I have been wanting to try out gel nails for a while. The reason being normal nail polish never lasts very long on me and it would be nice to go somewhere and not have to worry about my nail polish chipping after spending ages on the perfect design. After a bit of googling, I settled on getting the SensatioNail gel polish starter kit, because it had decent reviews and I had a Priceline gift voucher to use.
I read a lot of reviews before settling on the SensatioNail system and it seems only fair I provide my own review in turn. A while ago I went to Queensland for 8 days and instead of taking nail polish with me and redoing my nails like 20 times, I took a SensatioNail gel mani with me to see how it stood up to the rigors of holidaying.
So here is my (kind of long overdue) 10 day, SensatioNail polish review! Be warned, it is quite word heavy < Basically it’s actually a diary.
Day 1/Night I did them:
First up, I was kind of under the assumption that gel nails were going to be a lot quicker to do than normal nail polish because of the simple fact that you have no dry time. Well this is very much a lie. You still have a dry time, this time is just that instead of air drying, you use a LED lamp to chemically harden the polish. When using a colour this means a minute of dry time, and you have to do this in between each coat. Therefore it takes for freaking ever to do your nails, depending on the complexity of your design.
Anyway, because I was doing these nails for 8 or so days away, I wanted something pretty and therefore didn’t want a single colour. Therefore I used inspiration from @thenailboss and came up with the following design using Scarlet Red, Lily White and Silver Glitter Sensationail polishes (plus studs from the Born Pretty Store).
Just so you know, these took me from about 8pm to midnight to do properly, which is actually a ridiculous amount of time but kind of worth it for the amount of wear I got. I apologise for the weird shadowing in the picture, I took this photo very late at night.
We were flying out to Queensland this morning, so the first test for my nails was last minute packing. I managed to break my suitcase in the process but didn't chip a nail, so that’s a win in my book. On arrival in Queensland sometime that afternoon, one of the first things I did was check out the really sweet rooms we had then run down to the beach to take some pictures. It’s so convenient having a beach 200m or so from your front door.
I was proud to see that despite the packing, which would have totally ruined normal nails for me, my gel nails were still going strong and were as shiny as ever in the lovely afternoon sun at the beach.
Today my younger brother and I were left to our own devices as my Mum and Dad went to go visit our grandparents (we caught up with them later in the week). We were staying a little outside of Surfers Paradise, so we took the new light rail/tram down to Cavil Avenue. We did some shopping and had my favourite food ever, rice burgers from Mos Burger…yum yum!
A quick wash and my nails were perfectly unaffected by my slightly messy eating habits. So three days and the gel nails were still rock hard! So far so good.
We’re finally getting to the reason I was in Queensland in the first place and that was to support my sister at the National Cheer and Dance championships. My older sister is fairly crazy and competes at an extremely high level doing Pom, which is a part of cheerleading. Anyway, the National Cheer and Dance Championships were run over three days at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. It was seriously like a scene out of bring it on but with slightly more Australian accents.
This picture shows the awards presentations. So many cheerleaders in one spot! You might be able to notice that something weird is going on with my pointer finger. Unfortunately I had a stud fall off and I stuck it back on with nail glue. However I had no tools at hand and the glue got everywhere. When I had first done the gel nails, I hadn’t been sure how to attach the studs so had just used the gel top coat. I think if I were to do it again, I’d use nail glue then top coat over the top.
Today my younger brother and I spent most of the day at the beach and the night watching my sister compete for the second time. Because we were at the beach I could not resist turning my brother into a one legged merman.
Even with the abrasive nature of sand, this work of sand art had no effect on the SensatioNail gel mani. I don’t think I've ever had nail polish last five days without chipping of falling off, so I was pretty excited by this point.
Deciding on day 5 it be totally awesome to go deep sea fishing, my Dad, brother and I got up at 4am to go out fishing. Great idea until I discovered I get very much sea sick offshore (I’m fine in inlets and lakes). This didn't stop me from fishing though and although I didn't catch anything myself, I did reel in a fish which is totally the hard part.
Although I spent much of my day sick and then in bed, I did get to see this pretty sunrise and my nails lasted gripping onto a boat for dear life and doing a spot of fishing.
Day 7 and cue a visit to the happiest place on earth, Food Fantasy and their amazing buffet. If you've got a hankering for a lot of delicious food and want to experience rolling home, this is the place to come. This was also where I tried pumpkin pie for the first time ever and let me tell you, it’s like sweet mashed pumpkin in a tart case and I’m not sure what the appeal is.
A full week and my nails had survived almost completely intact! I had lost only one stud and fixed that problem with a little nail glue! I was totally ecstatic, though not so much at the taste of pumpkin pie.
Our last full day in Queensland and so we went to visit my Grandparents. Later that afternoon we went to the markets in Surfers and had a look around. I got some awesome Henna done and then it was time to head back to the hotel to pack up so we could leave in the morning.
With the added Henna, this almost looked like brand new nail art although my nails were showing some signs of wear. I’m not sure what day it occurred but my thumbs chipped slightly. I think this was due to the incorrect application of the gel by not cleaning it off my skin properly before curing. However this was barely noticeable and I think wouldn't be a problem if I had spent slightly more time cleaning before curing.
This was mainly a travel day with catching flights to get back to Victoria. The joy of any holiday is the unpacking at the end and my fingers were definitely looking slightly worse for wear by this stage.
As you can see I've had some major hangnail issues on my pointer finger however the SenstioNail polish itself was still going strong.
Today was the last day for my nails. I was getting a little sick of having the same nail art and I was now at home with nail polish available so I took the gel off later that night. Truthfully they could have lasted a few more days but as I said, I was sick of them…just the design (the nails themselves were still looking ok). As a last task for my gel nails I set up three Christmas trees, one for myself, one for my family and one for my aunty.
Not even fake pine could get past these impermeable barriers. However it was obvious they weren't first day nails anymore. There were a few more lost studs on my right hand, obvious nail growth bare patches, and quite a great deal of chipping on my thumb.
Just a quick note on the removal process, it wasn’t easy! I used acetone and the foil method twice and still had some random clinging bits of gel. I guess this just goes to show how strong the gel truly is.
However overall I loved my SensatioNail Gel experience. I got a hell of a lot more wear than I would with a normal mani and there are so many possibilities for nail art designs with gel. However it does take more time than I expected to do an actual mani (even just a simple one) and the removal process is a bit of a bitch. However if you don’t want to be painting your nails all the time, this might be for you.
Check out the SensatioNail website for more information and I apologise for so many words (1600 + words and counting).