Tuesday 9 August 2016

ASP Professional Soak Off Gel Removal System - Soak Off Nail Caps and Foams

I've always found the only downside to having a gel manicure to be the pesky removal process, spending ages cutting out foil sheets and prepping cotton wool etc. I came across a lot of reviews online for Nail Mates: A new system of pads and foams to help speed up the removal process. A lot of the reviews I saw seemed very positive but as I live in the UK, I didn't fancy paying for international delivery. On my Last trip to Sally's I was delighted to see an exact dupe for this product made by ASP.

The system comes with 10 caps and 20 "disposable" foam pads (I found I could use the same foam pads several times so not too disposable after all :) ) They also have a pack of 50 foam refills which is really handy. You can find the Soak Off Gel removal system in the UK at salon services here for £7.99 I can't find the refills on the site but they cost £4.99 in store.

Alongside this kit you're going to need a few other things for the removal process:

1. Gel Polish Remover or Pure Acetone (bottle pictured here is 500ml and only £2.99 from Sally's works just as well if not better than some gel removers I've tried)
2. Hoof stick or Metal cuticle pusher stick
3. Very gritty nail file/block
4. ASP Soak Off Gel Removal System

The Steps
Firstly you need to remove the shiny layer from your gel polish using a rough nail file. Do each nail until you have a rough sanded finish and no trace of shine (this step is vital at speeding up the removal process, if you don't buff off the shiny layer the acetone won't be able to penetrate into the polish as well and removal will take ages longer).

Once you're done sanding :) It's time to apply the gel caps. The directions on the box said to apply acetone to a foam pad then place the pad into the pink cap before applying the cap to your nail. So I followed this procedure on all five nails and voila:

I always do one hand at a time when removing gel polish as I like to have one hand free to do other things, (cue Candy Crush lol) I left these on for around 15 minutes.

Remove first pad and check if polish is loose and peeling, if it is go ahead with the hoof stick or cuticle pusher and carefully remove the polish taking care not to scrape the nail bed, if the polish is ready it should just fly off the nail, if thats not happening you need to soak the nail for another 5-10 mins. For me the 15 minutes was plenty and all the polish came off pretty easily. 

When you're done be sure to apply some cuticle oil to your cuticles, as the acetone can dry them out!

On my first use the pink caps looked a bit stretched and I was concerned this would affect their effectiveness next time, but thankfully they had bounced back to their tighter original shape by the next time I took them out to use, so don't worry if that happens to you, they just spring back into shape which is excellent! 

The Verdict
I absolutely love this system. I found the foam refills can be re used (gone three times with the same pads so far and no problems), which makes this system extremely cost effective. It's a lot quicker than the traditional foil system, and a lot less aggravating  (the amount of foil I've had to throw out from rippage ahhhhhhhh). So if you're looking for a way to speed up you're gel removal process I seriously recommend you give these babies a try! 

Friday 5 August 2016

Red Carpet Manicure Escape To Paradise Collection 2016 - Until The Sun Sets - Neon Coral Gel Polish

Having become obsessed with gel manicures, particularly Red Carpet Manicure's Gel system, I have longed for a collection of neon shades. (Up until now the only neon gel polish I've had was Red Carpet Manicure - Star Power a vibrant neon pink you can read more about the shade here)

So when Red Carpet Manicure Announced their Escape To Paradise collection for summer 2016, and I saw six brand new neon shades I was absolutely beyond eager to try them all out. 

First up from the Collection is Until The Sun Sets a stunning coral neon gel polish.

5 days of wear and still as vibrant as day 1

Neon Polish is extremely hard to photograph, and from all these photos I think the first one above is the most colour accurate shot I could get.

Until The Sun Sets is a bright but very wearable neon coral shade, with a creme finish, that maintains its vibrant shade and insane level of shine for the duration of the manicure. (mine lasted 14 days, with no chips I only had to remove the polish because of insane regrowth at the cuticle).

Up until now my go to neon coral shade has been China Glaze Flip Flop fantasy (see below)

Flip Flop Fantasy is probably a tiny bit more vibrant than Until the Sun Sets, but it has very little staying power even when compared to regular polish. I'd usually go maybe two days without some chips, and the colour was very sheer so took many coats or a layer of white polish underneath to reach full opacity.

Back to Until The Sun Sets. I did Have to apply three coats to reach full opacity with this shade, but considering the finish and duration of wear offered by gel polish this is no problem at all!

As with all gel shades its very important to keep coats very thin and resist the temptation to apply thicker coats as they simply won't cure as well.

Here's a few more photos of this awesome polish:

I absolutely love Until The Sun Sets. It's an absolute must have for a summer holiday manicure. I'm seriously looking forward to trying out other shades from this collection. Stay posted for more.