Sunday, February 26, 2012

At-Home Gel Polish with Red Carpet Manicure

One trend that I think is here to stay for the long haul is the light cured nail polish. I tried it in the salon like everyone else back in the summer of 2010 and we have now reached a new pinnacle, the at-home kit. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce RED CARPET MANICURE.


This is the first light cured nail polish you apply at home and it’s actually pretty easy to do - Rough up the name bed with an emery board, push back cuticles, apply Purify on a cotton ball and rub over each nail surface, brush Prep Max Adhesion Sanitizer on each nail, apply a thin layer of Structure (this is your base coat), cure with the UV light, apply thin coat of color, cure, another coat of color, cure and then the top coat called Brilliance, cure and then a swipe with that cotton ball that has Purify on it and you’re done. I recommend doing one whole hand first and then the other hand after the initial one is all dry.

The kit I tried that contains all the necessities is the Pro Kit: Prep Max Adhesion Sanitizer (.3oz), Structure Base Coat Gel (.3oz), Brilliance Seal & Shine Top Coat (.3oz), Purify Pre & Post Application Cleanser (3oz), Erase Gel Nail Polish Remover (2oz), Revitalize Nourishing Cuticle Oil (.3oz) and LED Gel Polish in Red Carpet Reddy. And you just can’t beat the price of $79.99 @ for the Starter Kit. 

So how does this compare to the salon services like the Shellac I tried? RCM made my nails stronger while the polish was on, it has the same mirror finish for days, it’s scratch-resistant and the two colors I tried, Red Carpet Reddy (a blue-red) and It’s A Champagne Night, were both gorgeous and totally wearable (36 total shades available). I wouldn’t say that this replaces the quality of the Shellac in terms of the longevity as I only got about 6 days wear on all my nails before a corner came up, However, if you’re on a budget (the salon version costs about $40), are a fan of the look and like to do your own manicures, this might be a good one to try. And you may get more wear than I did as I’m pretty rough on my hands and I may have applied one of the coats too thick or I didn’t seal the edge, which can both affect wear. Practice makes perfect!

The only major negative is with all light cured polishes is the removal process is a pain. To remove the color, you have to saturate a cotton ball in Acetone (in this case, it is their Erase product), put it on top of the nail and wrap a piece of tin foil around each finger and leave on for about 10 to 15 minutes. This just takes too long, the tin foils fall off easily and it’s just overall blah! I will continue to use their system but I’m holding out for a new way of taking the formula off, which I know they will come up with.

Is this a product up your alley?

Disclosure: A sample of this item was provided for review purposes.



Not sure its worth the trouble. The price is great...but I know that I could never get my nails painted to look I would hate to have to sit there for 15 minutes with my nails wrapped in tin foil. Who knows.

Thanks for the great review though...and I LOVE all the colors they offer!!



I think I would like to try this since I usually do my own manicures.


I actually would be really pleased with 6 days of wear, I know my nails grow so quickly that the gaps would start to bother me if it lasted longer than that!

Jessica Allison

I loved my Shellac manicures, so I'm so happy there's a home version available! Any chance the kit says the wattage of the lamp? I know the Shellac system uses a higher watt bulb, but otherwise Ive been told the polishes are interchangeable, so if Shellac wears better, I suppose one could try using that with this lamp. Either way, definitely seems worth it when you compare it to the in-salon pricetag!

Vanessa Coker

I think it's a good idea but I doubt I could paint them myself and still get a perfect look. I can definitely work on anyone's nails and have it look gorgeous, with the right tools - even better but not my own.


Hi Vanessa, you'd be surprised! If you concentrate on one hand at a time, you could probably do it yourself.


Hi Jessica, there isn't a wattage listed on the box, sorry!

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