Sunday, July 26, 2015

SOLO One-Step Gel Polish: Review & Swatches

I've only had one gel manicure in my life. I liked it--we did OPI gels in Goldeneye with some black tiger stripes over top--but I've never attempted to do one at home. I change my polish very frequently, so someone like me doesn't necessarily need the longevity of a gel mani. However, there are some times (vacations, crazy busy weeks, etc.) when I don't have the time or access to supplies to paint my nails as often as I normally would, and that's where a gel mani could come in handy!

So when SOLO approached me about trying their new gel system, I was curious to give it a shot! There are a ton of different at-home gel systems out there. The big difference with SOLO is that there's no need for base or top coat; it's all built right in to the polish. There's also no sticky top layer to cleanse like there is with most gel polishes. Like the name implies, it's just one step and then you're done!

The light for curing the polish is big enough to fit each hand inside. Activating the light requires only the touch of a button, located on the top of the light, and there is a built-in 60-second timer with auto-shut off. I thought it was a cute touch that the button is heart-shaped too. :)

As for the polishes, I was given two of them to try. The first is Bonfire, a vibrant orange with dense gold shimmer. I adore the shine and sparkle this has! I couldn't stop looking at this polish when it was on my nails!

The consistency was pretty thick, although I suppose that's kind of the norm with gel polish. I found thin coats worked best and I had to be mindful not to overload my brush too much. This is two coats, although a couple nails benefited from three.

Then there's Starry Night, a deep navy base filled with tiny metallic silver flakes. You can't really see in the pictures, but the silver pieces aren't perfectly round. So they're not microglitter, but rather little flecks of silver. Pictures don't do this polish any justice. It's soooo beautiful! I knew Bonfire was going to be a tough act to follow, but Starry Night definitely holds its own.

Starry Night had a more workable formula than Bonfire. It was a breeze to apply, covering in two coats.

As for wear time, these were outstanding. When you apply your gel polish, thin coats will give you the longest wear and of course, capping your tips will always help too! I wore both polishes for five days. (After that, I just couldn't take not painting my nails, so I went ahead and removed the polish, even though it still looked great!) I didn't have any chips or dents and everything still looked as smooth and shiny as day one. And I wasn't taking it easy on my nails. We're moving, so I've been doing a ton of packing. I liked how protected and strong my nails felt with the gels on, because I knew no matter what I was doing, my mani--and more importantly, my nails themselves--would hold up just fine.

Removal was easy enough. I soaked my nails in some acetone-based remover for about ten minutes, then used an orange stick to pop the polish right off. My nails were a little dry afterwards from the acetone, but it was nothing a little nail cream couldn't fix.

If you're curious about gel polish, this is the way to do it. It's fast, easy and long-lasting! I was really impressed by SOLO's polishes and would definitely consider purchasing more!

You can purchase SOLO from their website or at Ulta.

Disclosure: These products were sent for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

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