Review of "Nailene SensatioNail Starter Kit"

published 12/10/2017 | GunShotResidue
Member since : 21/11/2015
Reviews : 7
Members who trust : 2
About me :
I am an army wife and mum of two little terrors! I do freelance work as a bookkeeper when I can, and enjoy swimming, reading and getting 5 minutes of peace!
Pro Cheaper than a salon manicure, longer lasting than regular polish, LED lamp is easy to use
Cons A bit tricky at first, harder to remove than regular polish, lamp flashes at 30s not beeps
Value for Money
Chips Easily?

"SensatioNail is almost as good as a salon manicure!"

The cheat sheet

The cheat sheet

I am writing this review in real time over a few months in order to thoroughly test the product, so it is very long and slightly rambling!

Before buying

I have had the SensatioNail starter kit in my amazon wish list for months and months. It claims to have everything you need to give yourself a salon quality gel manicure at home. It contains:
A coloured gel nail varnish (I ordered Pink Chiffon)
Gel primer
Base/Top Coat
Gel Cleanser
12x lint free wipes
22 peel off nail shields
Manicure stick
Led Nail Lamb
How to Booklet

The lamp is a new LED rather than UV, which apparently is better for your hands as UV can age them (I read this online but have not confirmed it). Curing takes half the time of the old SensatioNail lamp, which is also a big plus for me. I haven’t used the nail shields, I believe they are one-use stickers that you put on your nails under the varnish to make removal easier, however they also mean you get less wear out of them.

Some boring maths

I did consider the express version, which is cheaper and has less steps, but the reviews aren’t as good, so I decided to splash out when it went on offer. I bought this from Amazon, reduced from £50 to £35, and it claims to give 10 manicures. The salon closest to me charges £20 to apply gel varnish, so even at full price this seems to be a bargain.
You can buy bottles of other colours for £10-15, which are bigger and will do up to 20 applications. The rest of it (aside from the lamp) can be bought for £25, and again the Base & Top Coat and Cleanser are about double the size, although strangely the Primer is the same. The Lamp can be bought separately for £17.67, so you can buy the pieces individually for £52.67-57.67. As the bottles individually are bigger, it would probably be better to do it that way when it is not on offer. If you take out the cost of the lamp, separately you are paying £1.75-2 per manicure (assuming you get 20) instead of £3.23 (when the starter kit is £50, at £35 it is £1.73). (All prices correct 9/9/17)
First Impressions

The bottles are tiny. The instructions are long and look a little confusing, but there is a cheat sheet which sums them up (pictured). The lamp looks good, it is big enough that I can easily fit all four fingers on one hand under it (see picture), but it is a slim and sleek design, so it won’t take much room to store it.
First Application

Instructions: Slightly paraphrased as they are very, very long.
Step 1: File and lightly buff your nails. Easy enough.
Step 2: Clean nails with a lint free wipe and the gel cleanser. Apparently the Cleanser is just rubbing alcohol, which I might try using when it runs out.
Step 3&4: Apply one layer of gel primer and air dry. Also pretty simple.
Step 5: Apply a thin layer of the Gel Base & Top Coat avoiding your cuticle and skin. I don’t know what happens if you do get it on your skin, but it warns against it enough that I am terrified to try.
Step 6: ‘Cap’ the free edge of the nail by running the polish brush along the nail tip. Cure under the lamp for 15 seconds. I need to practise the capping thing. I am so scared of getting any on my skin that I do a pretty poor job. The lamp starts automatically when you put your fingers in and flashes to tell you when 15 seconds is up, which is fine as long as you don’t get distracted by the TV. I think I’d prefer a beep.
Step 7: Vigorously shake the Colour Gel Polish and apply a thin even layer over the entire nail without touching the cuticle. Cap the free edge and cure for 30 seconds. Apply a second layer and again cure for 30 seconds. I still do a poor job of capping, but the curing is easier as the lamp turns off after 30 seconds. I also end up doing 3 coats, I think my layers might have been too thin.
Step 8: Apply a thin layer of the Gel Base & Top Coat. Make sure to avoid the cuticle and skin along the nails. Cap the nails and cure for 15 seconds. When I cure them this time, one of them seems to burn slightly. When it is finished I see that THERE IS SOME OF THE GEL BASE & TOP COAT ON MY SKIN! Other than the slight burning sensation, there doesn’t seem to be any side effects, but if I suddenly stop posti…

Only joking. I don’t have any side effects, but I will make sure it doesn’t happen again, just in case.
Step 9: Remove the moisture layer using the Gel Cleanser and Lint Free Wipes. Simple.

And they are done! It recommends doing your thumbs first, and then the nails on one hand, and then the nails on the other (which is a good idea as it’s very difficult to get your thumb and fingers together and facing the right way). This means doing step 1-9 three times. By the third time through I have got the hang of it, and it doesn’t take as long as you would think. My nails are slightly streaky, but I think that is down to my poor application. They are already rock solid. This is a big plus point for me as, with regular nail polish, I have previously managed to ruin my nails more than an hour after painting them due to them still being soft. With two kids who love to climb things and then leap off, I find it very hard to find a few hours to let my nails dry. I am very hard on my nails, they break often and normal polish only lasts 2-5 days.

I went on holiday after the first application and was very impressed with how well they lasted, even though I was in the pool for hours each day. When we got home it was 13 days since I had applied it and most nails still looked ok. I removed all the varnish and then reapplied to test it in normal conditions.


Removing it is a pain. I bought remover from a drug store rather than the one that goes with the set (the one I bought is 98% acetone with some oils to nourish). First you have to use a nail file to remove the top coat. The gel is quite thick, so you don’t need to worry about filing your nails. I then try using kitchen foil to hold cotton wool soaked in the remover onto my nails. It is very fiddly and I get annoyed and take them off before it’s worked. Next I try putting my fingertips into a bowl of the acetone, over a bowl of warm water. This works well and I am able to scrape the polish off with the scraper tool, but the tips of my fingers look a little dry and it uses up quite a bit of the remover. For next time, I order some plastic remover things, which are a bit like a hairclip you wear over your nail (pictured). These work really well and makes the whole process much easier.
Second application

It took less than 30 minutes for me to reapply the varnish. My ‘capping’ skills are improving but could still do with some practice. It isn’t streaky this time, but I do use 3 coats again, so I’m not sure how many applications I will get (I will try and remember to update this when I finish the bottle).

After 10 days, two of my nails have chipped and I decide to just replace these. On day 14 I replace two more, and then another on day 15. They all chipped at the tip of my nails, and I think that if I get better at the whole ‘capping’ thing, they will last longer. The other 5 nails last almost 3 weeks and then I redo them as my nails have grown and there is a large gap between the polish and my cuticle (see picture).
Overall, I am very, very impressed. It is almost as long lasting as a salon manicure, lasting about five times longer than normal polish. There is no drying time, which is a huge plus for me, and although removing it is a bit difficult, with the correct tools it is not too bad. I am a convert, and have asked my husband for 3 more colours for my birthday next month!

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Comments on this review

  • Secre published 23/11/2017
    An excellent review here!!
  • RICHADA published 16/11/2017
    Many congratulations on a well deserved Diamond on this one - one heck of an achievement on a relatively early review. R.
  • Angel19819 published 15/11/2017
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Product Information : Nailene SensatioNail Starter Kit

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Manufacturer: Nailene

EAN: 0079181715843


Listed on Ciao since: 25/09/2015