Sensationail, gel nails at home – 14 days later…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 10 - 2012

Fourteen days, that’s approximately 336 hours, or 20,160 minutes.  In other words, a fair amount of time.  In the world of long-lasting manicures, just what you do with that time is almost as important as the duration spent doing it.  For me, that time was spent typing, packing, cooking, swimming, running, playing at Butlins, and chasing ants in the dark.  I like to think that this manicure has been put through its paces over the last fortnight.  The question is, did it survive?

See for yourself…

I think that it’s coped fairly admirably no?  There is a small chip on my index finger but that was it for the tips… across the entire manicure – spending that extra time to ensure that I had capped all my nails really paid off in this instance.  Infact, you can see that most of the ‘damage’ actually comes from the other end of the nail bed where I’ll happily admit that I didn’t do quite so well at applying with the kind of precision one needs.

I suffered some pooling in the cuticles with the base coat and on a couple of nails this led to a small amount being cured over the cuticle so I wasn’t particularly surprised when I experienced a little bit of lifting after a few days in those areas.  What I was surprised at though is that despite the lifting, I was able to gently clip those areas off without causing any further damage to the manicure.  Most of what you see in the photo above is actually new growth at the base of the colour.

Now, whilst this is a glowing report so far, I do have one issue that I’d like to talk about… removal.

Damn, this stuff is a bitch to remove without damaging your nails.  I lightly buffed the surface of my nails firstly to remove the shine and create a penetrable layer for the remover to do its work before soaking pre-cut cotton pads in acetone remover (where acetone is the primary ingredient) and laying them down over the nails.  Wrapping the tips in foil, I gave it a full 10-12 minutes before sliding the foil tips off my fingers, expecting to see the gel slide off with them.  Uh, not a chance.  The surface had bubbled and warped and the edges had further lifted but it wasn’t giving up without a fight.  I ended up using an orange stick to (as gently as I could) scrape off the gel polish before buffing the surface of the nail to remove the residue.

My nails are definitely in worse condition post Sensationail but seemingly nothing that a hefty dose of almond oil (thanks Squarrell) can’t sort out – I’d say that they’re halfway back to feeling “normal” within a day of diligent oiling.

Hopefully that’s provided an indepth (enough) review for you from application, to pricing, to wear and finally removal.  I’d be really interested to find out what you think about the product in terms of value, I’m confident that it provides the kind of long-lasting, salon-quality manicure that we pay £20+ a time for – but despite knowing that, I’m curious if the initial price tag would still put you off?  I think that this is probably a great bit of kit for a group of friends to pool together and purchase, otherwise – you’ve got to be a very dedicated nailista – know any of those?

The Sensationail starter kit is available to buy online from Boots, priced at £85, additional shades are available at £15 each.  You can get more tips and tricks from the brand’s facebook and twitter pages.

27 Responses to “Sensationail, gel nails at home – 14 days later…”

  1. Anitacska says:

    While I hate it that nail polish chips on me within 48 hours whatever I do, I don’t think I’d want it to stay on for 2 weeks (except maybe when on holiday), partly because half the fun of nail polish is all the different pretty colours. I also would not ever pay £85 for a kit like this, that is just ridiculously overpriced and such a rip off. (Chantecaille do this for some extent, theire UK prices are the same in £ as the US prices in $, erm, how’s that when you get around $1.5 for a £1?!) Nah.

    • Jeanie says:

      Kit is down to 60 now in Asda – that’s 10 at home manicures for the price of about 2.5 salon manicures (and you can have a glass of wine and watch tv while you do it!)

  2. Robyn says:

    My main problem with this would be the colours – what does each polish cost? I like switching colours too much to fork out for this I think, but chipping in with bunch of mates makes it pretty reasonable I think!

  3. kelly says:

    I change my polish to often for this to be of interest to me, I also get base growth within 5 days of applying normal polish so a 2 week manicure would look horrenjdous on me within 6 or 7 days

    • Jeanie says:

      Hi Jeanie – I love gel polish though for changing colours as I hate my nails bare. I paint over the top whenever I want a change of colour, then just take it off with acetone free and my gel colour is still perfect! Best of both worlds :-)

  4. loobylou14 says:

    After 2 weeks of nail growth it’s like the equivalent of needing your roots done, it would annoy me. Removal sounds terrible as well. I was originally put off by the price but visible growth and nightmare removal mean I wouldn’t even consider it.

  5. Alex T says:

    I have gel nails which are clear so I can change the colour as frequently as I like. Having said that – the place that does the gels also paints them for you for no extra cost. Being a hoarder I always take me own colours in so its not the differnce of quality in product – but when they do it my (ordinary) nail polish last up to two weeks without ANY chips at all. Like above though it does grow out after about 14 days and I have to go have infills done on the gels. Before I started having gels done I could only ever get nail varnish to last a day maybe two. Is it something about the surface of gel nails which makes polish adhere better? I’m not moaning but for me doing gel polish over the top of gel nails would – I imagine – make it bombproof!

  6. Charlie says:

    I must say thats very impressive!

  7. Sydney says:

    I always have to take your nail posts with a pinch of salt, because the general rule has become whatever it is on you it is at least half that time with me.
    And paying that amount and having to damage my nails on a weekly basis is not quite as tempting as I thought it would be.

    I shall just stick with having to polish my nails everyday (at least this way I get variety too 😀 )

  8. EmmyJean says:

    Wow! My manicures are lucky to last 3 days! My mom just bought an at home gel polish system (UV light and everything!), I might have to try it next time I visit!

  9. Jennifer says:

    I bought this for my holiday as I don’t want to be doing my nails whilst away if I can avoid it. I considered getting them done professionally but couldn’t be bothered to find a salon and I wanted to try this kit out anyway. I’m looking forward to trying it!

  10. Andrea says:

    I think that the terrible wear near the eponychium, the chip and the damage you had from removal confirms my original thoughts – this sort of thing should be left to us professionals.

    • To be fair though, the 2x pro jobs that I’ve had looked worse than this! Though they were bought via Groupon/Living Social deals which may mean that the salon used inferior gels… or just didn’t bother to do a good job for me.

      • Jeanie says:

        I think you did a great job for the first time! What I love is that you can do ‘polish clean up’ before curing. I am pretty neat now after a few goes.

  11. AmyB says:

    Really impressed by this – I’ve had them done professionally and they looked and lasted nowhere near as long as this.

    My only concern would be – what would i do with my 200 odd polishes????

    • Cath says:

      You can use regular polish with this system. You just follow the steps to prep the nail (buffing the top gently, gel cleanser, top/base coat, cure) then you apply 1 or 2 coat of your regular polish and let it completly dry and then you apply another coat of the top/base coat and cure it. Your regular polish will last way longer :)

  12. Sarah Annie says:

    Another DIY guinea pig here. YEARS since going to nail salon for acrylics. Had the same experience with removal today! The raspberry wine that came with the kit had some real staying power, so I had a feeling removal would not be easy. I plan to NOT use any primer next application and leave the foils on for 30 minutes before starting removal(scraping), doing one nail (wet with acetone) at a time. I am post menopausal with dry nails and gray hair..I had no chips after 3 weeks and nails appear to have survived their ordeal and I’m excited to give it another try with coral sunset next time. Loved reading your story!

    • Jeanie says:

      I love Coral Sunset, is really lovely on.
      I leave the primer off too, lasts maybe a couple of days less but removal is loads easier!

  13. Jeanie says:

    Thay look brilliant – so shiny after 14 days!

  14. I Bought mine from Boots with a voucher for £10. I have a very hectic schedule so having long lasting nails is great. The best thing with gel polishes though, is that you can paint over it with your regular polishes. I did this mid week rather than taking the gel off. to remove the regular polish just use polish remover without acetone.

    I read everywhere that it was going to be a nightmare to get off. I used shop bought nail acetone (you can find similar products in boots, asda, and other supermarkets that are advertised to take off false nails, acrylics and more). I filed down the top layer just so the remover could penetrate the gel, I soaked pieces of cotton balls in remover and placed over my nail then wrapped the tip of my finger in foil to hold the cotton down ontop of my nail polish. After 6-10 minutes I take off foil, gently wipe cotton ball off and then gently push the gel off with my orange stick. I didnt have to file down the rest or soak my hands in acetone.

    Checky out my blog for reviews and tips

  15. Megan says:

    I love this ! I had recently gotten my nails done at a salon and to put it bluntly, they were awful!!!
    After about a week I decided to have them removed. But my bare nails are so thin and brittle so I decided to give the Sensationail French manicure starter kit a try and I love it ! I will never use normal nail polish or go to a salon again. If your nails are anything like mine this kit is worth every penny.

  16. Deanna says:

    I used to go to salon every 2 weeks to get this done prifessionally. I started feeling like a chore so I bought yhis kit on sale.

    I love it!!! I have used it with other brand polished and it works fine.

    For removal I bought a metal cuticle pusher and it comes off soooo easily. The orange stick does nothing.

    Going to try nail art & layering with glitter next!

  17. Lucky says:

    It has taken me a whole day to remove the SentsatioNAIL polish from my nails !
    This has put me off using it again.
    Once my nails have recovered I will try it with regular polish and UV top coat …

  18. Pam says:

    What I want to know is what happens to your acrylic nails when you have to soak the sensationail polish in acetone for removal? Kind of a wasted expense of doing your nails in acrylic if, in two weeks, they are going to lift or come off when you have to soak off the sensationail.

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