Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Updated Sensationail Review

Sensationail is a relatively new product on the UK market. It is a gel nail kit that you can do at home instead of having to visit the salon.
I originally heard about this product by chance on Boots’ website but I had been looking into DIY gel nail kits for a while. I had considered other gel brands but I was a little unsure about how the whole process worked and which products I really needed to buy and which were just optional extras.
When I started to read more about Sensationail I was really drawn in by the fact that the kit included everything you need to get you started along with easy to follow instructions and the gel lamp.
Products from left to right: Color Gel Polish in Scarlet Red, Instruction Booklet, Gel Primer, LED Lamp, Nail Buffer, Bamboo Cuticle Stick, Lint-Free Wipes, Gel Cleanser, Quick-Step Guide and Gel Base & Top Coat.
How It Works
Sensationail works roughly the same as Shellac however it allows you to be able apply gel nails in the comfort of your own home rather than visiting the salon.
In the starter kit you get a gel cleanser, a gel primer, a gel base and top coat, a colour gel polish (either Scarlet Red or Raspberry Wine), lint-free wipes, a nail buffer, a bamboo manicure stick and the LED lamp. You also get detailed easy to follow instructions.
Applying the polish is roughly the same as applying regular varnish, first you buff your nails, then you cleanse your nails, then add the primer, then the base coat (30 seconds in the lamp), then a layer of colour (60 seconds in the lamp), then another layer of colour (60 seconds in the lamp), then the top coat (30 seconds in the lamp) and then finally you cleanse your nails again to remove the sticky residue.
The overall process took roughly an hour however this was my first attempt and I spent a lot of time trying to clean up the polish that had gone onto my skin and cuticle.
I am still wearing my Sensationail at the moment and I will update this blog with the removal process once I have been through it myself.
The finished result.

I actually had a friend buy Sensationail for me while she was in Minnesota. I felt the UK price was just too expensive for me as I don’t regularly have gel nails except for on special occasions, so I really couldn’t justify the hefty price tag. However, in the States this starter kit retails at $60+tax which is roughly half the price that is charged in the UK.
Here is a price comparison of Sensationail in the UK and the USA:

United Kingdom
Price (£)
United States of America
Price (£)
United Kingdom Price Without Tax (£)
Price of Sensationail Starter Kit
Price of Sensationail Essentials Kit (everything except colour polish and lamp)



Price of Sensationail Colour Polish alone
Average Price of Gel Nails at a Salon

The exchange rate at time of writing this review was £1=$1.63 (www.xe.com)
Please note: no sales tax has been added for the American prices.

As you can see even minus the 20% VAT in the UK, Sensationail costs almost double the price. This is one of the downsides to this product as had I not purchased this kit in the United States I don’t think I ever would have bought it.
Buying Sensationail instead of visiting your salon does save you a lot of money, as ten salon visits would cost roughly £250 as opposed to the small £85 price of Sensationail, so I highly recommend Sensationail if you are a regular salon visitor.
If you live in the United States I think it is a no brainer that you should buy Sensationail, it is only £10 more than the cost of one gel manicure and will give you five months of continuous gel nails for the price. If you live in the UK it is still a great deal but I think that most people will only be able to justify the price if they regularly have gel nails done.
Overall thoughts
I found the process as easy as applying regular polish and with practice I am sure I will improve. One of the only problems I faced with the product was that the instructions didn’t mention that the nails will remain sticky even after placing them in the lamp; it is only when you use the cleanser again at the end of the entire process that the nails become smooth and shiny.
Another problem I faced had nothing to do with the product but more with myself. Since this is a DIY gel kit, no one using it is a professional. Usually when I paint my nails I end up with polish on my skin and cuticle and I had the same problem with Sensationail. However, with gel nails it is vital that you do not get any polish on the skin as the gel will stick your nail and skin together. I had this problem on some of my shorter nails as when I ran the polish along the top edge of my nail, I found that I stuck the top of my finger to the rear of my nail and had to use the cuticle stick to dig the polish out to separate the two again.
On the same lines as the previous complaint I also managed to get some polish on the skin to the sides of my nails and as a result after a few days the nails began to peel ever so slightly at the sides which sometimes got caught on things. This was slightly irritating but the nails stayed on and did not peel off the nail any further.
The Sensationail starting to peel off the nail due to my poor application. The Sensationail started to peel on day three, this photo was taken on day ten, no further peeling had occurred.

For these reasons alone I would not recommend this product for the absolute beginner as you do need to be quite good at applying nail polish to obtain the exact same result as you would at a salon but remember these are not problems with the product, just the lack of a steady hand that some of you may share.
This product promises “up-to two weeks of dazzling, damage-proof wear” did it live up to this? YES! I was really impressed with this product. It gives a really shiny finish that lasts for the entire time you wear the nails. I have never had any chips while wearing Sensationail and I assembled four dining chairs and a glass table with them! If you are great at applying nail polish then you should achieve roughly the same result as you would at a salon.
So far I have had my nails on for two weeks and they are still looking great, I think I will only remove them when they are growing out (I will update this blog with how I found the removal process once I have done it).
Product Score
Really for me it all comes down to the price therefore I have given two scores for two different countries:
United States of America Score: 9/10
United Kingdom Score: 7/10

Update: The Removal Process
As promised here is my updated review that now contains the removal process. So how did I get on? In the politest way possible it was awful.
I did exactly what the instructions said, I buffed the shine off my nails, then soaked my nails pure acetone for  15 minutes and then went to lift off the Sensationail with the bamboo stick and…nothing happened, the gel nails still stuck to my own nails. I then soaked them in the acetone for a further ten minutes and tried again…still nothing, another ten minutes…nothing. In the end I buffed the nails again in an attempt to get the nails off, which ended up ruining my natural nails.
 I decided against taking the Sensationail off of the other hand in fear of ruining my other nails as well so I am going to have to wait for them to grow out and just paint over them to make them look a bit better.
I am really disappointed by this as up until now I loved Sensationail but after absolutely wrecking my nails I am left having to plaster my nails with thick coats of red varnish to disguise my ruined nails.
What annoys me more is that I had a professional manicure booked in two weeks for going on holiday which I have now had to cancel as I can’t get the nails off of one hand and the other is wrecked.
I am not even going to upload a picture of my nails as I am that ashamed by the state they are in but if you can imagine someone dotting red varnish over your nails and then going over them with an industrial sander and you get the picture.
I will try Sensationail once more using less primer to see if that makes a difference but if I still end up with wrecked nails I can safely say this product will be going to the back of the wardrobe.
Updated Product Score
United States of America Score: 6/10
United Kingdom Score: 5/10

Thank you for reading my Sensationail review, if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you.
Until next time TTFN Ta-Ta For Now x

Click here to view the Sensationail range at Boots
Click here to view the Sensationail range at CVS

All of the images were taken approximately ten days after I applied Sensationail.
All images in this blog were taken by myself, if you would like to use them please remember to list my blog as the source.


  1. I didn't have an issue with removing the polish at all. It was very easy to remove after soaking for just 10 minutes. I applied as directed and removed them by buffing the shine off then soaking in acetone followed by scraping with an orange stick. It was very easy to get off. I don't understand your issues and am sorry you ruined your nails. I'd be hesitant to reapply after such problems.I'm sold on Sensationails and feel lucky to have them work as advertised.I just hope I don't have removable issues in the future. Thanks for your well written review.

    1. Yeah I think that applying too much primer was the main issue for me as I have seen other people take the Sensationail off really easily. Since I first tried the Sensationail I have been waitressing and haven't been allowed to wear nail varnish at all so I have never got the chance to try them again but I hope to get the chance once I start back at university and I will post that attempt on my blog. Fingers crossed I have more luck this time, I really want to fall in love with this product!

      Thank you for reading my blog and the compliments on my review :) x

  2. So did you buy the American lamp and use it in the UK with an adaptor- if so, did it all work OK? I know using UK electrical items such as GHDs in the States doesn't work properly. I am going to America next week and am just researching whether I should wait to buy the Starter Kit there or if this wouldn't work!

  3. Yeah I bought the kit in Minnesota and use a shaver adapter to get it to work here and it still works fine