MANI MONDAY #4 | Red Carpet Manicure 188 Star Power

This past weeks manicure embraced neon in a big way! I picked this up in the store ages ago thinking it was a bright neon pink, only to find out inside the bottle it is actually a bright neon coral – even better in my books! New to gel polish? Some thoughts…

Red Carpet Manicure is an at home gel LED light activated laquer. I have been experimenting with the system for the better half of a year and have been super impressed. Being a metalsmith I’m lucky if I get 48 hours out of a manicure. For reals. I am just way to hard on my nails and work with my hands all day long. Thankfully, I enjoy painting my nails, so its no biggie. 
I do however enjoy getting 5-6 days, which is what I get out of the at home gel polish. For normal people you can expect up to 2 weeks – my bff gets about 10 days out of the same polish on her nails. 
A quickie on how the system works –
You start with clean dry nails and buff the surface of your nail to rough it up slightly. Then you use their “Prep” step which dries out the nail a bit to give the base something to cling to. I do like Red Carpet Manicures Prep which comes in a small polish bottle with a brush, but have used good old Isopropyl alcohol in a pinch and it has worked.
You then paint on the gel base coat,( RCM’s base is called Structure) and cure it in the LED light until it auto turns off. I usually do my two thumbs together, then one and then the other.
Then you paint on the 1st coat of your colour, and cure again in the light. This colour is 188 Star Power)
Repeat until you like the density of your colour, curing each layer.
Finally you paint on a gel top coat – like RCM’s Brilliance and cure again in the light. 
I do thumbs together and then each hand separately for each step.
Last is a quick wipe over each nail with the Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any stickiness and you are set! Instantly dry nails with a salon quality shiny finish that puts my Seche Vite to shame!
I love the way my nails feel when I do the gel nails. Normally thin and brittle, they are left feeling strong as if I actually had artificial nails. You can soak them off with Acetone once they start to lift, of when you get sick of the colour. Just don’t be a bad girl like me and peel the polish off, as it can weaken your nails. ( Oh I know, so naughty of me!)
It seems like a bit of a process, but I’ve gotten it down to an art now and it doesn’t take me too much longer than a regular mani session. 
Have you tried an at home gel polish manicure? What are your thoughts on them?  

Charlotte Tilbury CA


Girl Loves Gloss

Jaime Pickering | 30-something, makeup hoarding (I prefer to call it "collecting"), classic rock loving, jeans and t-shirt girl - who just happens to love a little gloss from time to time.