|Red Carpet Manicure a DIY Gel manicure kit|
I brought an old, but never used bottle to Cozy Nails the other day. I should have known something was awry when they just wouldn't dry. Since they were less than perfect, by any standard, I figured it was the perfect time to sample the at home, (gel) Red Carpet Manicure kit I was sent.
Launched in September of 2011, Red Carpet Manicure is a clever idea. The developers noticed the popularity of long lasting, gel manicures, and set out to create an affordable, Do-It-Yourself kit, complete with a portable LED Light. The average salon gel manicure is in the $40 range. Red Carpet Manicure is $57 and promise 20 applications that can last "up to three weeks". Nice math.
All I was missing is my manicurist...
In fairness, I am not a handy Girl.
The directions seemed quite straight forward. After having to go out and purchase 4 AA batteries, my LED Light was good to go, (I don't know how well equipped your house is, but "fresh" batteries are not part of my junk drawer repetoire). I cleaned and prepped my nails. I used the RCM Structure Base coat and "cured" them for 30 seconds for each hand and another 30 seconds for both thumbs...so far so good.
The directions explained that my nails would be tacky through the whole process and to resist touching them. I did. I followed with the LED Gel Polish. Though I requested a light pink shade, wagering my mistakes would be less noticeable, I was sent a gorgeous red, aptly name Red Carpet Ready. Dicey, no question about it.
I was pleased how cleanly this polish applies and sat back admiring my handiwork for a change. The "package insert" said to follow the same pattern, but this time for 45 seconds for each round.
Ditto for the RCM Brilliance Seal & Shine Top Coat. Brilliant indeed, this was about to be the shortest manicure on record. All in, 18 minutes and 42 seconds. Glossy and gorgeous! Voila!!!
My problem arose during the "Finish" lap. It was promised that any sticky residue that remained would wipe away cleanly with the RCM Pre & Post Application Cleanser, but, "no color will be removed".
Where did 1/3 of my Red Carpet Ready go???
I think there is a serious disconnect between the instructions and the package for the "curing time" under the LED Light---ie.
Inner Package Instructions- Prep and base coat-30 seconds, Polish coat-45 seconds, Top coat-45 seconds.
Outer Package- Prep and base coat -1 minute, Polish coat- 3 minutes, Top coat- 2 minutes
I guess I was undercooked.
Discouraged that there was no salvation, I prepared for removal. 10 cotton balls soaked in "Erase" Gel Nail Polish Remover, wrapped in tin foil for ten minutes, to activate some heat for easier removal.
Fortunately, I did have a bottle of Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in Shall We Dance? in my stash. It's a perfect creamy nude, that is quite forgiving to the polisher...me.
So, in summary, if you are a handy Girl, who is patient and thrifty, you may love Red Carpet Manicure, (available at Ulta) . Just be prepared to allot at least 45 minutes.
Timing is everything...