Sensational Gel Nail Kit Review

So, the at-home gel nail kit is becoming more and more popular. It’s a great way to save money instead of going to the nail salon a couple of times a month. I’ve been trialing the Sensationail Gel Nail kit for a year now and I think it’s about time I tell you all about it! The kit itself comes with a Lamp, Gel Cleanser, Gel Primer, Gel Base & Top Coat, Colour Gel Polish, Lint Free Wipes, Double Sided Nail Buffer and BambooManicure Stick. My kit came with the colour Scarlet Red.
(photo is missing a couple of things including the cleanser which i had to throw out because it leaked everywhere. I now use the Essence cleanser from priceline)

This kit retails at $89.99 and is available both at Priceline and online at Sensational’s website and available in two colours – Scarlet Red and Raspberry Wine. There are single nail polishes and sets – e.g french nails, for sale separately.

There’s also a polish removing kit with a spatula type instrument to peel it off when its softened.  

Initial observations:
The first thing I noticed about this kit was the size of the lamp. The lamp it rather small and narrow. When I was first starting, and not used to gel nail application at all, my hand kept hitting the roof of the machine causing the polish to smudge. Secondly, the sizes of the liquids included – cleanser, primer, base and polish – were quite small.

How long does it take?
All 10 fingers (well 8 fingers and 2 thumbs) takes me around half an hour to finish – even though it only takes  a couple of minutes under the lamp.

How long before it chips?
Although the tips of my nails last at least a week before they start to chip, the base of my nail polish tends to lift off my nails after a few days. I’m not too sure why this happens as I apply primer in that area to ensure it sticks down.

Do I have to use only Sensational polishes?
Sensational says yes but I say NO! It absolutely works with everything! I’ve used glitter polishes, holo polishes and from all sorts of brands. Instead of using the Sensationail colour, you paint 2 very dry coats of your polish. It has to be very dry before you put on the gel top coat -but it works!

Don’t want shiny nails? Sensationail now has a matte top coat!

Is it worth it? I think so! This came in handy when I worked in a supermarket. I could never have a manicure without it chipping after one shift. My nails were soft and brittle and would continuously break and I found that having gel nails helped prevent the nail from breaking. In saying this, there are side effects of having gel nails. If you keep doing it back to back, it will eventually weaken your nails. If you’re like me, and like to peel the gel off when they start to lift, you’ll be ripping off 6 months of nail thickness. There is also the factor of the UV lamp and it’s potential to age your skin faster as well as the risk of skin cancer. This still hasn’t been proven/decided on but be wary!

I use this kit whenever I know I don’t have the time to maintain my nails every week. I try to use it once every 2 months and paint my nails with normal polish (and strengthener underneath) in between. If you want to give it a go, there is a cheaper version called “Fuse”. The lamp only lets you put one finger in at a time so it does take longer, but if you have the time, why not!

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