I hope your day (morning, afternoon, night - whenever you're reading this!) is going well!
I am the type of person that does not really buy expensive things. I am actually quite frugal. When you grow up with immigrant Filipino parents, you kind of grow up with poor man's mentality where everything is too expensive. LOL. Though I do like to treat myself from time to time, I am mostly on the conservative side financially, typically feeling guilty with purchases I want but could survive without.
If you had been following me for a while, you know I love doing my nails. I have several posts on amateur nail art I have done in the past. This is definitely next level up.
Getting your nails done can be quite pricey and at-home nails never last as long as gel nails at the salon. I have been wanting to purchase a gel nail kit for a few years now, but could never get myself to cough up the expense. Prices that I have seen range from $80+ and, to reiterate, I just don't make those hefty purchases on non-essential items. Also, I was a little skeptical about at-home DIY gel nails. Is anything ever as good as the salon?
With buying on a kit on my mind in the last year, I decided to just go for it. I am 32, work hard, make decent money (I got a higher paying job last year, woot!), and don't usually buy things for myself.
I bit the bullet, did my research and found the ASP Soak Off Gel Polish Complete Starter Kit for $71.49 at Sally's. With tax, I paid close to $80 and it was worth every penny!
$71.49 at Sally's
The kit comes with the following items:
- Mini LED Lamp (with power cord)
- Cleansing Wipe
- Base Coat
- Top Coat
- ASP Gel Polish in Passionate Pink (this is super bright)
- 2-in-1 Dehydrator (to remove the tacky feeling after curing)
- Conditioning Soak-Off Solution
- Easy-to-follow Instructions (with pictures! WIN!)
According to the sales representative at Sally's, the ASP starter kit is one of the cheaper ones (in cost, not quality) and is a good beginner-friendly kit which is what I was looking for. She was completely right.
The whole thing was very amateur friendly and the results look as though you were a pro. Of course with anything new, there is the learning curve of fine tuning your skills.
Overall, I give the kit an A-, not an A+, only because 1) there is no timer, 2) the lamp is pretty small and 3) the pink polish it comes with is a bright pink which is not really an every day color I would wear. Perhaps that's a tactic to get you to buy more!
Though I can't hate on it too much for these reasons because 1) I wanted something on the affordable end and 2) I kind of have big hands and really long fingers, but still (lol).
However, for a beginner, it does the job and I love it despite those three reasons. When this eventually wears out, I will definitely splurge on something a little bigger with a timer. It gets tedious having to pick up my phone to set the timer for every coat. But hey, first world problems. I will survive.
So now....time for the exciting part...the RESULTS!
My first ever manicure using the kit
Gelaze by China Glaze - Kill the Lights
Gelaze by China Glaze - A Waltz in the Park
FingerPaints - My Best Angle
FingerPaints - My Best Angle
My current nails
Gel polish is, understandably so, pricier than the regular drugstore nail polish I would buy. Because of this, I currently have my 3 staple colors: mauve, nude and lilac. I was lucky to get them on a Sally's promo of buy 2 get 1 free. Each polish (I purchased Gelaze by China Glaze and FingerPaints) was about $9-$11 each.
As you can tell from my pictures and clips, my shaping and cuticle work needs some improvement, but the product itself works great.
I get a good 2.5 - 3 weeks with them. They probably could last 4, but I get bored of them after a while and start to pick at them encouraging lifting >_<
Alright, this post is getting way too long. Kudos to you if you made it this far. Let's summarize the pros and cons of the kit.
- Decently priced and affordable
- Compact kit
- Easy-to-follow directions
- Lamp doesn't get hot like some salons professional lamps
- Great quality machine and products enclosed
- (Side note: Kudos to FingerPaints and Gelaze by China Glaze for having bomb products too)
- A little too compact (I wish a little more than half my hand could fit in so I can get my thumb)
- No timer
- In my opinion, a terrible choice of pink polish included in the kit
As a beginner, I highly highly highly recommend the ASP Soak Off Gel Polish Complete Starter Kit for anyone who loves doing their nails and has been thinking about getting a gel nail lamp or kit. If I could go back in time though, I probably would have splurged higher to get a lamp with a timer, but I am still very very very happy with my ASP kit. I am confident it will last me a long while. Thank you, ASP!