Hello, my name is Jayne, I am 35 and live in Glasgow. I have kindly been asked by Sensationail to write a little blog post sharing #mysensationailstory.
It All Started When..
I have been a lover of all things polish or nail related since 2013, when I bought my first Sensationail Manicure Kit. From then I have shared my journey and nail art designs on Instagram (user name @starryeyed83) and currently have over 14,000 followers. This is something which continues to amaze not only myself, but my family as well as I have been forever known as a serious nail biter!
I have tried several times in the past to grow my nails, using branded nail strengtheners or the horrible tasting stuff you paint on to deter you from biting. Well that didn’t work because I got used to the taste pretty quick and it still didn’t stop me from biting!! On the few occasions that I did manage to stop biting, they would grow somewhat but I’m talking a miniscule amount before they would break off. My nails were just far too thin and weak so letting them grow on their own wasn’t going to happen.
After having a few professional gel manicures I noticed that having them on helped my nails grow without them breaking, I even had a free edge!
My Prayers Were Answered
I remember seeing an ad for Sensationail back in summer 2013 and thought, this looks relatively easy and would save time and money in the long run. I bought my first kit, the full lot with everything you need for up to 10 manicures, even the LED lamp. Well…after my first I was hooked and what a difference it made.
Something Wasn't Quite Right
Admittedly it takes a few shots to get prep, application and removal right. I’m not perfect and I am no trained nail technician but over the course of a few months my nails were growing well and I was having fun with a new hobby! By the end of 2013 however, I was clearly doing something wrong and my nails started becoming thin once again and my nail beds were extremely painful and red. I had to take a break from gels and discovered that I was being too hard on the removal process. Something which I will discuss in detail later, but to show you the result of this take a look below (please note this is no reflection on the product, purely user error and lack of knowledge).
Back on Track
Roll on a few months after having done some research and looking in to proper nail care, I was ready to get back on with my Sensationail gel manicures. If you follow the correct procedures for prep, application and removal you will have lovely looking nails to last up to 14 days and also be able to remove without any of the previously mentioned damage.
Having gone through that, I was not in any way put off or deterred from using gels. I was just inexperienced and took it upon myself to learn and educate through means of the help SensatioNail provide on the website and social media. I have come across many brands and companies this way, especially through my Instagram account and have been lucky enough to also review and instablog for many of them. Being asked is not only a privilege but shows that my nail care and research has paid off and of course, painting nails is just fun!!
Of course one of my proudest moments was being asked by Sensationail to help with their stand at the Girls Day Out event in Glasgow at the end of 2017. I had some doubts as I suffer from anxiety and was worried about what was expected of me, what I would need to do, what if I got asked a question I didn’t know the answer to etc. I needn’t have worried as the girls I worked with, Pierra from Customer Service at Sensationail and Hayley from Sparkle PR, were so lovely and supportive. I was also loaded with a bad cold but I powered through and thoroughly enjoyed my time. It was good to be able to talk nails with people who actually wanted to know more and to be able to share my knowledge of the products. Rather than me just babbling on to someone who couldn’t care less whether I filed or buffed or cured using LED rather than UV!
I will now share my tips for proper application and removal of using Sensationail gels. Of course, Sensationail now offer a variety of products for you to get the most out of your manicure, from a strengthen and smooth gel base coat to StripGel Peel Off for easier removal. Not to mention a Matte Top Coat and Gel Polishes lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Of course there is the vast array of colours, finishes and the abundance of nail art items they now offer. Glitters, nail brushes. stickers, gems….the lot!
Let me run through application
- file and shape nails to preference
- remove any other polish residue present
- if required, very lightly buff the nail (I generally don’t but with trial and error you will see if you need to)
- wipe each nail with pure alcohol on a lint free pad, this helps to dehydrate the nail plate and give better grip for the polish
- apply primer (again this is personal preference, I don’t use this as the polish adheres to my nails well without) this can be applied all over or just around the edges, again this is different to each nail type and the longevity of your manicure will depend on how much you use and where this is applied
- let primer air dry for a few minutes and then apply a thin layer of Sensationail base coat, remembering to cap any free edge, cure under LED lamp for 30 seconds (if using the newer version of their lamp, otherwise I would cure for 60 seconds)
- once each nail has base coat cured you can then apply colour, this should be applied using thin coats, don’t worry if it looks patchy or if on curing it results in pullback of the colour from the edges, this is normal and will even out on the second coat
- remember to cap the free edge and if any of the product gets on the cuticle or skin around your nail, use an orange stick to remove this before curing
- cure each colour coat for 30 seconds (or 60 seconds if using a different LED lamp)
- once you have applied 2 coats (at least, some colours may require 3) and you are happy with the colour, you can then apply a thin layer of top coat and cure again for 30 seconds
- once all nails are cured with top coat, wipe each nail with a lint free wipe and gel cleanser to remove the inhibition layer which occurs from the curing process (sticky, tacky layer)
- to finish I recommend using a good nail/cuticle oil to rehydrate the nails and skin
For removal, patience is key….
- very lightly buff the top shiny coat off of each nail making sure you do not use too much force and break through to the nail plate
- soak some cotton wool or cotton pad pieces in pure acetone and wrap around nail, securing with either tin foil squares or manicure clips (I use the clips and they are so much easier to secure on)
- if you have a heat source like a heat pad placing this over the nails while the acetone is soaking will help to speed up the process, just make sure it isn’t too hot you burn yourself!
- ideally they should be soaked for at least 20 minutes, you can try one at this stage and providing the polish flakes off and doesn’t need to be ‘scraped’ then you can safely remove the rest
- if it doesn’t flake off or can’t be easily pushed off then cover again and soak for a further 5-10 minutes
- the key here is not to scrape the polish off as this over time will ultimately remove layers of your nail plate and therefore leave your nails thin, red and sore (as I showed in my photo earlier)
- once all nails have polish removed, I recommend again to apply a good cuticle/nail oil, one containing jojoba is best as this closely resembles the natural nail oil molecules and allows to better penetrate the nail plate
What I have learned over the years is that we are all different when it comes to processes and what works best. Anyone with naturally oily skin/nails will need to buff, dehydrate the nail and apply primer for longer lasting results. But if you’re like me and have fairly dry skin/nails, then all you may need is a very light buff, dehydrate and no primer so you’re good to go. It’s about finding that balance and after a few applications I’m sure everyone can work out what works best for them.
I hope this has been helpful to some and to others just a general good read. If anyone has any questions, please do see me over on my Instagram account at @starryeyed83 and I will be sure to reply and help out.
Many thanks to SensatioNail for asking me to be part of this blog and to allow me to work with you over the years. It has been a pleasure! And I would like to add that your customer service is one of the best around, always helpful and on hand to resolve any problems. Shout out to Sarah and Pierra for your ever quick and courteous replies!
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