Yes this stuff is expensive, but it is a LOT less expensive than having gel manicures every few weeks... and much more convenient than trailing off to a salon.
I thought long and hard about investing in all the kit to do my own gel manicures at home. It is an 'investment' because the whole collection of stuff cost over £90 (including uv lamp, acetone etc etc). The 3 overriding reasons for me considering it were 1) salon manicures are expensive 2) I dont have a salon in convenient reach 3) the filing down of your nails as prep for the salon gel layer is so awful.
There are a few things in a review that I would have found helpful when thinking about getting my kit so I thought I would share.
1) Yes, it lasts for 2 weeks! I dont look after my hands very well at all. No gloves when washing up, gardening, doing the housework, out on my bike and maintaining it etc etc. I took a photo after 2 weeks but I cant work out how to upload the pic to my review, sorry! I wont generally leave it on for 2 weeks though because it is so easy to apply and remove I want to change the colour more often than that.
2) Yes it really does soak off with acetone. After 10 mins or so it just flakes off with a little help from an orange stick (and I mean a 'little' help)
3) No it doesnt ruin the condition of my nails...and not filing down the surface of nails to get the gel to stick means that they maintain their strength (even when gel is removed and not worn for a few weeks).I have found my nails are stronger when there is a layer of gel on them.
3) I have tried the other make of shellac gel on the market which is much much cheaper. It lasts as well but it is an absolute NIGHTMARE to get off. It took almost an hour of soaking, scraping and filing. My nails were weakened and dried out afterwards. I wont be using it again, so that was a waste of money!
4)Yes, it is expensive, but these pots do last a while. I have done both mine and my step daughters nails at least 3 times each and they have not run out yet. That makes it only a fiver an application so far (for the base and top coat). Considering a full shellac manicure costs in excess of £25 thats not bad.
Just a comment in relation to the CND colours (not this product), they are excellent. Again, you get what you pay for; the colours are deeper, are easier and smoother to apply.
I would recommend this set to anyone who;
1) Has a steady-ish hand. Note, this stuff is a LOT easier to apply than normal polish as it doesnt 'dry' until it is cured under the UV lamp so you can correct mistakes as you need to.
2)Is a little bit tight like me! ie doesnt mind investing in something of good quality that is going to be less expensive in the long run.
3) might benefit from savings if to be used by more than one person in the household eg Mum and daughters
5) Is happy with 'ordinary' nails (ie not fancy flowers, glitter and butterflies stuck onto talons)
4) Finds the whole salon experience inconvenient, expensive, time consuming and the chick flicks on a loop and inane chat more than a bit boring.
Sorry, war and peace, but I hope some of it helps at least