Any followers of the blog will probably know that, whilst I might not be anything close to ‘beauty blogger ready’ most of the time, I do like to have quite nice nails. As any woman out there will know, that is an expensive habit to keep up. £25 a couple of weeks ago is not something to be sniffed at and so a few weeks ago I began my hunt for DIY alternatives, surely in 2017 someone has invented a nail varnish that provides salon quality at home?

I popped into boots and found what I was looking for quickly, the Rimmel Super Gel Nail Polish at £5.99 a bottle (So that’s £12 for the bottom and top coat and then £6 every time you want a different colour after that but still cheaper than the salon right?) and picked it up after I saw the description:

• Only 2 steps to salon quality nails
• Up to 14 days of gel colour & shine
• Apply 1-2 coats of Super Gel colour, followed by Super Gel Top Coat to activate curing
• Quick to apply, remove with nail polish remover
• No UV lamp needed

Perfect, I thought. There are about 20 colours available in this range, not unfortunately in the shop that I was in, so I went for something that I would never normally wear (why Em?!), the 023 Grape Sorbet.

When I got home I did all the right stuff, I filed my nails, I buffed them and set to work. (I didn’t do my cuticles BTW cause who’s got the time or the know-how ammi right??) – so what happened?

Day 1 (straight after application)

Initially I was happy with it, it applied easily and dried quickly. It was a tad on the ‘thin’ side but I think that might have had more to do with the colour rather than anything else. Obviously I’m no nail expert so excuse the slightly shitty job I did. At this point though I was happy and had high hopes for the 14 promised days of perfect (ish) nails.

Day 2:

So not a great start for my poor pinkie nail. The other hand remained perfect though and apart from that one nail everything was fine, I assumed it was my fault as this sometimes even happens after the aforementioned £25 treatment in my local salon.

Day 3:

So this is when the cracks started to show, pardon the pun. Day 3 and my nails had chipped more than they normally do when painted with nail varnish. In part due to laziness and in part as dedication to this blog post, I decided to keep it on and see if the chipping might stop there…

Day 4:

Yeh no, the chipping didn’t stop and at some point I lost the entire coat on my baby finger.

Day 5:

The day that I gave up.

This was last week and I was so disappointed with the results that I actually tried it again this week, just in case it was my fuck up. Sadly, the same thing happened again and so I’m actually booked in at the nail place later today, I’ve got a wedding to go to this weekend and quite frankly I can’t take these with me, even if I did re-apply I don’t think I could be sure that it would hold on long enough.

I wanted to love it, to be honest, I really did. I love having nice nails and am all to aware about how lazy I am when it comes to doing them myself, I thought this might be the answer. But for me anyway, it’s just not. Your average Rimmel Nail Varnish are all around the £4 mark and so, my advice to everyone, would be to save yourself the extra £8 that comes along with this purchase and stick to that.

If you’re a gel lover it seems the salon is still the place. Having said that, I’m not giving up and vow to try as many as I can on the hunt for a DIY gel nail varnish – I’ll keep you posted.



  1. Ela
    May 19, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    Hey Ems,

    I’ve found the at home UV kits work well – the initial cost in the US was about $90 but I’ve saved $100s since…

    Not sure how easy they are to get hold of in the UK?

  2. May 22, 2017 / 7:15 am

    Have you tried Kure nail varnish? Post cancer I try to keep my make up and beauty free from nasties which this is (as used by Deliciously Ella) I was surprised to find it performs really well. Two days in and no chippie…

  3. Natasza
    November 14, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    I fell into the same trap as you did, only with Sally Hansen "gel polishes line", however it is actually called. There is, at best, zero difference between your regular nail polish and these fancy "gel without uv" things. I still use it, because I only paint my toenails and only because I go to yoga, so I couldn’t give two shits about the quality, because pedicure always lasts longer. As another person in the comments suggested – you can try buying the "at home" gel set with uv lamp – my sister has it and it actually works beautifully while still saving you money compared to salon visits.

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