Bursting with excitement: my do-it-at-home Gelish kit arrived this week!
Gelish is a UV- or LED-cured nail polish that lasts for WEEKS, like fake gel nails, but won't damage your natural nail beds at all. My nails grow SO long & strong with it on, and it doesn't chip for 3 weeks! It's another brand like OPI's Axxium that I've been raving about since last November, but Gelish is easier to apply & has waaay more colors. My BFF Ashley in TX posted on FB that she bought the light & stuff to do hers at home. Why didn't I think of that?!?! (It's $30-$50 a pop in salons; mine here is $30, and I cannot bring myself to pay that more than every few months - yes, I am a Queen of Frugality. :-P) I figured, if I bought a kit to do it at home, it would pay for itself in less than 3 applications! Plus, I wouldn't try to make my gel manis last over a month (when they *do* start to chip) anymore, just b/c I'm too cheap to pay, again. :-D
Another bonus: I could [try to] do Annelise's nails! [My beautiful princess is a grossy gross double-finger sucker. (Index & middle together, left hand.) I *hate* it. It was cute at 2 months, but at 5 years, the novelty is gone. She LOVES everything super girly - esp. getting nails done - but she literally sucks the polish off those two fingers right away, (gag) so I won't do her nails, anymore. There should be no way she can suck this stuff off, though...] Finally, I like my glittery polishes to look like a glitter bomb went off on my nails, and at the salon, it's like pulling teeth to get them to do more than 2 layers. At home, I can make the glitter as heavy as I want! ;-)
The mini light in my kit is an LED instead of a UV - quicker and safer for your skin! I got three polish colors: Bronzed - a gold glitter, Light Elegant - a solid pink shimmer, and Ali Baba's Sim Sala Bam - a new Aurora Gelish EFX special effects polish, purple with tiny holographic microglitter = could there be anything more *me*? ;-)
I dove into my first application (with the Sim Sala Bam) today, without letting myself consider messing them up. ;-) [I absolutely recommed this at-home system!!! But I would go in and have a salon application one time first, if you've never tried it, just so you can understand how the layers go on, without the pressure of figuring out by yourself. I, myself, am a VERY HEAVY polisher, so it was important for me to understand how thin these layers need to go on to cure properly.]
I just *LOVELOVELOVE* this finished product! It looks SO MUCH BETTER - smoother, shinier - than regular manis, and the biggest bonus: it's instantly 100% dry by the last step. NO NICKS!!! I *always* nick my nails after a regular mani, like 3 hours later. It makes me feel like I totally wasted my time and/or money. Not with this! I'm also apparently very tough on my nails - I've NEVER had a regular mani not chip at all by day 3. EVER. No worries with that now!
The only drawback to Gelish (or any UV/LED-cured polish - Axxium, Shellac, etc.) is that it takes a lot longer to apply: there's a foundation layer, then 2-3 polish layers, and a top layer - all which have to cure 1-3 min per layer. When you do it yourself, you can only do one hand at a time and then your thumbs together last. That's 3 times you have to go through the application process (each hand & then thumbs) but it's still worth it! It took me about an hour & a half (first time, going sloooow) but they are 100% perfect; and had I polished them regularly, I *still* wouldn't have trusted them to be unnickably dry in that time.
[Disclaimer: Gelish is not compensating me in ANY way (unfortunately!!!) for this glowing review. I just genuinely ADORE this product!]