Monday, February 27, 2012

Beauty Review: Gel Nails Part 2--I Did it MYSELF!!!

Oh my gosh, this is TRULY a DIY project!!! Probably the hardest thing was:
  1. Saving and spending the money to get the products.
  2. Spending the money on nail stuff instead of stamping and scrapbooking stuff!
  3. Assembling every possible thing I could think that I would possibly need.
  4. Getting the courage to actually do it myself.
Again, I have to say Stephanie at Creative Nails in Wildomar is amazing and I would love to be able to have her do my nails and toes all the time, but reality is I can't afford it and with nails that are the pits, I opted for Red Carpet Manicure products, after consulting with the best--Hairdresser Robyne (bestest haircutter in the west, truly--contact me and I will tell you how to get in touch with her).

In the kit I bought from, there was a brochure with detailed instructions. The first thing I did was summarize these onto a 3x5 card so I could look quickly follow the 8 steps. I put a square around each product name and wrote it in capital letters so I would easily recognize what I was supposed to use at each step too.

There were mixed reviews on the accessories kit. I liked it. It includes a really inexpensive, plastic cuticle pusher and these tiny little self-adhesive buffing pads. They are so handy, that they make the kit worthwhile. You just stick one on the rubber end of the pusher and use it to sand the shine off the top of your nail. It is the perfect size and less damaging than what they use in the salons. Dummy me, this is step number 1 on my list and I skipped right over it. At least I figured it out before I applied any of the polishes.
Everything I read said you needed a lint-free wipe for a few of the steps. Neither where I bought my kit, nor Ulta--online or in their store, carries lint-free wipes. I looked at Target and Walmart too and no such luck. A few weeks ago I went to Ulta and found this package of "Basically U, 50 Tear Apart Sponges." The package reads, "for gentle, lint-free makeup removal." It is hypoallergenic and latex-free. Ray and I thought maybe the Purify would melt the sponges because it has acetone (or smells like it does) in it, but these worked fine. They were $4.95 or $4.99, just under $5. Problem solved.

I made Ray sit with me with his watch that has a second hand. I got the Pro Light in my kit and LOVE it too. I didn't need him sitting by me as the Pro Light has a timer; it turns off after 45 seconds. You just have to hit the push button on top to turn it back on; too easy. It isn't as powerful as the salon lights, but the even better thing is you only have to leave your hand in there for 30 seconds for base coat and 45 seconds each for top coat and polish. So less exposure to harmful elements if you're worried about the cancer producing elements.

I bought some extra orange sticks. I guess they're made out of orange wood as I don't know why they're called orange sticks. The enexpensive wooden sticks aren't even orange! I wanted plenty of them on hand for when I made a mess of getting polish all over my fingers. I kept one with the tiniest amount of cotton on the end for mistakes and also used it without the cotton, just soaking the stick in the Purify. I used to have a really pointy cuticle pusher and am going to have to find a good beauty supply to find another. Ulta didn't have one, nor did Sally when I looked there. I picked up one by Revlon and have a small one by Tweezerman. I want one that has a good point, is metal and hand sized. This is great for when you get too much polish in the cuticle.

Applying the SOAK-OFF gel product, at least the Red Carpet Manicure is better than polishing your nails normally as far as I am concerned. The polish stays wet the entire time. I am right handed and did my left hand one night. It sort of self-leveled itself. The polish is great consistency. It isn't thick and the brush isn't clumpy at all like it is in the salon. It almost creeps me out thinking about the salon brush and polish. Plus I smudged it a few times and you couldn't tell. By the time I went to go fix it, it had already evened itself out. When I did my left hand the next day. I actually was concentrating so hard, I folded my fingers up and that did mess a few up. I just had the base coat on. All I did was get the base coat back out and reapplied it on top of the ones I messed up. I didn't have trouble at all applying thin coats.

I made a huge mistake with my last salon set. I didn't soak or trim them off. I just chewed and pulled. This is so damaging to your nails and I made a mess of my own nails. In the picture below, you can see how short they are. I was going to try and let them grow out so I had some free edge. But couldn't wait any longer. I don't know if you can tell, but what started this adventure originally was my ring finger splitting so and it was doing that again. My nails just are too thin and break too much. Plus I don't have time to deal with them. I had to go ahead and do this without a free edge. In all directions you are told to seal your free edge. I couldn't do that because I only have a few that aren't right on the skin. So I will have to see how they do with out the sealing.

Another mistake I made, once you have everything on--I just did two coats of polish, with the final top coat and are ready, the final baking is 45 seconds. I was so worried that wouldn't work that I did it twice. But Ray and I both noticed that on one hand, under the light, all the nails were a solid whitish color, except one and it was streaked and not whitish. I figure I either forgot to put on the top coat or applied too thin of a coat. I just applied another top coat then and stuck it back in for 45 seconds.

So for my first time, with my nails too short, and not sealing all edges, I'm pleased with the results.
Red Carpet Manicure, Dream Come True

After almost two weeks, the only problem I have noticed is that I need to apply them a little thicker, but so far, they haven't lifted, peeled, or broken. Definitely a successuful venture!

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