Mixed experience really. I got a promotional set with the 'essentials' kit and 5 colours as well as the LED lamp with all the usual starter pack bits and bobs. I like the colours and their luxe texture, though they do tend towards pink tones which won't be for everyone. Application is easy and if you spend the time you get wonderful results for a tenth of the price of the salon.
However it is a BITCH to remove, seriously, I've spent over an hour buffing and soaking trying to get it off to no avail. I've even tried not applying the primer during application to help the removal process but that just made the colour peel off after a day.
The reason for this is because it's a combined base and top coat so it's not doing either job well. I never used to believe the hype - a clear polish is a clear polish right? - but you really DO need a separate 'primer' (base coat) and 'fixer' (top coat)
In the end I just bought the Gelish foundation and top it off and that is such a breeze to use and remove. I use sensationail colour and even my own regular polish as a 'sandwich' and this works wonderfully. In fact Gelish allows other polishes to glide on whereas Sensatonail is more sticky.
So yeah get Sensationail to start you off as is tons cheaper than its competitors but you may need to look elsewhere for better results
got this kit some time ago when it first came out at the drugstore. I've used this a lot since then. I have the original raspberry wine(love intense redish fushia with shimmer), pink chiffon (nice pink just sheer so i have to use 3 coats), pink daisy (great bright pink), purple orchid (nice shimmerer purple just shows up too dark almost black looking), just got a steal on the magnetic blue one. it was on clearance and used 2 dollar coupon off. and found limited edition pink bouquet
this stuff does stay on a long time usually polish just chips off when i'm working this lets me do anything i want to. i had to go buy a 10 dollar battery operated manicure/pedicure tool. this lets me file off the shiny coat or buff my nails easier (make sure to buy one with an on/off switch and not a one you have to push) . I tried to take it off by soaking them in acetone didn't work well. i now like to do the cotton ball and foil method. i may try the page turner things if it works with acetone. do not get the acetone on anything! i set the lid down in the car to refil my travel size bottle and it left a ring on the console. the original travel bottle i had leaked a little and it 'ate' a little bit of the led lamp! nasty stuff. i have this kit in a nice clear cosmetic bag and take it with me when i go to a hotel and do my nails there. much cheaper then the salon. very happy
I love Sensationail products. Application is super easy and they really do last 2+ weeks! I have even used it on my toes and that polish lasted throughout the summer - 3 months without a chip! Because I'm not huge on color polish, I often use just the clear which gives my nails strength and a beautiful shine. You can also paint over it and remove it without taking off any of the gel. It's great!
I love the idea of this gel nailpolish. I got hooked on gel nailpolish when I got it done at the salon a long time ago. When I found out I could do it at home I went to walmart and bought the kit. Its a bit expensive to purchase the kit but it comes with the light and all the prep you need for your nails.
It lasted long on my nails (1.5-2 weeks) and looked great.
However it is VERY hard to get off!
i really like it. I find it very easy to put on, i love the staying power and the zero dry time. Not always crazy about the slightly lumpy look gel polish gives.
I'm one of these people that always ruins at least one nail of a mani before even an hour has passed. I *hate* that. And definitely by the 3rd day i get a chip so i figured this might be a good solution. I read on more than 1 occasion to get this kit because of the good but low price with a good LED light. So glad i went for LED vs UV, it cures easily twice as fast as UV. And what a great price indeed. Other sets with comparable LED lights are more expensive (Sephora's @ $159, Red Carpet Manicure's @ $80), but my goodness, this one is $50 at walgreens, awesome. Despite small sizes of base/top coat and color, it's the best value kit out there. Sally Hansen's kit is coming out, it will also be a good value with the LED light, looks like the starter retail is $65 and it looks like it has the same LED as the Sephora set. Fwiw, i would choose the Rasberry Wine color over Chiffon.
I didn't find the application difficult at all. I followed the directions to a T, especially the part about using thin layers b/c i was already worried about removal. I used extremely thin layers of the bonding stuff and the base, then again 1 thin layer of the color (Pink Chiffon, which looked like a nice pink sheer with the 1 layer) and a thin layer of the top coat. My first time was pretty much perfect! I did get a little bubble in one nail, and also missed a little section in another nail because i was so focused on thin layers. Even with the only 1 coat it looked pretty, even and not streaky. And it was instantly dry after the last cure (my favorite part about the whole gel polish thing). Woot! And as a bonus, none of my nails broke during the entire manicure (except for the one where the polish chipped off due to user error), it made me realize that my nails break quite often. After just the 9 days i wore the polish my nails are quite long!
I took it off on the 9th day. At that point i only had 1 chip, and that was where i had missed a spot. I removed the polish using the foil method the first time and puting the foil on and keeping it on was a pita. The 2nd time however i used rubber finger tips with cotton pads inside and removal was a breeze. (see pics in profile) When i took off the rubber thimbles off I could see that the polish was crumbling off, i used a fingernail to scrape it off. For this i recommend picking up flat square cottons, easy to cut into strips which work best in the fingertips, I also recommend picking up a flip spout plastic bottle, b/c it's hard to cover the whole np remover top with smaller pieces of cotton, also makes it easy to squeeze a little more more remover onto the cotton in the cap if necessary. And make SURE to file/buff off the glossy surface before starting your removal, makes a huge difference in most cases. And when people say do not try to cheat and peel this stuff off or you'll damage your nails, they are not kidding. I did, when those nails grew out they as soon as they passed the nail bed they cracked and chipped.
One thing that bothered me is the sometimes gloopy looking surface of the gel mani. It's smooth but it doesn't exactly follow the natural curve of the entire nail, so it's not perfectly curved the way polish is with regular nail polish. Or maybe it *is* following every curve, and amplifying any irregularities. Either way, I'm not sure anyone else would notice it, but it bothers me. (Do a google image search for "gel manicure" and you'll see what i'm talking about).
Overall, i do like the gel mani (and think the Nailene Sensationail set rocks).
i've read that OPI gel base is the easiest to remove. So if you find yourself having trouble with removal, you might want to get the OPI base.
Oh, and i don't know why people are complaining about the size of the bottles. The price of this kit is the price of any good deal you'll get for just an LED light. For example, the only other low priced good LED lamp is $50 by Red Carpet manicure just for the light, and this whole *kit* is $50. The rcm kit is $80.
fyi, you can use this led lamp to cure other gel polishes, but it doesn't work for CND's Shellac, that needs a UV light.
[update: months later and have done several gel manis, i and really like it. I am not one to go crazy buying nailpolish but i already have 8 colors now, and i've only worn regular nail polish a few times since i started gel polish, and it sucked, chipped in a few days, so lame. But i use it when there's a color i want i don't have and when i know i'll want to change my color before 2 weeks is up. I do still dread the removal though, but it's okay. 20 mins is the magic number for me with the rubber tips. And by the way, another benefit to the gel manis... NO STAINING!!! :D.
I got a Gelish manicure at my local salon a month ago and loved it. I saw the Sensationail product at Walgreen's and read up on it here and on other sites. So I jumped in and purchased it.
I had no problem soaking off my Gelish in acetone in preparation for the Sensationail manicure. The application of Sensationail was easy - it took me 3 coats of polish to get the opaque look I wanted. I followed the steps and my manicure was shiny and perfect for 8-9 days.
Today I got a chip so I decided to remove it. That was 2 hours ago. This stuff has been IMPOSSIBLE to remove. I have had acrylics before that I removed on my own and that was a walk in the park compared to this. This is on there for good.
I have tried the cotton ball and foil wrap method - that did nothing. I have been soaking my nails in a bowl of acetone and using an orange stick, and I still have substantial amounts of polish on my nails. Four of my nails still have the entire layer of polish still on them. I filed the top coat to "break the seal." I buffed it as well. I continued to buff and file in between soaking to try and get the acetone in there. This stuff is glued like cement to my nails.
TWO HOURS LATER I have finally given up and I guess I will just let the stuff grow out. But my nails now look HORRIBLE. Not to mention now they are white and dried out from the two-hour acetone soak.
Do yourself a favor and don't buy this stuff. It's impossible to take off.
Great for toe nails!
Long lasting (if you apply it correctly) it can exceed the two week mark
Cures very fast under UV light
Saves money going to the nail salon
Air bubbles under the polish if not applied correctly
Extensive removal time
Limited color range (although they may have some new colors now)
Love this! I like to do my nails, but was getting tired of the chipping. I found this kit at Kroger and bought it after reading many good reviews. I agree with them. My nails still look good after 11 days. I have washed dishes, gone bowling, and done yard work without any chips.
The bottles are on the small side and there color selection is lacking. However, it is less expensive than other kits and lives up to expectations.
I have had acrylic nails for 14 years (!) and I took them off a few weeks ago. I read the reviews on here for this kit, and purchased it based on the good reviews, especially for people who have soft/brittle nails or damaged nails from acrylics. I really like this kit a lot. I agree with other reviewers that the bottle are really small, but the quality of the manicure makes up for it. My nails are very shiny, and they feel "protected" with the gel polish. This kit is expensive, but relatively inexpensive when you compare it to other similar kits. I actually got mine on drugstore.com and got a $10 coupon for being a new customer (orders over $50.) The savings allowed me to get a removal kit for basically nothing. After spending all that money in the salon for 14 years, I can only imagine that the savings will add up for me with this kit, regardless of how much the bottles of polish cost. I highly recommend this product.
This stuff is just plain fantastic. I can do a gel polish treatment by myself at home in no time and it's super cheap. Wish there were more colors available, but I'm still happy with what there is.