Product Review: High Street Gel Nail Polishes

I love long nails. Back when I could afford it, I would forever have long acrylic talons that I had re done every 2 weeks. Now to save money I try and grow my own nails and do the manicures myself. I am in no way an expert. My hands shake, I smudge them, and then as soon as they start to chip I have to do it all over again because I can’t abide chipped nail varnish.

I love the gel look, it works really well on shorter nails, and if I can’t grow talons myself, I will make do with a good quality gel.

I recently purchased two different drug store brand gel nail polishes. These are home gel polishes that do not require a UV light to set them. I thought I would give them ago and see if I can recreate a salon quality look at home.

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The first one I tried was from Models Own HyperGel line. Like all Models Own nail varnishes, it was £5. My first thoughts were “Wow, this is hard to apply”. The brush is very VERY thin, almost like a nail art brush. So you have to be very accurate (which I’m not). It also took 3 coats before it looked opaque and gel like which is more than their normal varnishes take. After you have managed to get this on your nails, be prepared to sit still and not touch anything for about 12 hours. Even after you think they’re dry, you can still leave a thumb print (if you press you thumb on your nail) after 24 hours. And it only lasted a day so by the time it was definitely dry, I was taking it off anyway. The colour is great and it would look very pretty for a night out if you left enough time to apply it with precision, but for ease of application, drying time and lasting power I’d give this product a 4/10.

Next I tried this baby from Bourjois

photo 1 (4)Price ranges from £4.50 to £5.99 depending on where you shop

This 1 second Gel polish is unbelievable. I read a very positive review of this on getthegloss.com which is why I thought I’d try it. The author of the post said this lasted 7 days. I scoffed at this as no nail varnish lasts that long on me. But now I can believe it (if you don’t do any housework or physical work). The brush is shaped so you only need one stroke down the centre and it coats the whole nail. In fact you could even get away with just one coat of this, but I went for two just to look extra good. It dried much quicker than the Models Own. With all home gel polishes they will take a longer time to be bone dry, as the gel is so viscous and malleable. I applied this on sunday and with the exception of one nail which I had to reapply, my nails are still chip free. No home manicure has ever lasted this long on me. I plan on buying this product in every colour. Ease of application, lasting time and drying time – 9/10. I highly recommend this product for a quality home gel manicure.

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Summer Nails: NEON!

I am a tanning professional, and one of my favourite tricks for looking more tanned is neon. Any neon, be it clothes, accessories or jewellery will instantly make you look more brown. That’s why this season I love neon nail varnish. 

The makeup range Models Own which started with nail varnishes, has released the perfect range of polishes for this look called Polish for Tans.

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(picture from getthegloss)

This range comes in five blindingly bright colours:

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From left to right: Flip Flop, Bikini, Beach Bag, Shades and Sun Hat.

As always each polish is £5. Models Own is one of my favourite brands of nail polishes because of the low price, the easy application and fast drying. On natural nails this will last up to 3 days but when applied to false nails or nail extensions it will last as long as the nails do! And your hands will look gorgeously bronzed. Or use them in your pedicure for perfectly tanned looking toes. 

I also love their Iced Neon collection for summer

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Another great but affordable brand is Topshop Nails. Their polishes are £6 and the range of colours is amazing. They don’t have a specific neon collection but they do have this great bright pinky red:

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Tobasco Trouble £6. I adore this colour so much, I can’t even look at it. 

Utilise these colours with caution, however: may cause envy in others.