I absolutely love this kit! As a makeup and beauty junkie on a pretty strict budget, it's hard to justify certain purchases, especially an actual salon manicure. And for some reason, where I live gel manicures are outrageously priced compared to traditional ones. Hence, I would only get real manicures for special occasions or for a vacation.
Well fast forward to several years of rarely, if ever, getting a manicure and being pretty bummed about it, and a friend who has this kit offers to do my nails AND all of my bridesmaids' nails for my wedding! Since half my bridal party was family and I didn't want to make them spend more money I jumped on the chance immediately. She did my nails in the pink chiffon color, and we did a French mani on all the girls. They girls had some chipping, but that seems to be pretty common with the stick-on white tips in any brand. It wasn't too bad, honestly. My nails lasted great all the way through the wedding and into my honeymoon. I did have some chipping towards the end of the trip, but I think that was unusual simply because of all the crazy activities we did. (I usually don't judge a nail polish by how well it holds up through snorkeling and climbing waterfalls!) On a regular basis, I definitely get 2 weeks of wear out of it, and I have been wearing these manis at work at a coffee shop and as a piano teacher, so my hands take quite a beating.
I give it 5/5 for price in a heart beat. The whole kit costs about $60 where I live, but I often see it on sale or with a coupon for about $40. My husband bought me the kit as a birthday present after I so kindly told him to ask the friend who originally had the kit. ;)
Even at $60, this will pay for itself in 2 manicures ($30+ or so plus tip).
A tip for the budget savvy though, replace as you go on your products, and don't buy the "brand name" stuff. The gel cleanser is just rubbing alcohol. Seriously. Buy yourself a $.95 huge bottle of it and it will last you forever instead of that half an ounce of "cleanser" that they sell you. Even the salons just use rubbing alcohol.
Also, the "base and top coat" formula is the EXACT same as their clear coat color. So buy a big bottle of clear polish, or wait until another brand has theirs on sale. Just make sure it's compatible with the LED light. A few of them out there are specifically for UV gel lights.
I have yet to run out of primer, so I'm not sure how I would go about replacing it. I've tried manis with and without it, and to be honest I may just not worry about it once I officially run out.
Some girls have mentioned disappointment over color selection. The Sensationail brand doesn't have a ton of variety, but what they do have is very pretty. I have the pink chiffon that I got for my wedding, a tangerine-y color and a pretty turquoise, but they're all pretty summery colors. Walgreens will have them on sale sometimes, so I just wait until then and stock up (BOGO sales are pretty common. The sales staff at my Walgreens probably thinks I'm crazy because I stop there on my way home from work, walk straight to the nail care aisle, check the sales and walk out about 2 times a week, waiting for sales!)
I have mixed brands with awesome results. My first attempt was with a Sally Hansen gel color in Ruby Do, and it's gorgeous! A really deep wine color that is beautiful for fall and winter. I noticed absolutely no difference in the wear between the two formulas. You also get much more polish in the separate bottles. I'm not sure why they give you such a tiny bottle of color in the starter kit.
I just picked up an ASP (All Season Professional) polish from Sally's yesterday. The sales staff there said this brand works with both UV and LED lamps, since this one didn't specify. I picked up the color Black Beauty. I'd been wanting for the Sally Hansen brand to go on sale to get their Pat On The Black, which is a beautiful burgundy-glossy-black-ish color, but I couldn't justify their $11-13 price tag. The ASP was $7.99 I believe with my Sally card, $8.99 regular. I did my mani yesterday afternoon, and it's been doing well so far (one day is hard to tell). This color is a traditional glossy black with no other undertones in it. At first I was afraid it was going to seem too "jr. high, Avril Lavigne, chipped black nails and heavy eyeliner-ish" but done with a real manicure on well-kept nails it looks great! It's surprising that the Sharpie manicure never caught on after those years. ;)
Long story short, be frugal on your refills, but splurge on the good stuff to get yourself started. You don't get the salon experience, but pour yourself some wine and do a manicure with a friend and it's just as much fun. Well worth the price for regular manicures.
Mix and match brands and the possibilities of colors are endless!
I will not repurchase unless my light breaks. I have no need to buy the whole kit again, just refilling certain parts one at a time.
I'm a newbie to gel manicures. My mother-in-law was asking me what I wanted for Christmas and I happened to see a commercial on TV for Sensationail. It was then that I remembered that I've always wanted to try it, but never wanted to spend the money for the kit (around $40 I think). So I told her that was one of the things I wanted for Christmas. The kit that I received had the LED light, the color (a raspberry color...can't remember the name), the Primer, a cleaner, and the Gel base/top coat. Also came with a few implements...a file, cuticle pusher. It's quite easy, but there is a bit of a learning curve, so am happy that there's a little quick reference guide included in the kit. It was simple to apply -- important!...use THIN coats, just like the directions tell you to. You first clean your nails with the cleaner on a lint free pad (included) -- I will never buy this...did some online research and all it is is rubbing alcohol. Then put on the primer and let it air dry. Then a coat of the base/top coat, cure under the lamp for 30 seconds, then apply 2 coats of color and cure for 60 seconds between coats. Another top coat and 30 second cure and you're done. There's a slight stickiness to your nails after that step. Just run a pad with the cleaner on it (alcohol) over your nails to remove the stickiness. And.....you're done! No drying time!....no smudges! AND, most importantly....this lasts like you wouldn't believe! I am into week 2 of my manicure and it's as shiny/glossy as the day I put it on. I did a very minor fix to a very small chip on my pointer finger (same process as above) and you can't even tell it was chipped. The fact that it lasts means I don't have chips of polish coming off during the week, taking a layer of my nail with it! Now the not so fun part....taking it off. It's really not as bad as I thought it would be. I watched a few YouTube videos and I use the cotton ball soaked in acetone and aluminum foil method, one hand at a time. I leave it on for 15 min. and then begin scraping it off. I purchased the Sensationail tool (around $5.00) for this and it works quite well. Anything left on my nail is easily filed off with a fine grit emory board. Acetone can be very drying, so I use cuticle oil a lot and most especially after I've removed the polish. I absolutely LOVE this and will always do gel manicures from now on. I've heard you can do a "layering" technique with regular polish sandwiched between the base and top coats, but have not tried this yet. Oh, and the Sensationail nail polish bottles are quite small for the money (around $11.00), but since you're not using as much and it lasts so long, I don't consider it an issue. Absolutely recommend!
I love this product. My nails usually chip within the fist day. I´ve started sensationail and color lasts 5 days; after that my nails start chipping (i dont know why this keeps happenning to me). I guess I use thick layers.
Since colours are a bit expensive Im currently using the base/top coat only and I apply regular nail polish and a top coat. It lasts longer that sensationail polishes and I can change colours easyly without the whole removal process. Hope you like my tip :P
I started out with shellac nails from the salon. Beautiful but too expensive and I find it hard to have the time for an hour and a half every two weeks for a manicure....forget the 30+ dollars and tip.
I bought that system first and was happy, but, was concerned about all the buzz about cancer. I read that LED was much better, so, went on a search and found Nailene. It is so easy to do and my nails look great. Its better to start off shorter. The polish does hold up better when your nails are short. I have been able to keep the light color for almost 3 weeks. There was some wear on the tips but not too bad.....and no breaks!!
The darker color starts to wear on me (Miss Behave) at about 8-10 days, but I make it last for 2 weeks. You can put other polish on top if you want. Try to use cutical oil whenever you think of it.
The hardest part is the removal. I have tried many ways and this is what works best for me...and the least amount of damage.
1. Take a file and rough up the top so the acetone can get thru easier. I use a cotton ball or round (no fuzz) and cut to fit nail and wrap with tin foil. It "bakes" for about 20 minutes and when I use their metal removal tool, it comes off really easy. If it doesn't come off easy, you haven't kept it on enough or didn't use enough acetone. It can burn a little bit but I just live with it. There hasn't been any damage and my nails are very strong.
The damage comes if you peel it off yourself without using the acetone.
2.Use cuticle oil whenever possible and keep your hands moisturized.
3. If you want to remove it easier, just put the primer around the edges and the tips.
4.I usually remove the polish at night when I am watching tv and then apply int the morning. It takes me about 45 minutes to take off and then 45 minutes to put on. The color selection is just ok. I haven't tried to mix brands.
I decided to stop using for a few weeks. My nails slowly chipped and broke....put it back on last weekend.....so happy. I use a computer a lot and they stay so nice. I am on my 10th day and don't plan to redo until this weekend. I hope they come out with some new colors. So far I like Miss Behave and the champagne for a summer color. I used an extra coat on the champagne.
I do my thumbs first and then my left and then right hand. I usually keep the last coat in there for an extra minute to make sure and then wipe with alcohol.....beautiful!
I was tried of having to paint my nails every other day. I did some research and decided to try out this system. I got the starter kit for a great price at Walgreens, and grabbed 2 polishes as well since they were a great price too. The first color I tried was the dark purple (can't remember the name right now!) i've had it on for about a week. I have some chips on the tip on one finger because I broke the nail and a bit of tip wear on two other fingers. However it is not noticable at all. You'd only notice if I showed you.
The overall process wasn't difficult at all, and didn't take very long to apply. This is only the second time i've had a gel manicure but im hooked and will definitely keep doing them at home. I haven't removed this yet so i'm not sure about that process but i'm assuming it'll be simiarly to removing acrylic nails.
I have super thin nails that break very easy and I love how the gel is thick and keeps my nails from breaking. I can't wait to try out another polish!
My nails are very soft and brittle, they exfoliate at the tips and no nail polish survives longer than 24 hours on me. I've had the Sensationail on for a week already (Scarlet Red) and no chip in sight! Shiny as the first day i applied it. Very easy to use, applies evenly and the overall procedure takes less than 15 minutes.
I'd like to leave it on for as long as possible to see how well it lasts, but I have purchased 3 new colours and I am dying to try them, so I think I will remove the red today.
Very satisfied with this product, I should have tried it earlier!
I bought the kit in raspberry wine recently and the French manicure polish. I have the raspberry on by toes and had a crack at the French mani on my fingers.
I really love it. It's in between a standard nail polish and a gel mani that you'd get at a salon. I don't get a full 2 weeks wear - more like 7-10 days. But as I'd usually chip in 24 hours I'm pretty happy. I'm also still perfecting my technique - it's important to clean up any gel on your cuticles because that will cause it to lift quickly.
I recommend using the white polish rather than the strips - they break and are difficult to apply. For a first attempt I'm pretty happy with the French Polish.
Super shiny, super smooth. Very happy with this purchase.
So I am writing this review and also hoping to get some answers to questions, that i have as well :) I am a NEW user of the gel manis & must say that so far i LOVE them! I had one done in the salon and i was pretty impressed, then that gave me the idea to try doing them on my own. A couple days later, i bought the Sensationail starter kit and WOW! i did great and it was all done BY ME. SOLD!!! lol. But this particular color (pink chiffon) itself, was a bit sheer for my tastes. It says 2 coats, which i was unhappy with the outcome. It was a bit streaky i found. Can a 3rd coat be done? or not? i didn't dare try as i didn't want to mess up the process-as it seems to be pretty strict on what is needing to be done & how, ect... But feel like a 3rd coat, would have been what was needed to make it PERFECT. Other than that, what a great system! HIGHLY RECOMMEND XOXO
Can u ladies help me with a few additional questions, that i have about Gel mani's- in general possibly?
Here they are!:
1) Since i have all the fixens for the Sensationail kit, like their top coat, base, their light, ect,..
BUT Am I able to buy just a different polish?-as long as it is a gel one? If so, what is another good brand to try out?
I ask this b.c. this brand seems to have such a limited color selection it appeared... :(
2) Is a 3rd coat ok to do? i have 2 polishes from this brand, & each says only to apply 2 coats?
3)Are these removal wraps really worth it? and what all do they entail?
i bought that metal removal tool and didn't find it to be that much more helpful, that the wooden stick that was provided!
Also, what is the orange stick that everyone keeps mentioning on here?
4) Can you use this system on your toes too?> or just hands?
5) Is there a better/bigger curing light? and if so (& if it happens to be a different brand), can i use all of my current Sensational products,with this new light or doesn't it matter?
6) hand designs.... i wanna do some and was told that you can use normal (non-gel) polish for this & that it will NOT effect the gel mani in any way? is this true?
how do i remove that? what type of nail polish remover is needed? acetone still?
any good sites to check out? im looking for something SIMPLE & EASY ONLY LOL
I know that this is quite the list of questions BUT any help would BE GREATLY APPRICIATED FROM U LADIES OUT THERE!
Hope to hear feedback soon! Thanks soo much....:)
I've just finished using the Sensationail introductory kit and wanted to share my experience. A few days ago I had a very average Shellac manicure at a salon and thought 'I can do better than that' so put my money where my mouth is...or nails are, as it were!
I bought the kit with Scarlet Red, which is a little different to the red on the box - once applied it's a bit more jellyish and orange-based, but still a good primary red that should suit most skin tones (kind of like OPI Big Apple Red but leaning more orange). The kit contains an LED lamp, 'gel cleanser' (isopropyl alcohol), gel primer, base/top coat, bottle of colour, orange stick and buffer. Not bad for $AU89, but the bottles are pretty tiny TBH - 3.5ml for the colour and base/top coat. The kit also contains instructions for application.
Here are some tips that helped me:
- Read the instructions! Seriously! I'm fairly nail savvy but still read the instructions carefully and even watched a couple of YT vids before proceeding with application
- Do both your thumbs first (prep, base, colour, top, wipe), to get them out of the way.
- Work. Slowly. At least for the first time you do DIY gel polish.
- Thin coats are a must - apparently thicker coats can wrinkle during curing - however, I took this a bit too literally and didn't have enough polish on the brush so that I had to go over sections of my nail repeatedly. After curing it looked a little uneven. You want your coats to be thin, but try to have enough polish on the brush to cover your whole nail (my nails are a tad on the long side).
- Beautiful shiny finish
- No dry time after curing and wiping (which gets rid of the sticky layer) - no chance of sheet marks!
- The lamp looks tiny but it's the perfect DIY, desk-top size, and realistically you can only work on one hand at a time anyway
- I did a much better job than the salon I went to lol!
- Removal is time-consuming, probably at least half an hour for both hands. If you go too fast or pick at the polish you risk nail damage
- The colour I used was a little sheer, even after 3 coats. However, that may have been due to the aforementioned too-thin coats I used. I plan to purchase another colour and try application again
- Requires a steady hand and takes practice.
I'll be back in a couple of weeks to report on wear time. :)
I am so disappointed with this gel. I presumed because it was more expensive than the other gel colours I use (all from bluesky) I'd get a better colour. I find this lasts half the time to bluesky and peels away easily! I normally keep my gel for 1 week and reapply simply because I like to change it up but this didnt even last the week. Ive tried three colours much to my bank accounts dismay and theyre all awful. I think for the price you get such a small amount of product and I found this just awful. Bluesky have such a huge range of colours and the prices are so much fairer! Totally disappointed with this.