SensatioNail Starter Kit in Raspberry Wine
$49.98 for Gel Cleanser, Gel Primer, Gel Top/Base Coat, Gel Nail Color, LED light, cuticle stick, lint free wipes
Your SensatioNail™ Starter Kit includes everything you need for 10 perfect applications! Kit includes the exclusive Pro 3060 LED Lamp - designed to safely and quickly flash- cure your favorite Gel Polish, sealing in the color to a glossy, damage-proof, mirror-like finish. After 10 manicures simply purchase the Essentials Kit and the color of your choice and you're good to go again.
I had been curious about gel polish systems for awhile, but wasn't ready to shell out the money to try one. I've already spent too much money trying to do at home acrylic nails (disaster)! But I had heard good things about the SensatioNail set in terms of quality for the price, and I had some Walgreens gift cards from transferring my prescriptions, so I decided to take the plunge since only ended up paying $20 out of pocket for this set. I figured if I botched this like I botched DIY acrylic nails, at least I didn't spend a ton of money on it.
- Buff, cleanse, prime, base coat, 30 sec LED, color coat, 60 sec LED, another color coat, 60 sec LED, top coat, 30 sec LED, cleanse. See the official instructions here.
My SensatioNail mani really was hard right after I finished with it! Not hard to the touch like a quick dry nail polish, but actually hard. I applied my layers a little too thick, so the finish wasn't perfectly level, but it wasn't noticeable. The shiny topcoat looked fantastic even after 1.5 weeks, when I removed them. I had only one chip, and a teensy bit of tip wear, which is really impressive (I consider the tip wear is my fault for not capping my nails as per the directions!). With regular polish, I get one week of wear MAXIMUM, and by then the tips are pretty worn looking. I probably could have stretched my mani out to two full weeks, except the gap at the cuticles from new nail growth was driving me crazy. My SensatioNail manicure looked better and lasted way longer than any manicure with regular polish.
This part sucks. First, you buff off the surface of your mani. Then you can either soak cotton in 100% acetone and then wrap it around your nail with aluminum foil for 15 minutes, or you can soak your fingertips in a bowl of 100% acetone for 15 minutes. After that, you scrape the remaining polish off with the SensatioNail tool (some may have already flaked off). I tried following the directions but the polish was REALLY stuck on there. Removal is definitely more time consuming and more annoying than with regular polish, by FAR. It sucks. I've heard other brands of gel color are easier to remove, and you can supposedly use different colors with the SensatioNail system, but I haven't tried that yet.
Tips and Tricks
- DO NOT FILE YOUR NAILS when you have a gel manicure! It will break the seal on your nails and ruin your manicure. I didn't realize this, and after 1.5 weeks of amazing wear, I was testing out some glass nail files, washed some dishes and then saw that my nails looked like THIS:
- Use thin layers of product for a more even finish.
- You can use rubbing alcohol instead of cleanser. (Use the highest % you can find).
- You can use nail dehydrant instead of primer.
- You can use regular polish but with modifications. You can either just do regular polish and then a gel topcoat, or gel base coat + regular polish + gel top coat. In either case, the regular polish needs to be ABSOLUTELY dry before you put on gel top coat. It's been hit or miss for me on the wear time--still longer than regular polish, but not as long as a true gel mani.
- If you're having trouble removing the polish, try using a bowl of acetone placed in a hot water bath.
Further reading: This article and this article provide some useful information about gel manicure issues and how to fix them. These articles are short but really helped me!
Overall, I'm really really happy with my SensatioNail manicure and how long it lasted, I felt that the application process was easy enough, but I found it to be a little time consuming, and the removal process is annoying. If you like changing your polish frequently, this is not the system for you. But it sure beats the price of salon gel nails!