Nubar Gelicure Soak Off Gel Polish

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I have something a little different for you, something which I never thought I'd try: soak off gel polish.  I've seen various reviews in the year or so since OPI's Axxium and CND's Shellac made a splash, which had me interested enough to see what was out there and whether I was willing to try any of it.  Reviews on OPI's Axxium seemed to all have at least one person chime in with a complaint saying that her otherwise strong nails were damaged by the removal, which made me afraid of soak off gel in general, and the Shellac reviews said that product came off well, but I've never had success with CND products for natural nails, so I took that as hope for soak off gel and moved on.  Several other brands who do mainly fake nail stuff had a good selection of colors (IBD, EZFlow, Harmony,...), but  I settled on Nubar's Gelicure as the one to try just as a personal preference - my experience with their products is that they're kind to my nails (the only acrylic patches I've ever been able to grow out and to remove without damage were with Nubar acrylic), and I trusted that it would really soak off.

    I did do a test of the gel removal before applying the gel polish (I trust no brand that much!), and I found that I could remove the gel with relative ease in 10 minutes, and that it pretty much fell off when I touched it after 15.  The dissolved gel is really weird - it's like older rubber cement got kind of wet.  I know that's an odd description, but I'd bet if you tried this you'd see exactly what I mean.  Anyhow, knowing that I could take this stuff off when I wanted to, I went ahead and applied it.  I've never applied gel before (heck, I've never seen it in person before), so it's not the best application ever, but it shows some real potential for the product for me.  I'll show you the picture of my Gelicure mani first, then tell you how I put it on and why I'd want to.

    Nubar Gelicure Soak Off UV Gel Polish in Hot Pink
    It's not too bad for a first shot at gel, I think.  The trick thing about it for me was that gel polishes say that they go on like polish, but I discovered that's true only in the narrow sense that they're both applied out of a bottle with a brush.  What was strange to get used to was the fact that after touching the product to my nail, I had all the time in the world to get it perfect since it doesn't cure at all until it's under the UV light.  There are a couple of preparatory steps for the nails (primer and a bonding agent), then I applied the clear base coat gel.  I made it as thin as humanly possible and cured it.  Then I added color, also doing the super thin coats, but employing a kind of a completely rookie way to go about it.  I was applying as thinly as I could, then wiping the brush off in the bottle and then using it to take a little off each nail.  That just meant I put the gel polish on too thinly and needed more coats.  The last step was to seal it with top coat sealer and cure the sealer.  For curing, the directions said two minutes under the UV light to cure each coat, I gave it three for each just because that was how the light was set and I didn't want to mess around with it.

    Why would I possibly want to wear a colored gel polish that doesn't come off for weeks, you ask?  Lots of reasons...

    The gel functions as an overlay, and my opposition to overlays in the past has been functional rather than aesthetic - my experience with having acrylic overlays for a few days and acrylic patches here and there shows me that they diminish sensation in my nails, and when your nails do a lot of the work that fingertips do for people with short nails, changing how they feel doesn't work well.  Acrylic isn't that durable for color changes, either.  With this gel, my nails have as much feeling and as much "give" (like bending a little when pressed) as without, it just takes a little more pressure, and I can polish at will.

    The gel keeps pigment from ever touching my nails, which would seem to indicate that there's hope to completely and permanently grow out the stains on my nails.  In applying the gel, I was instructed to wrap my tips with base, color, and sealer, and with the edges protected my guess is that tears and breaks won't happen and that my nails might wear evenly (typing makes all of them wear more on the pinky side of the nail).  I have no ambitions to give Lee Redmond a run for her money even though I'm a fan, it would just be nice to quit having my blog and photo accounts look like a flip book of nails growing and getting chopped.

    As for the monotony of wearing one color, that's not a problem.  I'm sure of that because I applied the gel on Saturday, although yesterday's polish is the only picture I've shown with it on.  I polished and top coated over the gel and later used acetone remover (not recommended by the manufacturer!) to remove the polish, and the gel looks exactly like it did before the polish.  So polishing over gel works, and I really like the idea of having the base for nail art ready all the time.  I can embellish the gel polish with Konad or whatever and just remove it later.  That's handy.  In fact, here's my first shot at adding a bit to the pink.

    ubar Hot Pink Gelicure Soak Off Gel with Chevron Tips
    Nubar Hot Pink Gelicure Soak Off Gel Polish with Chevron Tips in Nail Polish
    That's just black and white nail polish with top coat added to the gel, and I can see doing stuff like this for a while before getting bored.  The shine on the gel is really amazing, too, and it feels like a new plastic coating it's so smooth.

    Today, on my fourth day of having the gel on, it looks like it'll last me about a total of a week before it starts getting too grown out looking.  Test removal and this application took just about an hour, which really isn't too much effort for me once a week - that's exactly what my routine was for about twenty-five years to change a manicure without quick-dry top coat.  With the ease of application and removal as well as all of the benefits of soak off gel, I really think I've been converted to it.  Now all the people who've asked me about fake nails, to whom I've consistently and emphatically replied "Never!!!", can mock me for wearing gel all they wish - I have it coming.

    So that's the recap of my four-day experience with Nubar Gelicure and my first with soak off gel.  Before I do the complete removal and next application, I'll take a new picture of the gel alone so we can all see the before and after of how the poor mistreated gel holds up.  Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!  

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