Although I’ve been using peel off gels for about five years now, I’ve only now discovered that removal is easier if nails are soaked for a couple of minutes in warm water. The brainwave came when I did my nails just after a long soak and hair wash. The gel peeled off so easily compared with a cold start.
Maybe you haven’t ever experience reluctant gel, but sometimes I find a few nails won’t fully budge and get very annoyed.
Another tip is to use manicure orange sticks to lift the edge of the gels rather than a thumb nail, especially if your nails are fragile.
At last a true navy blue…
I’ve been searching around for more strip-off gel colours – no luck – but found a review where someone used Vishine gels successfully in between peel off base and top coats. These gels are available in great deals from Amazon.uk I paid £15.99 for ten… yes, TEN, 8ml bottles (other options available from different sellers) which arrived in seven days. The hardest aspect was choosing ten from the dozens of shades, then deciding which to apply first!
I plumped for No 271, a true navy with a subtle pearlised finish, a shade I’ve been unable to find until now. The gel was easy to apply, did not shrink from the edges and gave complete opacity with two coats. It takes 30 seconds to cure with an LED lamp and there was no colour transference when I wiped off the sticky final residue. My nails feel strong. I’ll update on removal.
* Update. No issues with removal and the application lasted me through a week away with some minor touch ups.
And, of course, a song...
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.
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.
Had to do a rush job with my nails after I’d put my contact lenses in – wearers will understand that sometimes you see better up close without the plastic – so, for fewer mistakes, I chose a pale shade. Striplac Cashmere Touch is a classic soft beige, much the tone of British skin in the winter; a whiter shade of pale than a Max Mara camel coat.
It goes on smoothly, no shrinking, no blobs, and has cured to a tough finish. The last few weeks, I’ve been having problems with applications coming loose at the tip or popping off very quickly but these, 48 hours later, are stable. Maybe it’s the damp air (how much rain have we had in the UK??), more hand lotion; can’t really find a reason as I do the same prep as normal.
If you want a subtle, don’t frighten the animals look, Cashmere Touch is they way to go.
A later rendition by Procul Harum, but as spine chilling as when I first heard it in the summer of love, 1967 (yes, I am that old!).