Warning long post with lots of reading. :)
I decided to talk a little bit more about soak-off gel polishes since I've started using them. If I start to babble just act like you don't see it. Also explain and show how it all works since its become easier for you to do it at home yourself instead of going to a salon, not that there is anything wrong with going to one I just prefer to do it myself. :)
Now I know there are so many brands out now and still more coming out its hard to keep track of all of them, but not all are available without a beauty license. So I will talk about the two I am currently using, but might try others if I find an amazing color and able to buy it.
The first one I tried was CND Shellac and found it very easy to apply and remove and love the colors but few choices. There is that layering option to get new colors but I would rather just get the color I want then have to layer two colors to get the result I am hoping for. Also in my opinion its more polish than gel ratio, while Gelish seems to have more gel with the polish.
Gelish is the other one I am using which took me a while to get use to since using Shellac first. Gelish has grown on me and I have been using it more than the Shellac now. I like having longer nails and it feels like Gelish gives my nails a bit more strength than Shellac did. Also I get more of a selection of colors to pick from.
Gelish bottles are bigger so you get more bang for your buck which is a win for me to buy more! But if I saw a Shellac color that I had to have I would grab it in a second if I could not find something close in a non-gel polish.
Gelish is a thicker polish than Shellac so I try to make sure I put on very thin layers especially if I am going to put regular polish over the top which I do all the time, because lets face it there are so many cool color polishes out there. :) Both Gelish and Shellac can be purchased a few different ways I will post some links on the side of where I purchase my nail supplies from.
There also some newer ones Orly Gel FX, NSI Pro Polish, OPI GelColor. IBD Just Gel Polish is 100% pure gel that applies just like nail polish, which uses LED or UV lamps just like other soak -off gel polishes.
If anyone has tried these or any other soak-off gel polishes please feel free to share your experiences with me.
Now for some application info.
Here is the list of recommended products needed to preform a Gelish manicure.
Gelish Foundation Base Gel - I haven't tried using other soak-off base and top coats
Gelish Top it Sealer - Only have tried Gelish Top Sealer
Gelish Cleanser - I use 91% alcohol
Gelish Soak-off Polish - many colors to chose from
36-watt UV lamp or UV LED lamp
Gelish Remover - I use acetone nail polish remover
Gelish phBond - is used in the preparation of the nail as a dehydrating step so I use 91% alcohol)
Gelish Structure Gel - for weak and or peeling nails, haven't tried yet
Cuticle oil of your choice - I use CND Solar Oil
I added a Gelish tutorial in my tutorials hope you find it helpful. :)