From maaaaaaaany previous posts you may be aware I have become Style & Then Some’s resident nail obsessive. Well, over the last month I have begun to branch out in to the world of gel nails and invested in a UV lamp and all the kit that goes with it. Lucky for me I have patient friends who let me practice on them, and so far I am loving my new obsession and picking my way through a wealth of you tube training until I can save up enough readies to attend a proper nail technician course.
So why gel nails? Well, ever since I had my first gel manicure 6 years ago I fell in love with the technique. If you aren’t clued up on what gel nails are (you may have heard of it as ‘Shellac nails’ although this is just a brand name) in simple terms it is a process of applying polish using a UV or LED lamp to ‘cure’ or ‘set’ the nail polish, and over the last few years the technique has snowballed with hundreds of brands now in competition to provide the best polish. So why are gel polishes becoming so big? It’s because it doesn’t chip for up to 2 whole weeks. Although previously only available in salons, the lamps are becoming increasingly affordable and many people (myself included) can invest in start-up kits to do it themselves at home. Despite this however, the polishes do remain quite expensive and range from £13.99-£24.99 for top line brands.
So it was only a matter of time (and development) until various alternative gel polishes that didn’t require the whole kit needed to complete a decent set of gel nails (lamp, prep, top coat, base coat etc) hit the market. And this month Gel Perfect from Nutra Nail hit the shelves in Boots. At £14.99 a pack, it comes in a variety of 8 shades so far.
So what comes in the pack and how does it work?
1. You have to prep your nails so they look as fabulous as possible (e.g. file to the same length, remove cuticles, and buff the nail plate so you are working with a shine free surface).
2. Now this is the tricky part if you are doing this for the first time as it is very time dependent. Using the ‘activator’ apply this to the whole of the nail and seal the edge (just means run a little across the top of your nail the opposite way to what you normally would apply polish). Apply to two more fingers then quickly apply one layer of your polish.
3. Repeat this for the rest of your fingers, but never do more that three at a time. You may need to swap the polish brush with the brush cleaner so the polish doesn’t get too hard and wipe of any residue on some tissue before hand.
4. Repeat this whole process so you have two layers of polish.
5. Now add the last layer of ‘activator’ once again sealing the edge.
So would i recommend Gel Perfect?
Well, if i am honest I did expect it to start chipping after a few days but in actually fact it lasted a whole week without any chipping (potentially longer but I had to remove mine – which by the way took 5 minutes and they provide the remover). I did find the application quite tricky at first and must admit using the regular gel technique means you don’t have to work against the clock as the gel won’t dry until you cure it, whereas the ‘activator’ from Gel Perfect does.
Having said that, I was happily surprised at its resilience and I reckon after a few attempts anyone could have the application process nailed (see what I did there). So if you can’t afford a salon trip, or don’t want to invest in a gel kit and need chip proof nails, I would definitely recommend this as an alternative.