You’d think that the concepts of gel polish and ‘easy-peel’ are mutually exclusive, but I’ve learned not to be surprised by anything in beauty anymore. Gelicious contacted me about trying their peel-off gel polish a few months ago, and I finally got around to trying it out. It takes a lot to convince me to abandon my Essie polish, you see, especially if the alternative process involved fussing with base coats and top coats and UV lights and alcohol wipes. But fuss I did, with the Gelicious Gel Nail Starter Kit*.
The kit comes with a small UV light device, a clear gel coat that acts as both base and top coat, a nail file, orange sticks and some individually packaged alcohol wipes. It also comes with a nail colour of your choice—I had To Help, Thankful and Bubblegum Yum to try, and chucked Thankful on my nails because it was the most boring option.
Very conveniently, the light is USB-powered. This is convenient because I could do my nails anywhere (that was near a computer)! Not really. I never want to do my nails anywhere except at home, especially if I end up with sticky coats that can’t be touched without ruining them. It was handy because I could do it directly in front of my laptop, though, and watch YouTube while waiting for the light to work.
The manicure in these photos is the second time I tried to use the kit. The first time, I made such a mess of it that I got mad and had to remove the polish immediately. There is a lot of fuss involved and, while you’re only meant to cure each coat for 30 seconds under the light, I found this wasn’t really enough and I ended up taking about an hour to get through both hands.
You have to make your coats much thinner than you would with a regular nail polish, so I had to do three coats of coloured polish on each nail. You can see the ring finger is blobby—even though I tried to keep the coats thin, it still built up.
You may have noticed that I’m missing polish on my index finger in these photos. I actually took them a whole week after putting the polish on, and (beside from the missing finger) they held up really well. I was particularly impressed because of my initial skepticism—the polish peels off after you soak your nails in hot water, and I wondered how I’d get through a week without my nails inadvertently getting soaked in hot water (you know, showers, washing dishes, washing your hands, all that kind of daily wetness).
The problem is that as soon as the polish starts lifting at any edges, water gets underneath and compromises the bond of the base coat. That’s what happened to my index finger. Well, I assume, because I just noticed one day that my nail polish on that finger had vanished. Grime also accumulates in these edges which is kinda nasty.
Because of the fuss factor I can’t see myself using the whole system regularly—no shade on Gelicious, I just can’t see myself bothering to do gel nails on myself at all. Inconvenience aside, the peel-off gel polish was surprisingly functional! And if at-home gel is your business, the Gelicious set is worth checking out.
Have you tried any at-home gel nail sets? What do you think about peel-off gel polish?