Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nails: my first UV/gel/Shellac-type mani

Happy winter solstice to my southern hemisphere-dwelling readers and summer solstice for all you northerners! Today I have something totally new to me: UV nail polish. This is the stuff you paint on and then set under a UV lamp. I'm going overseas for a couple of weeks (leaving tomorrow) so I took up my friend's offer of a mani that's guaranteed to last (and look good) throughout the trip. She used products from an Aussie company called GlazeMe ( They have starter kits that include polish, a lamp, alcohol swabs, orange sticks and remover, along with a nice range of colours to choose from.

I stupidly didn't think to take photos of her setup, but if you look on the web site, you can see what the kits look like. The colour I'm wearing is Evergreen Envy and despite what my photo shows, there definitely is green in there and it's actually a lovely turquoise in real life. The thing that's awesome about these is that they work really similarly to the OPI and more expensive versions. Each of the GlazeMe polishes is under $10!

GlazeMe Evergreen Envy.

The process is basically this: apply a coat of polish and then pop it in the UV lamp for a minute. Simple. It can take a while depending on how many coats you apply, but it's a simple process. This was three coats because the polish is on the sheer side, although my friend had only ever done two coats of the other colours previously. 

It's actually a lot easier to apply than regular polish because you can go over and over each nail as many times as you want, since it won't set. The other thing that's kind of freaky is that once you set each coat under the UV lamp, it feels kind of sticky/slimy, although that's what it's supposed to do. Once you do your topcoat and cure it, you take an alcohol swab and wipe off the residue, and the result is a smooth, glossy finish.

According to my friend, the OPI gel polish is a little nicer to apply, but it's hideously expensive (US$30 a bottle). However, she said the lasting power is the same and so is the result. She also has some of the Opallac colours from Priceline and she raves about those too. 

So when I get back from my trip, I'll do a follow-up post showing how my mani has worn and also talk about the removal process, as I hear it's the worst part about the whole thing.