Insane Deal: The $4 Gel Manicure (Seriously!)

When it comes right down to it, we're lazy girls at heart. Sure, we like to look good, but not at the expense of our precious time (or cash). Whenever we find a beauty shortcut, you can bet your sweet butt we're going to take it. So, when we saw this at-home gel manicure — it promises to give you a long-lasting, salon-quality gel manicure in the comfort of your own home — there was almost a throwdown in the office over who got to take it for a spin. When the dust cleared, it was Global Editor Connie Wang who walked away with the honor of testing out the Red Carpet Manicure Kit (damn her and her sharp little elbows).
The set consists of a nail sanitizer, cleanser, polish remover, base coat, LED gel polish, top coat, cuticle oil and an LED light. Connie was a bit overwhelmed by all of the different bottles, so she just cleaned her nails with the cleanser, applied the base coat, two coats of polish and the top coat. Here's what she had to say about the experience: "It was a bit complicated to use and requires a lot of patience. The instructions were pretty straightforward, but since all the bottles are similar-looking, it's easy to mix them up. The solutions were a little translucent for my liking, but if you go for the darker colors, it works better. Drying time is REALLY long, because the solution needs the UV light, so you have to do one nail at a time for the most long-lasting results. Which means it takes about 10 minute to do each nail."
That said, Connie's polish lasted for a week and a half. She even managed to pull off an ombré mani using it. At $79.99 for the kit, and 20 uses in each kit, that works out to about $4 a manicure. Not too shabby when you consider that in-salon manicures usually run upwards of $20 each.
Bottom line: It's definitely cheaper than getting your nails done at the salon, but requires a lot of patience and time in order to get a good-looking manicure. Would you try this kit out, or are you leaving gel manicures to the pros?
Red Carpet Manicure Pro 45 Starter Kit, $79.99, available at Ulta.

Photos: Courtesy of Red Carpet Manicure