Sensationail polish to gel

[Discontinued] Polish To Gel Transformer Starter Kit by Sensationail

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It’s no secret that I’ve tried my fair share of at-home gel manicure kits.

Although there are a ton of no-UV gel polishes out there, the best gel manicures you can get are the ones that include the light to cure the polish. Sure, you can go to the salon to get this done, but many brands have at-home kits you can buy for around the same price of one salon gel mani that work just as good.

I’ve tried sets from Le Mini Macaron, Red Carpet Manicure, Sally Hansen, and SensatioNail, and although some are definitely better than others, one of my favourites has been the latter. I’ve had the SensatioNail Gel Nail Polish starter kit with UV lamp for years now and it’s one of the ones I recommend to friends when they ask me my opinion on the best at-home gel kit.

Late last year, the brand actually released another version of the popular kit, this time though they took it a step further and enabled you to use any polish and turn it into a gel. The Polish to Gel Transformer starter kit allows you to mix any of your nail polishes with the SensatioNail Polish to Gel solution in order to get the wear and shine of a gel manicure. Typically brands have their own formulation of gel polishes that only set with the help of a UV or LED light, however, you can always do the sandwich method, i.e. use any polish but with their base coat and top coat to cure it.

This set, which retails for C$49.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall, includes their special Polish to Gel transformer. So you mic equal parts Polish to Gel and your own nail polish, then you paint it on, cure it using the LED lamp for 30 seconds, and then repeat for two to three coats. You then seal the colour with the same Polish to Gel transformer and cure for 15 seconds, wipe with the cleanser, and voila! You’re supposed to have a gel manicure.

Key words: supposed to.

I was very excited to try this kit out before my trip as I wanted to have colour on my nails that would last three weeks. So I grabbed the kit, did what it told me to, and put it to work. I chose one of Patrick Starr’s collabs from the Formula X Color Curators collection from last year and mixed equal parts polish with the Polish to Gel transformer, cured it, did it again two more times, then used the cleanser to take away the tackiness. Well, not only did it take away the tackiness, but it also wiped away the entire polish. Basically, this kit did nothing for me. It didn’t cure the polish and it created a big mess (I got pink all over my sink when I went to wash the mixing pot). I also want to note that you’re supposed to use equal drops of each product. Yes, drops, which if you’ve ever sat there and waited for polish to drop, it takes forever.

I ended up packaging this product up and grabbed my Red Carpet Manicure kit, which gave me a fabulous gel manicure that lasted the full three weeks in Asia. With the being said, the original SensatioNail kit also gives you a great gel manicure as well, I just didn’t have it on hand at the moment.

I like the idea of this kit, it just didn’t actually work. But here’s the kicker, as long as you use every other product that these kits come with, you can use any of your nail polishes, just instead of curing the polish, you would just wait for the colour to dry, then apply the special topcoat and cure it. It works the same way, just without the mess that this Polish to Gel transformer gives you.

If you’re looking for an at-home gel manicure kit, skip this one and go with the original, it works way better and retails for a little more than this one.

What’s your favourite at-home gel kit?

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I’ve used Nailene’s SensatioNail home gel kit since it first launched a few years ago. As someone who is tough on manicures, you can’t beat the feeling of waking up to perfectly glossy, chip-free nails every morning. I don’t use it all the time and own an embarrassing number of regular polishes too, so was excited to hear of the latest SensatioNail launch, a Polish to Gel transformer that converts any nail polish into a gel polish.
Essentially, this is a bottle of clear gel polish (with magic ingredients, obvs) that can be used as a top coat or mixed with nail polish and cured under an LED lamp for a long lasting mani. Beginners to gel manis (or SensatioNail) will need to invest in the Polish to Gel Starter Kit to use this. If you already own a SensatioNail kit, there’s no need to buy the full shebang; the little bottle of transformer can be bought separately and will work with your original lamp.
WHAT’S IN THE KIT?
Everything you need to do a gel mani, except the nail polish you mix it with, which you presumably already own (only about six shoe boxes full, and that’s after donating around 1/3 of it, oops).

  • An LED lamp with magnetic removable base so that you can use it for pedis, clever! This is the new lamp, which cures in half the time of the original one, is extra compact and powers via plug or usb lead (inc).
  • Gel Primer
  • Gel Cleanser
  • Polish to Gel Transformer
  • Cleansing Wipes
  • Mixing pot (with lid)
  • Buffer
  • Orange stick

HOW DOES IT WORK?
There are two methods: one quick and easy; one more time consuming but worth the effort in my opinon.
1. Top Coat – quick & easy

  • Paint nails as normal
  • Allow to dry completely (not just touch dry, so 30-60 mins minimum)
  • Apply Polish to Gel Transformer as top coat
  • Cure under LED lamp for 15 seconds
  • Wipe clean with Gel Cleanser (to remove sticky moisture layer)
  • DONE.

2. Mixing Method – long haul
This works on the same principle as any gel manicure and taking the time to prep nails properly will contribute around 50% to the lasting power of your mani. If you’re used to a home gel kit, this will be second nature, but will take time to get used to otherwise. Totally worth it.

  • Push back cuticles with orange stick
  • File and buff nails
  • Wash hands
  • Apply Gel Cleanser – to remove traces of oil, moisture and dust
  • Apply Gel Primer – optional, will help manicure last longer
  • Apply Base Coat – optional, will help manicure last longer. Can use original base coat or Transformer
  • Cure 15 seconds under LED lamp
  • Mix 6 drops of chosen nail polish with 6 drops of Gel Transformer
  • Apply two layers of colour, curing each for 30 seconds
  • Apply top coat
  • Apply Gel Cleanser

That sounds like a lot of steps but each one takes seconds and the whole process takes me around 40 minutes. I tried both of these methods, with and without basecoat and found that the long haul Mixing Method helped my manicure last as long as a regular gel mani – 10-14 days. The Top Coat method chipped more easily than expected, though this may have been because my nails were so short when I used it that I couldn’t cap the edges.
TOP TIPS

  • Use a piece of tin foil (or cling film) to line the mixing pot to save mess and cleaning.
  • Cap each layer of polish, painting along the free edge of the nail for an extra strong finish.
  • Use a much thicker layer of Polish to Gel Transformer as top coat than your average top coat for a shiny finish (mine was quite dull before I did this). Alternatively you can use the regular SensatioNail top coat, which is mega glossy.
  • Avoid quick dry (don’t cure as well) or sheer (will look too sheer) nail polishes for the Mixing Method. Opaque colours work best.
  • If in doubt about equal quantities, add an extra drop of Transformer.
  • Mix really well; don’t be half hearted about it or the formula won’t peform or cure correctly.
  • As with any gel mani, tidy up any mistakes before you cure. Polish on the skin or cuticles will cause the edges to lift and chip.

MY MANI
I’ve tried this system twice now (testing different methods on different fingers/hands) and used Essie polishes both times. This one is Essie Bahama Mama, one of my favourite shades. I think it looks pretty good even if I do say so myself!
So who is this kit for?
Anyone who enjoys a long lasting mani will appreciate this and it’s a great way to use up neglected polishes. I think it will be particularly good for nail art… if you’re going to all that trouble, may as well make it last! I have quite a lot of SensatioNail colours, but often wished I could give some of my favourite nail polishes the same lasting power – and now I can.
In case you’re curious, using gels occasionally hasn’t caused my nails any damage… I’m very careful not to over buff and gentle with removal, both of which help. I’m also religious about hand cream and cuticle oil and do give my nails a break between polish (regular and gel).
SensatioNail Polish to Gel Transformer Starter Kit is available now at Boots.
Fancy trying a kit like this or all sound like too much faff?

SensatioNail Polish To Gel Transformer Kit

Product Description

Fed up when your ordinary nail polish lacks shine, takes a long time to dry and chips after only a few days?
Now you can easily turn your favourite nail polishes into quick dry, high shine, gel polish manicures that last up to 10 days with the SensatioNail polish to gel transformer starter kit.
The SensatioNail polish to gel transformer starter kit includes:
– 1 X LED nail lamp
– 1 X USB lead
– 1 X UK mains adapter
– 1 X Gel cleanser (14.6ml)
– 1 X Gel primer (3.54ml)
– 1 X Polish to gel transformer (7.39ml)
– 1 X Mixing pot
– 1 X Manicure stick
– 12 X lint free wipes
– 1 X Double sided nail buffer
– Instructions

Preparation Instructions

Two Easy Methods to Achieve Salon-Worthy Gel Nails: Gel Top Method: Paint: Sweep on your favorite nail polish and let dry. Protect: Apply a thin layer of Polish to Gel. Mixing Method: Mix: Equal parts Polish to Gel and your nail polish. Paint: Sweep on. Protect: Seal in color with Polish to Gel. Good for 12 months once opened.

Ingredients Polish to Gel: Di-HEMA Trimethylhexyl Dicarbamate, HEMA, Hydroxypropyl Methacrylate, Trimethylbenzoyl Diphenylphosphine Oxide, Hydroxycyclohexyl Phenyl Ketone, Violet 2 (CI 60725). Gel Cleanser: Methyl Acetate, Isopropyl Myristate. Gel Primer: Ethyl Acetate, Isopropylidenediphenyl Bisoxyhydroxypropyl Methacrylate, HEMA.

Sensationail Polish to Gel Transformer

I am loving this gel transformer kit! I’ve been using a lot of no-lamp "gel" polishes lately, and they have not been holding up to my current routine. I was tired of doing my nails every couple of days. I’d been eyeing the Nailene sensationail coloured polish sets for a while, but didn’t want to lose the great shade range regular polishes I have. The transformer kit was on sale for $38, so I took a rare blind leap and bought it. The kit has a black bottle of clear gel polish, a tiny bottle of alcohol, a primer, an orange wood stick, a tiny led lamp that plugs in, and a lint free wipe (which my kit was missing, boo). You can buy refills of everything, although I’ll be buying just regular rubbing alcohol. I haven’t tried the sandwiching method yet, I’ve only done the mixing method, one with cnd vinylux and one with my old favorite rimmel lasting finish (that was getting goopy, it was a last hurrah). Both have lasted well over a week, with the tiniest chip only on my thumb. Very minor tip wear, still shiny and beautiful. A couple of nails have micro cracks from my nail bending, but it’s only noticeable when I get up close. My nails have grown out and are getting too long for my taste. I have done a ton of cleaning, hand washing dishes, laundry, swimming, and playing Lego with my daughter (prying the tiny pieces apart is usually death on my manis). This is incredible. My picture is of the second mani I did using the Rimmel polish (orangey red), grown out and still basically perfect after 9 days. Clean up cuticles, file nails, wipe off with alcohol, and apply primer. While that dries, mix 6 drops of regular polish, 6 of the clear transformer. Apply a thin coat of the polish mix, cure for 60 seconds, apply another thin coat, cure for 60 sec., and then do a coat of just the clear, and I cure for 60 sec. Then clean the stickiness off with rubbing alcohol on a piece of paper towel. Rock solid and keeps my nails from breaking. I’m really pleased with my new new nail routine, highly recommend and happy I don’t have to reinvest in new gel polishes. 100% will buy (the refill) again!