At Home Gel Manicure? Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel Kit Review & Photos

Monday, February 20th, 2012 | Nail Polish, Product Testing

Meilily: Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel Kit
Meilily Product Review & Photos: Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel Kit!

Why go to the salon for a gel manicure when you can do it yourself at home?

The new LED gel manicure kit from Red Carpet Manicure promises to get you “gorgeous color and incredible shine, that lasts and lasts,” at home, for about the price of two salon gel manicures. So, how do you apply it, and, more importantly, does it actually work?

Find out how to apply Red Carpet Manicure gel polish and see why you may not want to say goodbye to the salon just yet…

Applying Red Carpet Manicure Polish for an At-Home Gel Manicure
Step 1: Apply Prep – cleans nails
Step 2: Apply Structure base coat, and cure 1 minute
Step 3: Apply LED gel nail color, and cure 2 minutes
Step 4: Repeat above color step if desired
Step 5: Apply Brilliance top coat, and cure 2 minutes
Step 6: Wipe nails using Purify – removes tackiness

The Red Carpet Manicure system is a tad complicated for an at-home manicure, but can be completed in about 45 minutes to an hour.  (I found it hard to fit all my fingers under the portable LED curing light at once, so I recommend working on just a few nails at once.)

Meilily: Red Carpet Manicure Gel Kit - Structure, Prep, Brilliant, Purify

I picked up a few shades of Red Carpet Manicure gel polish from Ulta.com to try out, and was pretty happy with the colors, especially Simply Stunning, a sheer pale lavender-pink shimmer (below right). I also tried Violetta Darling, a semi-sheer lilac (below center), and Envelope Please, a medium muted mauve-berry (below left).

Red Carpet Manicure gel polish shades are surprisingly easy to layer and fun to experiment with. Each small bottle of polish costs $9.99 for 9 ml.

Meilily: Red Carpet Manicure Gel Kit Colors

Unlike a salon UV gel nail polish such as Harmony Gelish or CND Shellac, which lasts about three weeks on natural nails, Red Carpet Manicure does not put forth a number on how long its at-home gel polish lasts. Why not?

How well does an at home Red Carpet Manicure gel manicure really last?

In my experience, Red Carpet Manicure gel polish delivers on shine and has a decent selection of colors, but it simply does not last like a salon gel polishBoo hoo! So far, my at-home gel manicures using the Red Carpet Manicure system with portable LED curing light look good for only a few days max.

Even though Red Carpet Manicure gel polish can technically stay shiny on nails longer than a few days, the polish starts looking scraggly and chipped at the edges after just two to three days. Kinda disappointing!

Maybe it’s in the application (I’m admittedly not a pro manicurist) or maybe this at-home LED gel manicure just doesn’t last quite as well as an in-salon gel manicure.

Meilily: Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel Polish Curing Light

If you want high shine and blendable gel polish for home use, give Red Carpet Manicure a shot, but don’t expect it to last like a salon manicure.  For long-lasting shine and perfection, stick to salon gel manicures for now.

The Red Carpet Manicure standard kit retails for $59.99 and is available at Ulta.com. (Ulta 20% off coupons are good on Red Carpet Manicure items!) I purchased Red Carpet Manicure items separately along with three nail colors at Ulta for less than $50, with a coupon.

Note: The Red Carpet Manicure portable LED curing light sold individually requires batteries (not included) and doesn’t come with an AC adapter, and some of the LED bulbs may dim significantly after first use.  Luckily I found an AC adapter from another device that fits my portable LED light, and it works OK for me without needing batteries (but YMMV).

Coming soon – Red Carpet Manicure Gel Swatches, if you’re curious…

In the meantime, check out more on nail polish and gel manicures from Meilily:
Meilily: Long Lasting Shellac Manicure for Natural Nails – Photos & Details Day 1
Meilily – CND Shellac
Meilily – Harmony Gelish

Hope you enjoyed these details on Red Carpet Manicure!  from Meilily

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