Just before Christmas I was in my favourite shop TK Max, I was just about to walk out empty-handed (very rare for me) when my boyfriend spotted this gel kit (I have him fully trained to spot nail stuff). The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that I could use my own nail polish. This system only requires a gel top coat, which they claim will allow your polish to last a week. This seemed like my perfect solution as I loved my experience with gel polish but I am loyal to my collection of standard nail polish. I will give you my opinion first and then run through the steps of how to apply and remove the gel top coat.
My honest opinion
As I have a lot of standard nail polishes I find this kit great for prolonging the wear of my standard nail varnish. I have tried it with a couple of brands and it lasts around a week without any chips. However due to the fact that you need to be near an electrical point to use the Led lamp (although I have since seen wireless LED torches which you could also use) I do not use this every time I do my nails. Sometimes I want a colour for one night so I just use a normal top coat and remove it the next day. Which leads me on to the removal, as this takes about 10 mins per hands vs 5 mins for both hands with normal polish I have to ensure I have the time to sit down and remove it. Overall I think this is a great best of both worlds solution to get a gel like finish but with a choice of your own nail polish, however it does not last as long as gel nail polish.
As I mentioned it was just by chance I picked this up from TK Max. However I have checked and you are able to buy this kit online. You can also re-purchase the top coat online, which I will soon need to do. As you will find out later on, there is also a specific removal kit available as well.
How to use the Ciaté Geltox nail kit
This kit comes with full instructions, I also watched a couple of YouTube videos to see it in action. I will run through the steps now and give my tips along the way.
- Begin by using the cleanser that comes with the kit to remove any moisture or oil from your bare nails (this step is essential to ensure the polish lasts)
- The kit also includes a 4 way buffer which you can use but this is not essential
- Next you apply your chosen base coat and colour as normal
- The kit then recommends you leave it for at least 30 mins to ensure your nails are completely dry, if possible I recommend leaving it for longer if you can. The nails need to be completely dry before applying the gel topcoat.
- The next step is to add the gel top coat that is provided in the kit, once applied I recommend using a nail brush and cleaning the sides to ensure none of the polish is on your skin as once you put it under the lamp it will set and peel off the polish on your nails.
- Once you have done this you need to put your nails under the lamp, it is pre-set for 60 secs so you just press the button once. As the lamp is compact and narrow, I recommend doing two fingers at a time.
- Once you have completed a hand you then need to wipe of the sticky residue with the same cleanser you used at the start of the process
- Now it does state if you would like a glossier finish and to prolong your polish to repeat steps 5-7. I have tried with one and two coats of top coat and I can’t say I have noticed much difference.
How to remove – DIY style
Originally when I brought this kit, TK Max did not have the removal kit in store. However a couple of months later I did come across the removal kit in my local store so naturally I brought it. Before I had this removal kit I used a nail bowl that I got from the pound shop (can you guess how much it was?) along with some standard acetone. I lightly buffed my nails and then left them to soak in the acetone whilst I watched TV. After about ten mins the top coat peeled away and I was able to remove the bottom polish as normal or if you leave them a little longer the colour will just melt away. As acetone is very drying for your nails I recommend using a thick hand cream and cuticle oil afterwards. The only issue with this removal method is that you need a flat stable surface to put the bowl on and you can’t move whilst removing the polish. This is where the removal kit provides a solution for this.
How to remove with Ciaté Geltox Detox Nail Kit
The Geltox removal kit comes with nail oil, buffer, remover, cuticle stick and a roll of stripes. The first time I used this kit was to remove professional gel polish from my nails but I didn’t buff the top coat off enough (click here to read more about my experience). Again I will run through the steps and add in my own comments.
- Using the buffer included (same as the buffer in the Geltox kit, if you lose it) lightly buff the top coat till it starts to go slightly white, this will break the gel seal
- Next cut the tape for each nail (I recommend doing one hand at a time as it is a bit fiddly to do both unless you have an assistant) Each piece of tape once cut has a piece of cotton wool on it.
- Using the remover in the kit saturate the cotton wool and then wrap the tape around your fingers, it is a bit like velcro as it clings to itself.
- Once you have done either one hand or both you need to leave it for at least 10 mins
- Remove the first piece of tape and using the cuticle pusher in the kit gently push from the top the polish, if it comes away with ease you can continue to remove the others. If not leave on for a little longer.
- Once you have removed all the polish, the kit recommends using the cuticle oil provided. In my eyes this is essential as the acetone remover draws the moisture out of your nails. I also recommend hand cream as well.
I think this method is great if you need to be able to move around or do not have a stable surface for my previous method. However in the long-term this is not very cost-effective as you have to re-purchase the tape, which I am unsure if you can purchase on it’s own. Another option would be to use cotton balls and wrap your fingers in foil (as seen on Pinterest).
Disclaimer: All the opinions in this review are my own, all products were purchased with my own money.