(Gel) Nail It!

Posted March 2, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Building Your Brand

I started painting my nails when I was 11 years old – somehow, my mother agreed to this, but not any type of other make-up until I turned 13. In hindsight, I find this choice rather odd because I distinctly remember the shade of polish – it was a bright tangerine kind of color, which had to look trashy on an 11 year old living in Small Town, Wisconsin.

ANYWAY, she taught me how to soak my nails, GENTLY push back my cuticles, and apply the polish. I proudly carried my supplies with me in a small cosmetic bag, and quickly became obsessed with the perfect nail polish application. I remember spending what felt like hours painting my nails, waiting for them to dry, and then admiring them….until I decided to start all over again.

Fast forward a few….ok four….well, technically 5 decades and I still entertain the same enthusiasm for beautifully manicured nails, however now I barely find time to sleep, let alone hang out for an hour while I (or, someone else) applies the obligatory base coat, two coats of polish, and top coat to my nails.

Enter the gel manicure. I tried the salon version (s) a few years ago—I loved the results, but hated the time involved in getting them and worse, removing them. But, I like to give products the benefit of the doubt, so I must admit the allure of the new DIY gel manicure sets appealed to me. Every time I walk through my Walgreen’s the fabulous SensatioNails packaging calls out my name. After looking at the ‘steps’ involved in its application I literally shelved the whole idea writing it off as another one of life’s time sucks.

However, I changed my tune this week after chatting up a few users and learning more about the pros and cons of the product. My sources revealed the kit is dreadfully easy to use and creates a super-shiny, chip free manicure that lasts for two weeks.

One of my users told me,

It takes less than 10 minutes to do both hands.

Another concurred, and said the polish applied easily and looked terrific. (As an aside, all the women I spoke with are Career Girls who need low maintenance beauty solutions.)

SensatioNail.com describes the product this way,   

This amazing formula glides on smoothly and easily. It’s flash-dried in seconds to a radiantly resilient finish with its special lamp and then lasts for up to 2 flawless weeks. Your nails are completely dry by the time your manicure is over.

The special lamp, which is an LED light, ‘cures’ the gel polish and also accounts for its relatively high price point of $59.99. The initial investment delivers ten separate manicures. Compare this to a $40-$50 salon service and you’re ahead of the game several hundred dollars.

The main drawback comes in the form of the removal process – you need to wrap each nail in a 100% acetone nail remover, and then gently ease off the formula with a removal tool. This step puts most doctors’ heads a spinning! If you’re not careful you can remove the upper layers of your nail bed, which thins and damages the nail. Doctors (and SensatioNail) encourage using the proper removal method and advise you never, EVER pick, or peel off the polish. I also always recommend you give your nails a break from time to time. Skip every sixth week and apply regular polish instead.

Happy painting!

About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.