You’ve read a lot about gel manicure and ready to be a do-it-yourself gel manicurist. Or maybe you are looking for a gift for a gel polish fan this holiday. Whatever your reason is, this article will let you know about three Gel Nail Polish Starter/Intro Kits from the most popular brands in the market. They are CND, OPI GelColor and Gelish.
For starter, buying a kit will cost less than buying individually. The kit also has all (most) everything you need to do gel application. It helps you starting your gel manicure without getting panic because you miss something important in the middle of your manicure.
CND SHELLAC NAIL STARTER KIT
CND Shellac Intro Pack contains all you need to start right away. This is the only kit packed in a retail box, directly from CND. So the colors are pre-selected. Don’t mistake it with many Shellac kits that are custom selected by seller, for example on Ebay.
The starter pack doesn’t include a Shellac UV lamp (Shellac is only cured under a UV Lamp). The lamp is sold separately.
Lightning-speed services with Full Five-Finger Curing
Spacious, comfortable interior for all hand sizes & nail lengths
Adjustable “feet” for convenient pedicure use
15,30,45, & 60-second memory settings
32 silicone encapsulated LEDs
Mirror-finish interior for even light distribution
50,000 hours of LED performance
Durable metal construction
2 easy-access power ports
1-year manufacturer warranty
World wide power adapter 110-240V 50/60Hz with 2 thin prongs (for North America). You just need a proper power plug adapter for other countries.
The Icon Kit has everything you need to start a gel manicure. It has the iconic OPI nail polish colors such as I’m not Really a Waitress, Cajun Shrimp and Bubble Bath. It is the only kit from OPI that includes a Base and Top Coat while other kits have none.
The Icons GelColor Intro Kit includes:
6 OPI GelColor polishes:
Lincoln Park After Dark (0.5oz),
I’m Not Really A Waitress (0.5oz),
Cajun Shrimp (0.5oz),
Strawberry Margarita 0.5oz)
Funny Bunny (0.5oz)
OPI Gel Base Coat (0.5oz)
OPI Gel Top Coat (0.5oz)
Blank Nail Palette with Chain
BondAid (1 oz)
GelColor by OPI Tabletop Instructions
GelColor by OPI Instructional Brochure
Expert touch Remover (4 oz)
Expert touch Remover Wrap (20ct)
Reusable cuticle stick
OPI Gel Color also has 6-gel colors kit that has no LED Lamp. Usually the kit has 6 seasonal gel colors but without Top and Base coats. For example, the Mariah Carey Holiday 2013 Gel Color Kit has 6 limited edition holiday colors.
Like its name, this kit has the most complete set including a mini (pretty small) LED lamp. The whole kit comes in a small box that weighs only 2 lbs.
Mini Pro 45 LED Light 110V
pH Bond (9ml/.30 fl oz)
Base Foundation (9ml/.30 fl oz)
Top-it-Off (9ml/.30 fl oz)
Nourish Cuticle Oil (9ml/.30 fl oz)
Nail Surface Cleanse (60ml/2 fl oz)
Gel Nail Remover (60ml/2 fl oz)
Mini Wooden File
Gelish Soak-Off Gel Polish in Gossip Girl and June Bride (15ml/.5 fl oz each)
The Gelish MINI Pro 45 LED Curing Light
It is especially designed to efficiently cure Gelish Soak-off Gel color and products from the Gelish MINI System for a beautiful manicure that lasts up to three weeks. Its compact design cures 4 fingers at a time. Cures faster than regular uv lamp.
a preset forty-five second timer and three 2 watt LED bulbs that never need to be replaced.
The compact ergonomic design allows for both comfort and to save table space.
The MINI Pro 45 has consistent power and performance from the first second out of the box through to the 50,0000th hour.
The kit we have at EsthersNC.com is suitable for North America 110V only. International customer needs a voltage transformer and a plug converter.
The Gelish Complete Starter Kit is $115.99. That’s the lowest among the three. What makes the other two cost more because the LED/UV Lamp they have are professional, bigger lamps that cures 5 fingers a time and for OPI LED, it cures faster.
Since the renaissance of gel soak off/hybrid nail polish a few years ago, lots and lots of gel nail polish brands are flooding the market We used to be able to count just by hand. But now we lost count already on how many brands of gel polish are there.
So in effort to help the new/old gel polish fans on choosing the top ones, we are making this poll to know which brands get into the list of the top 10.
Therefore, WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please fill out the poll below with all gel nail polish brands you are aware of. You can add your answers as well. Please share with your friends as well.
By end of this year, we’ll post the result in our blog and Facebook. Thank you in advance for your participation!! Comment below if you have any comment …
Since they are water transfer decals, you need water to apply. Expose them to light for a few minutes before seeing them glow in the dark. Otherwise, they won’t glow brightly or won’t glow at all. Repeat if necessary.
How to Apply
Clean the nails with nail cleanser.
Apply nail polish as a background. Wait until it dry.
Select your choice of sticker and cut it out. Remove the film from it.
Place it into water 10-20 seconds. Use warm water in winter. It does not matter if you place it face-down or face-up. Wait until the paper backing is wet.
Moisten the fingernail. Place the sticker in position.
Let’s wait for 1 or 2 minutes to let the sticker fully set.
Dry nail with paper towel.
Apply top coat to seal the nail art.
Below are some cool patterns that are available at our store. Left picture shows stickers in the dark. Right picture shows stickers under normal light.
No! According to CND, when used as directed, Shellac doesn’t damage your nails.
This claim is something new that I noticed recently on CND Shellac’s newer retail box. You can see it on the left side of the box. This new addition is not available on the older box. I believe this claim is to answer the often asked question whether Shellac is safe for nail.
Buffing the nail bed, drilling the shellac on the nails or soaking nails with acetone for removal are among the improper ways and can ruin the nails. You should stay away from these steps or nail tech who does that to your nails.
Before getting deeper in the color, let’s talk what CND Vinylux is.
VINYLUX™ is a breakthrough polish system that endures a week of fashion perfection…without a base coat! Exposure to natural light secures the patent-pending Pro-Light technology, creating an enduring, long-lasting polish. While ordinary polishes become brittle and deteriorate over time, VINYLUX dries naturally to a flawless finish and strengthens its resistance to chips over time. VINYLUX is available in 62 fashion-forward polish colors and 47 colors that match popular CND Shellac™ shades. Quotes from CND.com
Is Vinylux similar to Shellac? No, these are totally different type of polish.
is a hybrid gel polish
needs UV Light to cure the polish
needs a base coat
stay for up to 2 weeks
long lasting shine till the end of the 2-week
longer application and removal time
is air-dry just like regular nail polish.
no need of a uv lamp
no base coat needed
stay for up to 1 week, hence the name ‘weekly polish’
getting dull or dents over the week
shorter application and removal time
CND Vinylux Forbidden Collection
For you who are interested in trying out CND Vinylux, Vinylux Forbidden Collection Mini set is a perfect starter kit. It comes with 6 colors and 1 top coat. No base coat, as it’s not needed. The polish comes in mini bottles of .125 fl oz / 3.7 ml size.
The colors are:
This set is also perfect for a gift. It includes all you need to do Vinylux manicure or pedicure.
Most Vinylux colors match Shellac colors. So if you need matching polish for pedicure, you can dig into Vinylux color collection.
Hello everyone! I am Andrea from Chickettes.com, a nail blog that mainly features gel polish swatches and nail art. I was excited when Esther’s Nail Center contacted me to see if I’d be interested in reviewing CND Vinylux and writing a guest post because I’ve been wanting to try this brand since I heard about it. CND Vinylux is marketed as a “weekly polish” that has long-lasting wear of up to a week. I typically only get a couple days wear out of regular nail polish before it chips or peels, so this seemed almost too good to be true!
CND Vinylux does not require a base coat, only two coats of color and one coat of the Vinylux top coat. The top coat is formulated to get stronger with exposure to natural UV light (sun light). No special lamps are needed. It applies just like regular polish, and dries quickly in just 8 1/2 minutes.
The colors that Esther’s Nail Center sent me to sample were Purple Purple, Scarlet Letter, Cityscape, Locket Love, Regally Yours and Black Pool. I swatched all of the colors and decided to wear one of them for a full week to test the longevity. I chose to do this with Purple Purple because I also own the CND Shellac version of this color and it’s a favorite. I conducted this test on my right hand, which I don’t typically show when blogging.
The photos above show the wear of this polish from days 2 through 7. If you click on the image you can see a larger view. Day 2, still looks as fresh and new as Day 1. On Day 3 you can see there is a little tip wear beginning to show, and that becomes slightly more evident on day 4. On Day 5 a small chip incurred on the ring finger, and Day 6 still looks almost exactly the same. On Day 7 though, I spent several hours in the garden and the polish finally broke down and chipped off in several places.
I would say that overall Vinylux lasted very well only showing minimal wear for the majority of the week. It’s not as evident in the photos because this color has a shimmer to it, but the shine of the top coat dulled over the course of the week and some minor scratches could be seen. Here is a summary of my observations of Vinylux:
No base coat required, which is a time saver during application
Top coat gets stronger over time
Good coverage with just 2 coats
Applies & removes with ease
Good selection of colors available
Below are swatches of the six colors that I sampled. You have already seen a sneak peek of Purple Purple. This color is a blue-purple, and it looks different depending on the lighting. It looks more blue in my photos, but it does sometimes take on more of a purple look.
This is Cityscape, a pale shade of grey. I love the soft, subtleness of this color.
Locket Love is a metallic gold. This is a polish that needs to be applied very carefully because it shows the brushstrokes. When applied properly, it has amazing metallic effects.
Regally Yours is a very deep, dark shade of purple. It’s so dark, it’s almost black. This is a great color for fall and winter.
And finally, this is Black Pool. The name is pretty self explanatory… it’s black! As with all of these polishes, this had great coverage with just two coats.
Since I normally wear soak-off gel (SOG) polish, I also couldn’t help doing a quick comparison of Vinylux to SOG.
SOG hides most nail imperfections and fills ridges very well, leaving the nails looking perfectly smooth. With Vinylux the nail ridges are visible.
SOG has a high gloss shine that lasts the length of the manicure. Vinylux polish dulls with wear and shows surface scratches.
SOG lasts 14-21 days without chipping or peeling. Vinylux lasts up to 7 days, which is actually great for a polish that applies and removes like regular nail polish.
SOG has to be soaked off with acetone, and the removal process can be lengthy. Vinylux removes with ease just like regular nail polish with a cotton pad/ball and polish remover.
CND Vinylux is much more affordable than SOG polish.
I hope you enjoyed my review and swatches! Esther’s Nail Center sells Vinylux and many other brands of nail polish and soak-off gel polish. So whatever your needs, you can find it at www.esthersnc.com! And don’t forget to visit me at Chickettes.com for more swatches!