Saturday, March 3, 2012

Regular Nail Polish + Soak Off Gel Top Coat (Part II)

I promised to give you an update on my regular polish + soak off gel top coat manicure.

Here it is, on day 2: 2 coats of Guppy nail polish in #64 and a coat of Hong Nuo Soak Off Gel Top Coat, cured in my 9W curing lamp. 

And the results? I'm really sorry to tell you it DIDN'T WORK. It looked great at the time I posted about it and then I decided to dye my hair. I used gloves when washing my hair, but I guess there was still too much water involved. After my little colouring venture, I saw a little chip on one of my nails. I had to see what was going on and then the gel and nail polish just peeled off. Just like with those OPI glitter polishes. It just came right off. I guess the water came in between my nails and polish... Maybe I should apply one coat of gel on my nails, then apply polish and another layer of gel top coat, but I'm not gonna do that - 'cause I KNOW it will damage my nails once I try to take it off. One some nails it was really easy to remove the gel, because it peeled off and on the others, it was a tougher job. I had to file the top off, apply the cotton pad dipped in nail polish remover on top of my nail and wait. And even after that I had to scrape some of the polish + gel off. I'm gonna try this technique again and wrap my tips better. We'll see what happens.

Right now I wouldn't recommend this techique. If gel top coat had helped my manicure to last for at least a week, then it would be worth it, but this just doesn't cut it. Yes, the shine is amazing, but the removal process is a bit too time consuming. But as I said, I'm gonna try again someday.

Thanks for looking and commenting!


  1. hi :) i am an ardent follower of ur blog and love ur manicures!
    i am confused whether to buy china glaze flying dragon or seniorita bonita. i am warm toned and have short nails. i love magenta more than true purple.. would love a comparison and advice on which one i should buy.. thanks!

  2. I love the polish. Sad to hear the gel top coat is hard to take off. Thanks for sharing :) xx

  3. I do a 'gelish sandwich" when I have to travel and need my manicure to last. First prep your nail with a dehydrator. 1 coat Gelish foundation. Cure. 2 coats regular NP. Let dry 15-20 minutes. 1 coat Gelish top it off. Cure. It'll be chip free for 2 weeks. I work in the medical field so I'm always washing my hands and wearing gloves. As for the removal, it's the foil method for 15 minutes. Then gently remove with an orange stick. I would not do it all the time as acetone is drying, but once in awhile if you need a long lasting mani..the gel sandwich works for me.

  4. Definitely looks awesome. I'm kinda sad, that it didn't work out... I might try Beata's suggestion though... Hm.

  5. Shame this gel manicure didn't work out for you. I can see it for vacations or something very special. For every day I think it's too harmful.

  6. Do you usually prep your nails by swiping them with acetone, to remove oils? That really helps me with polish adherence. A good base coat does too. CND Stickey is so key for me now. Good luck with your quest!

  7. Too bad it didn't work this time. I hope you'll achieve better results next time you try. Chips are really frustrating.
    On another note, my manicures tend to chip more easily if I wear gloves while washing my hair, doing the dishes...than if i do it without the gloves. Especially the rubber ones. I think it gets all steamy under them so the polish just peels of. I don't know if I'm right, it's just my experience.

  8. Oh, škoda, da ni delovalo... =((

  9. Such a bummer-but you can't skip hair dye day!!!

  10. You should definitely try doing the gel base first. I have a full calgel manicure that I got a couple weeks ago. I got bored with the design, so I put a regular basecoat and polish on top of it. I didn't even bother with a topcoat and, 4 days later, there are no chips. And I usually have chips in a polish mani after 30 minutes.

  11. You said you didn't use a base coat under the wet nail polish, perhaps that might be the cause. I think it's worth a try with a regular base coat to bind the polish to the nail.

  12. I had a gel nail manicure done a the salon and 2 weeks when the regrowth was visible I used my buffer block file and smoothed the ridge that grew down from the cuticle. Then I applied regular polish (OPI) over the gel nail. I did not use a top coat. It did not chip for a week. The next week I used polish remover to remove the color only and repainted my nails and it again lasted a week. But the 4th week the gel nail had grown out so much that that time the polish chip after a day. That is when I did another gel nail manicure. I love it as this way I can change colors as often as I want and it is very easy as I don't have to soak off the gel.

  13. Like Beata, I tried making a "gel-ly sandwich". I had varying success and, for the most part, it seemed to depend on a couple of things - using a prep layer, just like when you have acrylic nails done, then a gel foundation AND sealing the free end of the nail with both foundation AND the top coat. The first time I did it, I did not let the polish and top coat cure enough and the polish smudged. Next time, I used fresh polish that was not as thick. I let the polish dry 30 minutes and let the top coat cure for about 8 minutes. The manicure lasted me 10 days, which was about as long as I could stand to go without changing colors. :)

    Even if I have the mani done in a salon, I take the polish off at home myself. I soak 'non-lint' pads in acetone, place it on the nail and wrap with tinfoil. I let it stay on for about 10 -12 minutes. When I remove the tinfoil, the polish basically flakes off. I use a cuticle pusher to scrap off what bit is left, then take the clean side of the acetone-soaked pad and clean up any bits of color that are left. My salon charges an extra $10 for removal, so I save that much at least.

    I prefer to use regular polish because there are more colors available and because I have a ton of it. If I do get a chip, which is not often, then I have the polish to put a coat over it.

    Two things I intend to try are changing the color by painting right over the gel mani and using a UV topcoat to seal it; and putting just gel base layer & gel to coat and then applying regular nail polish over both. I heard of someone who does that. This would be good for those times when I feel I might want to change the color in a day or two anyway.

  14. Oh, I meant to compliment you on your polish color, by the way. Absolutely lovely! I have not seen that brand here in Alberta (Canada), but I will keep my out for it in online stores and also when I travel.

  15. I also use the "gelish sandwich" and I would like to share with you some tips that I learnt from a Harmony expert manicurist ;)

    - Apply foundation gel and remember to seal the free edge.
    - Before applying the colour, remove the residue from the nail with a clean brush (you can see how to do it at 1:08 in the video -
    - Whenever possible, let 2/3 hours pass before applying the gel top coat to ensure the colour layers are perfectly dry.
    - After applying gel top coat, wipe off the tacky layer with cleanser or alcohol.

    This is the way I do "gelish sandwich" and it works for at least 10 days.

    Hope this helps!


  16. IBD actually makes a UV gel topcoat that is specifically designed to be applied over regular nail polish, called IBD UV Light Top Coat :) I also tried applying my normal UV topcoat over nail polish, and it cracked withing 48 hours, lots of little hair line cracks all along the nails. My theory is that the polish underneath is too soft for the hard topcoat. The IBD one is a bit pricy I think, but possibly well worth it! There are reviews on YouTube :)


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