So the story goes like this…
I lost a Sensational lamp, then I broke one. I decided after that that God perhaps, if he exists, doesn’t want my to have a Sensationail machine or gel nails.
But here’s the thing. I do like painted nails but I;
a. Seldom have time to apply it
b. Definitely don’t have time to let it try properly
c. If I manage to get it dry without smudging (almost never), it will chip within a day.
So what a waste of time!
But I didn’t want to give up on my Soak Off Gel Nail dreams…so off I trundled to eBay to see if I could find a combo that was easy enough for me to use. Here’s what I ended up with:
I knew I wanted a small portable lamp – I didn’t mind if it wasn’t big enough to get my whole hand it.
I wanted something with different timings.
I wanted something under £25.
I wanted something LED rather than UV light because I have read that LED is supposed to be safer than UV so I thought, well, why not?
The lamp I bought is a 6 watt LED lamp. Not particularly powerful but actually similar to the Sensational lamp. It cost me £22 including shipping which is fine.
It works pretty well too – it set my polish with no problems so I am happy with it but a few downers if I were being very fussy;
1. It’s cheap lightweight plastic. Not super durable but should be ok if you take care of it.
2. When it first switches on it gets VERY hot. I actually pulled my hand back out because it felt like my fingers were burning. If you let it run the first time without your fingers underneath, then carry on as normal, it’s like the heat balances out and it’s not uncomfortable at all.
3. To get to the other timings (60 seconds, 90 seconds) you have to scroll through so to speak – you can’t just select it instantly.
Despite all of the above it’s a nifty machine for just over £20.
I chose the top and base coat from Crystal-G, a UK brand and one colour – gold glitter (well, it is nearly December).
I went for this brand because I wanted something UK based, with clear instructions and once I found a Gel Polish brand I liked, I wanted to stick to it. This set cost me less than £15 which is quite good as one Sensationail polish costs £15. The colour polishes from Crystal-G are more like £3-£4.
I found the top and base coat a bit thick – very easy to over apply and get a super thick layer on the nail but with practise I got better at doing thinner layers. But it is somewhat gloomy. The polish is a thinner texture and easier to work with.
I did find my polish set well under this lamp and was super super super shiny for the whole time it was on (2 weeks) with minor chipping only. I also found it quite easy remove with the acetone and foil method which I am happy about because there’s nothing I hate more than removing nail polish.
I really can’t complain about this combination and I am rubbish at doing my nails and don’t spend much time on them – but I will definitely do this again (I have already bought more colours) because it’s so long lasting and shiny, that I know the effort is worth it because it won’t chip off in a day!
The timings i used with this machine were:
Base Coat - 90 Seconds
Polish (2 Coats) – 160 for both coats
Top Coat – 160 seconds
These are just the settings that worked well for me you may find that you need less or more time.
Do you use gel polish?