I was slightly skeptical but also interested to receive a Gelish MINI set from Nail and Harmony. Gelish is the professional only brand, Gelish MINI is the consumer brand (also available at Sally's Beauty Supply).
Because I wasn't ready to gel myself (haha), I decided to force my co-worker to let me do her nails. She's a tomboy who tends to chew her nails, so I didn't know how much of a challenge this would be. She told me I could paint her middle fingers.
The application booklet that came with the kit was very straight forward (which is great) and I felt pretty confident that I could do this.
First I had to prepare her nail. I applied Gelish Cleanser (the blue larger blue bottle) to a lent free wipe and wiped the nail plate. Then I pushed back her cuticle with an orange stick. Then I used the cushion file to remove the shine on her nail and used the Gelish Cleanser again to remove any dust from the nail.
Next is the Gelish pH Bond (bottle with orange writing on the right) which dries instantly on the nail. Then a thin coat of Gelish Foundation Gel was added sealing the edge. Make sure you remove any excess gel BEFORE you cure under the curing light. If there is gel on the cuticle or surrounding skin, it can cause the Gelish to lift when the excess gel is removed from the skin.
I have the LED Pro: 45 curing light so I placed her nail under for 20 seconds (manually counted). Next I applied a thin layer of Gelish Soak Off Gel Polish in June/Bride to her nail (her choice) and sealed the edge. That was cured for 45 seconds (which the lamp is made for 45 seconds so when it turned off automatically). We ended up doing 2 layers of color because it's a pink glitter that doesn't have a heavy base color.
Finally I applied Gelish Top It Off Gel Sealer and sealed the edge and let it cure for 45 seconds. After this, the nail was tacky, so it was time to remove it using the Gelish Cleanser on a lint free wipe.
She was SHOCKED that she was done - that quick! She tried to put her hands up to let the nails dry and I grabbed her hands and twisted the nails to show her that no, it's really dry. It's DONE. (I also added some cuticle oil afterwards and rubbed her nails to show her that yes, it was really dry!)
So you can see that I got gel in BOTH cuticles on the right side of the picture but overall I was pretty proud of myself for the first time.
Now, Gelish should last up to three weeks but by the 8th day, she had peeled it off her nails (ow). She said that it came off very easily, no problems with sheeting or crumbling like I had. Will I try it again on myself? YES.
The Gelish MINI Basix Kit runs about $50 USD, and the Gelism MINI Pro 45 LED Curing Light is $70. Gelish colors runs $11-$15 per bottle.
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