I'm a big fan of gel manicures. Not only does gel look so much shinier than regular polish, but it makes my life easier thanks to the fact that it can last for anything from two to four weeks. I love gel so much that going to my favourite salon to get a fresh gel mani became something of a habit, however I quickly noticed just how much this was costing me, and realised that I needed to take a break from appointments every now and again in order to save some money. That being said, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to my beloved gel nails. My friend recommended investing in an at-home gel manicure kit, but if I'm being honest, I always thought that they seemed like a bit of a faff. That was before I discovered 14 Day Manicure.
This gel-nail kit landed on my desk a couple of months ago, and I'm not lying when I say I haven't been back to the salon since. I've been able to pull back my spending, and my manicures look just as good (if I do say so myself). I love this product so much that I thought it was only right to share all the information with you so that you can treat yourself (or someone else, seeing as it's almost gifting season). Intrigued? Keep on scrolling for my honest review of 14 Day Manicure.
14 DAY MANICURE REVIEW
What Is 14 Day Manicure?
First things first, what actually is 14 Day Manicure? If you've not heard of this clever brand, then you're missing out. 14 Day Manicure was founded by Suzanne Fowler, who wanted to be able to save money on gel nails whilst making at-home manicures simple and convenient. It all started with the Gel Polish Starter Kit (£79), and now the brand offers a huge range of gel polishes and accessories too.
What Do You Get in the 14 Day Manicure Kit?
The kit itself comes with a digital LED lamp, four gel polishes, a base coat, a top coat, a nail file, a nail buffer, acetone remover, a steel cuticle pusher and a reusable tool pouch. After opening up the kit for myself, I was so impressed by how much was included. The brand really has thought about everything you need to get those salon-worthy nails in the comfort of your own home.
Not only that, but in the kit you will also find step-by-step instructions to make doing your manicure as quick and easy as possible. I personally found these instructions so helpful as I had never done my own gel nails before, and after one try I felt like a total expert.
I started by making my natural nails look as polished as possible. I used the steel tool to neaten my cuticles before shaping and lightly buffing my nails to remove any shine (this helps the base coat to adhere properly). I then cleaned the nail plate with the acetone remover before applying a thin coat of the UV base coat. All you have to do is cure it under the UV lamp for 30 seconds before moving onto your colour.
I opted for a deep purple shade, painting on a thin layer before curing my nails under the lamp for another 30 seconds. I did another quick coat then finished everything off with the top coat. It's important to note that after applying the top coat, the brand recommends placing your nails under the UV lamp for 60 seconds to make sure everything dries and seals properly. Once I was done with the application, I applied my favourite hand cream and cuticle oil to give my hands some much-needed moisture, and I couldn't believe how good my nails looked. The whole process took me no longer than 20 minutes and I didn't even have to leave my house!
How Long Does 14 Day Manicure Last?
As the name suggests, manicures with this kit are designed to last for around two weeks. I actually left mine on for a couple of days longer, and was really impressed by the lasting power of the gel polish. When it came to removing the gel, I used the acetone remover included in the kit, but it is worth noting that I did have to purchase my own cotton wool and foil (though at little expense, and you're likely to have these at home anyway). I buffed my nails and then soaked the cotton wool in the remover before wrapping it with foil to hold it in place. I left this on for around 10 minutes and then gently lifted the polish off by pushing underneath the polish layer with the cuticle pusher. I did actually damage my nails the first time I did this as I didn't realise how strong the cuticle pusher was, so I would definitely advise being as gentle as possible.
Is 14 Day Manicure Safe?
One thing I've always wondered is how safe at-home gel removal kits are. I'm always weary when using UV lamps, however, according to the 14 Day Manicure website, the lamp is at a professional level for safe use. That being said, always make sure to follow the instructions and only keep your hands under the lamp for the amount of time advised, as you do not want to risk any overexposure. Although your hands are only under the lamp for seconds at a time, you can always apply your favourite SPF before doing your nails for extra protection.
Is 14 Day Manicure Worth It?
All in all, I would definitely recommend this kit for anyone looking to do their own gel manicures at home. Although it's somewhat of an investment, you'll end up saving yourself money in the long run, and after a bit of practice, no one will be able to guess that your manis are a DIY job.
The only downside is that removing the gel polish can be a little bit of a faff. I usually do my nails on my dining-room table and move to my bathroom to avoid ruining any surfaces with the remover, and so I can do it near an open window, because the smell can be quite strong. The remover can be difficult to apply without spilling small amounts because the bottle has a wide nozzle, and if you have any children or pets around then you would definitely want to keep it out of reach. That being said, it does get easier over time, and the brand also offers polish-remover wraps that are already soaked in acetone to make the process a lot simpler.
Shop 14 Day Manicure:
This kit is currently on sale for just under £80 and includes all of your manicure essentials.
Pros: Easy to use, helps to save you money and has a huge range of gel-polish shades available
Cons: Takes practice and removing the gel can be a little bit tricky
Shop My Gel-Nail Essentials: