I have had my brushes with Shellac (which seemed to make a lot of nail technicians crazy because I just didn’t have a good experience) and after trying it 3 times and having it chip within 5 days I concluded that it just wasn’t for me. Nevertheless, my cravings for a long lasting polish didn’t fade away and I as very excited to try out this home gel nail system from Nailene called Sensational!
The strange thing was I was close to purchasing a knock off one from eBay! Then I got this in the post:
What is inside the kit?
You get a nail cleanser which you use to clean the nail, then a primer, then a top and base coat, the colour polish and of course the lamp.
You get some lint free wipes too, an orange stick, nail file etc. There is enough in the starter pack for TEN applications, approximately.
The colour polish comes in a teeny size! But it is supposed to last a good few applications.
The lamp! It’s quite small but you can get your whole hand it in! Realistically, it’s thumbs first, then fingers. It times at 1 minute intervals with a little ding (or something) at 30 seconds because when you are using this, curing times vary between 30 secs and 1 minute.
There are clear instructions which come with the pack. You start by buffing your nails then applying the primer, let it dry for the specified time, then the gel coat which needs curing before you do 2 coats of polish (which also need curing) then the top coat to seal it in.
It seems quick but with all the curing and doing one hand, then the other meant that in total I was doing my nails for about 40 minutes. I do not usually spend this kind of time on my nails but I guess it could be quicker once you get the hang of it – I was reading the instructions at the same time!
With the primer:
When you are setting the nails you can see the gel glow! You shouldn’t get any of the gel on your skin – I did and cured it and it’s just like hard plastic coating your skin! I cut it off with nail scissors.
I also did it thicker than you probably should because of inexperience more than anything.
After you’ve finished with the polish application and setting you have to wipe it with the cleanser – some of the excess product or ‘moisture’ comes off but it does NOT ruin the polish although it feels like it does.
Finished! Like I said, I think I applied it a little too thick and next time I would do it thinner but it is gloriously glossy and definitely SOLID.
So tra la la la la, I packed the machine away and did my usual things.
I am pretty hard on my hands – I don’t hold back, and in my day job I am very hands on too plus as mentioned earlier, my nails generally react brilliantly to long lasting polish.
After 9 days I had enough to be honest of looking at red nails, and also my nails grow pretty quickly so the regrowth looked bad.
I was experiencing some fine chipping at the tip and only on my thumb was it starting to lift slightly. I could’ve went on to be honest, it didn’t have any major chips I was just be being fussy.
To be honest, it lasted better than any Shellac I’ve had before so that can’t be a bad thing since it works out cheaper to do home treatments!
9 days later:
I managed to chip away on my second finger and get something stuck in there – grr.