I love painting my nails but I hate having chips and peels two days (or less) after I take the time to paint them. I also have a really bad habit of picking at my polish. Once I start I can't stop, it's addicting and looks so ugly. Last year, I heard about a gel/polish hybrid called Shellac that some nail salons were using. Basically, it goes on like regular nail polish but is cured with a UV or LED light and lasts about 2-4 weeks, like gel nails without the damage to your natural nails.
|Shellac by CND|
I found a salon in good old Denver Pa and had a Shellac manicure done. It was awesome and while I do like going to the salon every once in a while, it takes time and money (about $30 - $50 a pop), both of which I don't want to waste. The other day while I was at Ulta picking up a few items, I stumbled upon a gel/polish hybrid brand exclusive to Ulta that you can do by yourself at home. The brand is called Red Carpet Manicure.
|Red Carpet Manicure|
Another lady was picking out colors as I was walking by and I asked her if she liked the system. She said that she just LOVES it and is not really one to keep up with painting her nails. Sounded like a good review to me.
When I got home I researched everything and decided that I would try it out for myself. I bought the necessary products (after researching a bit I realized that you can substitute acetone and rubbing alcohol for two of their products for less $$) including the light, for under $100.
My assessment: This system is amazing! I'm completely hooked. They have a wide selection of colors and it lasts just as long as they say it should. My nails stayed super shiny too.
Update: If you are persistent enough, you CAN peel them off...in one whole piece. Dang it!! I need to kick my habit! But it's easy to just repaint the one nail you peeled off and keep them looking perfect.
Collin saw my bare nails and said, "Wait, I thought you said you wouldn't be able to pick that stuff off..." welpppp, ya can apparently.
I think that the success of this polish depends on how well you can paint your own nails AND how well you can keep yourself from picking at them. Also, they last quite a bit longer if you remember to "wrap the edge" meaning make sure you paint the edge of the tip too or else it will start peeling after a week or so.
And then I peeled it off...ugh!!
I'm going to give it another go and try try try NOT to peel it off this time!
All in all, I would definitely recommend this system! Another note: the brand sells a liquid to remove the nails (substitute with pure acetone) and a liquid to take the tacky layer off when you're finished painting/curing the top coat (sub with rubbing alcohol)...if you substitute these two things you can save some $. If anyone is interested in a list of what you really need and what you don't, just ask! Also, I'd recommend the "professional" LED light that they sell opposed to the "portable" light. The professional one is about $45 (vs $20 for the portable) but cures your nails in about a 1/4 of the time that it takes the portable.
Have a great weekend!!