So I have a first for the blog, gel polish! Unbelievably, I've never had a gel manicure in all my time as a nail blogger. Since I change my nails so often, I never really saw the point but when Just Beauty UK got in touch to see if I'd like to try out their Bluesky Peel-Off Gel range, I thought why not? Since I was already learning about acrylic and am considering expanding my nail knowledge, I thought an at-home gel manicure would be the best way to get introduced to the system.
I was sent all the accoutrements needed for a quality at-home gel manicure:
Mylee LED Gel Lamp
Bluesky Peel Off Base and Top Coat
Bluesky Peel Off Gel Colour Polishes in Mint Ice Cream, French Riviera and Goldrush
Mylee lint-free wipes
Nail prep and wipe
Crystal nail file
The process of applying gel polish is so different from normal polish. I didn't realize this but I quickly got into the habit of thin, thin coats to make sure the end manicure isn't too thick. With a quick cure time under the LED lamp, I was finished a little *too* fast. My inexperience showed as it turns out I didn't cure the polish for long enough. This might have effected the removal process...
A revelation I had was doing nail art with gel polish. Since it doesn't dry until its cured, the polish doesn't go tacky as you keep applying it over all your nails and there's no smudging! I used three thin coats of each colour for opacity.
I wanted to do some simple nail art which would showcase all the colours I received. I really love the mint shade in particular but the denim blue is quite unique and so is the cool green pewter shade. I don't even know how to describe the nail art, filigree/giraffe print? Who knows but I think it looks pretty cool.
DOES IT PEEL? Well, technically it does. The instructions for the removal of the polish involves putting your nails in hot water for about 30 seconds and peeling the polish off gently using a cuticle pusher or orange stick. I did this with my thumb on my right hand and I did struggle to get the polish off all of the nail. I got about half way before it didn't want to budge any more. I eventually got it all off but my nail was quite dry and a little bit damaged. I tried again with my index finger, heating my water up a bit more. Again, I got about half way up the nail before I started to struggle. The same happened again, a bit of dryness and flakiness but not as much as the thumb.
Since the removal wasn't really saving me time, I decided to buff off the top coat and apply acetone-soaked pads and tin foil and soak the polish off. After 15 minutes, I scraped off what I could, without digging into the nail. 5 minutes later, I was able to scrape even more off and after another 5 minutes, all of the polish was off. There was very little dryness from this removal method and I do think the 'peel-off' nature of the polish helped it soak faster than other gel polishes.
I buffed my nails gently to remove any stubborn bits of polish. I was a bit worried about wrecking my nails by using gel and I could see from my attempts at peeling the polishes that safe removal is key to healthy nails. As I mentioned before, it turns out that I wasn't curing the polish long enough. I had it in my head that it was 1 minute but the website recommends two. I'll definitely be trying the polish again with the CORRECT curing time and seeing if the removal is any easier for it.
Final verdict? I think gel polish will be a great option for holidays, when I just want a block colour and for doing other people's nails. The peel off polish didn't remove as well as I'd hoped but this might be my own fault but it soaks off pretty fast. I loved the speed of the process and once you get the hang of application, your nails look pretty good.
Big thanks to Just Beauty UK for supplying me with all of these gel polish goodies, I'll definitely be looking into expanding my collection soon!
What do you think of gel manicures? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to like, subscribe and follow. Until next time :D