Monday, December 16, 2013

Why I May Never Pay for Another Gel Manicure Ever Again

Exactly ten days ago, I was in Texas for a client's Christmas party. Earlier that week, I'd finished peeling off the last remnants of my Gelish manicure that I'd paid around $25 for less that two weeks prior. It was chipping, cracking, and peeling probably a week after I got it and I'd let it go a little longer. There was no way I could attend an event with nails like that, so I peeled it all off.

My nails did not look great after peeling off the cured polish. I needed a buffer and file BAD, at the very least. I realized I'd have a few hours between events while in Texas and decided that I should seize the moment and fix my manicure situation.

I considered going to a salon and having them done, but I was feeling fairly exhausted since I'd been awake and traveling since 5:30 am that morning. I was already in Target, buying a sweater (it gets cold in Texas! Who knew?), so I swung by the nail polish section. I had nearly decided on a mega sparkly top coat that I was going to wear by itself because I was not about to spend an additional $8 on a colored base that I probably already owned, when I glanced over at the nail sticker selection. I'd always been scared to try them because I thought I'd screw them up and then I would have wasted my money (they're not cheap), or that they wouldn't last nearly long enough to be worth it. Since I already had a file/buffer combo in my basket, I figured the worst that could happen would be that I'd go to the party with au naturel nails that had been buffed to a shine.

I chose Essie SleekSticks in "Stickers and Stones" and headed back to my hotel. I filed and buffed my nails first, then got to work sticking the UV cured stickers on my nails. Once I got the hang of it, it was a fairly quick process, maybe 15 minutes from start to finish. My only complaint was that sometimes the textured dots of this design fell on the edge of my nail and made filing the excess sticker off a little tricky to do without damaging the design. Overall, though, I was REALLY impressed. It took way less time than painting my nails and waiting for them to dry would've taken. Here is the finished result:

And here they are ten whole days later:

There's a little wear on the ends and some separation back by the cuticles that had just started to catch on my hair when I'd wash it, but overall they held on strong. I think it helped that I'd held a hair dryer set on low over each hand after I'd put the stickers on, then pressed them down again to make sure they were on really well.

I was worried about removing them. The package didn't have instructions for that step and I assumed that it would be difficult and damaging to my nail, like peeling off a gel manicure. Once again, this product amazed me! I know, I should've stopped doubting it after receiving compliments on my nails for 10 days straight, but I'm a skeptic. For as well as they were stuck on there, they peeled right off as a single piece. There was a little residue left on my nails, not unlike the rubber cement they use to stick labels to magazines, and it rubbed right off.

My Outfit for the Party
I highly recommend Essie SleekSticks! They're so much cheaper than paying for a long-wearing manicure, so much less stressful than attempting nail art on your own, and you don't have to wait for them to dry. They will definitely be my go-to nail product anytime I have a special event.

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