Love It or Lose It? | Testing the Butter London PureCure Peel the Love Gel Manicure System
I have been curious about gel manicures for a while... The beautiful, glossy finish, the long wear, the potential for all kinds of simple or intricate nail looks. But the expense of gathering up all of the stuff I would need and knowing that removing gel polish from my somewhat fragile nails could wreak havoc on them has held me back from exploring gel polish. Until now.
//product provided for editorial consideration//
I received the Butter London PureCure™ Peel the Love Gel Manicure System, $69.00 available from Butter London to try. This LED lamp cured gel manicure system is so easy to use and in spite of my initial hesitation, I found myself getting the hang of it, really quickly.
Here's what comes in the box:
- PURECURE™ Nail Lamp
- PURECURE™ Peel-Off Gel Base and Top Coat - Mini Size (.25 oz)
- PURECURE™ Peel-Off Lacquer in Cheeky (a rosy nude) - Mini Size (.25 oz)
- 4 Nail Scrubbers 2-in-1 Prep & Remover Wipes
- 2 Cuticle Pushers
- Nail File and Buffer
- Instruction Booklet
Some of the features and benefits of this system are:
- Quick drying time under the LED White Light, less harsh than UV light
- A glossy, cushion finish
- Easy gentle peel off removal - no soaking in acetone required!
- No staining
- No damage done - nails are intact! (We'll discuss this one, later.)
- 12 free lacquer
- The LED light automatically set for 60 seconds. Convenient hand sensor, manual on/off button and power cord.
To get started, just unpack the box, insert the power cord jack into the port in the back of the lamp and plug it in. Have your base/top coat and gel lacquer ready, as well as a nail file (I don't use the included file, I use my crystal file) and the included nail scrubbers wipes or cotton pads and acetone, either do the job, equally. I also make sure to have my cleanup brush and little dish of acetone ready to spring into action because let's get real, as hard as I try, I have always been and always will be a sloppy polisher.
I'm not going to bore you with the complete, step by step how to; that is all covered in the instruction booklet and it's super easy to follow. In the process of playing with this kit, I have learned a few good tricks that I will share and you may find helpful.
First, the Scrubbers packets are nice to have on hand but they aren't a necessity. My usual cotton rounds and good old acetone does their job, just fine. I think that I'm going to toss my remaining Scrubbers packets into my travel beauty supplies bag, they will come in handy for getaways.
The LED curing light is set for a 60 second cycle but in my experience, two cycles when curing the base and each coat of the lacquer and three, for the top coat gives a harder, more complete cure. Yes, it takes a little more time, while my nails are being done but I don't have to worry about my polish being as soft/dentable after I'm done.
Apply the lacquer in thin, smooth, deft coats and do not over work it or touch the nail with uncured lacquer on it to any surface. If you do, the gel polish will crinkle up and bake that way under the light. I over stroked the polish on one thumb and touched the other to a surface and had to redo those nails. Lesson learned!
If, like me you are a bit of a sloppy polisher, have your cleanup brush and little dish of acetone at the ready. You must quickly do cleanup and any desired refining after each coat is applied to each nail while the lacquer is still wet. Once the gel has set on the nail, cleanup becomes difficult without ruining the surface and, after it's been cured under the light, it's pretty much impervious to acetone and you are stuck with any boo-boos.
If a nail chips, the chip can be repaired. Gently file the edges of the chipped gel smooth and clean with a cotton pad with a little acetone. Apply a thin coat of the base/top coat, cook it for two cycles under the light. Repeat with the lacquer, two coats. Then the base/top coat, three cycles and clean with your cotton round and acetone and you're good. If you work carefully, the fix should be nearly invisible.
At one point, I somehow peeled the gel off of about half of my right index nail and there was no hope for that one but to redo the nail, completely.
As you can see, in the photo below, my application wasn't absolutely flawless but, I think that for my first time ever working with gel, it turned out pretty well. I like that the gel system offers a nice, smooth finish, even on my ridgey nails and it stands up pretty well to my daily routine of housework, showering, typing and so on. Overall, I find this kit easy and fun to use and I'm impressed at how long my manicure, with just a small hiccup or two lasted. I had to repair one chip and redo one nail in a three week wear trial. I wasn't mad at that, at all.
Did I mention that this stuff wore very nicely for three weeks? Photographic evidence, below:
Let's talk removal. I use a wood cuticle pusher and gently lift the gel around the edges then lever it up and off the surface of my nails. I don't suggest using your nails as tools for removal, this stuff doesn't lift off as easily as regular nail polish with a peel off base coat.
Okay, Butter London claims that there is no damage to the nails after removal. I would say that that claim needs to be amended to there is some surface damage, after removal. My nails experienced a good surface roughing up and only one shallow gouge (purely user error) in my left pinkie nail. After an ultra gentle buffing to smooth away most of the roughened surface and application of oil, my nails looked almost as good as new and felt only a little less strong than they normally do. I can live with that.
Here are pictures to show the damage my nails sustained and how they looked, after a gentle smoothing and some oil.
So. Do I love it? Or did I lose it?
I kinda love it. The Butter London PureCure™ Peel the Love Gel Manicure System is fun and easy to use. The gel manicure is shiny and pretty and the wear is pretty impressive; I got a solid three weeks out of my manicure with only a few minor hiccups. The manicure can chip but chips are repairable so if one happens, you don't have to remove the whole thing and start over. Full sized bottles of base/top coat and gel lacquer are available here. I have my eyeballs on a few shades I'd love to have on hand for when I'm in the mood for a nice, long lasting mani.
What do you think? Do you like the look of this gel kit? Have you tried it? How does it work for you? Please, do tell.
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