With the influx of gel manicures it was only time until someone would come up with an at-home gel kit. The Nailene Sensationail At Home Gel Manicure System became the number one selling home gel kit in the US in its first week. So having had gels in the salon and loving the benefits of a strong endurance manicure, I tested out the kit to see if it really works just as well at home.
The starter kit contains a Gel Cleanser, Gel Primer, Colour Gel Polish, Gel Base & Top Coat, as well as Manicure Stick, Double Sided Nail Buffer, Lint-Free Wipes and of course the pro 3060 LED Lamp. The kit is meant to last you for 10 complete manicures.
To start I prepared my nails. I did this by removing any polish, then I filed and buffed the natural nail. Using the Lint-Free Wipe I cleaned the nails with the Gel Cleanser. Then I applied the Gel Primer and let it dry naturally. I applied a thin layer of the Gel Base & Top Coat, trying to avoid the skin and cuticle. You have to cap the natural nail, so I did this by running the polish brush along the tip. Then I cured the nails for 30 seconds as instructed. Here is where you need a steady hand. I applied a thin layer of Colour Gel Polish, trying hard not to touch the skin or cuticle, and caped the nails again with the brush. Make sure you touch up the nails and make them look as perfect as possible, because once you cure the colour, there is not going back. I cured the nails under the LED Lamp for only 60 seconds, before applying another layer and repeating the 60 seconds. I then applied a thin layer of Gel Base & Top Coat and cured for 30 seconds. You then remove the layer of moisture using the Gel Cleanser and Lint-Free Wipes and ta dah, you have high-gloss damage proof nails, however I didn’t quite.
The Gel Cleanser didn’t clean the nails and the manicure was left sticky. When I wiped down the thumb nails half the colour was removed and within an hour my manicure looked messy and bumps had form under the gel, causing it to flake. So I decided to try again and found that the reason the thumb nails were peeling was because the LED Lamp is smaller than those in salons, and the underside of your nail thumb doesn’t get any light. When I repeated the manicure I treated the thumb by itself, so it got as much light as the other nails. I also had to leave the nails in the lamb for double the amount of time it says in the instructions, as the light is not very strong. Instead of using the Gel Cleanser to wipe off the moisture, I used a regular nail varnish and that seemed to work better, as it didn’t leave the nails sticky to collect dust and lint, like before.
After the second go, my nails did look a lot better. Not perfect, but as good a first attempt.
The starter kit costs £85 and is available in Boots. This does seem rather steep, but it works out around £5.77 per manicure compared to the cost of £25 in a salon. The kit is designed to last you for years and so it is more of an investment, but I still think that the cost is rather high. My other thought is that you do need to have a steady hand, as this manicure lasts longer than most and might not always look as professional as the salon equivalent, so if you are not the best at giving yourself a manicure, this is not the product for you. Over all I think the idea is great, of course everyone would like a gel manicure at the fraction of the price, but it’s not. Well not at the beginning.
In May the Sensationail Invincible Gel Polish Colours (£15 each) will be launched so that you can use different colours at home.
What do you think about the Nailene Sensationail? Will you be investing?