Friday, August 23, 2013

Product Junkie Review: SensatioNail By Nailene

I wish I could say I was giving this product a fair trial before telling you about it, and part of that is true.  Part of it is that I've been SO busy.  But the first week of August, I purchased a SensatioNail Starter Kit from Walgreens so I could attempt gel polish at home. 

Let me start by telling you how much I love Walgreens!  When I stopped in, the Starter Kits (which are normally $59.99 were on sale for $39.99.  While I was shopping (aka scouring the clearance aisle) I also managed to find a polish in a beautiful dark red.  When I checked out, the girl at the counter rang me up with a coupon, so when all was said and done, between clearance and the coupon I got everything for about half the price of what it would have cost me paying full price (Yay, Walgreens!).  

So...the Starter Kit contains everything you  need for 10 applications (according to the website   The kit includes: Gel Cleanser, to both prep nails and wipe them for a glossy finish; Gel Primer, to help the gel stick; Gel Polish, (starter  kit comes in 2 colors); Gel Base and Top Coat, to protect the nail and to seal the color for a beautiful finish.  Tools included in the kit are an orange stick, nail board, lint-free wipes and their exclusive LED Lamp.

The application process was pretty easy.  Wipe with cleanser, apply primer and let dry, apply top coat and cure 30 seconds, apply color cure 60 seconds, apply second layer of color cure 60 seconds, apply top coat and cure 30 seconds, wipe with cleanser.  Super simple, right?  

Tips and Tricks:
-Apply with a super light hand.  If you treat this like regular polish, you're going to be in trouble.  I was really heavy around the edges and ended up picking off the polish after about 3 days. 

-The directions tell you to "cap" your nail (apply to the edge of your nail).  Totally up to you, but I found that when I did it this was the part that chipped off first and the rest was soon to follow. 

-The directions say to do 4 fingers on one hand, then 4 fingers on the other hand and save the thumbs for last.  Do this.  Don't think you can do one full hand and then the other.  I tried doing one hand at a doesn't go so well because it seemed like the thumbs (which aren't pointed directly at the light) don't seem to cure as well and it is nearly impossible to fix. 

-Speaking of impossible to fix, apply with care.  If you make a boo boo, you can't just go back and touch up a section.  I tried and had a terrible time. 

-Use the lint free wipes.  Mine were briefly misplaced and a paper towel was not a good substitute.

-SensatioNail sells a remover with a tool to help you.  I'm the kind of girl who does it herself (even salon acrylics!).  I tried that trick with cotton balls and tin foil and wrapping it....wasn't so awesome or easy.  I ended up just using pure Acetone, holding it on for a minute or two, and scraping off the polish (which, I'm assuming, is what Nailene wants you to do as they sell a remover and a funny little metal scraper-looking tool).  

-I picked off my first manicure, it was too thick.  But the second one I did (when I tried doing a french manicure) lasted over a week before I removed it...and I spend my day pounding on a keyboard.

-I've been wearing the same polish on my toes for 3 1/2 weeks.  It is only beginning to wear on the tips of the big toes, and not enough that I can't just file them down a little and be fine for a few more weeks.

-I now have the original color from my starter kit, plus 2 more.  All of them have good, solid color after 2 coats. 

-Super glossy!  Looks just as good as what you would get at the salon!

-Everything comes in one kit.  You can buy it separately, but the kit was really nice for a first timer like me.  And...if I want to continue using it, I can buy refills of the Essentials (Cleanser, Primer, Base/Top Coat and lint free wipes). 

-Not including whatever else you might do for your manicure (filing, pushing your cuticles back, ect) polishing (and curing) takes less than 20 minutes for both hands and NO drying time. 

-Did I mention NO drying time?  I mean, you really shouldn't go banging your nails against stuff right away, but once that light beeps and you wipe them with the cleanser you're pretty good to go.

-This stuff is rock solid, no rubbing or transfer like you sometimes see with regular polishes.

-They also offer kits for French Manicures, limited edition colors, and magnetic colors.

-When it is good, it is really good...but if you mess these up, it's a nightmare.

-If you're into lots of different colors of nail polish or changing polish frequently, this might not be your thing.  It seems like the collection is definitely growing and there are lots of options available, but for someone like just isn't large enough.

-If you mess up, you can't go back and fix it.  If you smear a little or get a little on the cuticle before curing you can just wipe it off, but once your cure it you have to pretend not to see it or scrape it off and risk chipping or peeling the rest of the polish.

-I'm not entirely sure the cleanser isn't just rubbing alcohol and as an incredible cheap-o, this bothers me. 

-I've read online that you can use other polishes with this, but that doesn't seem to be true.  I would describe what happens like under-baked brownies: crusty on the top, squishy on the inside.  Apparently, regular polish can take up to 24 hours to dry completely.  Applying the top coat and curing doesn't work because you basically have wet polish underneath. I've heard you can apply polish one day and Gel Top Coat the next, but my polish wouldn't last the day without top coat. 

-I tried doing my own French manicure without the kit they sell, it was only ok. 

-I know it sounds crazy, but my nails were a little uncomfortable when I was curing the polish.  It reminded me of the last time I got felt like something was pulling. 

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