Sunday, June 24, 2012


A lot of people seem to be under the impression that with gel manicures (Gelish, SensatioNail etc.) you are limited to doing solid color manicures. I can't tell you how wrong that is! Your creative options are still there!  You might have to re-work your technique a bit, but you can still do a ton of fun things when doing a gel manicure. Case in point, this NOTD:

I applied the primer and base coat as for any other gel manicure using my SensatioNail supplies. Then I applied one coat of SensatioNail Pink Chiffon all over and cured it. Then - curing after each coat - I sponged on layers of SensatioNail Coral Sunset and Raspberry Wine till I had the look I was going for. Then I topped everything off with a coat of Gelish Ambience, to add some shimmer to the whole look. (Raspberry Wine is a shimmer, while Pink Chiffon and Coral Sunset are cremes.) Then I used White Konad Special Polish to stamp on a design from Bundle Monster ip BM15. I did have to use the gel cleanser to remove the sticky layer from the gels so that the image would stamp properly. Once I was done stamping, I applied SensatioNail top coat and cured. Voila! Easy, long-lasting nail art! Adding stamping to the process like this did NOT have an adverse affect on the lasting power of this manicure. It has still been holding up just as well as any other plain gel manicure I've done, and it has survived the chaos that is my daily life beautifully. (Cleaning, dealing with the dogs, more cleaning, cooking, some more cleaning lol.)

Gel colors used for this manicure: SensatioNail Pink Chiffon, Coral Sunset, Raspberry Wine and Gelish Ambience. This picture also shows the difference in the size bottles of these polishes. The Raspberry Wine is smaller than the other two SensatioNail colors as it was part of the starter kit.

Konad Special Polish in White was also used in this manicure

This is the Bundle Monster plate & image used for this manicure. It is from the first set of plates from Bundle Monster (the 21 piece set

This is not the first gradient I've done with SensatioNail. The first one I posted can be seen by clicking here. Though I have fiddled with this numerous times I never did get around to taking pictures of any of the other gradients I've done.

I actually PREFER doing gradients and other fun nail art with the gel polishes over regular polish. Because the gel does not dry till you cure it, you have time to work with the polish and make sure it's exactly how you want it. And the other plus is that, because you cure each coat/layer that you apply, if you apply something you decide you don't care for (or if you make a mistake) you can wipe your nail clean with the gel cleanser* and try something else/redo it, without having to totally start over because the cured layers are still in tact.

I've also played with marbling and color blocking with gel polish though I never got pictures of any of that yet. I should have. Things have just been so nuts this year whenever I did get around to doing my nails over the past few months, that was usually all I had the time/energy/desire to do and taking pictures just did not happen. I will do these things again sometime over the next couple of months though, I'm sure. And I will make sure I get pictures this time around.

My whole point, though, is to not be afraid to experiment around a bit with gel polish. I've seen SO many complaints that "the only problem with it is I can't do nail art". But you CAN! If you don't know how well something will work out just try it - it's the only way you will find out! It might work beautifully, or it might not work at all. But you have to try to find out. When trying out nail art that you are not sure how if it will work well with gel polishes or not, I suggest you only apply to ONE nail. That way if it doesn't work, you have not wasted time and product doing a full manicure.

* The gel cleanser is simply rubbing alcohol. I ran out mid manicure way back when I had first purchased my starter kit but I had noticed in using it that it smelled just like rubbing alcohol so I tried that and found it works perfectly. So, if you run out of gel cleanser you can refill your bottle with rubbing alcohol!

Have you tried nail art with your gel polish? Have you found techniques that work well, or that don't work well?

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