On October 27th I wrote about the gel manicure set that I purchased from Bed Bath & Beyond! Last week I planned to wear my half moons to Rebecca's wedding however, by Thursday afternoon my nails were chipped and beyond repair. So after going to Junior League, making dinner, finishing some work at home, and packing my weekend bag I took off the polish and decided to try the gel manicure! I was excited since it would dry really fast and I could then go to sleep at a somewhat reasonable hour.
A few short minutes later I couldn't see. Do you react badly to chopping onions? This was 100 times worse. I was squeezing my eyes shut because they were burning from the strong unpleasant odor of this product. When I did open them I had tears streaming down my face. Unfortunately it was nearly 11:30 PM and we were hitting the road at 8:00 AM, so I felt as if there was no other option for my nails at that point. I spent the next 30 minutes applying the Activator and Gel Polish without breathing.
The photo of my finished left hand actually looks pretty good; the nails look shiny. However, I was less than impressed in person. It wasn't a clean, solid, shiny finish... it kind of reminded me of working with old nail polish.
Also, my last note is around the level of skill required to apply this. I've been painting my own nails since high school so I have practice with a brush in both hands and I still found this rather difficult. I did use a little eyeshadow brush (shown in the picture above) with 100% pure acetone to clean up my skin around each nail, but I found that each nail had a different thickness of polish which slightly irritated me.
All in all, I do not recommend this product. It was not worth the pain in my eyes and nose, the frustrating application process, or dealing with chipped nails two days later!! Instead, I suggest you get a Shellac or Axxium gel manicure at a salon... and don't forget to apply sunscreen to your hands before you go ;-)