While I’ve been doing the whole nail rehab thang with my fingertips I’ve secretly roped in my toe nails to test something new. Now I’ve steered clear from gel kits or in-salon Shellac manis for two reasons: one – they’re pricey and two – the idea of committing to a colour for a matter of weeks seemed a little daunting. But when the Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit* arrived on my desk I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about and got to work lacquering up my paws. One month later and the results are in…

I’ve had the shade Oh La Licious on my toes now for three weeks (I’ll save you the swatches on this one). There’s not a chip in sight, it still looks as glossy as the first day I painted it on and the only tell-tale sign that indicates I need to remove it and start again, is the ever-growing gap between the colour and my cuticle. Longevity-wise I have no complaints. I have no irks concerning the application either. I reckon it took around 30 minutes in total and consisted of ‘prepping, painting and curing the nail under an LED light’ cycle. Nothing too difficult for a cack-handed gal like myself.

My only sticking points? The removal can get a little messy and concludes with flakes of colour being distributed EVERYWHERE. And the colour range isn’t as exhaustive as it could be. Now I tried my trusty Nails Inc Porchester Sqaure sandwiched in between the gel layers as a test when I first got the kit and though it does work, you don’t get the weeks upon weeks of glossy talons. After about a 7 days it started to get a little chippy; that’s when I succumbed to the RCM colours and the rest is history.

I think for me gel polish will strictly be a toe nail thing. Why? Well it goes back to my original points about getting a little floozy with colours and the fact that I think the cuticle/colour gap would be much more noticeable on your digits. There’s also the question of whether or not it wrecks your nail beds. Now I haven’t found this to be a problem – yet – but it’s not something I want to chance with my now well conditioned tips. Let’s be frank here. I got this outlay free as a sample. But if you took it away from me now and told me to cough up the cash (all £81 of it for the Pro Kit, from Debenhams) I’d skip a Space NK splash out or two and happily hand it over. Yep, I’ve been converted. On my toes at least… 

*PR Sample

  • Anna Blush

    I’m like you Anna and have never tried any of these Shellac type polishes for fear of damaging me nails. Also not a fan of sticking to just one colour! But this sounds great for toes, especially if you’re going on a summer holiday and don’t want to be painting your toe nails all the time! x


  • Melanie Prince

    As a beauty therapist, I think it’s worth mentioning that gel polish should never ruin your nails hun. Any damage from gels or acrylic will be caused by bad preparation or removal. Prepping should only consist of very light buffing of the nail (or none at all if poss) before a prep liquid is applied and removal should be using the proper remover that comes with the product. Don’t force any gel off, if its a little stubborn then soak in remover for longer. Apply some nail oil after removal and your nails should be as good as new! Don’t be scared of gel!!

    I did touch on this in a post I did a while ago http://www.thebeautydiet.co.uk/2013/01/setting-record-straight-common-beauty.html

    Great post chick

    Mel xxx

  • http://Gracious-silhouettes.blogspot.co.uk/ Jade Waterfield

    I’ve never tried gel, but always been intrigued. Your conversion has only increased that. I’d have to find the right colour though as i can only wear nude shales on my nails for work.
    Not sure about the price though, maybe in the future.

    Great review as ever Anna!

    Gracious Silhouettes

  • http://ivysmaquillagecove.com/ Ivy Vijay

    fancy nail polish formulas have never been down my alley! so spending so much on a nail product doesn’t make sense to me at all..it is definitely good to have your opinion though…


  • http://themacaronaddict.blogspot.co.uk/ TheMacaronAddict

    I love gel nail polish since I hate it when my nails chip after a few days. However they always seem to ruin my nails so I try to stay away unless I am going on holiday! Luckily my pedicures last ages so I don’t need them for my toes!


  • Emma and Emily

    This sounds like a lovely idea. I really want to try the gel kits and possibly get into french manicure gels! I love a clean polished nail.


  • Paula Kelly

    At home gel manicures are becoming more popular, love your review Anna. If you are looking for more colours I would recommend Blue Sky gel polishes, much cheaper and identical to CND polishes(used in salons), try Amazon. X

  • Strawbry_Blonde

    I haven’t tried this but do love my SensatioNail home gel kit. I had the same issues re switching colours until I discovered you can paint over them with regular polish, so long as you use acetone free remover! Really Ree said she sticks to pastel or nude gels to make this easier – genius!

    Nic x


  • http://talesfromthesouthla.blogspot.com/ Maria Larsen

    I don’t really have a steady hand, but this definitely sounds like something I’d want to try on my toenails…fingernails not so much!

  • Becca King

    I am obsessed with this kit, my nails used to be really weak and split all the time, they just looked a mess but then I got this! Well my nails look AMAZING (if i say so myself) I reckon I have nearly 20 colours from the range now, check out my review http://beccaroseking.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Red%20Carpet%20Manicure

  • Louisa

    I think gel nails would definitely be something I’d invest in for a holiday or something, but £81?! I think I’d rather just touch it up myself to be honest!

    Louisa’s Notebook

  • roshkud

    Gel nails sound and look amazing, I just can’t afford them and I’m too lazy to get them done. Its probably something I’l try in the future as its a lovely idea! :)

    Roshni’s Journey

  • Claire O

    I go to a salon and pay £20 for my Shellac nail paint, it lasts 3 weeks plus and during that time if I’m bored of the colour i use a standard nail polish over it which can be removed with standard nail polish remover without disturbing the shellac. My nails grow underneath and feel much stronger. You can also get clear and tinted shellac for a natural look and more options of using standard nail polish colours on top during the 3 weeks. I would’nt bother spending £80 for a home kit.

  • Maddy Cane

    This looks so good for the toes, especially as mine always chip! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD


  • Emily Allen

    I’m the exact same as you when it comes to investing in these kinds of products, I can’t go more than four days without changing my polish colour so why waste my money, it makes so much sense for the toes though, who can be bothered hehe :) xx Emmi


  • Sushi Girl♥

    Cool tips, I love manicures :)