Last year I had my first at-home gel manicure. I've been hooked ever since and at Christmas I treated myself to my very own Sensationail starter kit and a couple of gel polishes. I've had gels done at a salon before but it's so pricey I could only afford to do it for special occasions. As you can see from my nail tutorials I love doing my own nails but hate waiting ages for regular nail polish to dry, only to chip off after a few days. With the Sensationail gel kit my manicure was staying perfect and chip free for around 10 days, sometimes longer. I'm completely converted. If you'd like to get started with your own at-home gel kit then keep reading because I'm giving away some essential Sensationail products at the end of this post!
The starter kit retails for £69.99 but there are occasionally special offers, I managed to find my Sensationail starter pack on offer in Boots at Christmas, it was half price! If you add up what you'd spend in the salon it works out at great value for money. You'll need a LED lamp, base & top coat, a gel polish colour of your choice and a gel cleanser. My starter kit came with two colours, Raspberry Wine and Gold Glitter. I've since purchased Evening Sand a pink nude from Sensationail and I have several gel colours from other brands too (eBay, Amazon are the best places to look).
The instructions are easy to follow, file and prep the nails, go through each step of applying and curing the layers under the lamp. The process does take time. It's better to be patient and not rush through the steps because once it's on, it's going to be on for at least a whole week. The finished gel is rock hard, it amazes me how quickly it sets, 30 seconds under the LED bulbs and that's it. No waiting around while the polish dries, you can get straight on with your next task. I'm happy to take 30 minutes out of my day to give myself a pampering manicure that I know will last for ages. It's far more frustrating to chip your nail polish after a day of wear, even if it only took you 5 minutes to apply. I can plan my manicures into my diary now and do my nails while I watch Netflix or YouTube videos.
For me, the Sensationail gel manicures have lasted between 7-10 days before I start to notice any wear. Usually the polish will lift at the corners near the cuticle rather than chipping off at the tips. Or my nails start growing out and my manicure doesn't look quite as fresh anymore. I'm really happy with how long they last. I usually get a bit bored after a week anyway and want to change things up. I always give my nails a week long break between manicures so they can breathe and repair.
I know it's so tempting to pick and peel at your nails but it's important to remove your gel polish properly. I've seen the difference between removing the gel correctly (by soaking in warm acetone and pushing off with an orange stick) to picking it off mindlessly. You need to look after the nail underneath or you'll end up with weak, peeling nails. I occasionally use OPI Nail Envy to treat my nails and get them back up to their usual strength but letting them breathe (no polish) is crucial.
Have you tried the Sensationail products? What do you think about doing your own gel manicures at home? I've been impressed with how quickly I've picked the technique up, I think I'm doing quite well at applying it now. At first I was a bit careless with the polish thinking I could 'clean up' around the edges afterwards but once that gel is cured it's not going to wipe away!
(UK & Ireland Only)If you'd like to start building your own at-home gel kit, I have two Sensationail products to give away. The new Sensationail LED lamp, this one works much faster at curing the polish and comes on with a motion sensor, flashing after 15 secs and turning off after 30 secs to help you keep track. The bottom plate is also removable so you can pop the lamp over your toes for a gel pedicure! I also have a Sensationail colour to get you started, this one is So Rosy from the sheer range, perfect for subtle and classy nails or to use over white tips to create a french manicure. (Please note this is not the starter kit, you will need to purchase top/base coat and gel cleanser for a perfected manicure).
If you'd like to be in with the chance of winning please use the Rafflecopter entry form below. You need to be a follower of This Fashion is Mine on Bloglovin but all other ways to enter are optional and will boost your chances of winning! This giveaway is for UK and Ireland residents only and will end on Friday 18th March when the winner will be selected at random and contacted via email and/or Twitter. Please leave contact details within your entry. Good luck everyone!