My First Gel

Hello and welcome!  I’m now officially away from home, which means doing something that will survive until I get back. 

So what better time to try out gel polish for the first time than when I can’t take it back?  I planned ahead by purchasing a starter kit from SensatioNail and testing it on my toes to make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction.  But other than that, I haven’t used it.  Of course I watched every Youtube video that I could to make sure I didn’t screw anything up.  But my favorite was from Suzie at Nail Career Education (probably because she showed what to do in case something went wrong).

What I Used:

  • Base & Top Coat:  SensatioNail – Base & Top Coat
  • 1st Color:  SensatioNail – Pink Chiffon
  • SensatioNail LED lamp
  • nail buffer
  • SensatioNail gel cleanser
  • SensatioNail gel primer
  • cuticle pusher
  • Twinkled T Holo Hoop powder
  • makeup sponge applicator

I started by shortening my nails.  The last thing I wanted was to worry about breaking a nail while I was gone, so it had to be done.  Then, as the instructions said, I lightly buffed my nails.  It was definitely my least favorite part of the process, because I was worried about buffing too much and damaging them.  But Suzie pointed out that the gel needs something to hold on to for longer wear, and I need long wear.

Then I cleansed, and added primer.  The instructions said to apply the primer sparingly, but what is their definition of sparingly?  I’m pretty sure half my nails had too much, and the other half had too little.  Finally, I was ready for the gel and curing.

9-21-18 gel-1
My nails all prepped & ready to go

The base coat was harder than I thought it would be.  Mostly because it was hard to see where the clear polish was going, and how much was being applied.  But I watched them while they were curing (is that bad?), and I didn’t see any huge spots where I got it on the skin.  While the first coat of color was easier to see, applying a thin, EVEN coat was nearly impossible for me.  As you can probably see in the pictures.

It slowly got better as I added more coats, so I assumed once I got to the third coat that it would be good to finish.  But it was still just sheer and uneven enough for me to have to do one more layer.  So after the fourth coat of color and curing, I was finally able to top coat it.  Then I cured it, wiped off the sticky residue, and continued packing for the night.

The next night I sat down and added the holo powder to my ring finger nails.  I followed Twinkled T’s instructions: apply the gel top coat, cure without removing the stickiness, apply the powder, then start buffing.  It was actually really easy to do.  And I may have liked holo before, but now I see why everyone is so obsessed with it.  I’d say this is the best way to wear holo.

I finished it off with one final layer of top coat, but realized after the first nail that I accidentally got holo powder in my top coat bottle.  So now I have a holographic gel top coat!  (as Bob Ross puts it “a happy little accident”)  It all turned out better than I could have hoped, but it definitely wasn’t quick.  Maybe because it was my first time and I was so nervous, but this still took me about as long as normal polish would.  I just hope it lasts longer than normal polish.

Enjoy your week!


By the end of the first week, this gel mani was still going strong.  They had grown out just a little bit, but nothing was really noticeable.  And I even took a cute picture of them while I was running around Germany.  But during the second week, my picking started.  And even though the gel was really stuck on to my nails, I found a way.  Luckily, I kept it to just my pointer nail and a little bit on my thumb nails.  So since I couldn’t actually pick at the polish, I went for the tiny sliver of uncovered natural nail, and picked at it from the nail up.  I’m pretty disappointed in myself for ruining my poor nail.  Let’s be honest though, two weeks without me picking?  That’s nearly impossible.

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