Does anybody do their own gel nails?

(35 Posts)
Lexiesinclair Thu 24-Jan-13 12:24:01

If so, what can you tell me about it?

I love having painted nails but mine always chips after a couple of days. I've had shellac nails done professionally and always loved them, but can't afford to go to a salon regularly. So I wondered if it was worth investing in a UV lamp and some products to do it myself - can anyone advise?

CooEeeEldridge Thu 24-Jan-13 12:33:48

I do! I have the kit from boots, by nailene I think? They have offers on every so often, think I got it for about £60. Have never re purchased their brand of polishes though, started off using Jessica ones as that's what the salon used to use, have since downgraded to blue sky off eBay which are great! Loads of colours, and good base / top coat.

Removing old to finishing new nails takes about an hour? The main bulk of that is getting old ones off- it is a FAF!!! The key is patience to leave them to soak- I dont have this! Can easily get 2weeks out of them, I tend to put another layer of colour / top coat after 10 days or so and that gives me another week at least. Get loads of compliments!

Lexiesinclair Thu 24-Jan-13 12:52:02

Ooh thanks CooEe that sounds good. What do you get in the kit for £60?
The removal does sound like a PITA but when I am spending half an hour at a time doing my nails now and they only last a couple of days it's not that bad. Am seriously tempted!

Lexiesinclair Thu 24-Jan-13 12:54:46

Also, I like my nails short, so can you cut/file them with the polish on?

CooEeeEldridge Thu 24-Jan-13 13:02:00

You get a gel cleanser (basically just acetone free nv remover for the wipe at the end), a primer (which I knocked over on the first use and havent used or missed since!), a colour polish (when I got it there was only 2 reds to choose from in the starter kit, neither of which are very me), a top and base coat, nail file, manicure stick, some pads and the led lamp.

In fairness I'm not sure I'd bother with the kit now, unless there was a v good offer. You might be better to get a lamp off eBay and then pick the base / colour / tops from there too. The boots polish bottles are v small too, you get twice as much from other brands generally.

If you do look on eBay the lamp is a pro 360 led lamp, that works with Jessica geleration, blue sky and shellac polishes. I tend to cure for a minute, and sometimes do an extra minute on the top coat if I've put a lot of layers on.

CooEeeEldridge Thu 24-Jan-13 13:04:48

Yep you can, I tend to file them after 10 days and then add another coat of colour / top coat, as you 'cap' or go under the nail with polish too.

LtheWife Thu 24-Jan-13 13:05:46

I also have the sensationail kit by nailene. I didn't have high hopes as acrylics used to lift around the edges on me but its been great. In the kit you get the lamp and enough cleanser, primer, clear base/top coat and colour for 10 applications (plus lint free wipes, orange stick and buffer). Extra colours and the top up kit (primer, cleanser, clear coat etc) come in larger sizes that will do more application.

The only problem I have is a get bored of the colour towards the end of two weeks wear, but you can use regular polish over the top if you fancy a change so long as you remove it with acetone free remover. I have kept them on for three weeks once with no signs of chipping/lifting etc (was away and didn't have time to remove).

CooEeeEldridge Thu 24-Jan-13 13:09:17

Ooh didn't know the none starter bottles were bigger, thanks L!

Lexiesinclair Thu 24-Jan-13 13:26:47

Ooh thanks - I'm thinking now of getting the bits on eBay separately - so I would need a lamp, top and base coats and colour. And acetone to remove? Anything else? What do you need to do to prep the nail before the base coat?

HotCrossBunsForAll Thu 24-Jan-13 13:29:06

I do - I got a UV lamp from ebay, & I use the Gellux system. You prep wipe, a coat of fast bond, base coat, 2 colour coats, top coat and then wipe again. The polishes are about £13 each. You use the same polish as both a base and top coat, and the same solution at start and finish - it's called prep & wipe. I was paying £25 ish regularly to have Shellac applied and removed, and doing it like this works out much cheaper. It's right that you can do it in about an hour start to finish, and the taking off is is a nightmare - invest in some orange sticks and definitely some lint free pads! The key thing to remember is to take the polish over the edge of your nail to seal it in, then you should get 2 weeks chip free wear no problem.

HotCrossBunsForAll Thu 24-Jan-13 13:31:44

Oooh double posting, but just saw you replied! Prep&wipe solution is what you'll need for cleaning at start and finishing off. Get some lint free pads and some foil for removal - you can buy pod type things that you fill with acetone and slot over your fingers to remove, but I've never tried those so I'm not sure how effective they are.

CooEeeEldridge Thu 24-Jan-13 13:33:21

I just soak mine off with normal nail varnish remover with acetone in- probably why it takes so long!!

I don't use anything to prep mine now, I'm not sure if this matters or not? I did read in the sensationail Facebook page that people that were struggling with removal were advised not to use any.

I'd get some acetone free nail v remover for when you wipe them after the top coat, and maybe some of the lint free pads, as cotton wool can be a bit of a pain to do final wipe with!

GTbaby Thu 24-Jan-13 13:39:59

Lex u also need the wipes/ spray to take off residue at end. My sister however used her face toner in an emergency! N it worked well.

To take off. Cut cotton pad in half. Soak in acetone. Place over nail n wrap in foil. To speed up use hair dryer to warm up. It should just crumble off.

I buy varnish on amazon. About 7£ a bottle so the price of a good nail varnish.

To make last longer u need to buff ur nail. So buy a buffer as well.

LtheWife Thu 24-Jan-13 13:47:09

I think the cleanser for wiping before and after is just isopropyl alcohol, it certainly smells the same. Definitely worth buying as its great for cleaning make up brushes too. A quick dip in IPA, brush on a sheet of kitchen roll to remove any make up and they're clean and hygienic again in seconds. Just make sure you keep the lid on the bottle as it evaporates very quickly (which means make up brushes dry super quick too so can be cleaned daily).

Lexiesinclair Thu 24-Jan-13 13:51:22

Thanks everyone, this is great.

HotCrossBuns and GT what brands of polish do you buy?

Blue Sky that CooEee uses have 5 colours for £20 on eBay which sounds good?

jackstini Thu 24-Jan-13 14:18:28

Also got Sensationail - if you go on their website here you can buy all the bits separately. They have got a few bits out of stock at the moment but have posted on their fb page some more are coming in about a week plus loads of new colours.

I bought this one because the lamp is LED not UV (much shorter curing time and no bulb replacing!) and it fits in my bedroom drawer.

I love it - never going back to normal polish again. (Except like Lthewife says you can paint over the gel with normal polish for a night out then take it off and not have to redo the gel - massive time saver)

Have tried a couple of bluesky polishes but the colour matches are not very good (I know most look different on a computer screeen but these were way off!)

For removal I do the foils and have bought the remover tool - so much easier

giraffesCantGoFirstFooting Thu 24-Jan-13 14:21:24

Sounds good since it is already twenty per time!

jackstini Thu 24-Jan-13 14:25:05

Ooh - and it lasts for about 6 weeks on toes!

Lexiesinclair Thu 24-Jan-13 15:45:48

Thanks Jackstini - I'm completely sold on this. The Sentastionail stuff looks fab!

Trumpton Thu 24-Jan-13 17:11:23

I bought the sensationail kit for DD for her birthday recently and she says it is fabulous . I still owe her 2 coloured polishes and will get them from sensationail site when I treat myself to a starter kit .

HotCrossBunsForAll Thu 24-Jan-13 17:18:52

Lexie, I use Gellux - never tried anything else and I think it's brilliant.

Love the make up brush tip, am about to try it now!

knitknack Thu 24-Jan-13 17:48:05

I too got the sensationail recently and have since bought the bluesky branded polishes which tbh I find much better than the branded (£3.99 on eBay!!). I went crazy and this week have been sporting all kinds of colours but last night I actually took it all off and just used base and topcoat so now I have clear gels!! (I had parents' evening, was looking a bit 'colourful')!

Jackstini and I have been talking about the utter joy of doing a manicure and then immediately putting gloves on, or washing up etc etc ISTANT DRYNESS LOVE grin

Lexiesinclair Thu 24-Jan-13 18:22:49

I reckon if I go with the Blue Sky products I can get everything I need including 3 colours for less than £50. They have IPA wipes on ebay for £1. Ooh so exciting! Thanks for the encouragement!

Claxonia Thu 24-Jan-13 19:25:04

I use Shellac that I buy from Amazon or EBay. I prep by wiping with acetone nail polish remover and then use alcohol from the chemist to finish. It only lasts about 7-10 days for me but I think it is just my nails as it has been the same when I had it done professionally and when I did my mum's they lasted 3 weeks.

wifeofdoom Thu 24-Jan-13 20:03:29

another vote for sensationail here - its brilliant. I don't quite get 2 weeks but at least 7 days (and often I just do the damaged ones to get a fortnight). Might try the bluesky varnishes. Takes a bit of practice to get the thickness of colour right and I am not quick enough to do all my nails at once, have to do two at a time or the colour shrinks from the edges.

jackstini Thu 24-Jan-13 21:28:46

knitknack - absolutely! and doing a pedicure then putting on fluffy socks seconds after! grin

Womenandchickensfirst Thu 24-Jan-13 23:46:37

I'm a new convert to Sensationail as well. Did this set last Sunday, and noticed today that one was peeling away, due to some manual labour. I filed what was left off, and had the nail redone in less than 10 minutes. It's brilliant.

CooEeeEldridge Fri 25-Jan-13 09:37:09

Let us know how you get on lex! I didn't try the blue sky for ages as it seemed to good to be true, but it's v v good! Have a lovely local colour on currently smile

CooEeeEldridge Fri 25-Jan-13 09:37:31

Ahem lilac

Lexiesinclair Fri 25-Jan-13 11:49:04

Ha, I wondered what a local colour was. Here it would be a dirty grey colour. grin
I am going to go for the Bluesky stuff on eBay. Will update when I've fine it, thank you.

Trumpton Sun 27-Jan-13 10:32:48

Did mine with DD's sensationail set yesterday. I used Taupe Tulips and they look good. I have ordered my self the essentials kit and my own colour gel so I don't keep using hers.
I am also going to try a normal nail colour over and remove that with NON acetone remover.

spottymoo Sun 27-Jan-13 13:49:11

When ever doing gel nails always cap the free edge of the nail with products this helps it last longer

Some gel polishes require you buff the nail before application some dont same with removal done require you to buff to break the seal.

Removal pure acetone soaked in a lint free pad and foil and an orange stick to scrap remains off after about 15 mins.

Prep is the most important stage to help it last if it doesn't say on the bottle or package look on the web or salon geek

( ex nail technician grin)

ThisLittleP Sun 27-Jan-13 20:40:51

Go for it. i bought all my bits (wipes, IPA, polishes, UV lamp, etc. etc.) off ebay, and I'm loving it. So are my sis and mum grin
I use the bluesky stuff. I was originally going to get the Sensationail from Boots, but the polishes are a rip off £15 a pop, and not a massive range of colours. So I took the plunge with all the separate ebay bits, and it's way cheaper, but just as good imho, and I've ordered some lovely glitter polishes too at bargain prices.

Best of luck, you won't regret it, and you'll have a queue of friends at your front door before long too smile

Sparklegeek Sun 27-Jan-13 21:23:02

Lexie please tell me what you have bought - have found the Bluesky polishes on eBay but what about the lamp & everything else? Have a birthday coming up so will need to spell this all out in words of one syllable for DH smile

Lexiesinclair Sun 27-Jan-13 22:10:23

Well I haven't actually bought anything yet (I've got a birthday coming up too so thinking I should wait for that). But I think I'll get:
A UV lamp from Amazon - there's one for about £20 with decent reviews.
Gellux prep & wipe + acetone remover from Amazon -£8.99.
Bluesky base + top coat + 4 colours for £24 from eBay.

What do you reckon? I would link but I can't from the apps on my phone.

ThisLittleP - good to hear you're also happy with the Bluesky, it's so much cheaper!
SpottyMoo - thanks for the tips, it's good to get a professional's advice.

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