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At Home Gel Manicure

At Home Gel Manicure | Love in a Suitcase

Colors: Strawberry Smoothie, Tropix

Ever since I had my first gel manicure done – back in 2011 – I’ve become obsessed with them. I love the way the gel mani makes yours nails so shiny and strong, but the price is more than I want to spend on a regular basis. Lately, I’ve been on the search for the best way to achieve the look and the long-lasting wear at home.

I’ve tried Nutra Nail and the Gelous Base Coat system, and I even bought the Red Carpet UV light kit – which I returned after a week. None of them gave me the look I wanted, with the exception of Red Carpet nails which was a whole other level of ridiculous. It took me 2 hours to finish my manicure, and the quality of my cuticles after a week of wear just didn’t compare to a salon manicure.

Enter, Vinylux. When I was in Almaty before we left for Thailand, I got a manicure at the hotel spa. Thinking that Vinylux was just an international label for Shellac, I decided to go for it because I didn’t feel like having chipped polish on our vacation. As I sat there getting my nails done, I held my breath in confusion as the lady started painting my nails without a base coat and no UV light.

As soon as I could, I googled Vinylux only to find that it was a long-wearing weekly nail polish created by CND (the makers of Shellac) that didn’t require a base coat and only took 10 minutes to dry. Even better, the polish cures in natural UV light. When our vacation came and went and my nail polish still hadn’t chipped, I knew I had to get my hands on some of this stuff.

Vinylux after 4 days | Love in a Suitcase

I immediately ordered some when I got back to the U.S., and I have been using it ever since. It really does work. After 4 days, my nails are still shiny and with virtually no wear. By the end of the week, I do notice some wear on the tips and the shine starts to fade, but no chips!

Vinylux after 7 days | Love in a Suitcase

Color: Hot Pop Pink, Glitter: Essie Set in Stones

A few tips for an at home gel manicure using Vinylux:

1. File them down. I find that my polish lasts a lot longer if I start with shorter nails. Obviously this is a personal preference, but if you like your nails shorter definitely go for it. You can even buff the surface of your nails for a longer lasting manicure.
2. Dry them out. Make sure your nails are clean and wipe them with remover to dry out the nail before applying.
3. Keep it clean. Don’t get the polish on your skin. I know this can be hard for some people, but take your time and try your best to keep it off your cuticles. This makes the polish seal a lot better, which will make it last a lot longer, too.
4. Put it on thick – especially the top coat. The instructions say two thin coats of color, followed by 1 coat of the weekly top coat, but after using the polish for a few months, I think that it needs to be a bit thicker to get the shine of a gel manicure.

*UPDATE*

I’ve found that this polish tends to loose its shine before it chips or peels, so I’ve found a solution. Top it with some high-shine, quick-drying top coat. I highly recommend Out The Door. It’s a little hard to find, so try a beauty supply store like Sally’s if you can’t find it.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    April 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Whoa, that’s crazy!! I just spent so much investing in an at-home shellac kit, complete with a little mini UV lamp, and I had no idea about this stuff! I can’t believe how amazing they look after an entire week of cooking! Dang

  • Reply
    American Items to Pack when Moving Abroad | Love in a SuitcaseLove in a Suitcase
    July 29, 2014 at 8:21 am

    […] Nail Polish – I am obsessed with nail polish, and I have acquired quite the collection over the years, but I am only bringing essentials with me this year – probably about 6 colors and a few top coats. This year, I’m bringing my newest favorite, Vinylux. […]

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