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Sensationail gel polish starter kit – raspberry wine

Up To 2 Weeks Dazzling, Damage-Proof Wear.

Key features

  • Includes: Gel Cleanser, Gel Primer, Color Gel Polish, Get Base and Top Coat, Lint-Free Wipes, Double Sided Nail Buffer, Manicure Stick, LED Lamp Included, Instruction Sheet
  • Invincible Gel Polish; 3 Easy Steps
  • No Dry Time; Super-Gloss Shine

Honest reviews


Long lasting but not worth the time

Pros: Fairly simple, long lasting color, love the shine and toughnessCons: Too many steps in application and REMOVAL is a pain in the A**I loved this kit and was amazed at how long the color lasted. I was skeptical about the two week no chip claim, but it truly does do what they say it does. The only thing that made me give three stars was there were many steps to application. Yeah it dries instantly but in the meantime I’ve put on three or four layers of different stuff and “cured” it for 15-30 second each time and each hand. Might be equal or longer than drying time of normal polish. The WORST part was removal. OMG it did NOT come off easily. First of all who has time to soak their hands in acetone for 15 minutes and then hack away fleck by fleck? (The picture shows it peeling off in one big piece. FALSE!!) And it does NOT work well the first time so then you soak some more, hack some more and meanwhile your fingers are wrinkly and smell like acetone not to mention what all this roughness does to the nails. So if long lasting color is worth the time of application and removal then this is the stuff for you. It certainly looks nice for a long time but to me, it just wasn’t worth the time and aggrivation. UGH!

Jeannette Sheldon, ND

Gorgeous professional looking manicure at home!

I’ve been getting my nails done for years (usually acrylic) but my manicurist turned me onto gel polish and I loved it! Gel polish stays looking newer for a longer period of time because it keeps its shine. My acrylic could last for weeks if not for the surface polish (regular nail polish) that will have chipped or dulled in less than 2 weeks. With the gel polish over acrylic I could go much longer without a fill because my nails still look new and shiny even after 3+ weeks of nail growth.Though I haven’t gotten acrylic lately I still enjoy polishing my nails at home. Polish usually lasts about 5-7 days for me depending on how much effort I put into prep work and the type of polish I use. I first saw this kit at Walmart and thought it was too expensive to try. Finally saw it at CVS instead with a $10 off coupon next to it recently and bought the kit. It came out to something like $40.Upon opening box I was pretty impressed with the UV lamp – it looked high quality. I was less impressed with the other tiny, tiny, bottles of gel cleanser, base/top coat, gel color, and primer. It would have been nice to have larger bottles of product. The instructions were LONG. Not that any of it was complicated, but there were a lot of steps involved. Half of these steps I already do when I put regular polish on anyway. (File, clean, etc.) No big deal really. It’s helpful that they give you a summarized reference card in addition to detailed instructions so you don’t have to read the long instructions over and over again.The process:1. I took my old polish off using regular remover and cotton. This will prove to be a huge no-no later with the lint from cotton.2. Using their lint free wipe, clean nails with “Gel Cleanser”.3. Applied “Gel Primer” to nail in a circle (though I did a box shape) around my nails. Air Dry.4. Apply thin layer of “Base/Top Coat”. This is clear so I couldn’t tell whether I was applying thin or not. At this point I notice little fuzzies everywhere on my nails from cotton earlier. Doh! Oh well, must keep polishing! Cure for 30 seconds…the lamp beeps after 30 seconds and turns off after 60 seconds.5. Apply thin layer of “Color Gel Polish”. As I am doing this I accidentally swiped my other hand with cured base coat against my sweater sleeve. Not only do instructions not tell you that curing doesn’t set your base/top coat but your nail surfaces are quite sticky right now and you have to be very careful. Grrr..More fuzzies all over my nails. Must continue color gel polish. Cure for 60 seconds.6. Repeat with second coat of “Color Gel Polish” and cure for 60 seconds. The fuzzies are annoying me but thankfully since my nails are not set I am able to remove some of them as I am applying polish. At this point nails are still super, super tacky. Stay away from dirt, lint, everything!7. Finally, apply one more thin coat of “Base/Top Coat” and cure for 30 more seconds.8. Take the lint free wipe, put some “Gel Cleanser” on it and wipe it over surface of nails. This takes away that tacky/sticky layer. Viola! Done!Pros:- Gorgeous, mirror like shine, gel manicure that looks incredibly professional. Shines like crazy.- No strong odors at all. I was surprised that it barely had any. No odors on nails after either.- I figured out during process that if lint sticks to polish after curing you can clean it up with the “Gel Cleanser” and continue on to next step of polishing. It turns out that the polish IS set underneath the sticky layer on top and you can just wipe it away with the cleanser.- Polish color has depth, no streaks at all.- Read instructions once and just referred to reference card afterwards. Pretty easy.- Nice UV lamp.- Though it seems like long process, it’s not. Remember you are not curing each finger, you are curing one hand at a time (minus the thumbs).- Save money in long run (maybe not time because of removal).Cons:- Probably should have mentioned in instructions that your nail surfaces will be sticky through entire process until last step.- Not much product in kit.- Price is sort of high. Bottles of polish cost around $10. Refill kits I think are slightly higher or around same price.- Removal time and effort is expected to be high. It’s a given whether you get acrylic, brush on gel, etc. I have not tried a product that did not require the use of a Dremel, literally, to take the manicure off. If this is a concern of yours, you could still purchase this kit and do a clear gel overlay on your nails instead. Let your nails grow out or do your own fills.- Not good for people that like to switch colors often.- And last, the whole UV lamp thing does concern me. Is it dangerous to be using this thing?Conclusion:Though I’m dreading the removal part because I’ve had to go through similar process with brush on gel before, I am overall very satisfied with the outcome. It’s my first time using this and my nails came out great despite the couple of snafus. I still have fuzzies in my nails but you can’t even tell because it’s so ridiculously shiny. I’ll upload a picture for everyone.***Follow up 7/25/12I am still a VERY happy user of this gel kit. I just wanted to update on removal methods (and it’s really not that bad!)Pure acetone soak:I went and purchased pure acetone from the beauty shop (it comes in plastic bottle in different sizes). Poured some into a glass bowl and soaked for 10 minutes. (This is after I had filed the shiny layer off surface of nails). After 10 minutes I noticed gel had softened on nails. Taking an orange stick I scraped the gel off one finger at a time. It was not difficult whatsoever. Your hands don’t look pretty during this process. The gel doesn’t come off in one piece, it sort of shaved off…like if you were to take a chocolate bar and a peeler to get some chocolate shavings lol. Even when I soaked other hand for longer I still had same experience. Some people put the bowl of acetone into another bowl of hot water. I have not tried that method yet. If you try this method make sure you have a good surface to work with and a glass bowl. I originally put it in plastic and it melted the plastic. Also the acetone can eat away at your furniture/laminate. I’m sure adding heat would have helped but I have a small apartment and not much workable space to do anything. Other reviewers seem to say that is key to easy removal.The peel off method:I know, this is not the “prescribed” method but I just scrape it off my nails without the acetone. I found that this was less messy and since gel wasn’t soft from acetone soak, came off in bigger chunks. Any remaining gel I just filed away. The traces of gel normally stick to where you had placed your primer. So don’t go overboard on the primer! I have not used acetone since and I’ve done my nails several times since then. If your natural nails are pretty strong then you can probably get away with this method as well.The other peel off method:This is the fun one. I skipped the primer when I put the gel on. The resulting manicure looked just as good though didn’t last as long. And when you are tired of your manicure all you do is peel it off each finger in one piece. It reminded me of the polish we used as children that peeled off in what looked like a layer of vinyl. It was fun but don’t expect it to last weeks or anything. Great for anyone with commitment issues :)Final tip:Watch out for that primer. The more you put on, the more difficult it is to take off gel. It’s like super glue.9/11/12Just a quick update. (Still loving the system btw!) They have a new tool now that looks like a scraper, costs about $5 and works GREAT in helping remove polish. Looks sort of like a mini curved spatula. I have not gone back to using the acetone at all and continue to just remove polish by scraping it off dry. With this added tool I can remove my polish in less than 10 minutes. Do use care when using the scraper not to dig in and damage natural nail! I use primer sparingly….so if your polish is not coming off easily you will need to soak your nails in pure acetone to soften if you have trouble.

Maureen Patten, ME

Light is ok….polishes eh

I bought this as my first “gel” kit. I was getting them done in a salon and wanted a cheaper way to do it.First off, I didn’t care for the lack of color options. Also, the size of the bottles are SMALL. You are basically buying the light.I’m not impressed with the polish itself. It seemed longer to soak off and didn’t last all that long. Gelish are much better with the salon quality colors that are fun and classy.I can’t say you need the pre bonding/cleansing stuff that sesationail offered. Nor the final wipe. Alcohol does the trick. And it’s what salons use. Cheap and effective.The light is only big enough for 4 fingers at a time and thumbs together, which may be best since if you put your whole hand in leaves your thumb naturally at a side. Also, it’s an LED light rather than UV like some. Which means it cures faster. Gelish polishes say you only need 30 seconds. I do a minute, or two anyway as usually when I do them I have time. But I may play with the 30 second thing.In the end, I ended up using the light but buying CND base/top coat and Gelish colors. I will probably try Gelish base/top as the colors last great so the base/top may be better too. The sensationail scraper is a good product. But since using Gelish colors and cotton disks rather than cotton balls, I have hardly any sraping after 10 mins in tin foil.Knowing what I know today, I would have found a bigger light for the same price, but this product is decent.

Evangeline Dresher, PA


Update:After using the product a second time I noticed burning if the product got on my cuticles at all (before curing). Then after my third time using the product my nail beds just ached even after curing and I had to remove it after a day. This is an allergy to the polish – it seems both the base/topcoat and the nailpolish itself cause me allergies. I have not had allergies with gelish. I know allergies happen but I wanted people to know that if you are allergic to this brand you may not be allergic to all brands.Also my lamp started not producing enough UV to cure the polish after about 1 month. I did end up buying the gelish 18 g and am happy going to all gelish product.——————–Previous review.I am so excited to have found this product. It is an excellent deal to get the whole kit for this price (though generally it is cheaper in stores). I found it very easy to use and my first manicure lasted 9 days without a chip before I decided I wanted to change it and I had a lot of growth. I have subsequently kept nail polish on 2 weeks before I wanted a change. This is revolutionary to me as I can usually not get away with more than 1.5 days of a regular manicure without chipping due to my weak, peeling nails. This meant I would spend lots of time changing my nail polish which in the end was more damaging than the soak off from this product. The product gives a measure of strength to my nails which has allowed me to grow out the split portions and has increased the overall health of my nails. I also use Solar Oil daily and feel that this is also helpful in replenishing any moisture lost from the soak-off. Regarding the soak off process, it is a little annoying but worth it for the amount of wear I get out of the polish. Be sure to buff off all of the shiny top coat before beginning the soak-off. Heat helps speed the process too.In order to be able to use this product you will have to have a very steady hand and be able to keep the product off of your skin and cuticles as you work. Do not cure the product with it on your cuticles – you will not be able to remove it later. It is also important to not get the product on your skin as some people can become allergic to gel products with repeated exposure.One further tip I have is that after curing the base coat, wipe off the sticky layer with a dry lint-free pad. This will prevent the colored layers from shrinking up from around the edges of the nail. I think this is more of a problem with darker colors.I have also had success using Gelish nail polish with the lamp which is a bonus. If I get more into gel polish I may get a larger lamp but for now this is great for home use. I would appreciate seeing more of a color selection in the future from Nailene but as I can use Gelish this is not a big detractor for me.

Jocelyn Mayfield, UT

Great product, easy to do, well-written instructions

I just bought this Nailene product yesterday at Wal-Mart. The starter kit is about $49.95 and comes in two shades: a paler pink and a darker raspberry shade; the raspberry is called “raspberry wine.” I bought the raspberry color. Before starting, I read the instructions from top to bottom twice to make sure I understood them and to make the process easier so I did not have to keep referring to the directions in the middle of painting my nails! The process went very smoothly. I have one or two nails with a few little bumps on them. Some of the old gel polish I had on before must have stuck on and I didn’t see it, and that’s what it is. However, they are not noticeable so I am just leaving them. The UV lamp is excellent and very high quality, much better than the battery-operated lamps that some of these kits include.End result is that you have a great manicure with beautiful shine and the color is wonderful. This stuff is tough; you can see it forms a real shield on your nails and that really protects them. I should have no trouble getting this to last at least 2 weeks.For comparison information, I will put down here that I also tried the Red Carpet Manicure kit. I was much more impressed with Nailene than with the RCM. Also, with Nailene, you do not have to use color each time; you can also do a clear manicure, which means you get the protection of gel for your nails but you don’t have the color. So you can give your nails a break from the colored polish, which can stain them, while still protecting your nails from peeling and abuse.This polish also appears to allow your nails to breathe. I also use Genadur, which is a prescription nail growth product that helps prevent peeling and splitting nails (mine were really bad). I can use Genadur over my Nailene manicure and the nails soak it right up, which means that the Nailene product allows your nails to absorb treatment products even while you are wearing gel polish; it does not prevent your nails from getting enough oxygen.I think this is a great product and think it should last at least 2 weeks. I don’t like the removal process of gel polish either, but I will try the soak-off method with hot water (heated in the microwave) that other posters here recommended when the time comes.

Sheila Auburn, WA

Great Kit

This is a fantastic starter kit for those who want to save a little money and do their own Gel Nail Polish at home. I wish the bottles of polish and top and base coats were bigger but it works for now. I also wish they had a better selection of colors to choose from with the kit. Otherwise a great kit.

Loretta Whittington, IL


I love this kit. I thought I’d share my removal method:I picked up the removal tool at Walgreens for about $5 (made by SensatioNail). Great buy. I buffed the shine off the nails, put pure acetone on cotton, put the cotton on my fingers, wrapped my fingers in foil, put my hands under a heating pad, waited about 10 minutes, scraped off the gel with this tool, buffed my nails with a file, pushed back my cuticles, put on some lotion and put some cuticle oil on my fingers.My fingers are ready to go for the next set. I’m going to give them a days rest. I’m not sure if that’s necessary but I’ll do it anyway. Total time it took to remove: 25-30 minutes.

Yvette Regina, KY

Works good if you follow directions.

I received this product for $39.00 – a $20 discount and feel that this was a great price for a high quality product. For those who are insinuating that their gel polish came off in just days due to the product being cheap, ineffective, etc. did NOT follow directions closely. While, with some products, skimming through the directions is acceptable, you must read and follow EVERY step of the process with this product. If the product is coming off in whole pieces, it’s likely because the gel base or polish was applied to the cuticle where it will not adhere properly and thus cause the entire gel to come off. Make sure that cuticles are pushed back and the product is covering ONLY the nail.Overall, I really like this. I have done both my fingernails and toenails and both have held up sufficiently. I prefer the pink chiffon and raspberry wine shades best and really love the shiny finish that lasts for the duration of my manicure and pedicure. Since gel manicures (without any type of false nail) is typically $30-$40 at local salons, this product is a great deal considering one gets 10 manicures out of the starter kit.I gave this product 4/5 stars because I wish the LED lamp was larger. The process is long enough and having to do thumbs separately is somewhat frustrating. Had the product been a bit larger, all 5 nails could be cured at once.

Colette Wisner, LA

Best product ever!

I bought this kit from CVS (with a combination of extrabucks, coupons and employee discount. I ended up paying $30.00). My nails came out so perfect the first time, I had a hard time convincing people I did them myself. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and faithfully to succeed. So far, 5 days and counting and my nails are as shiny and perfect as the first day. The whole thing took 30 minuts tops (I was being very carefull). I bought the kit with Raspberry Wine, its a beautiful, deep color with tiny sparkles. If you are interested, Sensationail has coupons to print on their page, a $5 off on the starter kit and a $1 off for the polishes. Also, Sensationail has the best customer service, quick and reliable. My kit came with coupons for the essentials kit and polish but they were expired, I wrote to them to let them know and within 24 hrs responded giving me new coupons that are good until July and that I can print and use as many times as I want.I will update my review when the time comes to remove it. I bought also the removing tool at CVS for $5 and I ordered a set of nail soakers from Amazon. Will let you know how this works.

Jacquelyn Thorntown, IN

Not as good as OPI but a great deal for a starter kit

Not as good as OPI but a great deal and I’ve enjoyed it.I’ve been getting Gel manicures for about a year and I love getting them done professionally. The pros always used OPI and when I used a color from a different line it was never as good. Well, to save money I thought I’d give this a try since it’s not a huge investment.I like it a lot for what it is. It was pretty easy to apply and not at all difficult to remove. That is my one OPI complaint. When the pros do my nails it takes FORVER (like 25 minutes of soaking) to really loosen it, and then I have to scrape my nails with a metal scraper to get it off to the point where sometimes I’ve damaged the nail bed. This only took about 5-10 minutes of soaking with foils and then what little was left scraped off with the included wooden stick with no nail damage.These colors do not last as long as my OPI manicures – my OPI manicures would last 3 weeks without so much as a chip – the got so grown out that I would ‘fill’ them in with regular nail polish and blend it over the top for an ombre effect. With this product I went a week before one chipped (I was cracking crab legs – it was hard work on my nails, I’m not surprised, and only one chipped). I think I didn’t cap the nail perfectly and thats why it lifted, but it didn’t take me long to re-do it and the other nails looked great. I’ve even embedded gems in the top coat with no problems. I’ve heard this light works with OPI so I’m hoping to try that next. Overall, a good product which I would recommend for someone starting to do their own gels.

Diane Carnegie, PA

Not happy

These peeled off my nails in less than two days. Do not waste your money. I have tried to do it twice since then with the same result.

Gracie Calmar, IA