I am sure most of you have gone out and had a Gel Nail Manicure at some point... and while manicures are relaxing and pampering, sometimes you just wish you could get the same results in your own home. This is something I was looking for for years, and have tried a few different products on the market to get 'at home gel nails'. Actually, I remember looking online just about a year ago, and had such a hard time finding anything. A month ago, I received an email from Luminess Air promoting their product Gel Haute Polish, which is an at home Gel Nail Kit. So, I immediately bought it!! I have used it twice, and wanted to share my results!:
How it works: It's easier than I expected, and quite fun to do actually! Here is a nutshell of the steps that I take:
1. Prep the Nails: Push back (and trim) cuticles. Wash hands with soap and water. Cleanse nails and skin with the Cleanser that comes in the kit. Is is very important to remove all natural oils from your nails if you want the Gel to stick.
2. Apply Base Coat: To speed things up, I usually apply the base coat to the 4 fingers on my dominant hand (right), and the opposite thumb (left). Turn on the UV lamp, and place the 4 fingers and 1 thumb under the UV light to set for 2 minutes. The reason why you do not paint all 5 fingers on the same hand, is because it is virtually impossible to fit all of your fingers on the same hand flat under the UV lamp to dry.
* Make sure you do not get gel on your surrounding skin, or it will make the gel not stick as well. If you do get gel on your skin, just wipe it off with a small cloth or brush. Apply gel to the other 4 fingers and thumb, and keep under UV light to set. If you do dry any of the coats, and they are on your skin... I have just taken a nail file and filed it down a little.
* I have found that applying 2 coats of the base coats seems to give me better results and that it lasts longer.
3. Color Application: Apply color the same way as you apply the base coat (4 fingers, opposite thumb, 2 mins), set under UV lamp for 2 mins. You may also need 2 applications, depending on the color.
4. French Application: Apply the light pink gel color over the nails (4 fingers, opposite thumb, 2 mins), and set under the UV lamp for 2 minutes. This gives you the natural pink base for the French Manicure look. For the white tips, take the white gel polish, and make sure there is very little on the brush. Starting on the dominant hand, paint the gel slowly across the tip of the nail, keeping in mind the natural arch associated with white tips. Again, do this on 4 fingers at a time, and the opposite thumb, and set 2 minutes under the UV lamp. It may take you a couple times to get used to painting the tips.
5. Top Coat: Apply the top coat to the nails the same way as the base coat, (4 fingers, opposite thumb) and set under the UV lamp for 2 minutes. ** Once the top coat is done under the UV lamp, your nails will still feel a bit tacky. To set this, wipe the nails with the cleanser, and this will completely harden the nails. I love this part for some reason, not sure why!! That is it, usually I'll wash my hands after and add a little Argon oil with my hand cream for a luxurious finish!
The Results: So far, I really like it, and like the simplicity of how the french looks so natural. I am pretty hard on my nails and have made them chip a few times after a week or so. They usually last me almost 2 weeks. If I do get a chip after the 2 weeks or so, I have chipped/peeled them off. It is somewhat easy to do, although not the right thing to do, but it's easier than the way they recommend for removal in my opinion.
This is a very natural look, if you are not looking to add long extensions. You can add extensions if you want to, which you can purchase at Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, etc. I personally like the idea of using only the gel polish on my natural nails, so they can strengthen and grow at their own pace. I also have a tendency to bite my nails, and this keeps me from biting!!
If any of you have tried this, I would love to hear what you thought as well!!
I am still loving this product, and feel it is a great option, instead of nail polish. It doesn't stay on as long as they say (3 weeks), but even up to 10 days to 2 weeks is good for me. I notice that it does peel off easily, if you try (I mentioned this above)... so I do prefer this compared to removing regular nail polish. Although the application of the gel nails takes time... so does the drying of regular nail polish. Nail polish is easy, and quick... but takes a while to dry. Gel nails take longer to apply, but I think its kind of fun to do myself... so I opt for that!
Some negatives I have are regarding Luminess Air Customer Service. They have messed up my order 3 times. The first 2 times they left items off the order. They were great at getting the one item shipped, however the other was on back order. They then sent out the wrong item on back order... I had been waiting on the India Pink color, and they sent me Nude? Unfortunately, this is something they haven't remedied. They are very friendly when it comes to their customer service, but unfortunately they keep making mistakes. I am just waiting on my still back ordered, India Pink, to be shipped out. The summer is going to be over by the time I get it, and I ordered it for spring!