Monday, 4 January 2016

The Nail Files 2016: Week One

Welcome to the first post in a series I plan on running throughout the year, showcasing my nails each week (or whenever I change them). This post will be slightly longer than usual as I introduce you to some of the key products I'll be using for my manicures. I tend to change my nails every week as I get bored easily, so hopefully these posts will be published weekly.

Week One: Manicure with No.7, Ciaté London and United Beauty

Before Christmas, I read a great review (by Pixiwoo, hereof United Beauty's Gel Touch Starter Kit. The kit gives you everything you need to create a gel manicure at home, using any nail polish as your base. For me, this was the key selling point. So, I treated myself to the kit, from the site recommended in the Pixiwoo review, Just Beauty (though when I checked the site for this post, the kit didn't seem to be coming up in a search).


I love freshly painted nails but, sadly, I can never seem to get it to last. My nails are incredibly shiny naturally, and even with a good amount of surface buffing, nail polishes don't stick around for long. I am the ultimate chipper!


The United Beauty kit promises to give your nail polish a longer lasting, professional gel effect top coat. My favourite thing about this product is that you apply it on top of any nail polish, no need for special gel bases here. I have a huge nail polish collection, which I didn't want to go to waste, so this kit is perfect for me.

The Kit

The starter kit comes with a bottle of the Gel Touch Top Coat (8ml), five Isopropyl Alcohol wipes (not pictured), and a small LED lamp.
You apply your polish, wait 20-30 min for it to fully dry, apply the top coat and pop your nails under the lamp for 60 seconds. The switch on the lamp is timed so it turns off after a choice of 10, 30, or 60 seconds. Give the nails a wipe over with the alcohol wipe, then you're done! It couldn't be simpler. When you're ready for a change, the polish can be removed quite easily using acetone nail varnish remover (I buff the shine off first to help the process).

Feeling Pretty Vintage Blog
United Beauty Gel Touch Top Coat
No.7 Cleanse & Prime
Ciate London Birthday Blue
United Beauty UV Lamp
My Verdict

This week's mani is my fifth using this kit. The first four have been ok, but I'll admit I did rush the process each time and my manis have lasted only about 4-5 days so far before chipping and peeling.  According to the kit box, the mani should last up to 10 days without chipping.

For this week's, I spent a bit longer prepping the nails and took more care over applying the top coat. I find that if it comes into contact with the skin at the edges of the nail, it's more likely to peel off quicker.

I will report back in my next Nail Files post as to how well this one lasted.

Week One's Manicure

Feeling Pretty Vintage Blog
Freshly done nails!

For Week One, I have used Ciaté London polish in 'Birthday Blue'; this was one of the colours received in my Mini Mani Month Advent Calendar.

I'm not normally a massive fan of blue polishes, but I do love this one. I fancied something deep and 'icy' for January and this certainly ticks those boxes. I needed two coats to achieve the opacity seen here.

Before painting, I prepped my nails with No.7's 'Nail Cleanse & Prime'. This great little product cleanses the nail of any oils to give a good base for polish to adhere to.

Til next time...

I hope you enjoyed this post. I'll let you know how my mani lasts. If you have any tips for greater lasting power, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Love the blue colour. I might have to get you to try the kit on my nails :)


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