I’ve been obsessed with gel nail polish ever since I got it done in China over the winter holiday. I’ve been looking for a legit gel nail kit ever since then, and finally FINALLY I found one that fulfills all of my requirements!
The Sephora gel shine at home gel color system has everything I need to create a perfect gel nail look without having to go to the salon.
(1) nail cleanser, (2) nail and gel color remover, (3) brush-on cuticle oil, (4) cuticle pusher, (5) gloves to use during gel removal, (6) gelshine base coat and top coat, and gelshine color in “I only wear vintage” (if you buy the kit you get one color of your choice for free and this is the one I chose), (7) nail pads for wiping nails, (8) sets of removal nail wraps, (9) buffing block.
I really like the spray bottle Sephora by OPI used for the nail cleanser. Makes it super easy to spray the perfect amount onto the nail pad to clean the surface of the nail pre and post gel polish application.
The kit also includes: (10) GelShine LED light with power cord and instruction manual.
The LED light really sold me on this Sephora by OPI gel nail kit because I was hearing so many bad things about UV light. Although the UV curing light is a less expensive alternative to the LED curing light, UV rays are commonly associated with a higher instance of hyper-pigmentation and more seriously skin cancer. I also wanted an option that was more compact, so this LED light was perfect on both of those grounds!
Now for the tutorial segment of this entry!
I had previously bought some gel nail polishes before I got the Sephora kit, and I hadn’t yet tried the TruGel color in Flamingo (neon pink) so I went with that as my color. I also didn’t end up using the glitter polish as shown in the picture below to the right of the hot pink polish, and instead I used cosmetic grade loose glitter from the MAC Wonder Woman collection in reflects pearl.
Then plug in the LED curing light so that the button is lit up as seen below. The other great thing about this LED curing light is that it automatically times each curing session to 30 seconds so you don’t have to guess at how long you’ve cured the polish. It will automatically shut off when the 30 seconds are up.
Here’s how my nails looked after I applied and cured the base coat.
This picture shows what it looked like after I applied and cured the first coat of the neon pink gel polish in Flamingo.
This is what it looked like after the second coat of Flamingo.
Then I applied the MAC reflects loose glitter in pearl directly onto the cured gel. Since the surface is sticky with gel residue the glitter adhered to the nail, and I tried to concentrate the glitter on the tips of my nails, and letting the rest fall loosely up towards the cuticle area in a subtle gradient. I used a q-tip for applying the glitter, probably not the best idea because a lot of the cotton fibers from the q-tip stuck to the gel residue as well. Next time I’m probably going to use a sponge or something to pick up the glitter instead.
Tips on gel polish application:
1. Don’t put on too much at a time, the gel will run onto the edge of the nail and create a puddle which will invariably harden into a weird chunk once you cure it.
2. Apply thin coats and try not to touch the surrounding skin on your finger, keep the polish on ONLY the nail.This way the end result will look super neat and professional.
3. Make sure to clean the edges of the nail BEFORE you cure just in case of spillage to avoid creating weird chunky bits on the sides of your finger.
4. Apply polish to one hand, and cure that entire hand before moving onto the other hand, this prevents the polish from getting smudged off before you get a chance to cure it.
5. Make sure to wipe the nail with the nail cleanser only after you’ve applied ALL layers of polish and cured the top coat. ONLY clean the nail AFTER you’ve applied and cured the top coat.
The Sephora by OPI gelshine at home gel color system is DEFINITELY worth the $159 investment.
Other than my Clarisonic, this is definitely my best purchase from Sephora. If you think about how much you’re saving by using this at home system compared to going to a salon and getting a full set of gel nails for $60 a pop, it totally pays for itself in less than three salon visits. Even if you only use it every other time, and alternate between this kit and salon visits you’ll still be saving a crapload of money.
I actually prefer to do my own nails because it’s more sanitary and I think it’s fun and relaxing. I personally didn’t get the kit because of saving money at the salon per se, but I think this is a great investment piece even if you don’t usually go to a salon to get your nails done. After doing many searches for LED curing lamps, this Sephora by OPI one is still the best value, even compared to options on Amazon or Ebay. I feel a lot safer going with brands that I know than some random brand I find online. All in all, I’m super happy with this purchase, and I will most definitely be doing many gel nail tutorials from now on!
Have a great rest of the week!
~ Deb ~