Saturday, July 27, 2013

OPI Russian Navy Gelcolor Manicure

i'm back after taking the week off! i had so much fun in LA, i really loved hanging out with my friends and riding new horses. i actually ended up only riding one horse... and two ponies :D i've never ridden a pony before. these (of course!) were big ponies, but ponies all the same. i'll throw in a picture at the end of me with Dolce, the Halflinger pony i rode on trail ride that overlooks Los Angeles!

i got OPI Gelcolor professionally put on my nails on Sunday, and i'm happy to share the experience with you all! i decided to go ahead and get them put on since Ulta was having a special... $10 instead of the usual $25. since i was going to be in LA for a week, i figured that would be the perfect time to put them to the test! Mr. Pawlish was kind enough to be my photographer :D

throughout most of the process, an antimicrobial solution like alcohol was used to wipe the nails... pretty much between each step, even the very end! one thing i didn't like about this Ulta was that they didn't use a nail buffer on the nail... just the nail file. i feel like that is way to harsh to use all over the nail!

since no tips were used, the tech just filed my natural nail shape, leaving them fairly long. the gel applies just like nail polish... which means you are at risk for air bubbles and lumps... both of which i'm sorry to say i have.

each coat of gel has to be cured under a UV light, it felt quite hot on my fingers! once we got to the topcoat, which also must be cured, it BURNED under the UV light. i'm not sure what was different about the topcoat, but it really made my nails burn and ache! the lovely thing about this process is that it's dry after being cured... unlike normal polish which can take forever to dry (especially with my skin chemistry!).

here's the finished look! i got Russian Navy, which is similar to the regular OPI Russian Navy, but has more noticeable shimmers that include pink along with the original blue.

as you can see, the gel backed off the tips, which is a problem i have with normal polish. there is also a polish lump on my ring finger... i was really not happy with that. the tech also got gel onto some of my cuticles, luckily most of it came off in the shower. i do like how thick it makes my nails look and the glossiness.

my thumb chipped pretty quickly, but i thought it was interesting to be able to see the individual gel layers!

and here we have the manicure as of today, Friday. that's about 6 days of wear. it chipped less than normal polish, but i still did have some chipping. it also did not stay as glossy as i'd hoped!

all in all, i do like the lasting power of the gels, but i would not go back to Ulta if i were to get them again. i think a true nail salon would do a better job... i felt like nails were an afterthought at the Ulta in my area! the tech didn't even apply the topcoat all over the Russian Navy on my right hand... it was just frustrating. however, the tech was super nice which did help make up for it.

are gel nails something you have or would try? what do you think of them? let me know if you have any other questions! Ria :)

i leave you with the beautiful Haflinger, Dolce :D


  1. I hate to say it but I think your girl did a couple things wrong in the application. She didn't seem to have wrapped the tips. Also if it burned, she must have gotten top coat on your skin and not removed it before curing. I've never had bubbles in a gel mani. I didn't really know that could happen. It's beautiful but I'm glad you paid sale price. Pretty lady on a pretty horse!!!

    1. i'm just lucky that way! i've decided i'm just not a fan of gel polish... taking it off is awful! and thank you :D

  2. You can get bubbles and lumps if the gel is old or applied too thickly. I have never heard of not buffing the nails before applying also. If they do thin coats, the polish is natural looking.

    1. interesting! i think Ulta is really lacking in training their techs, sadly.


i'd love to hear from you guys! let me know if you have any questions or advice :)