Disclaimer: This review is over a year old, and since I wrote this post, there may have been changes to the Haute Polish system and/or their claims. I cannot endorse the $14.95 BOGO promo or the customer service of this company, as I have not dealt with them directly recently.
The day you've all been waiting for! The second part of my Haute Polish Gel Nails Kit review! In Part 1, I talked about application and my general impressions of the set, and here in Part 2, I am going to discuss how the product stood up to its claims! And I did a few little experiments of my own to report back on... This is a really long, wordy post, so I'll give you a little preview... I think that the Haute Polish gel nails definitely stood up to the claims that the company made, and if you are looking for an at home gel system with amazing color selection, I would definitely recommend Haute Polish!
12/31/12 Day 1: Application
See more about application in Part 1 [HERE]. Below, you see my manicure immediately following application! For more information from Haute Polish about application (and removal actually) see their Youtube Channel [here].
1/2/13-1/3/13: Days 2 & 3
Days 2 and 3...no change in the appearance of the polish throughout basic everyday activities. I'd include the following as Everyday Activities: showering, hair and make-up application, washing hands, driving, lots of typing, writing, cooking, making a pot of coffee, texting and surfing on iPhone, as well as moisturizing my cuticles and hands. Any additional activities that could be hard on my nails, I will report separately. During Days 2 and 3, the only activity that could have been tough was scraping ice off my windshield, but I had my gloves on. So far, I am impressed with my Haute Polish manicure!
1/3/13: Day 4
I took photos of my manicure again in the morning before any activities, and while there may be a bit more tip wear or shrinkage than on Day 1, it isn't anything that noticeable. On the pointer finger on my right hand, there is a little chip by the cuticle, because I think I flooded my cuticles a bit when I polished, so it lifted easily. By leaving a little space between the cuticle and the polish, this can be avoided! I've been getting tons of complements on the color!
Today, after I took these photos, I did a giant sink of dishes (my teacher husband went back to school after holiday break and it was time to get back to a clean apartment!), laundry, and put all of my Christmas decorations away. The nails held up to all of that...and I don't wear rubber gloves when I do dishes in hot water! I am impressed!
I did find myself picking at gel polish on the side edge of my nails (the straight side of my free edge), which lead to a few hang nails. This may just be something I have a tendency to do, but make sure that that area is cleaned up before applying the polish to avoid this. See [this] wonderful post on Loodie Loodie Loodie for more info!
1/4/13 Day 5: Nail Art Experiment
So as any nail polish/nail art addict knows, five days is quite a while to wear the same polish. I adore Haute Polish Patina...it is a fun, unique color and right up my alley, but I was having nail art withdrawals by Day 5! I have a feeling a lot of my blog readers would probably feel the same way, so I thought I'd do some experimenting with nail art over top of my Haute Polish manicure. Gel nail polish, like other nail enhancements, requires soaking in acetone to remove, so theoretically, using a non-acetone polish remover, I should be able to remove nail art from over top of the gel polish, leaving the original manicure in place! Today, I applied some accents to my manicure to test this is out, and I plan on removing the left hand tomorrow! The images below show the nail art immediately after application! You can see that the chipping on my right hand pointer is getting worse...because I picked! Oh the horror! I hope none of my clients are reading this because I scold everyone for picking their gel polish off! But I am being honest here!!
On my right hand, I applied one coat of BB Couture Silver Star directly over my Haute Polish manicure on the ring and middle fingers (no base coat) and used two coat of Out the Door top coat. I am going to leave this on for the rest of the wear test, just to see how polish in general wears over top, because I have had a few people ask me if they could apply regular polish over top.
On my left hand, I did a bit of nail art on my four fingers that I plan on removing with non-acetone remover tomorrow. I did polka dots in Essie Butler Please and Essie Mojito Madness. After drying, I used one coat of Out the Door to seal it in. Just a note: I first did a stripe pattern on my ring finger with a It's So Easy StripeRite that I wasn't crazy about, so I removed it immediately with Beauty Secrets Non-Acetone Remover from Sally Beauty Supply...it left behind a smooth, unchanged gel polish surface. No sign that the non-aceone remover had an effect on the gel manicure.
After applying the nail art, I did do some cleaning, moved some furniture, salted the driveway and lugged all the trashcans down our very long driveway! All activities that could have claimed a nail, but no damage here!
1/5/13 Day 6: Removal of nail art
First thing in the morning I did another sink full of dishes (okay, I let them build up sometimes...) and some tidying up. Nails are looking good! I noticed a spot on the side of my left thumb that looks like it's lifting, but as long as I don't pick it should be okay! Took these photos before removing nail art, but after dishes!
Then I used non-acetone remover to remove the nail art from my left hand. Good bye polka dots! I was careful to not let my middle and ring fingers on my right hand that have normal polish over top touch the cotton ball with remover, because I didn't want to mess them up! The nail art removed well from my left hand. At first, I thought that maybe the shine of the gel polish had diminished, but after a few minutes and a hand wash, it was shiny again!
However, there is sad news to report. I used my pointer and thumb on my right hand to hold the cotton ball with the non-acetone remover as I removed the nail art. Once done, I realized that the edges of the gel polish on those nails was lifting off in one piece. After washing my hands, I thought about it and didn't want water to get stuck down there, which could lead to a nasty fungal issue, so I gently peeled off the rest of the polish on those nails (again, not too smart to peel/pick, but in this case I decided I had to do it!).
|Still super shiny! =)|
This brings me to two conclusions about nail art on Haute Polish:
1. If you want to wear nail art over your Haute Polish manicure done in traditional polish, I think you definitely can. I wouldn't suggest changing the polish/nail art over top of the gel nail polish daily, as eventually the non-acetone remover will eat away at the shiny surface and/or cause the polish to lift. And if you are going to add and remove nail art, see if you can have someone (boyfriend? friend? husband?) remove the nail art for you, so you do not saturate any of your other nails in remover.
After all of this experimentation in the morning, I went to work and did a 30 minute pedicure on a client. If the pointer and thumb hadn't already come off, I'm sure they would have lifted when removing polish from my client's toes (plus, I usually use pure acetone anyway, so it would have definitely affected the gel). Again, this all stands up to Haute Polish's claim that they're removal process is easy and causes less damage to the nail plate! I also did some cleaning around the house.
1/6/13 Day 7: Removal of gel polish
So, I have a confession: I picked my thumb where I said it was lifting yesterday. =/ I'm feeling guilty about it, and by the way it came off, it is quite evident that it was not ready to lift off like the two fingers on my right hand were! The only other change to report since yesterday is that some of the BB Couture Silver Star polish I had on the middle finger of my right hand came off from using acetone remover during the pedicure I performed at work (and there is cotton sticking to the remaining polish...ahhh the plight of a nail technician!).
As with application, I followed all directions for removal! I started out by removing the shine from the gel polish, which allows the remover to soak down into the polish. I then wrapped each finger in Remover Packet. The foil packet wraps around the finger quite nicely. I left the packet on, while applying pressure to the pad so that it was pressed onto the nail, for 10 minutes. The edges of the gel polish were lifted but it was not lifting the way it had before! I was surprised! I took a look at the packet and the ingredients are ethyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol...non-acetone! This also surprised me! And while this is less drying to the skin around your nails, it will make removal more time consuming probably. So after attempting with the packets, I went ahead and did the foil method with acetone, and after about five minutes, I applied pressure and removed the foil, and ta-da! Bare nails...for the first time in seven days! I use acetone on my nails regularly so I am very comfortable using this method, but if you aren't, I'm sure the remover packets OR the foil method with non-acetone remover will be effective if given enough time!
After removal, there was a bit of dryness in my cuticles, but that was easily corrected with some Lemony Flutter! There was a little scratchiness from when I roughed up the nail plate for application, but with some gentle buffing with a high grit buffer for shine on natural nails, I think that will work itself out. If I were to apply Haute Polish again, I would probably just dehydrate my nails more instead of roughing up the nail plate to reduce any damage. But overall, I am impressed with how my nails look post-removal. I washed my hands, applied some base coat and Lemony Flutter and I was looking pretty good! I think in the next few days I will do a paraffin dip and lots of moisturizing and I will be right back to normal! And I appologize for the staining on my left hand...all of the swatching has done its toll.
If I hadn't messed around with my manicure with nail art, I am sure that this would have lasted quite a few more days. I would think that you could definitely get close to two weeks out of it! And the good thing is that if you do get a chip or two, you can easily and quickly repair it with your kit at home!
I had several people comment on my Facebook that they had issues with the Haute Polish gel polish coming off and I think this is probably due to one of two reasons:
1. Human error. If you haven't worked with gel polish before, it is easy to apply coats that are two thick, which will not cure properly. Also, if you do not follow the instructions and prepare your nail plate properly, the polish will not cure properly.
2. Moisture. Gel polish requires a dry, oil-free surface to adhere to. If the Cleanser/Finisher wipes aren't enough to dehydrate your nail, and therefore you are having issues with the gel polish adhering, even if you are following all directions, I would suggest getting a nail dehydrator product such as OPI BondAid or CND Scrub Fresh. You should be able to find these at a beauty supply, if you can find one open to the public. These products help dehydrate the nail, creating a better surface for the gel polish to adhere to.
If you're going to read anything in this post, I hope you will read this paragraph! Application and removal of gel polish can cause damage to the nail plate if not done properly (and this is true in the salon or spa as well...you need to be aware of what your nail tech is doing!). Most of the damage that occurs to the natural nail plate from gel nails is due to improper removal or nail plate prep. Excessive scraping away of gel polish during removal also scrapes away layers of cells on the nail plate! Bad! Also, excessive filing or buffing of the nail plate during application or removal is extremely damaging. Only buff enough to remove the shine of the nail plate. Whether you having a traditional manicure, gel nails or even artificial nail enhancements like acrylics or UV gel nail enhancements, there should not be excessive filing of the nail plate!!! End rant.
Overall, I am really happy with my Haute Polish experience! The only single thing that I am not crazy about was roughing up my nail plate prior to application, but as I said before, I think you could go really light on that and just make sure your nails are properly dehydrated. While my nail art experiment wasn't a complete success, I'm glad I did it, because that was definitely a question a lot of people asked me! I think that the Haute Polish gel nails definitely stood up to the claims that the company made, and if you are looking for an at home gel system with amazing color selection, I would definitely recommend Haute Polish!
As discussed in Part 1, the Haute Polish Gel Nail Polish Kit comes with everything you need to do your own gel nail polish manicures at home, including the LED light that cures the polish. This kit is $79 and is available [here]. You can see available shades [here]. Each polish shade retails for $16 or trios of shades can be purchased for $42! You can also get a replenishing kit for $12 with the wipes, remover packs, detailing wands, and a buffer [here].