I Broke The Rules

–update 10/16/2011 — I finally removed my polish last night and it came off like a dream! No struggles and no nail damage! Yay! Make sure to use 100% acetone remover!

–update 10/14/2011– it’s been 3 days and I only have one tiny little chip on my pointer finger! I would call this a success! :)

One of the largest problems in my life is chipped nail polish. Okay, okay. . . not the largest. . . but it’s a major problem. I spend a lot of time almost everyday washing hair, so wet nails=chipped nails. Plus, the days I’m not washing my clients hair, I’m usually crafting and that can lead to chipped nails too.
So when I saw this package for Homemade Gel Nails, I was thrilled! I’ve paid to have both shellac and axxium applied to my nails, and that was wonderful, but I don’t have the time to maintain it, nor the interest in paying for the maintenance. 
So I bought the package, followed the directions, and was not very impressed with the results. My nails were tacky and not very shiny. Now there is a good chance this could have very well been user error because I did it sort of quickly. 
When I went to remove the tacky polish, I definitely needed to soak my nails in acetone nail polish remover (like the package said) to remove the gel. So I learned two things: 1. the “gel” part of this system definitely works. 2. have acetone nail polish remover on hand (I looked for it at 4 different stores!). 
I though to myself, I wonder if I did a base coat of the 5 Minute Gel Polish as “base coat” and then polished my nails as usual if I would have better results.
So here is what I did:
Grab the 5 Minute Gel Polish from the package.

Get a base coat and nail polish ready. I love Essie 3-way glaze and OPI Tickle My Francey.

1. Apply 1 thin (but enough for coverage) coat of 5 Minute Gel Polish.
2. Apply Base Coat (1 coat of 3 way glaze).
3. Apply 2 coats of colored polish.
4. Finish with a coat of 3 way glaze.

And here was my finished result:

Greige (grey+beige=greige) colored nails that dried in about 10 minutes!

(while the lighting makes my nails look see-thru, they don’t look like that in real life)
So I’ll keep you posted. I have a feeling this is going to work like a charm! 
Now here is my warning: if you try this, know that you’ll definitely need 100% acetone to remove the polish (if you do it the correct way, or my “trial run” way). It works best to soak a few cotton balls in acetone and let them sit on your nails (about 4 minutes) to break down the gel. Then have a cuticle pusher on hand to push off the gel. There is a chance you might scratch your nail bed which could lead to peeling nails in the near future. So just know, that this is an intense process and might mess up your natural nail slightly. Or it might not. You never know!

Comments

  1. sandy smith says

    try sally’s beauty supply they have a product called “gellish” i LOVE it. applies just like shelack and last as long . its amazing! as a cosmetologist i was skeptical, but it really works!

    • Anonymous says

      I saw the “Gellish” at sally’s but they recommended I buy the light. Do you need the light or does air drying work but just take longer?

    • Anonymous says

      that stuff is awesome!!!!! I don’t use the UV light and my nail polish lasts 2 weeks when I put that stuff on the top. I live it.

    • says

      Here’s a secret I’ve used for YEARS…like since before gel nails were popular! (I’m a nail tech) Ready for the secret?

      First you have to answer this question: What is the words largest, most powerful source of UV light? (dun dun dunnn)

      THE SUN!!!! That’s right ladies! Skip the uv light. Just paint your nails INDOORS on a sunny day and walk outside in the sun for a minute or two…and WHALA! Shine without the over priced light! YEAH!!!

      I know…I know…You love me! I love you too! <3 Happy Polishing!

    • says

      Here’s a secret I’ve used for YEARS…like since before gel nails were popular! (I’m a nail tech) Ready for the secret?

      First you have to answer this question: What is the words largest, most powerful source of UV light? (dun dun dunnn)

      THE SUN!!!! That’s right ladies! Skip the uv light. Just paint your nails INDOORS on a sunny day and walk outside in the sun for a minute or two…and WHALA! Shine without the over priced light! YEAH!!!

      I know…I know…You love me! I love you too! <3 Happy Polishing!

  2. says

    I find acetone polish remover all over, like cvs, walgreens, etc. maybe they were out when you were there. also, i soak the cotton ball in remover, put it on my nail, then wrap it in a small piece of foil to keep it on. i can just scrape off the old polish with my fingernail after that. also, if it’s still hard to get off, warm it with a heating pad or hair dryer. i’m going to try this as I love my nails always looking good, but not paying the $35!! thanks for the post!

  3. Anonymous says

    Hey Kate,
    Is there anywhere other than a salon that you would recommend getting the products that you use on your hair? I want to try the Redkin Extreme CAT, the Redkin Real Control, Aquage Uplifing Foam, and the Kendra 25 spray…
    Thanks, Lauren

    • Anonymous says

      Redkin and Kenra are Salon Professional products. If you find them outside of a salon it’s considered black market merchandise. You’re only supposed to be able to get these products at a Salon.

    • Anonymous says

      That is not true. Sallys and beauty allaince sell salon products that you can get in salons. I get them all the time its not black market.

    • says

      While Sally does sell stuff that you CAN get in a salon, you generally will NOT find any products that you can buy at Sallys in any salon. Sallys is open to the general public and any reputable stylist will not use their products. Accessories such as combs and clips yes, products NO!

    • Anonymous says

      Kate – Ulta is another store that you can buy these products from. Ulta typically has a salon in their store as well, so the products are rotated and fresh.

  4. Lauren says

    Your nails turned out pretty! However, I know for me, I do not like gel nails.. well at least the salon kind. I had gel nails a few months back, and it was pure heck trying to get that gel off…I took me about an hour+ soaking them to even get them to budge. I know some people don’t have quit this much trouble, but I did, so I think i’m going to stick with just regular polish. My problem is that my polish doesn’t last more then about 3-4 days at most. Does anybody have any polish suggestions that works? Kate, I def. am going to get that Essie 3-way if I can find it! I remember you saying it was a good polish to get.

    • Anonymous says

      Hello Lauren,
      many people need to know when they are getting services done what they really are. Some people may claim it is “shellac” when it really is a gel that is damaging to your nails and like you said won’t soak off. Next time anyone has a service done in a salon ask what it is; you have the right to after all, you are a paying customer right? Shellac should soak off in around ten minutes. I say nail services are best done by the proffessionals that are educated. Check out cnd.com for the real deal and how to spot fakes. Hope this was helpfull.

    • Anonymous says

      i have very good luck with my polish staying on without chipping for about 7 days…i use beauty secrets base coat and out the door top coat then opi color and allways use 100% acetone to clean the nail before u polish

    • Anonymous says

      If you apply a clear coat of lacquer 2 days later, it really helps your color stay longer!It seals the tip of the nail. You should be using a lacquer, not polish! I recommend OPI brand.

    • Anonymous says

      Revlon color stay top coat is awesome… Dries fast and reapply every 1-2 days have had my polish last 10 days! I work with my hands and have had no
      Issues with chipping! I’ve used it with both color stay polish and other brands with the same results.

  5. says

    I love shellac polish and how long it stays on my nails! I also understand the pain of the up-keep. I’ve found the easiest way to remove the gel is to dip cotton balls in the acetone and then place them on your nail and cover each finger with foil. Wait about 15 minutes and then you can gently scrape off the polish while you wash your hands! Super easy!

  6. Sabina says

    here’s what i’ve found works WONDERS on natural nails. Use a bonder product that nail salons use for fake nails and use that as a base for polish – lasts WEEKS i tell ya !

  7. says

    Sally Hansen’s “Hard as Acrylics” makes a WONDERFUL topcoat. It dries a bit slow, but it stays on great. I’m a nurse and wash my hands all the time and it’s the only topcoat that actually keeps my polish on and it also comes off like a dream. My current mani I did over a week ago and I have no chips yet!

  8. says

    I know with Shellac that you have to clean the nail with alcohol after and they want it to be over 90% that’s what gives it the shine and removes the tacky. I wonder if that would work for this?

  9. vallybrr says

    I’m a stylist as well, and paint my nails quite frequently. The method to my nail madness is as follows: OPI Bond-Aid(usually used before acrylic nail application) will take all oil from your nailbed. It won’t dry your nails out, I’ve been doing it for years.
    Then I use Creative Nail Sticky base coat. I usually use Essie polish, and top with Seche Vite topcoat.
    So, if you don’t end up liking the gel (i didn’t), try this. I get about a week out of mine.

  10. says

    So funny to read, but I know it wasn’t a fun experience. From a licensed nail tech, Shellac, Axxium, and all gel products form a layer called an inhibition layer. One commenter is correct, all that is required to remove the top “tacky” layer is 90% alcohol or OPI NAS 99 works like a charm!!! Better luck next time with all this information. It is hard to keep nails looking nice doing nails too. ;)

  11. says

    This isn’t related to nail polish at ALL…but I just have to say that I’ve been contemplating cutting my hair for about two months and after watching some of your tutorials, I’m doing it! I’m going to perfect the ‘bouncy curled under’ if it kills me. :)

  12. Anonymous says

    Hi. I just love your blog and all of your tutorials and I think that you have the best hair in the world. Can you tell me where I can purchase the Aquage uplifting foam? Thanks.

  13. Anonymous says

    Please let us know how it works because I have the same problems and have yet to find something that keeps my nails from chipping and peeling!

  14. says

    Kate,
    I have to thank you for your recommendation of Essie’s 3 Way Glaze. It is magic in a bottle! And I also must tell you about my other favorite nail product. Nail Tek II has saved my thin, peeling nails! I use it all the time and love it!

    • Anonymous says

      I have thin nails that just love to peal, what is Nail Tek II, how does it work and where did you get it? lol

    • Kristina says

      I also use Nail Tek – I had an employee of a nail salon remove my acrylics for me… Instead of soaking them in acetone and then removing the softened acrylic as I was used to at my beloved old salon ( I moved and this was a new place for me), she lifted the edges where the fake nail was already lifting and PULLED THEM OFF! Needles to say he tore my real nails to shit. She recommended the nail Tek and since damage was already done I tried it. It’s great, really helped strengthen my nails and now that they’re healthy, I still use it under polish and it seems to help the staying power. It fills in lines and ridges, sort of like primer for makeup, and I get about a week out of my color. Using a good brand makes all the difference too- I get a week out of OPI but barely 2 days out of most drug store brands.

      Hope this helps!

  15. Daniele says

    Did your nail trick turn out ok? I am considering buying it so I don’t have to do my nails every 3 days! Please post a nail update :)

  16. Anonymous says

    So happy I found your blog! I love you hair! That’s exactly how I want mine. I also get the gel manicures at my nail salon and I love it! I need to try to get the kit you had. It is expensive to get them done every two weeks.
    Thanks Britteny

  17. Anonymous says

    the salon i go to does a lot of gel coating, and what they do to remove it is to put some acetone on the nail, swipe it a few times like you are getting rid of regular polish, then wrap each finger in tinfoil, the body heat that is trapped helps multiply the effect of the acetone, making it easier to remove.

  18. Jessica H says

    This is for Sandy Smith. Do you use the gellish top it off gel by itself as a top coat, or do you use it with the gellish nail polish as well?? Thanks!

  19. says

    I was going to tell you the alcohol thing too. Shellac is sticky when you get it done at the salon too, and they just alcohol the sticky right off! Works like a charm.

    I bought acetone polish remove at Cosmoprof for a little more than $1 (I just found your blog and don’t know where you live, but I think Cosmoprof’s are pretty much everywhere!). I soaked my nails in a bowl with that in it, none of this cotton ball stuff everyone else does.

    It peeled off into the bowl after 15 minutes. What little shellac was left over came right off with a cotton ball and the remover. Absolutely no nail damage. That’s how the spa I work at (I’m as esthetician) does it.

  20. says

    When I actually paint my nails, I find that wiping them first with alcohol also helps keep the polish on longer. It’s simple and cheap. I bought the gel stuff too and like you, wasn’t thrilled with results. I may give your version a whirl. Thanks!

  21. Anonymous says

    Where did you find the Nutra Nail 5 minute gel? I haven’t been able to find it, and I can’t wait to try this.

  22. says

    Where do you buy the 5 min gel polish?
    and the Essie 3 way glaze? I checked Sally’s and couldn’t find either :( Walmart carries Essie but not the 3 way glaze. Any other locations?
    AJ

  23. Anonymous says

    Just curious what was your drying time ? Always end up messing up my nails by being in a hurry & not letting them fully dry. Couldn’t wait to try the nutra nail since love getting gel @ salon. But was total fail, great drying time, but polish was streaky & started chipping bad by end of day.should of saved my $10 :(

  24. says

    THANK YOU for posting this!!!! My first application was Thurs Dec 8th and I just took it off last night (Dec 17). I cant even believe it lasted 10 days and i only had tip wear. I did apply a clear coat every 2-3 days just to keep the shine and protect the color from chippies. I just repainted last night and I’m hoping to get another 10 days outta this paint job. Btw…I found your blog on pinterest :)

  25. Anonymous says

    I was so excited to try this trick! However, I am not happy with my initial results. My polish took a really long time to dry and it is not drying shiny at all! I thought I applied everything in thin coats; not quite sure what I did wrong. Argh!

  26. Anonymous says

    Great blog, Kate and I’m excited to try this technique. Just wondering if you applied the 3-way glaze directly to the 5 min activator before it dried like the directions for the gel nail color recommends? Thanks!

  27. Anonymous says

    So funny! I bought this stuff the other day, and then thought the same thing about using it with regular polish! Their gel polish works well, but I decided after the fact that I didn’t love the vampy color so I tried using my own polish tonight. Sadly, I didn’t fair as well this time around, but I might have to give it another try knowing it worked for you :) BTW…GREAT blog!

  28. Anonymous says

    I have the same question as a few other people. I tried it this past week and it worked for the most part, but I think it could have worked better. It did have a very long dry time and I was not sure how long I was supposed to wait in between each coat. The box instructions say to put the polish on immediately on after the 5 minute gel, but I wasn’t sure if that was necessary in this case. Thanks!

  29. Anonymous says

    I had gel nails put on 3 times put on, take off, put on, take off, put on and take off. My nails are a mess!!! I would never do it again. They are thin and have broke down to the middle of my fingers.

  30. says

    I’ve used the gel kit before, and you put the color on while the gel is still wet. do you do that with yours or do you let the gel dry before applying color?

  31. says

    Sallys sells a HUGE bottle of acetone for like $4… I’ve bought the gelish kit, but I keep having tacky nails at the end…guess either my UV light isn’t hot enough or I’m not applying a thin enough layer of polish…I’ll keep trying. =)

  32. says

    I love this! Question, though.. Do you wait for coats to dry before applying or do I apply wet on wet? Also, mine seems to take over an hour to fully dry, is that normal?

  33. Anonymous says

    Nise, you have to remember to wipe your nails with rubbing alcohol after completion (i.e., after applying your top coat and setting it with the UV light). If you do not do this very important final step, your nails will be tacky.

  34. says

    For those who have asked about where to find pure acetone, check your local hardware store. I am serious!!! Acetone is not just for removing nail polish, and apparently has many other handy uses. While I don’t have a clue what else it could be used for, my husband was the one who told me to buy it there instead because its cheaper and he was right! I bought a giant carton of pure acetone at Lowe’s for like $6. Its not in the prettiest bottle, but who cares? Its a lifetime supply!

  35. says

    Just tried this and so far it looks awesome! I used Sally Hansen hard as nails nail color and top coat. Much faster to dry than normal nail polish and feels much sturdier. I babysit kids a lot, so there’s a lot of extra handwashing when I’m watching kids, I also help my dad with carpentry work. I’m anxious to see how this treatment holds up!!

  36. Anonymous says

    I’ve been doing this with brush on gel nail glue for years and it makes my nail polish stay on and allows my nails to grow.

  37. Anonymous says

    My sister told me about Shellac and how long it lasts. I would love to try this out and see how long it lasts. Can you use any nail polish color of choice? OPI is great but Sally Hansen is cheaper for me.

  38. says

    Shellac only last on my nails about 3 days. I have tried several salons because I thought maybe it was the technician. It didn’t matter. They claimed I have “oily nails.” I find this strange because I do not have one other OILY part on my body-super DRY. I love the look-I ruin a normal manicure in about 2 days. Quite depressing.

    • Anonymous says

      If you have an Ulta near you, that’s where I found mine. Or Sephora may have it…..if no luck, google it. You can probably order it online:)

  39. says

    I just purchased this the other day & tried it out, I have figured out (by smell) that the “Gel Polish” is really nail glue and the “brush cleaner” is polish remover. I followed the directions that came in the box & it hard chipped before the night was over. However, I did not put a top coat on, I’ll have to try that next.

  40. Anonymous says

    Drying time? I just applied wet on wet (as my nail tech usu does).
    Also, do I just rub down w alcohol at the end (also as my nail tech does)?
    I have no uv light to “set” or “cure” – does that make a difference with the application process you’ve given at the top?

  41. Jen says

    I love going to the salon and having my nails done with Shellac. Of course it is time consuming and expensive. So when I seen this, I was excited. Had a hard time finding the products listed, cost was $30.00 not including polish remover. First time, it’s okay. Not shiny, and drying time seemed long. Does anyone know do your dry between coats? I applied the 5 way, essies no chip clear coat (I coudn’t find the 3 way),
    let it dry a few minutes and then 2 coats of color, then top coat of essies no chip within say 15 minutes. Didn’t feel like it was totally dry for at 20 minutes. Will this change if I invest in a light?

    • Anonymous says

      You really should get the 3-way glaze:) try looking at Ulta or Sephora. If no luck there, try to find it online. I found mine at Ulta….it’s less than $10:)

  42. says

    I didn’t have time to read all the comments but I want to add that I have heard horrible stories of people having their nails terribly damaged by this stuff. I think the best and safest thing to keep from chipping is to use a base coat or ridge filler, two coats of good polish and most importantly top it with Seche Vite topcoat. I’m a little frugal but it is SO worth the $6-7! It dries your polish in a min or two and gives a Crazy awesome shine and makes your polish and nails feel so much stronger. Try a good topcoat before putting nail glue and resins on your poor nails. ;)

  43. Anonymous says

    I tried it, unfortunately it didn’t work for me at all. My nails are ruined! :( After it didn’t work, I tried the way the kit said to do it and that was even worse! Oh well, I see it works well for others so that’s awesome! Before you try it, just remember that everyone’s nails may have a different reaction so test it on one nail first before doing all of them at once.

  44. says

    Neat trick, just did one hand, looks good so far, though I should have chosen a color that is ok with just 2 coats, but it looks fine for a trial run! I too had questions about the timing of the coats, and this is what I did, I hope this helps some people wondering about this. I did the activator, immediately followed by the essie base, then immediately after that, I did my 2 coats of polish (sally hanson diamond hard something). I waited a while for that to try (when I touched it I didn’t see my fingerprint), then did the top coat of the essie and waited for that to dry. I probably waited longer than I needed to, since while I was waiting, I was taking notes for class, but so far it seems to be ok, though I did not clean either the essie brush or the color brush in the brush cleaner provided in the gel kit…

  45. Vickynrt says

    I’m glad I saw this I bought the same kit 2 months ago and did not like it, it’s been sitting there so I’m deffinetly going to try this and I hope I get good results! (:

  46. Lindsay says

    I have the same EXACT questions as many above… Do you apply the polish immediately on top of the activator (like the kit suggests) and wait for it to dry between coats? And do you need to use the brush cleaner? I don’t want to ruin good polish if I do it wrong!

  47. Anonymous says

    I had my nails shellaced once at a salon and loved them. I haven’t seen on any of the posts mention the UV light that was needed. Do these products reduce the need for it? Also when 2 weeks were up, my polish started chipping, as I wash my hands ALOT. I was able to simply peel it from my nails.

  48. Anonymous says

    “So just know, that this is an intense process and might mess up your natural nail slightly. Or it might not. You never know!” – Reassuring comments like this are probably why it’s best to see a licensed nail technician for gel polish applications and removal. :P

  49. Anonymous says

    So a couple of things… One of the confusing things is that these instructions keep referring to “gel polish” yet the same package I bought ONLY says Activator, couldn’t figure out if you were referring to the nail polish or the activator! Finally decided to go with the activator. I let it dry completely. I could not find that Essie’s polish anywhere so I went with a Sally Hansen one and let that dry completely as well. I also used a quick dry polish on top called Out the Door. So far so good, my nails looks great and feel rock solid!

  50. Anonymous says

    After about 20 minutes I have very gummy nails that smudge very easily I am noticing that some nails are becoming very dull, losing that shiny gel look. I basically feel like I’ve applied many thick coats of polish that will be ruined the minute it touches/rubs against something

  51. Perault -Pilon says

    I’ve used this gel polish and returned it the next day…didn’t even last one day…had chips 5 hours later:( now I just pay 15 dollars more for shellac that lasts up to 3weeks

  52. says

    I know that it has been a while since you posted this, but I just stumbled upon your blog. So I’m going to comment anyway. I also do hair and craft often and I just to suffer from chipping polish every day, no matter what I happened to be doing, by the end of the day my ‘fresh’ polish would be chipped. I found a great solution to my problem and thought I would share it with you. It is called Schticky, it is a base coat that sticks the polish firmly to your nails. I originally bought the professional one from CND, but have recently found that Orly has a great sticky base coat as well. With this base coat my polish stays on for at least a week! It is awesome!

  53. says

    The cheapest place to get acetone is the hardware store, super cheap and you can get a ton! Also, I use this kit from Target, so up front it is kinda pricey at 65,but works soo well! http://sallyhansen.com/products/nails/gel-nail-color/salon-gel-polish-starter-kit You can buy as many colors as you want separately and it lasts for at least 2 weeks. Also, you can buy other gel colors like gelish and use that instead of the number 2 step from sally. The pads they have you use you can get at target or any alcohol wipes and they work perfectly. I want to give this kit to all the ladies in my family!

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

  54. says

    I did this on Saturday, today is Monday and I had chips 24 hours after and I have more today. I think I am going to try Sally’s Gellish next.

    I want to add that my nails are not chipping as bad, but it’s not chip free either, which is what I really wanted.

  55. says

    I just started using nail-aid instant 3 minute artificials. I used it as the base and top coat and so far its the best thing I’ve found.. I’m on day 4 and only got one small chip in my paint so far! (they usually start chipping after the second day) My nails are also noticeably harder. If you try it just make sure to give it ample time to dry.. mine felt dry about 10 mins after doing my nails but when I went to shower I had a little smudging. Also don’t expect it to go on thick, which is what I expected with it being ‘instant artificials’. It goes on pretty thin which makes it a lot easier to put on evenly and I suspect will work out better in the future seeing as most polishes thicken and get all gloopy as they get old. The best part is they sell it at Walmart for around $3.50! Hope this helps.

  56. says

    A lot of comments already here. So I just say, As a nail lover , I always try to find out this kind of blog. I like your blog post. I love gel nail polish. I recently using Gel nail polish kit of runway professional. You may try this. Please recommend if any new products here.

    - Jane

  57. FloridaMo says

    Try the Lady Soma Skin & Nail Treatment – My wife (of 30 years ) swears by it for her nails. And I love the smell!

    To quote from my wife, “For some years, I have suffered from splitting nails and have tried many products, none of which succeded in giving any improvement. Now, in a few short weeks, my nails are strong and beautiful again thanks to the Lady Soma Skin & Nail Treatment. This is truly an amazing product, and I am recommending Lady Soma to all sorts of women!” You could say that Mrs. Morris is quite pleased with the product!

    C J Morris, Hampshire UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *