My camera likes to play with colors a little, and it's difficult to correct them completely. The closest color to the actual polish in person is in the top-left of the above photo. Island Oasis is somewhat of a cool teal color more than it is a turquoise. Though I will admit that it appears more green or blue depending on the lighting as well.
Since this polish is packaged separately from the SensatioNail starter kit, it comes in its own little box. Inside the box is the bottle of polish, instructions, and a wooden manicure stick.
I thought I should compare the size of the bottles as well. Island Oasis is a color that you buy separately for about $9, and the bottle is larger than Raspberry Wine on the right, which came inside my starter kit. So don't be worried if the first bottle you use seems tiny! They're not all 0.125 oz - the normal bottles are 0.25 oz.
This was my second time using a gel polish, so I worked pretty slowly again. This polish requires a UV LED lamp to cure, so you're free to work as slowly and carefully as you need. So you can apply each coat very slowly, and you don't have to worry about it getting tacky and streaky before you're done with a nail like normal polish. This is good so you can make sure it is nice and smooth very curing it under the lamp.
Also, you have plenty of time to clean up around your nail before curing. Remember that once you cure the polish, it isn't going anywhere! Normal cleanup around the nail with polish remover or acetone won't work, so get it off of your skin before curing.
I applied this polish just as the instructions said to:
- Prep your nails with the gel cleaner and a lint-free wipe
- Apply the gel primer and allow to air dry
- Apply the gel base & top coat and cure it under the LED lamp for 30 seconds
- Apply one coat of color. Cure for 60 seconds.
- Apply second coat of color. Cure for 60 seconds.
- Apply the gel base & top coat again as your top coat. Cure for 30 seconds.
- Remove excess moisture with the gel cleanser and lint-free wipe.
I didn't even have to go over the instructions very intensively since I remembered how to do it from my first experience. It seems like there are a lot of steps, but there are only 4 bottles and the light, so it's very easy to follow. Last time I found out that applying very thin coats is better too, which helped this time around.
Each layer adds up, so you're left with a very thick salon quality paint job. My nails felt super solid with it on, and were very smooth and glossy. To put it to the test again, I left it on for 10 days. The above photos were taken when I first applied it. The photos below are after 10 days, right before I removed it.
You can see that I got absolutely no chips in the paint. The only major different between the before and after photos is the space up by the cuticle. If you look carefully, you can see that there is much more space in the after photos. It looks more like my nails grew out a bit (which they did) and would need to be filled at a salon. Normal right?
The edges had some wear, but it was so slight that it is barely noticeable. I am again very impressed with this product and how long it lasts. SensatioNail says that your gel manicure should last up to 14 days. This was 10 days, but it could have kept on going!
Removal wasn't too big of a deal this time either. I did the same thing as last time, which was the soak off method. I buffed the surface of each nail to break the seal of the topcoat, and then soaked my nails in acetone for about 15 minutes. I then carefully pushed off the gel polish with my steel Tweezerman Pushy, but you could probably use the wooden manicure sticks provided with this product, or the SensatioNail removal tool.
Just be careful not to scrape or scratch your nails too hard when removing! Be patient and work slowly, and it will all come off. Removal probably took me about 25 minutes for each hand (including 15 minute soak time), and I was working very slowly again. It may seem like a long time, but if you only have to do it every two weeks, I think it might be worth it!
Where to buy it: I've seen the kit in local pharmacies such at CVS. The kit retails for about $40 - $50 depending on your store, but the SensatioNail Facebook page currently has a $5 off coupon for the starter kit, as well as a $1 off another color coupon. If you buy from a store like CVS, you can also use ExtraBucks on your purchase.
Is it worth it? In my opinion, yes. The kit is about $40 - $50 and comes with one color to get you going. You get 10 uses out of this kit alone. That's not even $5 per manicure! For nails that look professional and last this long, I definitely think it's worth it. You would probably spend $20 for nails like this at a salon, and that's not even counting a tip! Then once you have the kit, other colors like this one are about $9 for 10 or more manicures. I think the kit is an investment that's worthwhile.
Product sent for consideration. All opinions are my own.