Pros: Fast to apply, fully dries very quickly, shiny bold color
Cons: Nightmare to remove. Huge con, there.
This year for Christmas, my mom had put something new and different for me to try in my stocking. Nutra Nail Gel Perfect nail kit. We'd seen this while shopping, but I never wanted to spend the money to try it. So, she thought it would be a good little thing for the stocking. I was excited to try it!
Nutra Nail Gel Perfect is described as a 5-minute gel-color manicure. The package states: "Sets Rock Solid in 5 Minutes."
This manicure set is designed to give the look and performance of gel nail color (commonly used at salons) without the need for a UV or LED light like salons typically use. Provides super shine and ding-free protection. I have a lovely purple color called Boogie. Bright and bold, and indeed very shiny!
The kit comes packaged in a small box, containing three bottles and instructions. It's very important to read all of the instructions before doing anything. This isn't regular nail polish, it requires the right application. The instructions have the suggestion of watching a YouTube video produced by Nutra Nail on applying the product. That is actually a very helpful video.
There are three bottles in this kit. One is a plastic bottle which is the activator. The second is the actual gel color, and the third is for brush cleaning, and it is just acetone. Basic instructions for applying the Nutra Nail Gel Perfect are as follows:
1. Unscrew all three bottles. You must work fast, so you want things to be ready.
2. Lay down paper towels on work surface, and one for brush cleaning.
3. Apply a thick coat of activator to all 5 nails on one hand.
4. Immediately apply a thinner coat of gel color to those same 5 nails BEFORE the activator dries. Apply with slight pressure to mix them. Don't try to fix streaks or uneven color, you'll only mess it up more.
5. After all 5 nails are colored, wipe excess color off of brush on paper towel. Remove brush from the cleaner and place into the color bottle, and place used brush into the cleaner. The instructions state to ALWAYS switch brushes after every 5 nails to avoid the gel color from gumming up on the brush.
6. Repeat with second hand.
7. As long as nails are dry on the first hand, you can apply the second coat. Do it the same way, then repeat on the second hand.
My Usage Experience
The process was indeed easy. You have to be fast though, to avoid the activator drying or you have a mess on your nail. That's why you do one hand at a time. I actually recommend doing one nail at a time until you get the hang of it, because there is a learning curve to it.
The activator is awful stuff. It most closely resembles super glue, and acts just like it. In fact, the first ingredient in it, Ethyl Cyanoacrylate, is super glue. The other ingredient in the activator is Polymethyl Methacrylate, which in my research, is a substitute for glass in shatterproof windows, skylights, etc. It's Plexiglass! So, you're putting superglue and Plexiglass on your nails. Nice.
The inscrucitons even state that if you get it on your skin an it bonds, don't pull apart as you could damage skin. Soak in acetone until it dissolves.
The activator is very thin and watery, spreads fast, and gets all over cuticles and even under nails. You're supposed to apply it to down over the edge of your nail, to seal the nail, but it runs down under your nail. I actually had a couple of nails where the underside was fused to my skin. I pried it apart (like you're not supposed to do), but was left with dried glue-like crust under my nail and on skin. Felt awful. I tried using acetone on a Q-Tip to remove it, but that didn't work.
Applying the color is weird. It spreads into the activator and mixes. It does NOT go on evenly, so don't worry. One coat looks atrocious. The second coat looked better, but I had to touch a few up with a thrid coat, and even then it was much less than perfect. Again, it's a learning curve. Works much differently than regular nail polish.
A couple of my nails looked pretty good. It is important to not use too much gel color, it may seem like you need more, but a thin layer is best.
Also, you certainly want to change out brushes after every 5 nails, it will gum up on the brush if you don't and it doesn't spread nearly as well.
This whole set smells terrible, as expected. Between the activator smelling like super glue, the gel color resembling regular nail polish, and the cleaner's strong acetone odor, it's a chemical nightmare. Use it in a well-ventilated area, and turn on any fans if you have them. Just don't have the air blowing right onto your nails.
I must say, the statement the product makes about drying rock solid in 5 minutes is very true! After 5 minutes (from second coat) they were dry and I could put my supplies away. After 10 minutes, I could do anything without them smearing, smudging, denting, chipping or messing up at all. Very nice! Made a quick manicure, that's for sure! It dried to a fantastic, still wet-looking shine and it was smooth.
How Long Does it Last?
I chipped one nail that first day, trying to peel a label off of something. A piece flew off of my nail. When my nail polish chips, it bothers me to no end and I must remove it. I thought about just fixing it, but since in general it didn't turn out as well as I liked, I figured I'd just remove it all together. I do think it has decent lasting power, though.
The instructions state that you can remove the Nutra Nail Gel Perfect with acetone, so I had purchased some prior to using it. I started removing the color, and by the time I was done, it was 30 minutes later, my cuticles were mangled, there was still gel color on my nails, and one cuticle was even bleeding. My nails looked awful. Plus, I was getting a headache from the stupid acetone remover. I was cranky.
The package states it removes easily with 100% acetone, and in just 2 minutes. Bull. I tried scrubbing, soaking the nail in the acetone for over a minute, then wiping, I tried filing it off. It comes off, in small bits at a time. Removal was a nightmare, plain and simple.
When I was putting the Nutra Nail Gel Perfect on, I noticed how easily the gel color came off of the brush when I'd put it in the cleaner, so I even tried the cleaner on my nails to get the color off, that didn't work either.
And for the record, mineral spirits didn't work either. I was getting desperate.
I'm still chipping the last few spots off of my nails 6 days later. That's what I did, was chip the remaining areas off over the next days. All that remained was around my poor damaged cuticles and along the nail bed, and they actually hurt from trying to remove with acetone. Yes, this was my first experience with this type of nail product and acetone, but still, I wasn't expecting war.
Luckily my nails and cuticles recovered fast. It'll be a week tomorrow since I waged war on removal of Nutra Nail Gel Perfect, and my nails aren't so dry and battered anymore. That's at least good. But the first couple of days after removal, they looked terrible. There are a few battle scars on my nails and cuticles, but that's it thank goodness.
I was really hopeful this would be a great product. Once you get the hang of how to apply it, It is fast to use, dries quickly and you can go about your daily routine 10 minutes after applying. But when it comes time to remove it, Nutra Nail Gel Perfect fails miserably. It's not worth it.
- Formaldehyde, Tolune and DBP Free
- Manufactured in the USA