I've been using soak-off gels (sogs) for several months now, and my normally weak/flaking/breaking/short nails are long and strong from sogs, I get constant compliments and can't believe these are my nails! If you have difficult nails and/or normally pay for manis, invest in an LED light and a system (I have the Gelish mini Pro:45 - you don't need anything pricier).
I'd been mostly using Gelish sog polish, but saw the Orly Gel f/x colours and heard good things about the line, so bought 3 colours to try: Naughty, Oh Cabana Boy, and Rage.
All the colours applied beautifully, I was instantly impressed. Rage was great after one coat - a beautiful champagne/pink/coppery shimmer, but I added another.
Naughty is a rich cocoa brown; also applied beautifully, 3 coats for perfection - remember they are thin coats.
Oh Cabana Boy is a bit neony for me, definitely a bright pink, not for the shy but going in my trade box.
Went back and got four more colours, Coffee Break (looks like melted milk chocolate), Pink Nude (great natural pink for frenches), Sheer Nude (with a touch of beige, perfect french base for my yellow-undertoned skin), and Plum Noir (rich dark plum).
With the exception of Rage, 2-3 coats worked best for these. As recommended I use very thin coats - if it runs into your cuticles you have way too much on your brush - thin is the key and this polish is perfect for that. Not thick or gloopy, very easy to control on the nail (if you're new to sogs, you cannot get it on your cuticles - remove with an orange stick before curing if you do; allergies happen over time if you don't). And of course, don't forget the free-edge. I cured for 45-seconds per layer with my LED light, 25 for the base.
I don't use their bonder, but prep my nails with a swipe of rubbing alcohol; much cheaper and has never failed me.
As for removal, again it's dead easy (I've never had a problem with the Gelish either). I don't use the Orly remover, I use regular polish remover (just Sally Hansen 'strong'). It's important to remove the shine from the polish with some quick strokes from a 180-grit nail file to 'break' the seal.
Put cut-to-size cotton pads soaked w/remover on each nail, then wrap with foil (I use regular kitchen foil cut to size). Heat is essential; some lay warmed gel packs or rice socks over the nails. I use a blow dryer for 30 seconds, blowing on the foil-wrapped nail. Then sit for 8-10 minutes. Remove by twisting off the foil/cotton - shouldn't be anything left on the nail, but take them off one at a time as they will reharden if left uncovered on your nails.
I'm wanting more of these, am only restrained by my wallet's limitations. I've been happy with Gelish, but find the Orly's superior in texture and application. Wear seems the same, 3 weeks easy, though I get bored by 2 weeks and usually add a stamp, stick on applique, or layer of regular polish (just remove with acetone or non-acetone before you soak off).
Only reason I didn't give this a 5 for packaging was the bottle could be cuter (like and NFU-Oh style bottle), but that's me just being picky. :)
**note: In Canada several of these are now rebranded/renamed under the Quo by Orly Gels store brand; bottles are super small (mini), but as you only use thin layers you should still easily get many manis out of each bottle.
This is a review for the new Orly Gel FX gel lacquer range. This new range uses LEDs to cure this nailpolish range, and this is 1 of the reasons I purchased this line of products. I didn't like the long curing times with other brands so chose this to try for it's LEDs to cure & also the infused vitamins. I'm basing my review on the entire range, including the UV curing light as I bought the whole kit & 11 other colours.
So far I've tried 2 colours of the Orly Gel FX gel lacquers - "Naughty" (a deep brown) & "Rage" (a very, very light pink glitter). I actually layered the "Rage" over the "Naughty" just to see what this would look like - I don't like it much. I much prefer the "Naughty" on its own.
As for application - this range is much more time consuming than applying Shellac in my view(even with the quicker cure time). This is because of the primer that is the step before the basecoat & also because I found the solid colour of "Naughty" to be really watery & I had to put 4 coats (meaning do 4 cures) of this gel lacquer on to achieve the depth of colour I was after.
This product is also self-levelling - which means (in my case) if you put too much of this on (which is very easy to do as I found the colour to be very watery) it self-levels & runs into your cuticles & pools. I must admit I got caught out by this as I was expecting it to have the same consistency as CND Shellac which I found to be more of a nailpolish consistency; hence, easier to apply & I did only have to apply 2 coats of "Black Pool" to achieve my desired colour depth.
After going through this mistake on my R hand (I'm R handed so maybe I should've started on my L hand??) I was more controlled with doing my L hand. I must also say that using the "Rage" was easier to control as it had the glittery bits in it so it had more of a nailpolish or Shellac consistency. I think "Rage" would be gorgeous on its own.
I also must say that Orly Gel FX does suit really short nails better than Shellac did. I say this as I wear my nails really short (think Pulp Fiction) as I've got long nail beds & long nails look cheap & nasty on me. Orly Gel FX doesn't seem to pull away from the nail edge & I think this may be due to the use of the primer before the basecoat.
Orly Gel FX colours are based upon their top 32 nailpolish colours. Orly do recommend using their entire system & not to substitute to get the best wear out of this system.
Orly Gel FX may be a little more difficult to remove than Shellac too (only going by the training DVD I watched the other night) as one needs to completely file off the mirror top coat with a 180grit file; then wrap in foil wraps soaked with the Orly Gel Remover. I haven't tried this yet but I'll try to come back & edit to let you now how easy the removal was.
At the end of my gel mani I must say I liked the look & I will obviously be doing them again since I bought the kit & 11 other colours. At this point in time I would recommend these because they are beautiful colours & I did get a wonderful mirror shine (if possible even shinier than with my CND Shellac gel mani). Time will tell with how easy the removal process is :)
EDIT: REMOVAL PROCESS
Well I had this on for 1 week & decided to remove so I could tell you about the removal process. Needless to say - I'll never get that hour of my life back!!! This is absolute hell to remove!!! Most of the uv lacquer removed with the Orly gel remover, but the tips of the nail where the primer was applied didnn't want to be removed - even with 1/2hr of soaking in the wraps (even topped up the gel remover 3 times).
In the end I had to stop trying the gel remover & had to file & buff the nail lacquer off the tips of my nails. Needless to say, my nail tips are now flexible, thing & practically see-through. I now need to clip these right back & do some serious nail strengthening. I'm soooooo very cranky about this!!!! Next time I'm not even going to prime the tips of my nails with the orly gel fx primer - I'm just going to use base coat, colour & top coat - stuff the primer that's the rubbish that messed up my nails!!
2 other grips -1st gripe: the Orly Gel Remover bottle doesn't seal properly. I had the lid on it tight, knocked it over a few times (with the lid on tight) & the liquid leaked out of the top. This is unforgiveable, as it's a liquid that quickly evaporates. Maybe they did this so you have to buy more of this product?? hmmmmmm.....
The 2nd grip - the awful foil wraps. As soon as the Orly Gel Remover touches the foils the black "orly" writing on them comes off & stains my hands black!! It's like black nikko on my hands.
I wish Orly had properly tested these products. By my experience (which I followed to the letter/dvd instructions) this should've been a wonderful manicure experience that is easily removed. ABSOLUTE HOGWASH!! I'm much more inclined to stick with Shellac now since my Shellac manis always turn out wonderful & are easy to remove. I've downgraded my lippies since this product is such a nightmare to remove. I'm also looking forward to the launch of the OPI UV gel lacuqers which launch in January next year.