The SensatioNail website advertises "2 weeks of dazzling, damage-proof wear," and "super gloss shine, no dry time" which are what you'd expect from a soak off gel, but the kicker here is "professional salon quality nails at home." I've been wanting to try soak of gels for a while, but I don't like going to salons because of the cost, and also because I don't quite trust others with my nails. I know that Shellac and Gelish have been available on Transdesign.com, but the expensive lamps and all the equipment are still such an investment! Like I said, it was really the $50 price tag that convinced me to try SensatioNail.
Here is a picture of the starter kit and all that it includes:
SensatioNail Starter Kit
The starter kit includes everything you need to do a complete gel manicure (actually, it says enough for 10 manicures): a Pro3060 LED lamp, primer, cleanser, clear base/top coat, color coat (Scarlet Red or Raspberry Wine), lint free wipes, buffer file, and orange stick.
A note on the lamp: it's wonderful. It is small enough that I feel like I could take it with me if I was going on vacation, and because it's an LED lamp instead of a UV fluorescent lamp, it cures gel polishes in half the time or less.
The process is pretty simple:
- Clean nails of all nail polish and debris with acetone, then wipe off with cleanser and lint-free wipe
- Apply primer around edges of nail (cuticle edges and free edge)
- Apply one THIN coat of clear base/top coat and cure for 30 secs (until the beep) in the LED lamp
- Apply one THIN coat of color gel and cure for 60 sec (until light turns off). Repeat for a second coat
- Apply one THIN coat of clear base/top coat and cure for 30 sec
- Wipe off the tacky layer that's left after curing final coat with cleanser and lint-free wipe
SensatioNail - Scarlet Red
This was my first time ever trying a gel manicure, and I was pretty pleased with the results. However, there is a slight learning curve.
Tips for Application:
- I found it easiest to do my nails in twos because the gel sometimes runs into my cuticles while I'm doing my other nails because it stays in fluid gel form until it's cured in the lamp. It's possible to do all four fingers on a hand at a time if you work quickly and/or do thin enough coats so that it doesn't run. Thumbs are best done separately from fingers (but both thumbs can cure at the same time).
- If you get any gel on your cuticles, make sure to wipe it off with the orange stick (I found a brush and acetone to work as well) before curing. If any is stuck to your cuticles it can cause lifting and decrease the wear time of the manicure.
- If you apply too thick of a coat, over time (while doing the rest of your nails before curing) it will run all over into your cuticles. At this point I think it's easiest to wipe off the entire product with the wipes and cleanser and start over on that nail. Remember that it will not dry AT ALL until it's cured in the lamp.
- Applying primer is essential (I learned the hard way), but removal is easier if you only apply it around the edges of your nail (including the free edge!).
Besides the two starter kit colors (which are also available in full size), there are ten other colors in their current line that retail for $10 each:
Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the system! I like to change my polish every other day or so, so it's not perfect for my lifestyle, but it will be great for those who want a manicure to last for a week or longer.
- No dry time - enough said
- Super shine that lasts for longer than quick dry top coats like Seche Vite
- Some added strength but not bulky feeling at all
- Not just reds and pinks - we get some interesting colors, too!
- Pretty easy to apply once you get the hang of it
- Only $50 for the whole system including an LED lamp!!
- Mini LED lamp is compact AND cures very quickly
- Manicures last 1-2 weeks easily
- Manicures last 1-2 weeks... I get bored with a color and like to change my polish about every other day
- Removal is more time intensive and more difficult than traditional nail polish
- Could be even more interesting colors (green!) and maybe some glitter. Also, some French tip colors (white and sheer pink)
- Little bit of a learning curve to get the right thickness so it doesn't spill into cuticles
- Limited colors in the Starter Kit - I would have skipped the red and pink and started with one of the blues or purples
Stay tuned for my upcoming 500 follower giveaway! I'll be giving away a SensatioNail Starter Kit as well as an extra color of the winner's choice!
As a side note: I've tested Red Carpet Manicure gel polish (from Ulta) and Harmony Gelish and both APPEAR to cure correctly in the Pro3060 lamp. I'm NOT a professional or licensed tech, so I cannot say for sure whether the systems are ACUALLY compatible or whether they can be used in conjunction with each other.