind everything I said regarding removal and being patient... but if you use regular polish, you'd have to be patient in the drying time! Heck... turn on QVC while you wait for your polish to lift during removal {#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

Good luck and have fun with it! I can't tell you how many times I stare at my manicure... oh also a fun point... because the polish doesn't begin to dry like regular polish as you are polishing your nails... I'm able to get a perfectly neat manicure! You just get a good light, swipe away anything that might get on your finger with a cuticle stick, double check before you cure, and when cured... perfect manicure! Good luck! I really think you can't go wrong!

tsavorite1354324039.584752 PostsRegistered 10/10/2005

Hi ladies....LizzardDance I wish I had known that tip!! On my directions booklet it says to apply a thin coat of primer to the entire nail not in a oval or just around the edges. Well I will do the removal tips posted in this thread when it's time.

I just want to make sure I understand this....if I use regular nail polish I must 1st let that totally dry THEN I can apply the gel top coat and cure under the light? correct? I figure in future if all goes well I may do that. Around Christmas comes to mind....I have zero time to be doing nails then and all the cleaning and cooking ruins a mainicure.

I too love that tiny baby sized LED light LOL....it's to cute!

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Last edited on 11/30/2012

"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil -- it has no point."

4doggies1354324484.7973501 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I bought the Sally Hansen kit this week, but haven't used it yet. I'ts the one that comes with the gel nailcolor strips. Question for those who have used it--I'm assuming Sally Hansen sells liquid gel polish that will work with the kit too? If not, will the Sensationail polishes work with the SH LED light?

Rochester ­Shopper1354324513.1274928 PostsRegistered 7/20/2011Michigan
On 11/30/2012 medsec said:

Just a FYI: I got the Shellac and when I went back to the salon to have it removed and redone, the manicurist said this is for a once in a while treatment, and to do it continuously would damage your nails. Others have said this isn't true. I have very bad nails, peeling all the time, so I need some help.

Hi medsec,

From what I read, Shellac and Gel are different. Shellac requires more roughing up your natural nail, and it uses a UV light, which is not good for your skin. Gel uses an LED light.

~Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle.~
~My Grandma's motto: Is it nice, is it true, would you like it said of you?~

A Walker1354324586.4331234 PostsRegistered 1/4/2011
On 11/30/2012 medsec said:

Just a FYI: I got the Shellac and when I went back to the salon to have it removed and redone, the manicurist said this is for a once in a while treatment, and to do it continuously would damage your nails. Others have said this isn't true. I have very bad nails, peeling all the time, so I need some help.

Somewhere along the reading I've done, a site said to make sure you use a good cuticle oil/lotion around your cuticles daily because that nourishes your growing nail. I also usually like to remove my polish one night, then polish the next night. That gives me a day of nothing. Or sometimes I just quickly polish with a clear coat.

Regarding the cuticles, I do use different balms or oils (I just grab/rotate them) at least once daily. But each time I use hand lotion, I obvi rub some into my cuticles as well. As my nails grow and nail growth becomes more obvious, you can see healthy nail growing. I remove my polish at around week 2, even have done it at day 10, because I want to change colors. But I think the gel keeps them in good shape, which could be due to the cuticle being nourished?

Google peeling nails and gel polish and see what you can come up with. I do keep my nails short so that might also be why they don't peel. Good luck getting them back into shape.


Tsukiko1354324880.887732 PostsRegistered 3/11/2006Arizona

Tsavorite

Here is what I do with regular polish. I apply a regular base coat then apply the color. I do apply a fast dry top coat just so I don't have to worry about smudging my nails accidentally. After a few hours when I know all the layers are good and dry I will apply one coat of gel and cure for 30 seconds or whatever the time is specified for any particular brand. I won't say the the nails will last 2 weeks because I haven't kept them on that long but it has lasted a full week with no chips. I just removed it after a week because I was ready for a new color. For the removal process, I've tried the wrap method with and without filing the shine off the top coat. Filing the shine off the top coat makes for a much easier removal.

PS...Don't forget to cap the edges. This makes a big difference on how long your mani will last.


A Walker1354324949.871234 PostsRegistered 1/4/2011
On 11/30/2012 nycbiggurl said:

Does anyone know if Mallys gel manicure kit is coming back? QVC is sold out and no waitlist. I checked Mallys site and they are only selling one of the polishes.

Hmmm they just showed it this morning, Item #A228835. I was gone but I just flipped through the items recently shown. Still listed as available. Anyway, I see you got the SensatioNail and you'll love it I'm sure! The colors sound great too. I love they are coming out with more and more colors in the different brands because I don't like settling when it comes to choosing colors lol. Have fun when it comes!

Tsukiko1354325311.23732 PostsRegistered 3/11/2006Arizona

A Walker

Thank you for posting about the cuticle oil, I forgot all about that being a crucial step in healthy nails. Some gel kits come with an oil, others don't. My favorite is Beauty Secrets nail oil from Sallys Beauty Supply. A 2.5 oz bottle is under $6. I use it everyday and especially after doing a gel manicure. They say it also helps speed the drying time on a regular mani but I've never used it for that. Love the way it smells. Sort of like fruity suntan oil.

A Walker1354325959.441234 PostsRegistered 1/4/2011
On 11/30/2012 LizzardDance said:

Tsavorite

Here is what I do with regular polish. I apply a regular base coat then apply the color. I do apply a fast dry top coat just so I don't have to worry about smudging my nails accidentally. After a few hours when I know all the layers are good and dry I will apply one coat of gel and cure for 30 seconds or whatever the time is specified for any particular brand. I won't say the the nails will last 2 weeks because I haven't kept them on that long but it has lasted a full week with no chips. I just removed it after a week because I was ready for a new color. For the removal process, I've tried the wrap method with and without filing the shine off the top coat. Filing the shine off the top coat makes for a much easier removal.

PS...Don't forget to cap the edges. This makes a big difference on how long your mani will last.


YES! Very important point - great reminder when everyone starts polishing haha.

That's a great cuticle oil from Sally's! I have it right now and love the scent too! But I always thought it had to do with freshening up the manicure when you had it initially completed... but it really IS important in general for good nail health. I bet that's why these kits contain it because they want you to be sure your nail health is taken care of or you won't come back for more polish! Makes sense too. It's so easy to do too... I'm always putting something on my hands and just make sure it hits the cuticles! And I don't think I really thought much about it until I read that point.

Last edited on 11/30/2012

nycbiggurl1354326291.4627 PostsRegistered 5/29/2010
On 11/30/2012 Rochester Shopper said:

Hi katkitty, tsavorite, A Walker and LizzardDance:

Thank you so much for your informative responses! I so appreciate you sharing your experiences!

A Walker, you really helped me feel better about the removal process. I did go back and read your gel nail posts in the Mally forum.

The Sensationail Starter Kit is on sale at drugstore dot com for $34.99. Even though it does not have as many items as Mally, it's pretty tempting. This lamp is also 7 watts, and the kit includes:

  • Gel cleanser
  • Gel primer
  • Color gel polish
  • Get base & top coat
  • Lint-free wipes
  • Double sided nail buffer
  • Manicure stick
  • LED Lamp included
  • Instruction sheet

I just checked Mally's kit, and it is available for $164.88 and free shipping.

Where did you find the Mally kit? When I checked I couldn't find it.

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