Would I buy this again? YES!!! And buy it as a gift and give it away to all my nail friends too!
I have some of the worst nails In. The. World. No, really, they are that bad. And I always knew they didn't have to be (that bad) but nail products thus far were failing me and my poor, soft, bendy, peeling nails. One day, I wander into Shoppers and see this little package on the shelf. Yet another product offering false hope that I might actually get to have those beautiful nails I see offered up on nail blogs everywhere. Yah. Right. My bitter cynicism reared its ugly head and scoffed at the possibility of beautifully tipped digits. But I hauled out my phone and immediately began hunting for online reviews. Trusty MUA had umpteen positive reviews (wtf?!?! That never happens!) so I took a chance and splurged the $80. Hint - look for it online or wait for a sale if that is too many dollar signs for you, I hear they can be found much cheaper, most of the time. But I have no patience so I bought it then and there.
Off I went, watched every video, read every blog that referenced the things and read and re-read the instructions, because I am that kind of person. Seemed easy enough. Clean nails with alcohol, lightly rough up nail bed with included buffer. Put on primer, apply foundation coat, cure. Apply coat of color, cure, 2nd coat, cure, 3rd coat if desired, cure. Add top coat, cure. Make sure not to cure any on your skin. Good application does seem to be imperative here and thin coats are key. It is easy to do though assuming you can apply regular polish half decently and you don't have the risk of it drying on you and getting gross and streaky while you try to get a good application. Do make sure to clean all the excess off your cuticles before you stick your fingers in the lightbox and definitely don't let it pool into the corners, that stuff will peel off and ruin the whole thing very quickly.
The results: Every one of my now 3 manicures has lasted a week without problems. For comparison purposes, perfect application of regular polish lasts a maximum of 24 hours before the first chip will appear. I'm still perfecting the application technique too, but getting better each time. This stuff gives my nails some structural integrity so I actually have length and a nice shape to them. They no longer flare out at the tips but seem to be keeping a much nicer c curve.
The bad news: Removal is a right royal pain in the arse. I'm sure it takes longer than application. Google Chickettes removal blog post and video though because her information made it way easier than anything else I had tried thus far. Again, I'm getting better with this step and have done totally different things each time to see what works best. I find I usually have to lightly buff off the very last of the primer off my nails at the end though before re-applying the next round, not buffing the nail though, just getting rid of the gooey primer. I haven't tried the official sensationail removal foils because, well, I'm too cheap to pay that much for cotton balls and tin foil...
Bonus: I like that I can paint over the top coat with regular polish if I want to change things up without removing the gel. The regular polish lasts longer than on my natural nail because of the increased strength and reduced bending action of the nails.
Other bonus: You are not stuck just using sensationail gel colors. I've used the Shoppers house brand (Quo) gel colors which are made by Orly, they work fantastically well. I understand that Gelish will work also (I'm thinking I will hunt some down to try soon) and I'm sure others as well and then you can simply cure using the sensationail LED lamp.
Important note: I have seen a few people say their nails have been ruined by this. Some things to avoid said issue (mine are better than ever having used this stuff) - cuticle oil, lots off it, every day, under the free edge, slathered around the nail. Keep that cuticle healthy! Also, be careful with your removal, don't scrape or peel it off! Pure acetone should remove most/all of it and an orange stick should be all that's needed to "encourage" the last little bits to leave your nails. Also, cuticle oil.
Did I mention cuticle oil? Acetone is very drying, so you will probably need a lot of cuticle oil. More than you might plan for. I apply it 2-3 times per day and do not have a job that requires excessive hand washing, if you do, plan for more cuticle oil. And beautiful nails!