I love having painted nails, but I have never even remotely enjoyed painting them with regular nail polish. I hate that it takes forever to dry and I always manage to smudge several nails during the drying process. And then, to top it all off, it starts chipping a couple hours after it has dried. What’s the point of all the effort in the first place?!
The game completely changed when I discovered at home gel nail polish and drying lamps, though. Now my nails are almost always done and they last for 1-2 weeks with no chipping. The best part? Getting yourself set up to DIY your gel nail polish at home only costs as much as a couple trips to the salon to get your nails done!
The best gel polishes I’ve tried so far are definitely the ones from Madam Glam. What initially drew me to them is that their polishes are 5-free: no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, DBP or toluene (want to know why these are bad? Check out this article). I was a little worried that the fact that they’re 5-free could mean performance was sacrificed, but that’s definitely not the case!
I got the Base Coat Gel, Top Coat Gel, Soak-Off Gel Polishes in Amor Azul (a gorgeous periwinkle blue) and Popsicle (really cute purpley pink summer shade), as well as the NY Gold 9W Pocket LED Lamp. I’ve used both colors several times now and they have impressed me every single time! I only need two coats for full opacity and with the base coat and top coat, I can usually get around a full two weeks of wear before they start chipping or lifting. The polishes are $19.95 each, however Madam Glam often has big sales (I’m talking 40% off), so sign up to their mailing list and shop during those sales! They usually have a great deal for first time buyers as well (it’s currently 40% off your first order with code FIRST40).
You can also buy one-step gel polishes from Madam Glam (also $19.95 each), which don’t require the base coat and top coat. I haven’t tried these myself but have read reviews from others that they really like them. I personally prefer the full system because I love the super glossy, almost voluminous look to the nails that the layers of gel polish gives.
As for the lamp from Madam Glam, it’s not my favorite. Don’t get me wrong- it works just fine and I can appreciate how it’d be super useful if you’re traveling and want to be able to bring a polish and lamp with you because it’s tiny. I just don’t like how you can’t fit all of your fingers under the light at once (it fits four and then you have to do your thumbs after to get them at the right angle). I prefer a larger lamp that my whole hand fits in (this 24W lamp is my FAVE!) purely because I’m too lazy to wait and do my thumbs separately, haha.
All in all, I will be ordering more gel polishes from Madam Glam for SURE! The quality far surpasses the few other brands I’ve tried, the color selection is amazing (and they’re constantly releasing new shades), the price is right and I just love these polishes.