Sensational At Home Gel Nail Starter Kit Review

Sensationail is a relatively new product on the UK market. It is a DIY gel nail kit that you can do at home instead of having to visit a salon and as you can see above it’s very compact and travel friendly.

I have seen the product in Boots before (or you can also buy it here)> gel nail polish .  I had been interested but as I am trained in gel polish and Shellac and have those kits and lamps I didn’t seem much point shelling out on a consumer product just for my own use but when I was contacted by Sensationail they seemed interested in me testing it out and seemed fine that I was  already trained in using the product and wanted my honest opinion which is refreshing.

So, how does it work?

First step is to prep your nails.  Trim them and file them like you would normally.  The next issue is cuticles, prior to any gel or acrylic application you need to remove as much of your cuticle from your nail plate as possible to avoid the gel peeling.  There aren’t any products in the kit to do this but if you purchase some cuticle remover from the chemist, leave it to soak for a few minutes then gently using a rubber hoof stick to push the skin from your nail plate and VERY gently push a little at the skin at the bottom of your nail (which you might have presumed was your cuticle but actually isn’t) make sure you do not jab at it, be careful.

Then very gently buff the shine off the surface of your nails.  After that, wash your hands with water and liquid soap to remove the cuticle remover and dry thoroughly as gel doesn’t perform well unless the nails are dry. 

Start by using the gel cleanser from the kit on one of the lint free wipes.
This is to remove oils and dirt from your nail plate and prep it for the base coat. Next stop is to apply the primer.  

Sensationail in Sugar Plum Day 1

After a few seconds when this has dried apply the the base coat (which is a 2 in 1 base and  topcoat).  Just apply it as you would a nail varnish but ensure you don’t get too close to the edges as if you continually get gel on your skin it can be dangerous and you can get an allergic reaction.  Also any gel on the skin will look unsightly.  Once your nails have the basecoat on, put your fingers in the lamp and turn on for 30 seconds to dry them.  Once that is dry remember your nails are sticky until the end of the process so carefully ensure you apply the colour coat and then put back in the lamp for 60 seconds.  Repeat for a second coat of colour and then apply the clear topcoat and put back in the lamp for 30 seconds.  Once that is all done then use your colour coat and again dry in the lamp, this time for 60 seconds. To finish – cleanse your nails to remove the sticky residue with the cleanser on a lint free wipe and apply some cuticle oil and hand cream.

I have been having gel polish applied since 2010 and been trained since 2011 so I can do it fairly quickly, I would presume you could crack out a good set of nails in an hour though even if you are new to this.

I found that the Sensationail lasted for 10 days before I started getting chips at the edges of some of my nails, I think this is because it isn’t as thick as the normal gel that I have on my nails so doesn’t provide the same amount of strength.

The colour Sugar Plum is GORGEOUS, I had lots of comments and I think it is a stunning colour I would happily wear this for a month and I hate wearing the same colour for too long.

Sensationail in Sugar Plum Day 10

The starter kit costs £60 on-line and £69.99 in Boots and the kit contains:

  • The free exclusive travel bag
  • 1 x full size polish colour of your choice 7.39ml
  • Primer 3.54ml
  • Base/topcoat 7.39ml
  • Gel cleanser 27.2ml
  • 12 x lint free wipes
  • Buffer
  • Manicure stick
  • Pro 3060 LED nail lamp (Power 7W +/- 10%)
  • How-to Booklet


They do sell removal wraps but 3 sets for £10 seemed a bit steep so I just did the usual which is file the top of the nail with a nail file to ‘break the seal’, then use cotton wool, acetone and tin foil as per the tutorial I did a few months ago.  Bizarre but it didn’t really seem to want to come off so I was very naughty and just soaked them in a small bowl of acetone to which I added some sweet almond oil.  It took 10 minutes for them to remove.  They were a bit dry afterwards but generally fine but I applied my normal gel polish after and then lots of oil and handcream so I am sure they will be fine. If you are going back to normal polish after using this then use a nail strengthener and lots of cuticle oil.

After removal

Overall I liked the kit and think that if you are good at painting your own nails then it would be worth getting it.  There aren’t that many shades in the range and they are quite expensive at £15 each if you are just using them yourself so my suggestion would be to go halves with your best friend or mum or sister to ease the cost or if you have a group of friends maybe club together and each buy a shade so you can swap them around.  

The only thing I think was a negative was that the lamp was very small, it’s a plus in that it’s not heavy and you can just shove it in your bag but I am not sure if you could get your feet in it either to do a pedicure, a professional size nail lamp is for fingernails or toenails and that’s why it’s a bit bigger than this lamp.  If your feet are quite small I think it would be fine.

Overall 8.5 out of ten which could be improved by a slightly wider lamp with a button for 30 seconds and a button for 60 seconds and the lamp being a bit heavier so it’s more sturdy and the shades being a little bit more affordable.

Edited to add – There are currently 19 shades in the range but I have been advised that in the new year there will be some new colours and great seasonal specials and the cost from is £10 not £15 for each colour…which does beg the question – why the hell are Boots charging £15 each for a colour? What a ripoff if it’s only a tenner online? Sort it out Boots! 
pr samples – honest review as always and was very grateful to test this out