The Sally Hansen Insta-Gel Strips Starter Kit (Shell We Dance) was a bit of an impulse buy for me. I already own everything that I need to do a gel manicure. I hadn't done gels in a while and was intrigued to try the strip concept. I also bought a refill kit in Amazing Lace.
Basically, you put on the strips and put the gel polish on as a top coat.
- Easy: The application is easy, a bit time consuming, but not any more time consuming than other manicures. Especially if you include drying time. Plus, you only have one coat of polish to dry, not 4 (base, 2 coats of color and top coat) like you would in a regular gel manicure.
- Cost: $30 for a light and everything you need to get started is a great deal
- No mess: The only mess with this is the backings of the strips. They can end up in really weird places if you're not careful...
- Little room for error: You won't run into the bubbling, too thick, too thin crap that you can run into with gels.
- No dry time
- Cost: I know, $30 bucks gets you one application. If you're creative you can probably get two, maybe 3 out of it.
- Refills: Refills are expensive ($15). They include everything in the kit, except the lamp. They include a gel top coat in every refill, which isn't necessary.
- Wear time: Mine lasted about two days and started to chip. I filed down all of my nails, so they were really short. After I filed them down, I didn't seem to have nearly as many problems. My nails are fairly weak, so I'm not the best judge of nail wear.
I'm going to try buying some of the regular strips and sealing them with the top coat. I'll keep you posted! ;)