Wednesday, 4 May 2016

SensatioNail - Salon Gel Nails At Home

One of the things that I’m quite precious about is my nails, and I rarely go without something on them. My little treat to myself used to be having a gel manicure every 3-4 weeks and indulging in some fabulous fingers. However the friend of mine who used to do my nails had a baby recently, so in the last few months I’ve been exploring other options to keep my nails looking fabulous. It’s important to me that my nails look nice because I made a promise to myself a few years ago that no matter what, no matter how busy life gets or how preoccupied I am, I will always make the time to look after my nails – as a little treat: To Me, From Me.

I’ve always chosen gel nails because my pet hate (on me) is chipped nail varnish. It drives me crazy! And everyone who knows me is fully aware that if I’ve got chipped nail varnish then I’m likely approaching some sort of breakdown of apocalyptic variety! So when I started thinking about how to keep my nails looking lovely, I knew gel was still going to be my first choice. So SensatioNail seemed like a great idea.

A home gel nail brand, SensatioNail sell everything you need to give yourself gel nails at home – no more salon visits needed. This was perfect for me because visiting my friend’s salon wasn’t possible and I’d still get my treasured gel manicure. I’d seen the sets in Boots stores multiple times before and I’d always been really curious about them – could you really do your own nails at home, and achieve salon quality results? So when SensatioNail offered to send me a kit I was really excited to try it and see for myself.

When my Starter Kit arrived I was really impressed to find that everything I needed was included – sometimes I’m quite aware that with products and ‘starter kits’ you often have to purchase additional items to get everything you need. But with SensatioNail that isn’t the case because their starter kits have literally everything you need. The only thing you need to pick is a colour for your gel – I chose the Pink Chiffon shade, this is because I wear a lot of pink on my nails and it made the most sense to start with that.

Other than deciding on your choice of gel colour, everything else in the starter kits are the same. They provide you with everything you need to give yourself ten manicures per set before you need to purchase replacement wipes or nail shields etc. But the kit provides you with the base products including the UV lamp, which means that on a permanent basis you won’t need to pay out for expensive replacements, it’s just the general up-keep items you’ll need to repurchase.

Each Starter Kit includes:
1x Gel nail polish (you chose the colour)
1x Gel primer
1x Base/Top coat
1x Gel Cleanser
12x Lint free wipes
22x Peel off nail stickers
1x Double sided nail buffer
1X Manicure Stick
LED Mains Lamp with USB and Mains Charger
How To Instructions

Even though I’ve been getting my nails done for years now, and have studied the application method through sheer intrigue, I was still a bit daunted that I might not be able to give myself a decent enough manicure – after all, I’m far from a nail technician! However the How To Instructions are great and the step-by-step breakdown made the whole process really simple. The instructions talk you through the pre cleaning and preparation methods, the correct way to apply the varnish and how to finish the manicure in order to prolong the affects.

The process itself is as long or short as you need it to be. I’ve been able to get my nails done quickly in a morning before going out when I’m quite rushed, but I prefer to spend time on a Sunday indulging in a bit of a pamper session with a face mask and boxset to binge on. I’ve learnt that taking my time gives me better results, but if needed, the kit can still provide you with a great manicure even if you’re on the go. But for best results – especially if you aren’t a pro either – take your time!

My very first time, I was pretty impressed with the results but I’m already improving my technique and the finished look is getting much neater, smarter and the lines are a lot more professional looking. I guess that like everything – practice makes perfect! The instructions are really thorough at teaching you how to practically give yourself a manicure, but ultimately your own technique is what determines the finishing results. I was pleased with my first attempts, but now I’ve been giving myself gel manicures for a while, I’m a lot more confident in my abilities and the finished result is 10x better than at first.

The key for me was learning where to limit the varnish edge on my actual nail. It’s so important that you push your cuticles down to avoid the varnish touching them – if not, your manicure is only going to last a few days before the natural growth of your nails causes a lift of the varnish at the bottom. So a big tip would be to make sure you are really careful to avoid putting the varnish too close to your cuticles – your manicure will last longer when you avoid this. Likewise with the side of your fingers – where the skin touches your nail. Don’t go too low. My first few times I realised (too late) that I had applied the base coat too close, and because it’s clear, I hadn’t seen this or noticed until the UV lamp had solidified it and the result was that my manicure stretched over the edge of my nail to my skin – again resulting in a short lived manicure as the natural growth of my nail meant that it forced the varnish away from where it should be. When I realised the error of my ways, I made a real effort to take extra care with this stage of the manicure and my results have been much better.

Time wise – do at home gel manicures really last as long as the salon?

I would previously get 3 weeks (approximately) from my salon manicure. With my SensatioNail kit I get approximately 2 weeks from each application. Which I’m more than happy with! I’m not an expert, I’m just a girl who loves nice nails! If I could get even half way close to the standard I pay for then I was going to be happy – and my overall impressions far exceed this anyway. Going 2 weeks between manicures means I can change my colours more frequently and because I can do it myself at home, it’s not like I have to wait for an appointment and pay salon figures, which completely balances this out for me.

For a novice, and the ease of being at home, the step-by-step instructions, the kit that gives you everything you need and the lack of expenditure at paying salon prices– well, I’m thoroughly impressed with the SensatioNail kits for allowing me a gel manicure that means my fingers still look fabulous without a trip to the salon. If you’re looking for gel nails at home – whether you’ve done it before or not, then I really recommend a SensatioNail kit.

Now I just need to add some more colours to my collection for the summer months and also try their Polish To Gel Transformer which is revolutionary as it means you can turn any of your favourite nail varnishes into a gel varnish.

So SensatioNail - it’s a thumbs up from me!

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