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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kiss and Red Carpet Manicure DIY Gel Manicure Review and Tips

Hello Angels!  

In a quest to bring you the latest and most accurate information on the beauty products everyone is talking about, I bought a Kiss brand Everlasting Gel Polish DIY starter kit.  It was on sale at my local Duane Reade and with starter systems running from $40-60, and polish colors $9-12, this was a safe investment as gel manicures in NYC average about $40-70.
So the kit comes complete with an LED light, gel cleanser, lint-free wipes and a generously sized bottle of base coat and top coat.  It doesn't come with a gel color polish so I purchased that separately for $8 on sale.
The packaging boasts "up to" 14 days of wear.  So I quickly went to work putting it to the test.  I bought the color "Ballet" and it went on beautifully (see the pics!).  The instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow and the application was easy.  If you're good at polishing your own nails that's all the skill you need!  
I wash my hands frequently for work and with that frequent washing, it lasted for about 3 days chip-free for me, 7 with chips if you can tolerate walking around with chipped nail polish (which I cannot).  I decided to try a different brand polish thinking maybe it was just their color that wasn't designed to last.  The  color I used was "Merlot" from Sally Hansen and it was also beautiful (see pics!).  The most important thing to do as they say in the instructions, is to apply it in thin, even coats.  
Well, it lasted a little bit longer but again after about 4 regular days of hand washing for me, it began to chip and was ready for removal after a week.  
I love the fact that I can have glossy beautiful gel nail color done on my own schedule, sitting at home watching TV.  And in 2 manicures it has more than paid for itself in my neighborhood.  But with it lasting way fewer than the advertised number of days, I was left wanting.  
So... I returned to my local Duane Reade and checked out what other gel products they had.  I found a brand called RCM (red carpet manicure) and decided to give their base coat, color and top coat a try.  Each were about $9.  Following the instructions on the bottles, I started with a blue gel color (see pics) and guess what??  It was SO much more durable than the Kiss polish system!  Lasted 10 chip free days and when it did chip, was resilient enough to survive me filing the length of my nail down to camouflage it.

So far my nails have suffered NO damage because this system doesn't require you to file off layers of nail to start.  

To remove the colors:  First gently file off   the shiny layer ONLY.  Next comes the acetone.  I recommend using pieces of cotton balls soaked in pure acetone and wrapped around each fingertip, leave on for about 15 mins.  You will need to buff the remainder off but remember to be gentle!  

Lastly... Some usage tips:  
I recommend rubbing some sunscreen on your hands before using the gel system.  Although this is a very low energy light in the lamp, it doesn't hurt to be safe!  Just be sure to wipe your nail beds and cuticles clean of sunscreen before applying polish.
Also, after the top coat is cured, be sure to use a lint free wipe soaked in rubbing alcohol (or the Kiss or any brand nail cleaning solution provided in your starter kit) gently rubbed over each nail to get rid of any residual stickiness.
At the end of the mani I massage cuticle oil on my cuticles to restore any moisture lost in the process.  

For a limited time Kiss is offering coupons on their website for the starter kit and the polish colors.  I can recommend their lamp but not their polishes for a long lasting manicure.  But as always... You be the judge.
Enjoy the pics below and feel free to post any questions!

Happy shopping!!!

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