Friday, 26 September 2014

UNAIL One Step Polish | Review

In recent months we have seen an influx of at-home gel nail polish kits from several well known brands, offering the polish lover the convenience of a lustrous, long lasting manicure, without the salon prices. Of course, the added benefit of being able to sit at home in your pj's, with messy hair, not a stitch of makeup, and a glass of vino nearby also gains points in my book.

Personally, I enjoy painting my nails, and am quite happy to change my polish a couple of times a week. However there are many people who either don't have the time, nor the inclination, and that's where the gel mani enters its own. They are also perfect for holidays/vacations, when you don't want to have to worry about packing nail care items and polish to take with you.

Along with it's long lasting properties, comes one of the ultimate benefits in my mind, and that is a manicure that once cured under a LED lamp, is completely dry. Yes, no smudges, no dings, no dents. No sitting around like a princess praciticing your spirit fingers. You can freely, without worry or concern, rummage around in your handbag for your credit card whilst online shopping, and not damage the beautiful mani that you just spent valuable time perfecting.

UNAIL One Step Polish is a Brisbane based brand that contacted me recently to try their gel polish. I was immediately intrigued to learn that this gel polish does not require a base or top coat, hence, the "One Step" name. It claims to last to seven days without chipping, cracking or peeling. Nice.

UNAIL One Step Polish have a beautiful selection of 36 polishes, ranging from pretty pastels, modern brights, and deep, vampy shades. There is certainly something for everyone! I have the shades Petal, Whisper and Kingfisher to show you today. I have tested and photographed the wear over a seven day period of one the shades, Petal, and will share a few of my thoughts about the process along the way.

UNAIL One Step Polish - L-R  Petal, Kingfisher and Whisper

Each shade comes with a clip-off swatch ring...a very handy feature indeed. I likey. The swatches are a fairly good representation of the shade that will appear on the nail. If I was to be picky, the colours appear on the nail a little more intense, and a little brighter than shown on the swatch. For the purposes of storage, and being able to easily identify the shades, they are perfect.

Simple, easy to follow instructions

In my kit I received three UNAIL One Step gel polish shades ( 15ml each ) and the UNAIL One step remover, which is essentially pure acetone. I already own an LED light, it is very basic ( ie has an on and off switch ) however UNAIL do sell their own curing light which looks to be very nice quality, large enough to fit your whole hand in at once, has a timer, and comes in pink ( onto the Christmas wish list it goes ). My light is long and narrow, which means I need to cure my thumb separately.

The instructions are very easy to follow... 

PREPARE - I just did what I normally do prior to a mani change. Remove old polish, file and shape if necessary. Prior to starting your polish application, you need to dehydrate your nail bed. I used a cotton bud to apply a small amount of the acetone to each nail. If you have not done this before, do not be alarmed if your nail turns into a ghostly white, chalky mess. This is what acetone will do, and if it gets onto your skin it will do the same. It is just drying out the surface. A clean, dry surface will ensure the best result for your gel manicure. I like to use a balm on the skin around my nails prior to using the acetone, though I am extremely careful not to put the balm anywhere near my nail. This is certainly a step that you can leave until after you have done your manicure.

APPLY - I find it best to work with minimal polish on my brush. You have plenty of play time with these formulas, as they do not start drying or thickening as you apply them. They stay nice and fluid. I wipe of my brush on the neck of the bottle, and do the first pass in the middle of the nail, from just before the cuticle to the end of the nail. I then go back and wipe a little more off the brush, and then continue to apply the polish to both the sides. UNAIL highly recommend sealing the free edge of your nail, I just used whatever polish was left on the brush, turned my brush on its side, and gently dragged it across the edge of my nail.

CURE - I used my trusty iphone timer function set to 60 seconds, and cured my first coat. One thing I found easy with this system, is that there are no differing times required for each coat. I have used brands in the past where the base coat is 30 seconds, the colour coats are 60 seconds, and the top coat is 90 seconds. It is a small, but appreciated feature for me...and it is good to appreciate the small things yes? It is really up to you as to how many coats you eventually do. I found that three thin coats was required for the shade Petal to reach the opacity that I wanted. Whisper and Kingfisher were an easy two coats, and in fact Kingfisher ( the stunning, glowing blue shade ) could have almost been a one coater. As with all polish brands, there will undoubtedly be variation in the opacity of the formula.

ENJOY - it would be indeed a worry if I needed to comment on this aspect, however, I will say that for those who are used to doing a top coat, and then removing the sticky layer that forms on top of the polish with acetone, you do not need to do this! Once your desired colour/opacity is reached, its lights off and done. Back to the dishes, folding washing, flicking through fabulous fashion magazines, running your fingers through your get the picture.

REMOVE - I recently saw a video on You Tube by Tati ( GlamLifeGuru ) who shared a tip on removing gel polish, and I thought I would share it with you! Gel polish removal wraps can be a little pricey, so she suggested grabbing a big old pack of cheap bandaids, applying the acetone to a cotton swab, placing it on the nail, and securing it with a bandaid. Works a treat. One bit of advice I will offer for the removal stage is to leave them alone for 10-15 without disturbing! The first few times I removed my gel polish I was impatient and wanted to check them every few minutes, paranoid about soaking my nails in acetone for too long. What I ended up doing was having to either reapply another cotton swab, and do the whole process again, or pick/scrape off the remaining polish. I am telling you lovelies, if you wait the appropriate amount of time, you will remove the bandaid and the polish will have lifted off the nail and just be sitting there. More damage was done to my nails by having to scrape/pick the polish off.
I follow removal with a hefty dose of nourishing oils/balms/butters.

UNAIL One Step Polish - Petal - 3 coats

UNAIL One Step Polish - Petal - Day 4

UNAIL One Step Polish - Petal - Day 7

As you can see from the photographs above, my polish certainly lasted the 7 days without chipping, peeling or cracking. The gloss and shine did dull a little by day 4-5, but they still looked nice. 
These photographs are of my left hand. I did have one nail on my right hand which did chip, however this was because I caught my nail in the sodding cutlery drawer and broke the edge of it. Ouch. Otherwise, it is a big thumbs up from me! Some people may find that they will have their mani last longer than the 7 days. Personally, I don't like seeing the big gap between the polish and my cuticle, so off it came. Plus, I wanted to swatch the other shades!! See below!!

UNAIL One Step Polish - Whisper and Kingfisher - 2 coats each

Two more very pretty shades. Love them both! I didn't test the wear for this manicure, but I can say they are both beautiful to apply, opaque in 2 coats, and nice and glossy!

You can find UNAIL's website here
They are based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Starter kits are available to purchase, as well as individual shades, LED lamps, and accessories. I find the prices to be very reasonable, and comparable to what you would pay elsewhere for other brands. Each full size polish is $20 AU, which I will gladly pay when I order some more shades!

I am also extremely excited to let you know that the lovely people at UNAIL will be offering my readers a discount code which will entitle you to Free Standard Shipping within Australia! This code will be valid until 31st October.

Discount code : BLOGBEAUTYVINE

I would love to know what shades tickle your fancy! Have you tried UNAIL One Step Polish?

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Lou xo

Disclaimer: As mentioned in the body of this post, these products were provided for the purpose of review. There are no affiliate links present. I do not receive renumeration when you use the discount code, it is just for you, courtesy of the lovely people at UNAIL. Cheers.

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