Me and nail polish don't always have the best relationship. I am one of those who loses patience when waiting for the polish to dry, or thinks it's dry, then gets ready for a night out, or gets on with some work, and hey presto it isn't quite dry or it chips easily. But I do like adding some colour to my nails, which is why I accepted the Nutra Nail Gel Perfect challenge, when offered the chance to review the product.
Nutra Nail Gel Perfect offers a gel like manicure without the need of a UV lamp and curing process. I was sent a box containing Sugar Plum gel colour, an activator and brush cleaning solution (which I was to discover is very important). It all came in a neat little box, emblazoned with the words "sets rock solid in 5 minutes to a patent leather shine". All sounded good on first impressions, and purple is one of my favourite colours, so I was eager to see how tough the product really was.
For each nail you go through a quick process of applying layers of activator lotion and gel colour, sealing the tips of your nails as you go, which helps prevent chipping. You have to wipe clean the gel polish brush after each colour application, and dip it in the cleaner so you don't get a clumpy brush and lumpy nail polish. The instructions are quite easy to follow, but on my first go I did forget to wipe clean the brush, so you do have to concentrate to get it all done properly.
Just as with normal nail polish, I think there is an art to applying gel perfect as well. It's not just about remembering the stages, it's learning to properly seal the tips and trying to angle in the polish to the sides so its not raised which comes with practice. If, when all the layers are set, it's slightly raised, the polish can catch on something and chip.
So yes it did chip, and is not entirely chip proof, in fact I had my first chip after a few days, and a week or so later only had a few nails left in tact. Although considering in day to day life I am working, and coming into contact with any number of tasks that could chip my polish, this is still pretty good going, and partly down to not being used to gel polish, and how to apply it to get the best results.
I did love the colour and the shine on my nails when I'd finished, and it definitely feels different, and tougher than normal nail polish - I'd place it somewhere in between normal nail polish and false nails. All good from that point of view, although I don't rate the 'No Mess Express' remover pad I was also sent (sold separately) When my nails had chipped a little the polish came off cleanly, but I found it a lot more difficult cleaning my nails with this pad. It took ages, and did leave some residue. I think I'd stick to normal acetone polish remover, or picking it off myself - this is supposed to be the easy task!
Although it's tempting sometimes, I don't think you can sit on the fence when it comes to product reviews, so I don't think I'd buy this product if I saw it in the shop. The colour range is very tempting, and as it claims, the polish does set rock solid in 5 minutes, but to part with more money I would want to see more of a difference between this and a good quality nail polish, and I'm afraid I just didn't see enough of one in this trial.
Nutra Nail Gel Perfect Manicure sets have an RRP of £14.99 and are available from Boots online and in-store.
Have you tried a gel effect manicure? do you have nice shiny nails now? why not share your stories below. Meantime I am off to put my purple polish away (just for now) and exchange it for a festive red).
* this product was kindly sent free for review, but all opinions are my own.