You already know I do my manis and pedis at home following my Easy 5 Step Manicure tutorial. I do my own because it’s cheaper than going to the salon and I get a lot of joy out of pampering my hands once a week.
So one week when I shared a picture of the results on my facebook wall and instagram feed an APW reader named Christian left me a comment on this manicure photo recommending I try the gel nail kit.
I did a little research and saw the Sally Hansen Gel Nail Kit at Walgreens I wanted to try.
Although I have a Walgreens 5 minutes from my house I heard there was a Walgreens in Greenville that had a nail bar.
The nail bar is basically a section of Walgreens dedicated to serving the needs of the nail enamel enthusiast by providing a nail salon type atmosphere and one-on-one attention.
Since my husband drives that way to work I decided to ride with him to check out the hip new nail bar.
Gel nails are supposed to last two weeks before chipping whereas my regular polish lasts about five days. It’ll be great if using gel nail polish increases the time between nail polish reapplications.
In addition to the nail kit I bought some nail stickers to add a second layer of design to this week manicure.
I’m going to show you how easy it is to apply the gel manicure plus show you the final result with the nail stickers.
Step 1: Apply top coat and then cure under the LED light for 30 seconds. The light has an automatic timer so there’s no need to count.
Step 2: Apply color. I used “shell we dance” which is that light pink color you’d normally use for a french manicure. After applying your color, cure under the LED light for 30 seconds.
This is what my nails looked like after applying the base coat and just one coat of nail enamel.
Now it’s time to repeat step to by applying another coat of color and curing the nails under the LED light.
Here are my results so far.
Step 3: Now add a top coat, cure for 30 seconds, then wipe the nails clean using a nail cleanser pads.
Once my nails were done I added some detail to my nails which was inspired by what I am seeing in my flower garden this week.
Some pink and purple Gladiolus has bloomed as well as orange Asiatic Lilies. Just by looking out of my window I’m inspired by the colors in my garden.
Using a tiny paint brush I created white geometric shapes on my nails. To get crisper lines you can tape of the area where you want the white to show up or use a nail enamel pen.
I allowed the white nail polish to dry a few minutes before applying the flower details which are tiny stickers and very easy to apply.
(See more nail art inspiration at iheartmynailart.com)
After applying the stickers, I added a clear top coat to keep the stickers from peeling off.
After applying the Sally Hansen Gel Nail polish I can already tell the difference in the thickness of this enamel.
It reminds me of acrylic nails. There are three drawbacks associated with using the Sally Hansen Gel Nail Kit.
1. The LED light was hot enough to cause a burning sensation on my nails. This was very uncomfortable and will deter me from applying the gel manicure as often as I would if there was no burning.
2. The drying time was much longer than when using traditional nail enamel. It took my nails a couple of hours to fully dry without showing signs of smudging. I did a combination of air drying and holding them under a cool fan.
3. The upfront cost is pretty steep but If you’re already spending $20+ dollars every two weeks on manicures this is a less expensive alternative.
I paid $59.99 by using my Walgreens Balance Rewards card but the Sally Hansen Gel Nail Kit price will drop to $39.99 the week of 7/14 if you order online.
Overall, I love the ability to apply salon like looks at home and if my polish last for anywhere close to 14 days I’ll definitely be adding more gel polish colors to my nail rotation.
According to the wording on the Sally Hansen Gel nail kits, I can get 10 applications.
That’s $6 per application which is about $34 cheaper than what you’d pay at the nail salon for gel nails.