Down to earth with a bump after raving about budget range Essence and their gel system. I’m not consigning it all to the bin but the claim of being able to use regular nail polish between their 2-in-1 gel base-top coat is rubbish. I went the full hog, bought cleargel base-top coat (have a glitter top coat) plus four striking colours from their Colour and Go range. Now this did not break the bank as dual coat was a only £3 and polishes £1.50 each but I am very disappointed with the results.
The Colour and Go polishes come in fabulous colours with the tops the same shade as the polish and have an innovative cuticle-shaped tip to the brush (I know Nails Inc do this now but they are very much more expensive). Having had nothing on my nails for ten years apart from gel, which stays liquid until cured, I found the quick-drying polish quite hard to apply. That’s my fault.
The first coat went on patchy, the second brought great opacity. Now to finish with the clear gel top coat. That’s where things started to go wrong…
You’re told to let the polish dry completely before adding the gel coat and it was definitely touch dry. I LED-cured for the stated 10 seconds then wiped off the residue. The layers started to smudge and the finish was not as shiny as I have come to expect from gel. The first photo (left) shows the damage after just removing the residue. There was nothing for it but to take the whole lot off and redo.
What a nightmare – there is no way this stuff was peel off!!
You push a nail under the edge of Striplac, it releases and the colour comes off in a single piece or bits, no difficulty. Try getting under the edge of four layers of Essence product – nada, zilch, zero! It took me at least 30 minutes to SCRAPE off most of the sticky mess – the colour seemed to curdle – and the rest by buffing. The base coat was more or less intact after the colour came off. Where, oh where, did I go wrong?
As an experiment, I replaced the manicure with Essence base coat and a single layer of gel glitter top coat and I will try the clear dual coat with my Striplac colours. But if I have the same trouble with removal, it will be junked.
* The Essence glitter gel top coat which I had on over Striplac twin coat (see last post) lasted well and came off no problem.
Update 25/11/2014: I did a friend’s nails the same way. She reported good durability but the same problem trying to remove the polish – very hard work!