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on 3/12/2011 10:56:00 AM
More reviews by babysbreath
Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral
Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine
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 InfoBy far, the most accurate Gelish swatches I found are on Purseblog (although someone posted a pedicure pic with hairy toes - yikes!)Accurate Gelish SwatchesYouTube 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 FixerAwesome 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 FerretkingdomFerretkingdom's BlogAlthough 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 choiceManicure 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 11/29/2012 6:43:00 PM
More reviews by telynores
Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral
Hair: Silver, Curly, Medium
Since most Reviewers talk about application and offer excellent hints & tips, I'm going to talk about removal. Removal can be...challenging and leave you feeling more like old-fashioned rabbit ears for the tele! There is a simpler way, although equally as unglamourous.Supplies:Emery Board with a Fine-grit sideOrangewood StickCuticle Oil of your choiceHand & Cuticle Cream/Balm of your choiceAcetone of your choice10 Cotton Balls (real cotton, please, not synthetic)10 Swingline Rubber Finger Tips/Cots, Large (or similar; find @ office supply stores)Soak Cotton Ball with AcetoneStuff soaked Cotton Ball into Rubber Finger CotVery, very gently scratch up the nail colour with the Fine side of the Emery BoardSpray/Brush/etc Cuticle Oil around cuticleStick finger into Cot, making sure entire nail is covered by the wet cotton ballYou can prep all 10 at once before putting your fingers into the Cots. Just make sure the Acetone hasn't dried out. The Cotton Balls need to be well soaked/wet.Relax for 20-30 minutes. This allows enough time for the gel polish to soften & loosen from the natural nail. You can also relax for 15-20 minutes if you are uncomfortable using Acetone for a longer period.Squeeze the Cot gently against the nail while sliding it off of the finger tip. The polish usually pops/slides off of the nail in one piece. If any polish clings to the nail, moisten a Cotton Ball with Acetone & wipe it away. If the polish is being stubborn, use the flat end of the Orange wood stick to loosen it. Wipe it with more Acetone.Once removal is finished, wash hands THOROUGHLY with warm soap & water. Apply a generous amount of favourite hand & cuticle cream & massage. For extra pampering put on "manicure gloves" after applying hand cream.Remember to wash the Finger Cots, too, and let air dry. They are reusable for many manicures.Hope this help! Happy Fingers have Polished Nails :-)
22 of 23 people found this helpful.
on 9/18/2011 5:12:00 AM
More reviews by sassykzt
Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Warm
Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium
I'm a physician so I don't normally wear polish at work since my hands are constantly in water. Chipped polish is so unprofessional! I first had Gelish put on my nails professionally about a year ago. It stayed on for 11 days w/ no chips. Even after scrubbing for surgery the polish would not chip. I was impressed! I decided to order the top coat, base and a few colors from Amazon. Sally charges the same price for half the amount and has only 12 colors while Amazon has most of the 72 colors available. I also bought the LED light instead of UV-- much faster. Didn't bother w/ the pH bond or cleanser -- it's just isopropyl alcohol ( use 90 % concentration). Love queen of hearts (dk. red w/ shimmer-- think holiday), plum & done, hot rod red ( a true creme red), gossip girl( creme hot med. pink, nice not barbie like!),black cherry(creme dark red-brown),and tiger blossom (dupe for OPI's big hair big nails). Soaking off is easy as long as you use 100% acetone and a little patience! I usually soak my nails for 12-15 mins. I love the fact I can do this at home where I'm much more comfortable than any salon and have better wine!
21 of 21 people found this helpful.
on 8/12/2011 4:59:00 PM
More reviews by Mlalak
Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure
Hair: Brunette, Other, Other
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 $35.Here is a list of the products/equipment you will need to complete a Gelish Manicure:100% Acetonenon-acetone nail polish removercotton ballsbuffing blockorange sticknail file36w UV lightGelish PH BonderGelish foundationGelish nail colors (OR CND Shellac colors)Gelish Top it off91% rubbing alcoholcuticle oil (i recommend CND Solar Oil)So the first thing is to prep the nail, remove old polish, shape nail with file and push cuticles back with orange stick. Use buffing block to roughen the surface of the nailbeds (lightly) and then thoroughly wash hands to remove any dust- NO SOAP. dry your hands with a cotton towel making sure the nails are very dry before beginning. Apply the Ph Bonder to each nail. Next step is the Foundation- I found it to be very thick, the trick is that it should be applied in a thin layer- so take your time. If the foundation is put on too thick, it will run and pool- I made this mistake on my first try with this system and had to start over. After the foundation is applied, cure in the UV lamp for 1 minute (or longer to be extra sure).Next is the Color. Apply the gelish color of your choice. this formula is thin- so again, use a very small amount,and do thin layers- it will run into the cuticles easily if you have too much product on the brush. Be sure you "wrap" the nail tip - this will help the manicure last. Cure each layer of gelish color in the UV light for 2 minutes. You can apply 2-3 layers of color just be sure to cure for 2 minutes between each layerNow apply the Gelish Top it Off product (wrapping the tips) and cure in the UV lamp for 2-5 minutes. I always let them "bake" for 5 minutes just to be sure they are hard as nails. The last step is to use a cotton ball soaked with the rubbing alcohol to remove the sticky residue on top of the nails. Apply come cuticle oil and you are all set for two weeks!! NOTES:I find that rubbing alcohol works perfectly fine in place of Gelish brand "Cleanse", it's about 2$ 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. REMOVAL: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.
on 1/27/2012 6:06:00 PM
More reviews by CateCate84
Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure
Some of the reviews on here shocked me into writing my own. Firstly I am a professional nail tech who has been fully trained and has been successfully Gelishing my clients for nearly two years. Gelish is supposed to be a professional product however I know many people purchase kits to use on themselves and others. I will outline the proper procedure as I know untrained people continue to use the product anyway. My biggest concern is lamps and curing times. Under/over cure can cause problems in both instances. Overcured product will result in service breakdown and more worryingly, undercure will mean product that has not fully cured will be present on the nails, potentially causing overexposure. You cannot tell by looking if a nail is cured or not. You must use a 36 watt lamp or Gelish LED lamp and the correct timings.Sanitise hands.Gently push back cuticles and shape free edge.Use a gentle buffer to remove the shine from the nail plate.Use Gelish Cleanser to remove dust and clean nail.Apply Ph Bond sparingly.Apply foundation thinly and cap free edge, cure for 1 minute.Use a dry gel brush and wipe over tacky layer of foundation.Apply a thin coat of colour and cap free edge, cure or 2 minutes.Repeat step above.Apply thin coat of Top It Off, cure for 2 minutes.Remove tacky layer with cleanser.Apply cuticle oil.This is the correct procedure when using a UV lamp.Gelish is an amazing product, I always get two weeks from my mani with no chips. The colour choice is fantastic and the shine is incredible too. Removal is fast and easy with no damage to my nails. I cannot imagine my life without this product, both for myself and my clients :o)
18 of 20 people found this helpful.
on 11/12/2011 4:17:00 PM
More reviews by tigirlyly
Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool
Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine
First I would like to say I only use the foundation and top it off and curing UV light to make Gelish Sandwich manicures. (Sandwich regular nail polish in between gel layers) This at home gel system is amazing. With my "sandwich" technique I get 1.5-2 full weeks of chip free polish! I'm certain that if you use their gel polish you can get a full 3 weeks like they state on the website/display at Sally Beauty. Up front it is a costly system. I puchased mine via Sally's online website with a discount code for the Gelish Basix kit and UV lamp for 80 bucks. Which is comparable to 2 salon no chip manicures. If you plan on using this frequently...totally worth your investment. I do my nails along with my sisters. My sister purchased her own gel polish so I can apply it for her, and she gets a good 2 to 2.5 weeks of wear.There are a few tips I would recommend:1. Buy a 36W UV lamp from Sally's or a reputable seller. The reviews on the mini light are horrible.2. Foil soak off with 100% acetone, no reason to buy their remover. Followed by your favorite cuticle oil to moisturizer. Once again, no reason to buy their oil.3. Cleanser...I recommend it, but Rubbing alcohol (highest strength you can get) works well per my sister.4. PH Bond=nail dehydrator. Use their product or another, but I find this is an important step. I use ASP dehydrator/nail prep...a lot more product for the $$.5. Thin coats are a must, otherwise you don't cure the product well.As previous poster noted Sally's gel polish mini bottles are pricey. You can get Red Carpet manicure at Ulta for cheaper. Or purchase the larger gelish bottles on Amazon for the same price. (That's what my sister does)As for my "sandwich" technique1. Buff shine off nails2. Dehydrate nails3. Foundation and cure 1 minute4. My regular polish, make sure to AIRDRY x 15 minutes (20 for opaque)5. Top it off and cure 3 minutes.6. Remove tackiness.Highly recommended! :)
17 of 17 people found this helpful.
on 2/7/2013 6:33:00 PM
More reviews by kcroyals
Age: 56 & Over
Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure
Hair: Brown, Other, Other
Maybe you have to be " a woman of a certain age" to really appreciate what a nail miracle this product is. I bought the starter kit and the mini lamp at Sally's. Application does take a little time but when you are finished, you are completely finished with gorgeous dry nails . No more nicks, bangs or smears because you went on with your life after applying nail polish. It was easy to apply with clear directions if you keep a light hand. I think that is the secret here. And your works lasts for a long, long time. No more spending precious time in anail salon for a take what you can get finish. Sorry to ramble but this stuff is amazing! I can't praise it highly enough and encourage others to try it. If you are like me and love having pretty nails but don't think application and drying times are fun like most of the young ones do, give this a try. You' ll never go back. I know I won't !!!
16 of 17 people found this helpful.
on 11/12/2011 9:22:00 AM
More reviews by heathermrm
Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral
OMG - I am in love!!! I love having painted fingernails, but like a lot of women, I am so hard on my hails (LOVE babysbreath's description below) and as another mom w/ an additional full-time job outside the home = I hate having to re-do my manis every few days due to chipping/wear (even w/ Orly bonder, OPI polishes and Posche top coat).Enter Gelish - got the starter kit at Sallys w/ coupon + on major sale = I think I spent under $20. I also invested in an LED light from a reputable ebay seller ($90) which allows me to cure 1 hand at a time and not have to cure thumbs separately in a fraction of the time a 36 W UV lamp would take. However, if anyone is interested in a BNIB 36W UV lamp, I do have one up for swap w/ pics (long story as to how I ended up w/ this)....I have now done 7 or 8 manis w/ this system and WHOO HOO!! I get 14 days of looking like the day I polished + another few days w/ minor wear/growth = about 2.5 weeks total before I need to re-do.I have substituted 100% acetone for the Gelish Soak Off Remover and 91% rubbing alcohol for the Gelish Cleanser - can't tell the difference in performance, only in my pocketbook :)I have just 2 complaints:(1). Gelish colors are expensive (IMO) = around $13 at Sallys for tiny bottles. Therefore, I have purchased some of the colors from the Red Carpet Manicure brand at Ulta = $9.99 before coupon = no difference in performance, again, just in pocketbook. :) And I have learned that I like the full color bottles of Red Carpet vs the small color stripe on the Gelish bottles if for no other reason than its so much quicker to choose a color when you can see more than just a teeny little tiny stripe that requires you actually read the color printed on the bottle. :)(2). to get the opaque color of the darker polishes, I may have to switch to 3 coats as every time I do 2 coats, I am apparently applying too thick of coats = sometimes not curing properly, but I REALLY want the color in the bottle (or I would not have purchased that color to begin w/) and I just saw the reviewer who mentioned she does 3 coats, so my next mani = will do 3 coats and see how that goes.I have not tried this system w/ any of my regular OPI polishes altho I have read it can be done successfully - since I have some OPI colors that I love, I may research that more and attempt down the road, but for now, am so very pleased w/ using the Gelish and Red Carpet colors. NOTES: (1) be aware - the application process (even w/ an LED) does take longer than a regular mani just because you MUST be careful and use THIN THIN layers of everything = about 40-45 minutes for both hands. (2) also, the removal process = I have found that I must leave my nails wrapped in 100% acetone soaked cotton balls (helpful hint - secure cotton balls w/ blue painters tape NOT NOT NOT scotch tape as acetone will dissolve scotch tape = a mess to peel off) and then wrapped in tinfoil (I purchased a box of hair foils that pop out individually from a box at Sallys for cheap = I just cut each into a few smaller strips = this box will last me forever) for about 15-20 minutes. I will end up still scraping off some, but not much. Also, I find I can use the edge of my nail to scrape off any remainder polish is just as effective and easy on the nail as using an orange stick = now you have options.UPDATE: LIGHTBULB!!! I was getting frustrated that I could only remove 1 hand's worth at at time and each time it was sitting around waiting the 15 - 20 min = 30-40 min total = too much time. Therefore, I continue to wrap 1 hand at a time, but then sit and put under blow dryer for a few minutes = cuts my time in half and makes the removing of leftover product easier! HTH :)
16 of 16 people found this helpful.
on 5/8/2014 10:12:00 AM
More reviews by OnlyLuxe
Hair: Blond, Curly, Coarse
I love Gelish! I've been doing my own at home gel manis for years now. I've always been obsessed with doing my own nails, but got super tired of putting a bunch of work into them and then *gasp* chipping the very next day! I found Gelish at Sally's Beauty Supply several years back when of couple girls at work started getting their nails shallaced and I was interested in the lasting power they claimed it had. I bought the entire kit, which is pricey, but totally worth it, and I've never looked back. It's totally worth the investment considering how much they charge to do it in a salon, and from my experience, Gelish lasts much longer than anything comparable on the market. Here are my tips and advice for the Gelish system.1. Do NOT buy all that crap to remove and set the gel! What a waste of money! Get some 100% pure acetone to remove and get some 70% alcohol from the drug store to set your mani. NO NEED to waste money on the fancy stuff, it's WAY overpriced. The acetone and alcohol in large size bottles will cost less than 10 bucks and last for months upon months. The Ph Bond is also useless. You need to "rough" up your nail bed and clean it with alcohol, that's all. All the Ph Bond does is dehydrate the nail bed, you can do this for pennies versus 14 bucks for a tiny bottle of useless-ness. 2. Some of the colors aren't that great, when I'm looking for a new color I steer clear of the ultra creamy pastels, for some reason they do not layer onto the nail well and are just, in general, super hard to work with. Also, some of the colors change after several days, so be aware of that. Most aren't that noticeable or that big of a deal, but I've noticed that the lighter pinks are really bad for turning yellowish after a week or so. 3. If you are doing them yourself, be patient! It takes FOREVER! But hey! It lasts for 3 weeks! and if you do a simple color without any frills, you can totally get away with doing just a fill once or *maybe* twice...it depends, all you gotta do though is take a buffing block and buff the natural nail and smooth down the re-growth line and then apply the whole process as usual, base-color-top.~~ It may take you once or twice to get it down also, it is slightly different than slapping on some polish. I like to do one entire hand from start to finish before I do the other, it makes you less accident prone, and believe me, you don't wanna screw up this stuff after you set it with the light and before you set it with the top coat, you will have to soak it off and start over. 4. I highly recommend the LED light, the UV lights are obviously unhealthy. The LED also dries your nails WAY faster. The actual at home Gelish LED lamp cost somewhere around 50 bucks, but I've have mine for going on 3 years and it still works like a champ, it has most def paid for itself since I don't over pay some person to do something I can do better at home. 5. Bottom line- If you love to do your own nails, and spend a lot of time on them, Gelish is your new bestest-best-ever-friend. Invest and you won't regret, I promise!
15 of 15 people found this helpful.
on 8/25/2011 6:19:00 PM
More reviews by imacrafty
Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure
Hair: Black, Other, Other
Do you want your natural nails to be healthy and long? If so, use this product!!!I had my nails gelled the first couple of times at a nail salon using OPI's Axxium - what a disaster - it ruins your nail bed!Because they didn't offer another alternative - this caused me to do my own search on a different system - that's when I discovered Nail Harmony. Its easy to do yourself too Ladies - especially now that you can get the supplies @ Sally's!Pros:- Easy to use- Protects your natural nails- Comes in many shades- Easy to find the product on the market- You can have a flawless manicure/pedicure w/out worrying about smudging afterwards.- Lasting shine!!- Mani/pedi's stay on easily 2 weeks sometimes 3 weeks!! (even if you go to the beach and swim!)Cons:- A little pricey - but I think its worth it. Ranges from $10-$20- If you do this yourself - you have to buy a nail light.- If you end up doing yourself - your girlfriends, sisters and nieces will want you to do their nails!- A little time consuming - but in the long run it'll save you time because it lasts so long.- Takes a little while to take off (I use the foil/cotton ball method)Tips:- If you do go the route of doing it yourself - do yourself a favor and buy the LED light vs the UV light. It cures quicker and you don't have to worry about changing out the bulbs or fear of UV exposure.- I like to have lots of choices - so I use the base/top coat in conjunction with regular nail polish - just make sure you let the reg. nail polish dry completely before you add the UV top coat.- For the take off portion - I cut the square cotton pads in tiny pieces (like 1/6) enough to cover the nail. Then soak it in 100% pure acetone (and not the kind you get at Walmart or CVS - go to a beauty supply store) I wrap a piece of foil around it (I bought a box of highlighting foil and cut those down to size) and then take a piece of scotch tape and wrap around the bottom of the foil. Watch TV for 10-15 min. - Also when you want to do a color change - I will just apply reg. nail polish over my mani/pedi. You can remove with non-acetone remover.- If you are cleaning or doing dishes - wear gloves - the nails are porus so it will feel a little weak if you don't. It will harden back up over time though.- My FAVORITE THING:I love that when I crack the side of my nail - don't you HATE when that happens? It used to mean that I would have to cut down ALL my nails. Well, no longer. I just fix my own nail using a tiny tiny piece of a tea bag and some brush on nail glue. I lightly buff it down and then apply the NH base coat and proceed as usual with the NH manicure. For the FIRST time in my life - I have 10 gorgeous looking nails!!! And I do a WAY BETTER job than any nail tech. I've been to. Plus I don't have to worry about having idle chit chat with them.Good luck!!!!
15 of 16 people found this helpful.
Are you sure this product is discontinued?
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