I never thought I could be happy with gel nail polish. I'm one of those girls who changes my nail polish at least every other day. I have a tendency to get bored with colors and I love the fun of a fresh, shiny, perfect manicure every day.
This is Gelish MINI Love Me Like A Vamp, a dark red-toned purple creme. This is from the Gelish Under Her Spell Fall 2013 collection, and it embodies everything I love about gel nail polish. Dark manicures are my favorite (regardless of the season, although I wear them the most in winter) but dark nail polishes look the worst when they chip! Dark polishes also show bubbles, scrapes, and scuffs so easily. This polish doesn't do that, it stays insanely shiny and chip-free until I decide to take it off!
The formula on Gelish polishes is quite similar to normal polish. It applies a bit like a jelly or crelly finished polish, it's a little thin, but easy to control. I used 3 coats for the photos below with Gelish brand foundation and top coat, and set the polish with my Sally Hansen LED light (purchased from Walgreens for around $50). I usually cure each coat of my Gelish polishes under my Sally Hansen light for about 60 seconds, and have never had an issue with them curing incorrectly. (Keep in mind, I'm not a professional nail tech).
Although most gel polishes state that they are for professional use only, Gelish MINI is a brand that can be picked up in Sally Beauty stores all over the US. Gelish is also available online, and I've purchased bottles from both Amazon, and online auction. I know some nail techs don't like that it's so easy to purchase professional products, but keep in mind that gel nail polish isn't easy. If you are someone who gets nail polish or topcoat on your cuticles when you do your nails, it probably isn't for you. Even if you can apply polish perfectly, you're still going to make a lot of mistakes and waste a lot of time until you get this right. The easy way to get perfect gel nails is always to go to a certified nail technician!
Here's the same Gelish mani after one week! As you can see there's no chips, and virtually no tip wear. While the sharpest corners of my nails had the tiniest bit of wear, this was less than most polish wear after just 12 hours. I'm always impressed by Gelish and just how long it stays looking perfect. In fact, the only reason I removed this gorgeous color was because of growth! I don't like having a gap between my cuticles and my polish and my nails were driving me bonkers. If my nails didn't grow so quickly I'm confident I could get a full 2-3 weeks out of Gelish. The color looks a bit lighter because of the lighting, I didn't pull out my lightbox for these last minute wear photos.
How do you feel about gel nail polish? Have you tried Gelish or any other brands of gels? I'd love to hear about other brands or experiences since I'm still fairly new to the world of gel nail polish!