Fingerpaints Gel Polish Starter Kit and LED Lamp | Updated Product Review

Here's my gel nails with the Hopewell Rocks in the background.
Hopewell Rocks is located at the Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

A girl going on vacation? How about a busy mom who toggles between the home, kids and maybe even a job outside the home?  Or a modern lady that's multi-tasking between so many activities that time seems to run out so fast? Manicure, what? Ain't no time for that??? Well, you probably heard about gel polish before? An instantly dry manicure that you can wear for up to two weeks - so they claim. It is also claims to have great shine and durability - you can wash the dishes, clean, do laundry,... They say, just go about your daily life and not worry a single bit about your nails?  But then you also hear about horror stories about how it damages the nails?!?  Hmmm....

To have gel polish nails or not? 
Below is my updated review of the Fingerpaints Soak-off GelPolish from Sally's Beauty Supply.

The past few weeks had been very busy for me.  This is how it is, I guess, for most of us who live in this part of the world where summer seems so short to fit the many things we'd like to do. That's another story... Lol.  As I mentioned in my last post, the upside to this dilemma is, I was really able to put some gel-polish claims to the test. Hence I'm excited to share with you an updated review.

About a year and a half ago, I posted about my first gel polish mani.  It's all about this lovely set you see in the picture above.  I have tried it many times since then and used this same set to give my family and friends fabulously looking nails.  

To begin, here's a few details about my set:

All these have been purchased from Sally's Beauty Supply (Canada).  
Starter Kit ($65.99) with Membership Beauty Card $59.39
LED Lamp ($86.99) with Membership Beauty Card  $78.29
Gel Polish individual colors ($16.99) with Membership Beauty Card $15.29 each
(My latest addition was purchased at $12.99 Buy One Take One Free - good deal!)

The starter kit includes: A DVD instruction guide on how to apply and remove gel polish properly, it also includes a cleanser, Tip Bonder, Basecoat, Topcoat and Cuticle Oil.

After 31 complete gel polish manicure applications, I still have a bit of Basecoat and Topcoat left.  The Tip Bonder is still almost full as it is applied to the nail tips only.  And the cuticle oil is still about 2/3 full. I only use the cuticle oil supplied after each gel polish application.  I have a separate bottle that I use in between. 

With these premises, I can say that this set is worth the price.  True, it looks very pricey on the spot.  But if you like gel polish, then it's a good buy considering how much manicure you get from it.  hmp I've got 31 uses so far.  Say you would pay $15.00 for each gel polish mani, that would have cost a total of $465.00! And I still have some left from my starter kit for a few more applications :-)

Claim 1:  No dry time. TRUE
  • Each layer of soak-off gel polish is cured under a LED light for 30 seconds.  After the last layer, the cleanser is used to wipe out the sticky residue and walah!  Your nails are dry and ready to go.  Instantly smudge and chip proof.   
  • If you would consider the curing time as "drying time", here's a little math at how long it takes:  Since the LED lamp only fit four fingers max at a time, the thumbs have be cured separately.  I do the four fingers on each of my hand first, then both of my thumbs together.  Each coat/layer takes 30 seconds.  The total curing time then from start to finish is:Basecoat + 2 layer of color + topcoat = 4 layers = 4 cures of 30 seconds each = 2 minutes.  So, 2 minutes for four fingers of the left hand, another 2 for the right hand, and finally, another 2 for the thumbs.  The total cure/dry time is 12 minutes.  Still very little time compared to the dry time of regular polish.
 Claim 2: Last for 2 weeks.  TRUE
  • It actually last for even more than that.  Three weeks is how long I wore my last gel mani.  It will last until you remove it!  But really, after the second week, the growth of your nails becomes very visible, leaving a gap between your cuticles and the gel polish.  That could be very unsightly.  So it is recommended to renew your manicure after the second week. 
  • As for anything, it can be ruined/chipped because of trauma to the nails.  In my experience, the only chips I've ever had are those that actually chipped my nails too.  That means that I somehow, I had a boo-boo with my fingers that actually hurts.  In regular, daily routine, this mani stands up to the test.
  • Okay, this is saying with the premise that you followed the instructions in the proper application of the soak-off gel polish...  If the nail bed is wet or oily when soak-off gel is applied, the gel polish does not last as long.
A beach on the way to Cape Enrage, Fundy Bay, New Brunswick

Claim 3:  Gel Polish Dries Out Your Nails.  TRUE
  • Wearing nail polish, whether regular or soak-off can prevent moisture from entering your nail bed.  Hence, after a while it can dry.  While wearing nail polish, do not neglect to moisturize your cuticles and the back of your free edge by applying cuticle oil or cream often (olive oil works well).  I have a little tube of hand balm that I keep with me all the time.  Whenever I moisturize my hands, I also pay special attention to my cuticles.  This helps a lot...

    It is important to give your nails a break too.  Once in a while, let it rest from polish. Let it breathe and soak up moisturizers.

Claim 4: Gel Polish ruins your natural nails. TRALSE ;-)
  • Confused?  Here's the deal:  Damage can occur but it can be prevented.
    There is a recommended procedure for removing soak-off gel polish.  And yes, it takes time.  Some girls rush the procedure and use a metal cuticle pusher to chip off the polish.  I am guilty of that too... And it works!  Too well actually that it also chips your natural nails with the polish.  That's screaming "damage!!!" right there.  I've had this kind of damage before and there is no solution but to wait for fresh, new nail to grow so I could clip out the dry and damage nail.  Sad... So do not deliberately chip off  your nail polish! I learned to be patient.  To wait and let the acetone 'melt' the polish away. 

    For proper removal of soak off gel polish, please check this out:
    Best Soak Off Gel Polish Removal Wraps
    How To Safely Remove Soak-Off Gel Polish
  • Give your nails a break between soak-off gel polish applications.  It's not the gel polish itself, but the soaking that dries out the nails.  So after removal, moisturize your nails often.  Use cuticle oil or thick cream to nourish your nails.  If you have to apply polish, use regular polish in between. Personally, I use a nail strengthener as a basecoat for regular mani, and so far, so good.
My favorite soak-off gel polish nail art is the: FRENCH MANICURE
It looks very classy and clean.  It also lessons the "growth-gap" problem as it is less noticeable with a french manicure.  It is surprisingly not as hard as I thought.

My gel polish French Mani and some of my friends...  Please click on the image to see full post.  The first image includes full details on proper application of gel polish.

Gel French Tip Nails

Gel Polish Simple French Manicure

shimmer gel polish french mani with glitter

Do you have questions about soak-off gel polish?  Please comment below, I might be able to help.  Or if you have more tips and strategies for a successful gel polish mani, please us know as well.  Thanks everyone and enjoy being a woman!


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