Guest post: Essence – Better Than Gel Nails (review and swatches)
We have something different for you today. A dear friend of Maestra was kind enough to write an extensive review on Essence Better Than Gel Nails. We think that she did an amazing job! Here’s what she has to say …
Mostly reader and admirer of Parokeets, this time on the invitation of dear Maestra in a different role.
A few days ago when I was on the culinary spoiling at Maestra I had a glimpse view at a starter kit of Essence Better Than gel nails and I hoped that it will soon be available in our city. And since yesterday I had to go to the city center because of another “urgently needed” cosmetic product, that trip was an ideal opportunity to look further on the Essence stand. Yeah – one of the three remaining starter kits soon became mine. And so our story began…
I must admit that I originally bought the starter kit to test how the base sealer and the top sealer would work as the protection and strengthening of my fragile nails. Maestra, I know – not enough love for them. ;) Basically French manicure is not something for me, but if I’m wearing it I definitely want slightly less showy tips. And I must say that I was quite surprised with the whole thing, positively surprised.
At the start I slightly polished and prepared the nails with the file from the kit. Then the tip size measurement followed. Small problem: the ring finger and middle finger should “wear” the same size number, but in the kit there are 18 tips, two for each of nine different sizes, so I had to slightly modify my choice. For the middle finger I chose one size bigger tip, which I affixed with a little more caution. Attaching the tips was not difficult at all.
I thought that the dosage of glue on the tips requires greater skills, but the glue is quite liquid, and a standard drip of the brush is just right for coating tips. The smell of the glue is identical to a quick-drying glue, the adhesion rate also, so be careful when installing the tips. For a moment or two you can maneuver the tip, but after a few seconds it is firmly in place. Because of the speed of adhesion on my (for a French manicure) too short thumb nails and the length of the tips for the thumbs, my thumbs are shyly hiding in the photos. :) Next time I will stick the tip of the thumbs slightly over the edge of the nail, then I will file away the rest of the tip. I do not know why with the width of the tip also increases the length!? However, tips dried very quickly, so I could remove the handles right after I finished with placing the tips on one hand.
I have to mention several thing about the tips: it is necessary to have quite adapted nail shape to those of the tips, nails should be just right long / short if you want that tips will sit well. Tips themselves are not enough robust to serve prolonging the nails. When attaching the tips, it is best to first attach the tip in the middle, then pressing the edges of the tips with your fingertips or nails of the other hand.
I proceeded with applying a base coat which is easily spreadable, nor were there any problems with the brush. Because of my impatience I waited just a few minutes after the application of the basecoat and then continued to apply the top coat. The top coat is slightly thicker than the basecoat, but still very easily spreadable, and not problematic at all. It was followed by another layer of top coat (again after a few minutes – what can I do, I am really impatient). The top coat dries at lightning speed! A useful thing though…
Well, with all the work I kept myself busy and engaged, so I was completely surprised that I spent about 45 minutes to complete all the process. I have no idea what took so long. Probably the placement of the tips, hmmm.
And the appearance? You can see some perspectives of my “paws” and “claws” in the pictures, but in the closer look top of the nails are a bit thicker, but not nearly as well as gel nails. I am still checking the lasting of manicure – I am exposing nails to working with paper, keyboard, folders, etc. most of the day. I will not encumber them by the cleaners, but I will diligently apply protective gloves when polishing the apartment at this weekend. A sequel of the story will follow shortly.
What to say for the end? For me this is definitely the best option of DIY French manicure at home. The final product is relatively easy to do and it looks professional. It will be interesting to see how the nails will look like with gray/silver tips. I may surprise you with pictures. However, a test of using a base coat and a top coat on my usually painted nails will follow. I am quietly hoping that they will perform the task.
I hope my experience will help you decide whether to use it or not.