Monday, May 15, 2017

Review of Sally Hansen at-home Gel Manicure Starter Kit (with lamp)

If you have ever had a salon gel manicure, you have probably noticed that they look really nice-- they are extra shiny and "thicker" than your regular salon manicure. They also happen to last longer than a regular manicure, anywhere from two to three weeks, which is why they also usually cost more. The average gel manicure costs between $40 and $50. Enter the home gel manicure kits, such as the one shown below. I have had several gel manicures in the salon and was curious to see how the home kits stacked up. Several companies offer them including this one by Sally Hansen, which I picked because it includes everything to get started. I noticed that Gelish, and Azure also have top-selling home gel manicure kits on Amazon. Read below for the review. For product reviews I give between one star   and 5 stars *****,  one being the lowest rating and 5 the highest. 

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Kit-
I give this 4 **** out of 5 stars. I was very happy with it! Here is what comes in the Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish kit. I bought mine at Walgreens, but you can buy them on Amazon, and surely lots of other places online. It comes with an emory board, orange stick, nail polish remover pads, three polishes (base coat, color coat, and top coat), a bottle of pure acetone for removal, and an LED lamp.

Using the emory board and orange stick, I filed my nails and pushed my cuticles back. I used one of the nail polish remover pads to make sure my nail beds were free of any oils, and let them dry. I then applied the base coat and put my hand into the lamp, and pressed the button. I actually pressed the button twice for each step because I wanted to make sure my nails came out completely dry, (which they did by the way). Next, I applied two applications of the color coat, and used the lamp after each coat (again, two cycles of drying). Each time you press the button (or cycle as I say) is 30 seconds, so it's no biggie to do it twice. The only negative thing I have to say about the kit, and why I gave it 4 out of 5 stars,  is that when you put your fingers into the lamp after applying the color polish, the nails get so hot that it actually hurts a little. Just a little FYI if you are a sensitive type. Following this step, you apply the topcoat, which really gives it a lot of shine. Again, I do 2 sessions of the 30-seconds under the lamp. I also alternated back and forth between hands to give each hand extra drying time. Otherwise I followed the instructions included with the kit. Last comment, make sure you use one of the nail polish remover wipes to remove the residue after the last step. I didn't realize that I needed to do this when I tried it the first time and kept thinking the nails weren't dry. Once I <read the directions> again, I saw that this is the final step, and that the residue does go away when you do it.

I also want to mention something else about this kit that is really good. The lamp is a LED lamp, as opposed to the UV ones, which of course are bad for our skin and can cause skin cancer long-term. Plus, of course UV light can cause pre-mature aging.  We don't need to subject ourselves to any of that, now do we?

So, here is the final result. Overall, I am really happy with it, and think I will buy some more colors to try out. All three of the polishes went on really easily and consistently. There wasn't any streaking or clumps.   One thing that I will mention, and that I didn't do well enough here is that you should wipe away any excess polish that gets into cuticle or on the skin before it dries, because it's hard to remove once it does.  I definitely think with practice I can get this looking even better. Leave comments below if you have tried this kit or others!

Here is a close-up.

This is my puppy, Ellie. She likes to investigate everything that I'm doing!

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