..but that's exactly why the Hi Shine Nails Home Gel System becomes a godsend for a lover of the gel nail finish! This kit is basically an at-home salon that comes with everything you could need to do your own gel nails without the price tag and in the comfort of your own home - it's only £99, which may sound like a lot but trust me, it's not when you think a professional treatment can cost around £40 each (a Hi Shine one can, anyway!). Let me walk you through it, and I'm sure you'll agree it's an absolute steal!
Here you've got some solutions - the Before & After is great for getting rid of that gel-like texture at the end, and giving it that smooth feel. The Soak Off Remover is excellent for removing the gel when you feel like a change. The Top Coat is also a gel formula that gives your nails that bubbled up, polished look.
As well as letting you give a bit of TLC for your nails with some Cuticle Oil, this set comes with two colours. The two I chose were Dark Secrets and Bolly Beige - both gorgeous colours, but I think I prefer Dark Secrets slightly more. Bolly Beige is like OPI's Dulce de Leche! Then you've got the Base Coat that ensures the gel colours stick well on to your nails.
The set also comes with the bits and bob tools you'll need. The Finger Rest is surprisingly useful and makes applying polish and gel 10x easier, the Prepare for Gel buffs your nails extremely nicely, and the Glitter File is very good and rough, and just too much fun to look at! You get an Orange Stick as well as a Buffer Stick which you use to scratch surfaces of gel so that the Soak Off Remover can penetrate the gel easier.
Ahh the linch pin - the Home Gel System. This is basically like the UV light you see in salons, but slightly weaker so it takes around 2 minutes to cure your nails instead of the 30 seconds in a salon. Super portable and light, I'd happily sacrifice 1 minutes and 30 seconds from each layer for this!
Bolly Beige (done myself)
As you can see, super shiny and so polished. I can't stop looking at my OPI nails and thinking how dull they look! The nails above were my first go, so as you can see there is some premature chipping and it's applied slightly too thick, but with practice I'm sure I can get the hang of it! The pack comes with a very thorough step-by-step guide to help you as well. Trust me, I had no idea what I was doing, but I was very proud of the turnout enough to wear it to graduation!
Another thing I adore about gel nails is how fast they dry. As soon as you are done with the treatment, there's no waiting time - you're done! What I hate about normal polishes is the uncertainty of whether they are dry, and completely ruining them after all the hard work. These, you don't have to plan your evening out so all the rough handiwork is done beforehand (excuse the pun)!
Dark Secrets (done professionally)
Now in the last post, I couldn't comment on the wear time but I can assure you that it is loooooong! These professionally done set lasted me a good 3 weeks before I felt the need to take them off. They remained pretty much as they are in the photo for about 2 weeks, until they started chipping (not very noticeably until about 2.5 weeks) from wear and tear.
The removal process was also something I was scared by - will it take forever? No, it really doesn't! Just scratch up the surface of your gel nails with the buffer stick, soak half a cotton pad, wrap it in foil and you will be good to go in 10-15 minutes. The Prepare for Gel is there in case you miss a few bits of gel! What's more, I haven't had a single stain on my nails with these, and my nails usually feel quite healthy underneath which is something I never get with normal varnishes. Yes, even with Dark Secrets!
Overall, I could not recommend this set enough. It's got everything you need so no added costs, it's ridiculous value for money if you compare the price of a professional treatment, it's good fun and can be good for girls' nights in, and it provides the results (granted, with practice). For me, the biggest selling point is the finish of so much shine and gloss, as well as the lack of drying time. I enjoy doing my nails, but even if you're a lazy one, this means you wont have to touch up your nails for weeks! Anyway, if I didn't have this already, it would be straight on the Christmas list - it's one of my favourite products of the year!
You can get this set on the Hi Shine Nails website - and if you feel this one is a bit much for you, you can also get the smaller Travel Kits for £75. Each gel nail bottle on its own is around £15 - we can safely say I'll be going back for the pinker shades when the winter is over!
Have you tried gel nails at home?
What do you reckon about the set?
<3yu*Received as a competition prize at a PR event.