Hand & Nail Harmony Gelish Gel Polish

 Hand & Nail Harmony Gelish Gel Polish


64 reviews

84% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$


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Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Medium, Cool

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

UPDATE 12/8/11 - I have been using Gelish since January 2010. Not every 2 weeks on the dot, but regularly. I soak off after 18-20 days, with 100% acetone. And despite some people's conviction that acetone is the devil, my nails are IN THE BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE. if people have been having issues with the condition of their nails after using Gelish, then there was a problem with either the application or the removal. Both need to be properly done. When you do the soak off, lightly file the top coat to break the seal. This will allow the acetone to break down the Gelish more quickly. Also, you can apply a regular base coat to your bare nail, allow to thoroughly dry, and proceed with application as normal. This also makes removal easier. When I soak off, I soak for 10 minutes using the foil method, twist the foil, and get 99% of the Gelish off. I can usually get the rest off by cleaning the nail with remover. Then I oil my nails really well, let that sink in overnight, and reapply the next day.
I can definitely attest to the fact that this does not damage your nails. I am on a medication currently that makes the skin super sensitive to UV light, so I have been
on a break from Gelish (sniff sniff). My nails are longer and stronger than they have ever been. I am making do with my regular nail polish in the meantime, and I am getting better wear out of the regular polish than I ever have. It used to chip in a couple days, now I am getting almost a full week out of it. Plus it is applying much more smoothly and looks much better than it did pre-Gelish.
I honestly think the gel polishes are one of the best things to happen to the beauty industry in the last 30 years.
This is one of the new gel/polish hybrids that have come out, they are marketed as "The 14-day manicure". It applies like regular nail polish, only you have to apply foundation, color, color, top coat. You cure each layer in a 36-watt UV light. There is no drilling/filing of the nail plate, just a light buffing so the foundation will stick. Then when you are ready to redo you soak the gel off in 100% acetone in 10 minutes, there is no filling in of new growth. You have to completely remove it and start over. Which sounds bad, but it's really not.
This stuff is awesome. I easily get 14+ days out of one manicure, and my nails look nearly as good on day 14 as they do on day 1! No chipping or peeling! It looks very natural, and gives my nails the strength they need to actually get a little length on them without breaking. What is even more amazing is the fact that when I soaked mine off (I did it at home) it came off easily and my nails were perfectly fine. No damage at all! You can do pedicures with this also.
I first got it done in a salon, and loved it so much I started researching it online. It is very DIY-friendly. You can get all the supplies online. To buy the basic supplies (including a light and a couple colors) you are looking at a cost of around $150. But they are charging $30 a manicure in the salons, so I figure I will make my money back in a few months.
Now I have to say that you do need to take your time and be careful when applying it in order for it to last. You can't just slap it on and go. But there is a ton of great info, tips, and videos online that help. I get better each time I do it, and people are always asking me where I get my nails done. They can't believe it when I say I do it myself!
I will definitely repurchase, I doubt I will ever go to a nail salon again.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I love having polished nails, but nail polish just doesn’t love me (or my lifestyle I should say).
I’m a very busy mom of 2 kids, and I am also a full-time working professional. (Read: I don’t have enough time for myself.)
At home, I need to be able to clean and do things with my hands that require them to be in water or doing physical things around the house. I hate it when a nail tech says “Well, you must be using your nails as tools.” Ummm...no honey, I don't use my nails as flat-head screwdrivers. I don’t have a maid, a chef, or a nanny, so I need to do the dirty work and unfortunately, my hands pay for it.
When I go into the office, I need to look well groomed and neat. My hands shouldn’t look as though I’ve worked on heavy machinery (although admittedly sometimes they do). I’ve polished my nails only to have them look chipped and dull in a day or so. I have also had acrylic nails in the past, but with the constant chipping and lifting, it was almost as bad as regular nail polish.

Enter the miracle of soak-off gel polish…

I’ve been having Axxium soak-off gel manicures professionally done for some time, but have always wondered if it was the kind of thing I could do myself. The cost is of course the biggest motivator. Axxium application seems tricky based on what I’ve seen from my nail tech, so after doing some research, I found that Gelish has been used successfully by at-home users.

I've listed a few of my favorite links below:

Awesome beginner's guide to applying Soak Off Gel polish (includes info on adding pigments, glitters, etc.)
Soak Off Gel Application Info

By far, the most accurate Gelish swatches I found are on Purseblog (although someone posted a pedicure pic with hairy toes - yikes!)
Accurate Gelish Swatches

YouTube videos from FingerNailFixer (She uses Shellac, but she shows you how to do rockstar nails & other nail art that can also be done with Gelish)
YouTube Channel from Finger Nail Fixer

Awesome blog and YouTube channel from "ferretkingdom" that I found for swatches of different brands of soak-off gels, adding pigments/glitters, spectraflair, water marbling, etc.
YouTube Channel from Ferretkingdom
Ferretkingdom's Blog

Although you can buy Gelish online and even at Sally's Beauty Supply; the initial investment into soak-off gel polish is not for the faint of heart. To get the absolute minimum of supplies needed, it was over $100.

Products you will need:
• 36-watt UV nail dryer ($27.99 on eBay)
• Gelish Cleanser (91% Isopropyl Alcohol works too)
• Nail Harmony Ph Bond
• Gelish Foundation Gel
• Gelish Top-It-Off Top Sealer
• Gelish color of your choice

Manicure Tools:
• Lint-free nail wipes (Do not use cotton balls in the application process, or you will intensely curse all of the fuzzies sticking to your nail. I found that paper towels cut into little squares works best)
• Wood manicure/cuticle sticks
• Nail buffer
• Nail file
• Metal cuticle pusher
• Cuticle remover (Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover in the blue container works really well)
• Something to cover your work surface (paper towels)

You need to prep and clean your nails per the instructions. I applied the base coat “Foundation Gel” and found that the tiny brush is a little tricky to work with, but I managed. The key is to apply a thin coat, and use the brush to "push" the gel onto the nail. Any gel that gets onto your cuticle & skin should be removed. I found that a quick swipe with a cuticle stick around and under my nail works well.

Once you cure the foundation gel in your UV dryer, the instructions tell you to dry wipe the tacky layer before you begin your first coat of color. I've done the dry-wipe step and I've skipped it as well, and found that I didn't notice any difference afterwards (in terms of chipping, lifting, etc.) either way.

I think applying the gel polish is easier in some ways than regular polish. With regular nail polish you have to work quickly, otherwise it begins to dry & you end up with brush marks. With gel polish, it doesn’t dry until you go to the UV dryer, so you have much more time to work with the color on your nail, clean up, etc.
On the other hand, gel polish can also be more difficult than regular polish. Since it is a gel, it can get smeary very quickly if you aren't careful. I also noticed gel polish isn't as pigmented/opaque as regular polish, and that most colors require 3 coats to look good.

Once you cure the final topcoat, take a wipe and some Gelish cleanser (or 91% alcohol), & remove the final tacky layer.

Application time: Plan for at least 1 hour. You need to take your time, because you can't sloppily apply gel polish the way you can with regular polish. Also, with a UV nail dryer, you have to cure each coat you apply for 2 min. An LED nail dryer will cure each coat in 30 sec, but it is much more expensive.

Result: Please excuse the rough hands - This is 2 coats of Bella’s Vampire, which is a dark vampy (ha ha) deep reddish/purple cream.

Wear: Stays shiny and chip free for a good 10 days for me, but you’ll see some tip wear as well as a gap at the cuticle from nail growth.

Removal: Lightly file the topcoat to “break the seal”. I use the foil method & it works in about 15 minutes or so.
To accelerate the process: Once you have “foiled” your fingers, you can wrap your hands in towels & then apply heat using a heating pad on Low.

Update: I've been using Gelish now for about a year, and I am still loving it! I now own over 30 colors. ♥ continued >>

38 of 39 people found this helpful.

on 3/29/2011 12:03:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I haven't actually bought the polishes, but I've had my manicure for over a week, it it si still in pristine shape. I'm really hard on my nails, and by a week I typically need to do a polish change. This is great stuff.

My nails are normal brittle, and break easily, and it still looks like I just got a mani!

My only complaint is the price. I realize this is a specialty product, but 35 dollars for a mani is so expensive, that I don't know if I'll be going back the same place.

I'm hoping to find place that only charges $20, so I can have them regularly done.

on 4/12/2011 10:57:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

Update: Bought my own supplies, and it is bordering on addiction. So easy to do yourself (and it has lasted even longer than when i have had it done at a salon).

Original Review: I love this! Literally, my last pedi lasted almost two months without any chips (just growth line next to cuticle). It doesn't seem that complicated to apply, either, especially for the results you get - shiny, never dull, extremely long wear. Thinking of investing in the supplies to do it myself.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Other, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I have embarked on the badwagon of the DIY gel nails. After having the service done every 2 weeks in a nail salon, I finally decided to bite the bullet and splurge.

I love my gel nails, I have soft brittle thin nails. I have worn acrylics for 10+ years and I will never go back. A regular nail polish mani lasts 2 days for me....with the Gelish I get at least 2 weeks. After 2 weeks there may be a little lifting and a lot of growth from the line of demarcation. The growth line drives me nuts, but easy to redo. I am a regular at the nail salon and feel the supplies are worth the investment.

I went to the local vietanemese nail supply store and picked up the soak off base gel (foundation gel) $22, the Soak off Sealer (top it off) $19. I also picked up my favorite pinks, High Bridge and Go Girl ($17 each). I got the Entity nail prep ($4) because they were out of the Harmony Ph balancer. They said it would work just as good. They also said I could try it with my OPI bond aid. I have very oily nail beds, so this step is important to me. I will do this before I lay the foundation gel.

I went to Sally and picked up some orange wood sticks and lit free nail wipes and some posh cuticle cream. It was about $20 for all of those.

I also got a 36 watt uv nail lamp at the nail supply for around $65. I will practice my application with the Gelish and then get some OPI Axxium colors. These look like they take a steady hand to apply. There are some OPI colors I can't give up.

I know the process will work great as I am confident from doing my own acrylics for about 2 years. The results will be well worth it.

I certainty have been enjoying wearing them fresh from the salon. Let me tell you from experience, the Harmony Gelish LED light cures super fast but it is very $$$$. However, if I really like doing it myself I may take the splurge.

I hope this review was helpful. If you are thinking about having the gel nails done they are great. I can't say enough good things about them. However, the nail ladies to tend to buff my nails. This does not require a lot of buffing. I am happy that I will be able to control this. It makes the whole thing worthwhile for me.

I will be stocking up on more colors soon. They have some great deals on Amazon. I have been reading the Jessica Gelerations work good with the Harmony base and top coats. I have had that done in a service before. I find the Harmony lasts a little better for me than the Jessica gels. The Jessica gels tend to peel at the tips after about a week and a half. However, it's still so much longer lasting than a regular mani! I will also be expanding with Jessica colors for this DIY method too.

I did my first Gelish manicure with June Bride. I knew the glitters would be more forgiving if I messed up. I didn't mess up. This is easier to do than I thought. My best advice is to keep the coats thin.

I will be adding more colors to my gel stash soon.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 7/19/2011 3:41:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I've only had one experience with Gelish, and perhaps it was an uncharacteristically bad one, but I'm not impressed.

I had Gelish done at a salon 10 days ago. Since it was my first time, I have no idea if the tech did it properly, but it looked very involved and was time-consuming. It involved various bottles of primers and top coats in addition to the gel color, plus numerous curings under the UV light. I have to say my nails looked good when I left the salon.

They only looked good for a couple of days. By the third day, the polish was peeling away from the bases of my nails around the cuticles. (Picture above.) Luckily, I got a pale pink color that's almost the exact color of my nailbeds, so it wasn't very noticeable, but that still irked me after the price upgrade I paid for this.

After a week, my nails looked as bad as or worse than they would have if I'd done my own manicure at home with standard polish. I had huge gaps of missing polish that had peeled off around my cuticles (not just the expected nail growth). Again, I'm thankful I chose a light color, because this would look excruciatingly bad if it had been a bold color.

I will say that no polish chipped off the tips of my nails, the polish remained beautifully shiny throughout, and this stuff seems to really strengthen my nails. It might be worth it to you if you're in it for the strengthening and you choose a non-obvious color.

In all fairness, I don't think my nails looked as bad to other people as they did to me—no on else examines them that closely. But if a manicure only lasts a couple of days, it's just not worth the extra time and cost to me.

UPDATE 7/25/11: I'm taking this down to 2 stars. I finally got what was left of this crap removed at the salon after approximately two weeks of wear. If you're unfamiliar, this polish does NOT come off with standard polish remover. It's more akin to removing acrylic nails.

First I had to soak my nails in pure acetone for about 20 minutes. This seemed to soften up the gel but didn't remove it all. What was left, the tech SCRAPED off my natural nails using a coarse-grain emery board. As you might imagine, this took about half the thickness of my natural nails along with it.

I am so disappointed that I let someone sell me into paying more for a manicure that didn't last, looked ugly, and basically ruined my natural nails until they grow out. It will take months before my nails are back to normal.

on 8/4/2011 6:18:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I was introduced to the concept of gel polish at my nail salon. I was easily able to get two weeks of wear out of a gel manicure when going and absolutely loved the concept and results. I LOVED that my nails would grow and the gel gave just enough strength so they wouldn't break, that the manicure would last for two weeks and that it didn't damage my nails.

What I didn't like is the price. While definitely cheaper than acrylics and fill ins, my salon charges $25 for a color gel manicure and $30 for a french gel manicure. Because of the cost, I began looking into alternatives and ended up deciding to use Gelish brand gel polish because I had good results with the brand and manicure from the salon.

I bought an ASP Professional Multi-Purpose UV Lamp from Sally's. With my Sally's card it was right at $63. I also bought the Gelish Foundation, 2 nail colors and the Top Coat. The Gelish products were on sale but my initial investment was $116 for everything. I figure I use the products 4 to 5 times and I've paid for it in what I would spend on the salon doing it.

I think the system is VERY easy to use. I had my own bonder which I used first after trimming my cuticles and shaping my nails. I then used a thin coat of Foundation, cured my nails, did two coats of nail color (curing between coats), Top Coat, curing and then "cleansing" (Gelish has a nail "cleanser" that you're supposed to use at the end but the SA at Sally's said just to use alcohol so that's what I did and it worked just fine). After doing my nails, I then did my daughter's nails; both with great results. I figure even if mine doesn't last 21 days like the product says, anything over about 10 with no chips or peels is good for me! Anything over that is definitely a bonus.

The end results on both of our nails is great. They are strong, smooth and shiny. I am definitely pleased.

The only things I think I will do different for my next manicure is to 1) actually get the Gelish PH Bonder because I don't quite care for the one I have, 2) get orange sticks to help clean color from around my nails since using my fingernail to do this doesn't work the best, 3) definitely get lint free wipes and 4) get other colors!!!!!

So the bottom line? I definitely recommend either getting gel manicures done at your salon OR, if you're ok with a little investment up front and not scared to do your own nails, DEFINITELY recommend doing this yourself and saving yourself some money and time!!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

on 8/6/2011 7:35:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Absolutely amazing! I dont know what I did without this! Yes, it takes longer than a regular manicure (probably about 40 minutes all together), but the results are so worth it. Shiny, chip free nails for around 2 weeks! The initial investment is kind of pricey, I believe I spent about $120 on the UV lamp, foundation, 4 colors and top coat, but I will probably get around a year or more worth of manicures out of this. And considering a gel manicure costs around $40 at my local salon, with just 3 manicures I've already made up what I paid! I really like and recommend gelish if you are like me and like your nails to look nice, but dont have the time to constantly re-polish them when they chip. I will continue purchasing gelish and other brands of SOG nail polish.

on 8/12/2011 4:59:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I will preface this review by stating that I am not a nail tech, this is strictly information that I complied after doing alot of research on the web- The following technique is simply what has been successful for me.

I decided to invest in the Gelish system since I really don't want to pay $40 every two weeks for a manicure.

I did some research on this product as well as on the CND shellac products and found that you CAN use shellac colors with the Gelish system as long as you have a 36w uv light. (the Gelish colors do not require 36w- however based on my reserch, the 36 w seems to work better on them so I advise you to get 36w). I purchased a 36w UV light off of amazon for about $35.

Here is a list of the products/equipment you will need to complete a Gelish Manicure:

100% Acetone
non-acetone nail polish remover
cotton balls
buffing block
orange stick
nail file
36w UV light
Gelish PH Bonder
Gelish foundation
Gelish nail colors (OR CND Shellac colors)
Gelish Top it off
91% rubbing alcohol
cuticle oil (i recommend CND Solar Oil)

So the first thing is to prep the nail, remove old polish, shape nail with file and push cuticles back with orange stick. Use buffing block to roughen the surface of the nailbeds (lightly) and then thoroughly wash hands to remove any dust- NO SOAP. dry your hands with a cotton towel making sure the nails are very dry before beginning.

Apply the Ph Bonder to each nail.

Next step is the Foundation- I found it to be very thick, the trick is that it should be applied in a thin layer- so take your time. If the foundation is put on too thick, it will run and pool- I made this mistake on my first try with this system and had to start over. After the foundation is applied, cure in the UV lamp for 1 minute (or longer to be extra sure).

Next is the Color. Apply the gelish color of your choice. this formula is thin- so again, use a very small amount,and do thin layers- it will run into the cuticles easily if you have too much product on the brush. Be sure you "wrap" the nail tip - this will help the manicure last. Cure each layer of gelish color in the UV light for 2 minutes. You can apply 2-3 layers of color just be sure to cure for 2 minutes between each layer

Now apply the Gelish Top it Off product (wrapping the tips) and cure in the UV lamp for 2-5 minutes. I always let them "bake" for 5 minutes just to be sure they are hard as nails.

The last step is to use a cotton ball soaked with the rubbing alcohol to remove the sticky residue on top of the nails. Apply come cuticle oil and you are all set for two weeks!!

I find that rubbing alcohol works perfectly fine in place of Gelish brand "Cleanse", it's about 2$ at target vs. $7 for the "cleanse".

If you mess up the color steps you can use non-acetone nail polish remover to take it off without ruining the foundation underneath. I also use a brush with this to clean up any color that gets on the cuticle.It will only work if the color hasn't been cured in the UV lamp- if it is already cured you'll have to soak it off with acetone and start completely over.

So, I read a review that stated that a user was unhappy with this product because her nail tech scraped this product off with a nail file and ruined her nails. All I have to say is- the nail tech did not remove this product correctly. You simply file the surface of gelish to "break the seal" soak in acetone and use an orange stick to help scrape off any residual.
* I hope this review will be helpful for other DIY gelish girls out there * :)

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I'm really loving this system. I first got the gelish done at a salon and when I found out that I could get the stuff at Sally's and off of websites like amazon I was pretty stoked because I don't like going to the salon (they never listen!). Well I got stocked up (Sally's has a starter kit and the mini lamp) with the starter kit and some colors for about $60 and was on my way. I did a manicure and I've done a second one and I really like this. I don't think it can last 2 full weeks on my nails, but thats ok because I get bored with polish quickly, but it does last at minimum 7 days (also I am VERY hard on my nails) which is good enough for me! I love the application process and how they look professional. Ive gotten so many compliments

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