Long-lasting manicures put the test

May 8, 2013 3:45:29 PM PDT
We're showing you how to pull off the salon nail look for less. Long-lasting manicures like Shellac are very popular because your nails could potentially look good for as long as two weeks. But getting them done at the salon can be pricey.

Shellac manicures cost as much as $50. But the popularity of the service has created a demand of low-cost options you can buy at the drug store and do it yourself at home.

Whether you're at the discount store or drug store, you may have noticed the all new gel manicure products. It had the beauty pros over at the Upper Hand Salon wondering if they were just as good as the Shellac manicure.

"We tested three different systems," beauty expert Rachel Gower said. "The system that you can get at the drugstore that is most similar to a gel manicure at a salon is called SensatioNail."

The SensatioNail starter kit includes an LED lamp, base coat, top coat, primer and color coat and costs about $50. The lamp is a one-time buy.

"So you have everything you need to do your own gel manicure at home, and it's enough to do about 10 of then," Gower said.

The tester follows directions that are similar to the salon, applying one coat at a time then repeating the steps as instructed. Then after the last coat cures and you wipe off with gel cleanser, your nails are ready to go.

"You get this beautiful high shine, a little bit of strength on your nail and it lasts forever," Gower said.

The next product we tried is Gel Perfect and it's by Nutra Nail. It costs $15 and it claims you can step into your shoes or dig into your purse in five minutes. After we applied it per instructions, we waited exactly five minutes, and just like the product states, we dug into a purse.

The result? No smudges! But the polish lasted only four days before we noticed some cracking and chipping. The online reviews were not good either.

However the SensatioNail product got plenty of positive reviews.

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