I've been called a soak-off manicure nerd -- er, geek -- by some folks. I've been having back-to-back soak-off manis on my naturally weak, peel-prone nails since three weeks before this post in 2010, researching all the while, and have suffered nary an ill effect (except for that one time I tried a brand not intended for weak, peel-prone nails). My sister Karen shares this geekery, although her focus is much more on the DIY side of things -- soak-off gel, hybrid gel/polish, as well as nail polish. She's tested a slew of home kits and formulas, and is so skilled at application that she achieves a smooth, beautifully precise finish indistinguishable from the best pro job (if you know me, you know I don't say that lightly). If this is the first Mani Monday post you've read on Beautygeeks, she's the mani-maven behind the series. And here's what she says about her most recent DIY.
* * * * *
I can't help it. It's another not-for-amateurs soak-off manicure in Gelish/Hand & Nail Harmony, my favourite brand of DIY soak-off polish. I've used several other kinds, from FingerPaints gel polish to Quo gel polish. I'm not afraid to admit I love Gelish the most; their colours rock.
This is perhaps my all-time favourite shade. From the Rio Neon collection, it's Gelish Carnaval Hangover as it was meant to be. (If you're familiar with the line, you know Carnaval Hangover is more of a purple-undertone fuchsia than a straight up hot pink.) Here it is with a single coat of Gelish Izzy Wizzy, Let's Get Busy on top to make it subtly sparkly. The blue shimmeryness of Izzy Wizzy tends to elevate whatever colour is underneath - it shoots it up to whole new dimension of awesomeness.
Ingredients for this DIY manicure were as follows:
1. Well-prepped nails
2. A quick swipe of pure acetone
3. A brush of Red Carpet Manicure Prep
4. A thin, even coat of Red Carpet Manicure Structure then a cure in the box (I use an RCM LED lamp which rolls for 45 seconds on a timer)
5. Three thin, even coats of Gelish Carnaval Hangover - cure
6. One coat of Gelish Izzy Wizzy, Let's Get Busy - cure
7. One coat of Red Carpet Manicure Brilliance - cure
8. Residual goop removal with a quick swipe of pure acetone
9. Let the mega compliments begin!
If you're in Canada, you can get all of this stuff around here. RCM is carried exclusively at Rexall/Pharma Plus stores - you can get a Pro-Kit there that includes a lamp for under $100. RCM is great. Anyone who knocks RCM is out of their mind or did an improper application. Gelish Mini product you can only get at your local Sally Beauty Supply. If you can't get out to a Sally, you can order online and have it delivered right to your door. What's better than that, you ask? Well, it's the compliments you'll get on your mani - of course!
*not all soak-off gel products are compatible with all lamps
**not all soak-off gel products are compatible with other soak-off gel products
***mixing and matching may result in epic failure so unless you know what you're buying, buy a kit and stay within brand - it's safer for your nails that way.
Manicures and photographs by Karen Falcon (she hope Joanna has the best time with her new lamp 'n stuff!)