The sun is finally emerging in the UK so flower shades are in order. I still can’t think of hot pinks but this fuschia is helping me bridge the seasons.
This is a real cheapie peel off – MRO, shade 25 – which I found on ebay. It’s supposedly a 3-in-1 product, no need for base or top coat;£3.55 apiece, including postage.
BUT I didn’t feel it worked well on its own. For a start there were no instructions and those sent by the seller, after I’d asked, referred to soak off rather than peel off.
I gathered that 60 seconds was the curing time and realised that there was no sticky residue to wipe off after application.
The two coats I applied left my weak nails feeling fragile; the shine was gone after 24 hours and the tips began to chip. Because the gel was so thin – just two coats instead of four – it wouldn’t peel off an entire nail and I was forced to chip, peel, chip till it was gone. However, there was no staining on the nails.
The photo shows my second application where I used a dual base and top coat from Bluesky in conjunction with MRO. The nails feel much stronger but some tips have chipped already.
This sandwich application was also difficult to remove. I then tried base coat, layer of Bluesky, layer of MRO, top coat. Watch this space…
First signs of spring in the UK and I’m wandering around indoors without socks so had to do something with my naked winter toenails. This is my first try with a replica peel-off UV polish from BlueSky who have introduced a range of 24 colours at just £6.50 a bottle. I used many of their soak off gels before migrating to the peel variety and am pleased to find a much cheaper option than Alessandro Striplac.
Application is much the same but I can’t judge durability yet as I just did them today. This is the unimaginatively named PB14, a pearlescent deep pink, which is a bit like ‘Shiny Rubin’ from Striplac. The colour in the bottle is exactly the same as on the colour swatch online.
Black patent spotty wedge sandals – Russell and Bromley
Performance update, March 9: Very pleased with the durability of this Blue Sky peel off gel. 18 days on, my toenails are like new and I’ve also used it twice on my fingernails. I found it much easier to remove than Striplac as it comes off mostly as an entire nail covering whereas the original is sometimes resistant and needs several applications of Activator. So, top marks for the copy.
Spotted on ebay.co.uk is a budget priced peel off UV gel from Bluesky, the copycat brand. Not bought any yet because I have too many colours already but would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried them. Before I transferred my allegiance to peel off gels two years ago, I purchased a lot of Bluesky soak off products and thought them just as good as, sometimes better than, the premium brands.
There are 24 colours, plus a dual base/top coat, from the seller I found, priced from just £5.50 with free P&P.
Can’t believe it didn’t occur to me earlier to add extra coats to prolong my gel manicures on my soft, peeling nails. The revelation came as I dealt with a nail which had split vertically, down beyond the tip protruding over the nail bed. I put on three layers of base coat, two of colour, then two top coat to finish. Overkill, perhaps, but it outlasted all the rest of the nails and allowed the split to grow out.
I’ve fine-tuned the number of layers down to two base, two colour, two top coats except on my thumbs which, contrarily, are very strong, and get the normal base, two colour coats plus the top coat.
The extra time – one extra minute per hand for application, two extra UV minutes – is balanced by not having to re-do individual failing nails in between a full manicure. And I reckon I’m not using more product overall because this stronger manicure lasts a full two weeks, with a full, lasting shine, rather than around seven days. In fact, I removed the polish today, over two weeks on, because I had more regrowth than I could stand seeing!
It’s summer so I’m into the bold pink of Striplac Bubble Gum.
Our Queen is 90 this year and there are nationwide celebrations this weekend. Our avenue is having a street party and I’m getting into the spirit of things with a new manicure.
In the absence of a white gel in my repertoire, I’ve done a duo of blue and red.
I’ll be wearing a white dress, blue shoes, a red cardi if it’s cool and, of course, a tiara!
Secret Red from Alessandro Striplac
Something Blue by Sensationail *
* Although this is a soak off product, not a peel off, I find a base and topping of Striplac Twin Coat enables it to be peeled off easily; same for other soak off gels. It’s so much kinder on your nails than soaking in acetone.
This little palette of glitter pots was an ebay bargain, slightly more than the cost of a first class stamp. I’m experimenting cautiously after viewing a few videos on YouTube but particularly like mixing a few specks of glitter into a Striplac colour to give it oomph.
These nails are Alessandro Striplac Rouge Noir mixed with the deep pink glitter (top right in case) and I love the result. Wasn’t too sure after the first coat which looked like a relative of those sequinned boob tubes from the 80s! But it was tempered with a second coat of the naked gel for an intense stained glass feel. Result!
Surprised to wake and find my nails sparkling purple. How could I not know, you ask? Well, that’s what you get for applying a made up colour – a mix of Alessandro Striplac in Blackberry and a dark pink nail glitter – in artificial light at 11pm.
I bought a tray of 12 nail glitters online and have been experimenting. Doing the tips (applying to the sticky residue prior to top coat) is easy enough but I haven’t mastered trying to make a design (even spots) and it’s also tricky to apply top coat without smudging.
So I decided to mix the glitter directly into the gel – a few blobs of gel on a hard surface, a little glitter and a stir made a sparkling polish. However, the combination was more purple than I’d hoped so I am going to have to judge carefully what I wear while it lasts!
After the disaster described in my last post (Oops!), I made sure my nails were super clean and I’ve not had any gels popping off. Also, I feel the glitter stabilisied this colour which is prone to shrink from the nail edges during application.