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Monday, April 22, 2013

Review & NOTD: Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit

Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
My experience with gel manicure began and ended with a salon manicure I got over a year ago. While I loved how long it lasted, I think I was lying to myself about just how damaged it left my nails. The deep ridges and brittle texture of my nails kept me from doing anything extreme for a long time. Still, I love the idea of a manicure that lasts longer than two days (the average time I can go chip-free with a normal polish) and maintains a glossy finish the whole time. Enter Red Carpet Manicure.

I recently got the opportunity to try Red Carpet Manicure's Pro Kit and did so with the hope of falling madly in love with the gel manicure craze - one that doesn't seem to be leaving the limelight anytime soon. Read on to see the results...

The Pro Kit comes complete with a prepping and finishing cleanser, 4 polishes essential for the manicure - Prep, Structure, Brilliance, and Revitalize - as well as a colored polish in Red Carpet Reddy, a remover, and a Professional LED light. Despite looking intimidating, the process is relatively easy and only takes about half an hour (and that was my first time!). All in, with three coats, a top coat, and drying time, it takes me that long to do a normal manicure, which brings me to my next point: no drying time. Gel manicure eliminates my least favorite part of the polishing process by curing the polish in 45 second increments rather than an indeterminate amount of time living life as if you don't have fingers.

Just in case you feel like you have to choose between a long-lasting polish gel manicure and the fun  nail art trend that's here to stay, Red Carpet also makes supplementary kits that include polishes, tools, and gems that make partaking in both trends easy as pie. I personally hate putting time and effort into nail art only to have it chip in a day (if it doesn't smudge first), so I was especially stoked to see this! So excited, in fact, that I created a glitzy gel manicure coming up just in time for prom (look for the tutorial tomorrow!).

Removal is a slightly longer process than you might go through with normal polish (unless it's a glitter polish). Using the remover provided with the kit, I soaked small pieces of cotton with it and used tin foil squares wrapped around my finger tips to secure them to my nails for 10 minutes. After I removed the cotton, the polish was thoroughly softened and peeling around the edges, making it easy to lift and peel whatever was left away. No damage whatsoever! While the formula might be just as drying to the cuticle area, I didn't feel that the Red Carpet's formula was nearly as damaging to my nails as salon-grade gel.

The only differences between the Pro and Starter Kit are $20.00 and the kind of LED light you receive - the Starter Kit light is battery operated and lacks the dome covering and salon feel. Regardless of the kit you choose, I can't recommend Red Carpet Gel Manicure enough! The Pro Kit pays for itself with 3 manicures, yet you get so many more than that out of what you are given before you would ever need to repurchase the products included individually. Gel manicure lovers look out because this is a money-saving must-have!

Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit - Steps 1-3

Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit - Steps 5-8
Red Carpet Manicure Polish in And the Winner Is (Day 3)

Day 1 | Day 7

Red Carpet Reddy paired with the Gems and Jewels Kit (tutorial coming soon!)

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