Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Friday, 16 October 2015

NAIL VINES

Are The New Gel Nails As Good As A Gel Manicure?

The Debrief: Don't fork out until you've seen how long these new daylight cured gel nail manicures actually last

Manicures. I don't understand them and I am frightened of people who want to touch my hands for money. However, my nail varnish chips all over the shop (or wherever else I happen to be standing) so it was high time I tried out these sexy new at-home gel manicure kits you can do yourself. 

The vibe is that you put a topcoat over your nail varnish that can't see the light of day otherwise it explodes. It's in an opaque bottle and all sorts of brand, from Sally Hansen to Barry M, are having a bash. But how long will it last on someone who is very handsy? 

I painted my nails with four different brands (a different colour for each brand) and put them to the ultimate test: being on my nails. 

Here are the gel nail varnishes you should spend your cash on, and here are the ones to avoid (because buying an expensive kit will still be cheaper than going for a gel manicure every month or so). 

Firstly, which was the easiest to put on? 

Butter London 

Price: £29.00

With this, you apply a base coat, two layers of nail varnish, and a special top coat. The nail varnish brushes are those nice wide ones that mean you only have to do it in one stroke. Plus, it looked amazing after only one coat. 9 out of 10 (three stages is a bit annoying). 

Barry M 

Price: £4.99

You don't need a base coat, so just use one of the colours in the Sunset range and then the Sunset Gel topcoat. Usually, I'm a big fan of the M but this nail varnish didn't look great even after two coats. Probably needed about three or four coats. But then again, less stages (because no base coat) so that gets it some extra points. 5 out of 10. 

Deborah Lippmann

Price: £35

The usual - base coat, two coats of colour, a top coat. This suffers from small, thin brush syndrome though and the colour was really hard to apply. I went all over my fingers. I'm an idiot, but the rest of the varnish was idiot-proof so I feel like they should fatten up the brushes. 2 out of 10.

Sally Hansen 

Price: £9.99

Just colour and top coat for these guys. And it was my favourite to apply by far. 10 out of 10. 

And which lasted the longest? 

Sadly, they all got chipped by day 3 apart from Deborah Lippmann which, to be honest, I wasn't expecting. They didn't all chip equally, or the same amount, though. Behold - the vine diary I thought would last about a week, and that actually only lasted a few days. 

Day 1: Barry M is eliminated

Really sadly, there was a chip by the evening and I didn't really do anything except go on a cross trainer for a bit. I then went and drank a lot of wine and cheese, and filmed this vine in the loos in the bar toilets while blottoed. 

Day 2: Sally Hansen is the next to go

Oh god, Sally! To be fair, when it chipped I was washing some dishes by hand. Which I shouldn't have done with gel nails. Also, the other nail stayed perfect and no other chips appeared until the challenge was brutally brought to a close. 

Day 3: It's all over and we have a winner

The winner is Deborah Lippmann, who shows no signs of even remotely chipping. Butter London finally falls, everyone's crying, and I don't know who I am anymore. I also hadn't washed my hair and am wearing yesterday's makeup which is why I look like shit in the below vine. Professionalism. Always professionalism.

Like this? You might also be interested... 

Quick Dry Nail Varnishes, Tested

How To Organise Your Makeup Because It's About Time

Is The Party Over? Are We All Sober?

Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

 

Tags: Beauty Chat