I love having glossy, bright, painted nails. It makes me feel pulled together, and finishes a look perfectly. I'm one of those people that would never choose to go out with naked nails, and I change my colour every couple of days - mainly because of chipping. It means I must spend a whole lot of my week doing my nails - I'd prefer it if my polish lasted longer and didn't need attention every 48 hours or so, which is why I love at home gel kits. I've tried several before, and I like to think I'm quite good at it, but the whole process from start to finish usually takes about an hour with most methods, so I don't make the effort to put on a gel often enough. The answer of course, is a gel manicure that takes no longer to apply than a regular polish, and that's what Red Carpet Manicure have created with their Red Carpet Ready One Step system. They claim it takes just five minutes to complete their manicure, and I was more than happy to put that to the test.
Okay so here's my finished manicure in the shade headliner, which is a classic red creme. It's glossy, shiny, smooth and my nails feel strong. I'm very impressed. And did it take five minutes? Absolutely! I can't paint my nails with normal polish in under 5 minutes - well I could, but it wouldn't be dry in that time - this stuff is properly touch dry and ding-proof as soon as it comes out from under the lamp - seriously impressive stuff.
The secret to the Red Carpet Ready's speedy application, is that it's a one bottle process. With some other gel nail kits you need to apply base and top coat as well as colour, and sometimes have to use an additional liquid product on a wipe to remove that tacky layer and give the shiny finish. With Red Carpet Ready it's just the one bottle of colour that you need to apply in two coats, and that's it.
You need to start with clean dry nails, apply a thin layer of colour, and then cure under the LED light for 45 seconds. You then add another coat of colour, cure again for another 45 seconds and that's it, you're done. I was pretty sceptical that this manicure could be done in 5 minutes, but it's not a ridiculous claim, and you don't need to be any sort of pro to get in done in that time either - it's as easy as painting your nails with a normal polish, and the only real knack to it is painting a really clean edge, and making sure you cap the free edge of your nail with the polish so that it's all sealed.
So far I've been wearing the Red Carpet Ready manicure for five days and it still looks shiny and new with no chips or wear - that would never happen on me with a normal nail polish. The manicure should last three times longer than normal nail polish, so for some people that's going to be about two weeks, or if you're harder on your nails like me (I really don't know what it is that I do to them, but my nails love to chip) then probably up to a week, which I'm happy with, as I'd get bored of a colour in that time anyway.
Removal seems pretty standard for a gel-type polish - you need to buff the top layer of the polish with a nail file, and then soak in remover. The kit comes with foil wraps to make the process easy, and it says you need to let the polish soak off for 15 - 20 minutes. Just a side note on this and a bit of a warning - you probably can peel the polish off, but as with any gel manicure, don't do it! It will damage your nails - I've done it before, and it made my nails really week, as peeling off the gel takes a layer of your nail with it. The Red Carpet Ready starter kit, which comes with one colour polish in Headliner, costs £69.95 and you'll find it at QVC and redcarpetmanicure.co.uk alongside other kit options. The polish comes in 27 core shades, plus seasonal collections, and those are sold individually at £12.95 - £15.95 each, but good old QVC have them in duos and trios which work out cheaper than buying separately. Okay so here's my finished manicure in the shade headliner, which is a classic red creme. It's glossy, shiny, smooth and my nails feel strong. I'm very impressed. And did it take five minutes? Absolutely! I can't paint my nails with normal polish in under 5 minutes - well I could, but it wouldn't be dry in that time - this stuff is properly touch dry and ding-proof as soon as it comes out from under the lamp - seriously impressive stuff.