Hands up who likes their mani to last longer than a day?
OK. So now that we've ascertained that this is ALL of us, time to acquaint ourselves with Opallac and their at-home gel mani kit. I did, and was so pleasantly surprised - I think I'm a convert. Read on for the full how to on this DIY gel mani product and the results - which I am now lovingly staring at as I type!
First things first, get yourself set up. In each kit comes your UV LED LAMP, Gel Base Coat, Gel Top Coat, 2-in-1 Shine & Soak, Remover Wraps and 1 Gel Colour.
You'll be starting first with the clear base coat, seen here in the gold bottle.
However, before you start painting, time to file and shape, trim and buff your nails into the desired shape. I like a shorter, squarer shape, with slightly rounded edges.
Then, thoroughly wash hands with soap and rinse, before drying. Don't apply any creams or balms, as this can cause your polish not to dry properly, and peel once placed under the UV LED lamp.
Then, reach for your base coat. Be warned, it does have a strong polish smell, so apply in a well ventilated area (just for your own comfort!). My other advice is to make sure you paint on very thin coats, and stay well clear of your cuticles and the edges of your nails - if you get it on your skin, and set it with the LED, it will eventually peel off, and if it's attached to the rest of the polish on your nail, this will peel off or chip along with it. This has happened to me when visiting a salon in the past, so I was very aware of the repercussions!
Once painted on, turn the lamp on with the easy switch at the back, and hold under the light for 90 seconds. I timed it with my iphone stopwatch - too easy!
Then, I moved on to the second hand, painted it with the base coat and UVd it. Next, it was onto the colour. I chose a pale pink (LOVE!) called High Tea. I had another to choose from - a red tone - which will certainly get a work out next time around!
Paint on in a very thin, yet even coat, and place under the lamp again for 90 seconds. I turned the lamp on and off in between coats, so the light wasn't glaring in my face. The switch is big and simple enough to flick on and off, even with wet nails, so this was easy peasy!
Then, I moved onto the other hand, and repeated (again, 90 seconds). BUT then, I did it again. The colour part needs two coats for a fuller, more even coverage.
By this stage, I was getting a good idea of the colour (liking it a lot) and what it would look like once I'd finished the process. But I was wary of touching (gel or shellac is such a mind game, isn't it!? You ALWAYS think it's going to be wet, even though it's bone dry!) so I had no way to be sure if the UV LED lamp was really working. Perhaps this Opallac contraption was too good (read: easy) to be true? Time would tell. But for now, no touching was allowed, said I... to myself.
Next in the process, is the top coat. Just one thin coat per hand is required, before another 90 seconds under the lamp on each hand. I was very glad of my stopwatch by this point - it certainly made the task easier! Ps. How trippy is the UV lamp? Blue light disco days came flashing back!
Finally, the polish and lamp part was over. I hesitantly touched one of my nails with another finger tip. Dry! A little sticky though.. Then, I read the instructions (always helpful - especially when putting together Ikea furniture - but also in this situation). This sticky feel was normal - hurrah! The sticky would all be solved in the next and final stage...
The shine and soak formulation is to be used once you're over your polish (14 days is the promise max length of wear, so don't expect to have to pick it up again for a while!) and want to remove it. BUT you also add a little to a cotton pad, and gently swipe over each nail once the UV LED lamp process is done. This leaves nails glossy and smooth and not sticky at all.
The final result! The shine is from the sheer gloss of the gel finish - not because it's wet, or from cuticle oil. Sheer gelly gloss goodness.
To say I am impressed with this product is an under statement. I was dubious to begin with (could it really be this easy... especially if I've been paying around $50 a pop per treatment at my salon?) but by the end of the DIY sesh, I was sure - Opallac isn't too good to be true and ANYONE can use it! Best of all, the gel polishes come in a huge range of shades. From weird and wonderful, to cuticle classics, they offer it all. And even better? The whole kit is just $79.95!
This is for the UV LED LAMP, Gel Base Coat, Gel Top Coat, 2-in-1 Shine & Soak, Remover Wraps and 1 Gel Colour. You can buy more gel colours as your collection decides to grow! And if you can't be bothered DIYing it, and miss that pampering touch, just take your gel polish to your salon and ask them to paint it on for you!
Even better news? We'll be stocking these amazing kits in the bb online store! Are you excited? Would you like to learn more? Sound off in the comments below! - Lauren