Bio Seaweed Gel UNITY All-In-One Color Gel Polish Review – Chickettes: Soak-Off Gel Polish Swatches, Nail Art and Tutorials
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Bio Seaweed Gel UNITY All-In-One Color Gel Polish Review

I was very excited to see that Bio Seaweed Gel (BSG) had a booth at Cosmoprof because I’d heard so much about their gel polish, but hadn’t tried it yet.  Their booth was one of my very first visits while I was there.  I learned that they have two lines of soak-off gel polish; UNITY – which is a one-step gel polish that has the base and top coat built in, and a 3STEP gel polish system that require a base and top coat. They have a No-Sanding Base Gel, Diamond Shine Top Gel, and No-Wipe Top Gel.  They have a very wide variety of colors and finishes to choose from (189 colors between the 2 lines), and they claim that the removal only takes 5 minutes!

I received two UNITY colors, the No-Sanding Base and No-Wipe Top to try.  I did two different wear and removal tests with one of the UNITY polishes.  I wanted to try it on its own, and with the base and top coats.  Bio Seaweed Gel recommends only using UNITY on its own when used on your toes, but they do recommend using the base and top coat on your fingernails for best results.  One of the bottles that I received has this information about expected wear on the label:

  1. Just UNITY: Lasts 1-7 days
  2. UNITY + BSG Base Gel Polish: Lasts 7-14 days
  3. UNITY + BSG Base + BSG Top: Lasts 14+ days of high shine chip-free wear

Application

For my first wear test I applied BSG UNITY #126 Magenta directly onto my nails.  The application was a dream.  The color went on perfectly from edge to edge with no shrink back issues, and this particular color was opaque in just two coats.  The UNITY gels also do not have any tackiness after curing, so you don’t have to wipe them clean after your application.  The picture below shows the end result of my first application.  Even without a top coat, the UNITY gel had a good shine. (This is my left hand, the wear test was conducted on my right).

Bio Seaweed Gel - #126 Magenta - Swatch by Chickettes.comOn my second wear test I also applied the base and top coats in addition to two coats of UNITY Magenta.  I also had no issues with the application of the base and top coats.

Wear

Test 1: Just UNITY

As I mentioned, I first tried UNITY on its own without a base or top coat.  According to the label, this should have lasted 1-7 days.  My manicure stayed in good shape right up until day 3 or 4, and then I noticed a few little cracks on some of the nails.  I’ve heard about gel polish cracking, but never experienced it until now.  I think the cracks occurred because my nails actually bent.  They didn’t feel very strong with just the two coats of color on.  Even with the cracks, the color still stayed in place up until day 7.  On this day I did some gardening and house cleaning and at the end of the day I noticed that the cracks were more severe and I actually had a couple of small chips.  The finish also dulled a little. Here is what they looked like on day 7:

Bio Seaweed Gel UNITY - 7 days of wear with no base or top coatTest 2: UNITY + BSG Base + BSG Top

I had slightly better results while wearing the base and top, as expected.  Unfortunately, my nails still didn’t feel very strong.  I was able to bend them, which I don’t typically experience with gel polish.  They wore great up until day 5 when I bumped my middle nail on the side of my sink while wiping the counter tops.  I could feel the nail bend and I thought it had broken, but the nail didn’t tear.  I did have a visible crack though where the nail bent, which you can see here:

bsg-day5-test2I continued with the test and over the next few days my tips did begin to show some wear, and by day 10 I had a couple of small chips, and a few more cracks.  Now it was time for removal.

bsg-day10-test2Removal:

BSG advertises 5-minute removal, which had me super excited.  Normally soak-offs take at least 10 minutes or more, so I was hoping this stuff would just slide right off.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  I was also surprised that the removal experience was almost identical in both tests.  I used my Nail Mates and pure acetone for the removal process, which is now the method that I use for all of my soak-offs since it’s easier and more effective than the foil method.  After 5 minutes of soaking my nails looked like the picture below.  They were basically unchanged. The scuff marks that you see are from me filing through the top coat.  I tried pushing the polish off with an orange stick, but the polish wasn’t ready.

bsg-removal-5minsI continued soaking for another 5 minutes before checking again.  When I removed the wraps they still looked the same, but this time I was able to scrape some of the polish off.  It seemed to want to come off in layers and not all at once.  This is what they looked like after scraping.

bsg-removal-10minsI continued soaking for another 5 minutes.  Once again they didn’t look very different, and I did some more scraping.  Most of the polish did come off, but it felt and looked like I had a film on my nails.  I was also very uncomfortable with the amount of scraping that I had to do.  I was worried that my nails might be getting damaged.  This is what they looked like after 15 minutes of soaking and scraping.

bsg-removal-15minsAt this point I decided to take a buffer to my nails to finish the removal process.  After buffing off the remaining gel and cleansing, my nails were back to normal as seen in the photo below.  I had a small layer chip off of the top of my index fingernail (you can see the little crack in the photo above where it was coming loose).  And you can also see the visible cracks in my middle finger nail where I bumped it.  The nail wasn’t ripped, but it did bend easily where the cracks are.  I ended up reinforcing this nail afterwards with the acrygel technique to keep it from breaking.

bsg-removal-done

Summary

I was very impressed with the ease of application with this product, and I also thought the shine on the UNITY gel without a top coat was good for a one-step.  The No-Wipe Top provided the extra shine that I would expect in a gel.  I thought the wear was average; I had cracks and chipping even with the base and top coat and my nails didn’t feel as strong as I would expect with a gel.  The removal process was below average with the total process taking about 20 minutes with lots of scraping.



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27 Responses

  1. Sandy says:

    Thank-you. A very detailed review on a complicated SOG system. It’s ironic that this product that advertises (and prices) itself as better and less damaging for nails gave you less protection, and needed more of the “elbow grease” for removal which does the damage on nails.

  2. Anna says:

    It’s a very pretty color!

  3. Jera says:

    My first thought was, “What a beautiful color!”. Great review! I have recently tried acrygel technique as I have very thin nails and I work on ice machines so my gel polish has never lasted over a week. Sometimes just a few days. However, I am very optimistic about the acrygel technique! (as far as longevity) I must admit: I feel like a child on Christmas morning whenever your email comes through for a new blog. (: You have helped me many times through my SOG journey. I’m an addict!

    • Anna says:

      My nails are ridiculously thin…I can’t have any length to them if I don’t wear gel polish because they will bend backwards or tear. I started using the acrygel method in March and haven’t gone without it since. I absolutely love the added strength and now my manicures last as long as I leave them on…the longest I will leave it is 3 weeks because the look of the growth bothers me. I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the wear!

      • Jera says:

        Awesome Anna! Thanks for the added support of acrygel. I hope this solves my weak nail problem too. I was always one that loved the look of painted nails but the regular nail polish took foreeeeever to dry and by the next day I had some sort of imperfection in them, basically wasting time. So happy I found and tried gel polish! I will never paint my nails with anything else again.

  4. Laura says:

    Hmm. Your removal experience looks like what happens to me with Gelish . . . I have the nailmates, and I don’t see any of the polish flake off until the 20 or 30-minute mark. Even with continued soaking, some nails still have to be scraped like this! Not sure what I can change . . .

    • Andrea says:

      Interesting. Gelish does flake off for me after about 10-15 minutes of soaking. I usually file the top layer off really well though because the top coat is the hardest layer to remove.

    • Andrea says:

      Oh, you can also try adding some heat during your removals if you’re having trouble. Use a heating pad or heated mitts.

    • Jane says:

      I used to have a lot of trouble removing Gelish until I realised my Foundation layer was too thick. I thought I was applying it thinly, but I was not. You need THIN THIN THINNY THIN THIN! Wipe the brush on the top of the bottle until it looks like you have none on it, then brush it on. Some people describe it as scrubbing it in. It’s like putting on the merest scrape. If it’s like you are painting it on, it’s too thick!

      I also, as Andrea does, file through the top coat first. Now I soak for 10 minutes and it often comes off. Sometimes it needs soaking for an extra five mins. This method has made a huge difference to the removal process for me.

  5. Jolien says:

    great review!! thank you
    really like reading your blog

  6. London says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I’m very excited to hear your experience with this brand (esp. since they are a tad costly)!

    Your response that the solar cure they advertise is a myth was sad but super helpful. Now this detailed review is great! In particular it is good to know about the removal & strength issues you encountered and the info re.finish on the unity & No-Wipe Top for travel purposes. All were questions I was wondering about.

    The big 5 free is still a plus for a friend who is allergic to most RNP and so far has yet to try gel. She will be very interested in this post. Thanks again!

    • Andrea says:

      Hi London. I didn’t even mention the solar cure in my post, so I can’t say whether that works or not. I simply don’t have the patience to try that. :)

  7. LoolaBeanbag says:

    I had exactly the same issues with removal (Unity, no base or top), and also had to resort to a buffer. my nails felt so traumatised afterwards that I haven’t used Bio Seaweed since. I’ve found an alternative one step brand that works better for me (better price too!) as I wanted to find a reliable one step range with good shade selection for layering.

  8. Lisa L says:

    I will say that I’ve experienced longer removal times since switching to Nail Mates.

    I don’t like the removal process much with BSG, although I know some postulate that it’s easier if you use the polish on nails that haven’t been sanded or buffed. Since almost all gel wearers buff on a regular basis before painting, this might be the reason why our results aren’t great.

    Also the people at BSG told me that Sally’s Beauty Supply pure acetone actually isn’t, based on their testing… I don’t know what brand you used, but since finding that out I’ve changed my brand. It helped a little.

  9. Laura says:

    Thanks, ladies. I try to do everything right–use a thin coat, dry brush the foundation, file the top coat . . . I suppose I can try to go even thinner! I don’t really buff anymore, and I have heard many do not.

  10. Kristin says:

    such a bummer, I was excited about this concept too. Love the acrygel btw, use it often :D

  11. Lisa O says:

    Glad to see this detailed review. I’ve really been wanting a 5-free gel system, but this sounds like it’s not quite “there” yet. I might try it but with a different base. If it has only average wear yet easy removal, it might be worth it for the health benefits. Like Laura, my removal process with Gelish base has been similar to what you describe with BSG base. Very long and too much scraping. I just started with Couture base, and that removes MUCH more easily for me. (Of course, along with that, the manicure doesn’t last as long.) But I’d like to try out the BSG with the Couture base. Might also give Gelish base another try with a thinner coat. Thanks for the discussion, ladies.

  12. Nicole L says:

    LOVE Love love this color. Just wondering if any of the other gel polish brands have a similar color?

  13. Amber H. says:

    Thank you very much for an honest review of your experience with this gel. I have been looking into DIY gel nail polish for a while now to figure out the best way for me to go with getting supplies that I need. My question is if you cured the gel in the sun or with a lamp? If you have not tried to cure it in the sun could you, and tell us of the experience with that part.

    • Andrea says:

      I cured my gel with a lamp. I don’t plan on sitting in the sun for 20 minutes each coat to cure it. ;)

      • Amber H says:

        20 minutes? I seen reviews say that it takes only 2 to 3 minutes just like under the UV or LED lamps.

        • Amber H says:

          WOW, I just seen another review saying 20 minutes in the sunlight too. Interesting that a youtuber would say one thing but several blogs say another. Darn false reviews.

  14. Erin H says:

    I too was less than impressed with the removal process and I was uber disappointed. I was so happy that these were the Big 5 free. I sported for the Stronger Base Coat and after 3 weeks of wear I had the exact same issue… very tough removal. My nails were pretty weak after that and I had to wait like a month before I felt comfortable applying any kind of polish again. Probably won’t purchase these again. :(

  15. Charlotte B says:

    ***Do not buy this product, Bio Seaweed Gel Polish***. I recently purchased Bio Seaweed Gel polish (2016) direct from their website, specifically the UNITY All-In-One Colour Gel Polish in color: Charlottetown. First of all, the color of the actual gel polish (a light pink) bore almost no resemblance the color displayed on the product label (peach). More concerning, I was deeply unsatisfied with the gel itself. I had it professionally applied to my hands by a very good salon, and chose to go with a different brand (DND gel) on my toes for comparison. While the DND gel polish on my toes has lasted 3 weeks with no chips whatsoever, the Bio Seaweed gel started to chip the FIRST day I wore it and continued to chip for the next two weeks very badly. The salon cured it according to instructions. When I contacted Bio Seaweed, I got the complete runaround. I kept asking for their return policy, and it took 7(!) emails to finally get them to admit what their return policy is. (It was not displayed on their website). It turns out… the return policy is terrible – you must return the product within 7 days (!) and there is only store credit, no refund. Furthermore, they claim you have to pay $15 to restock. What kind of return policy is won’t even give you enough time to test their claims to “two weeks of no chipping”? … Furthermore, my salon also said that most of their claims (No Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP etc.) are followed by other companies as well, so it’s not any “healthier” than most of the other brands out there. Avoid this brand like the plague.

    • Andrea says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you had a bad experience. You can’t really compare wear on your toes with your hands though because even regular nail polish will last at least 3-4 weeks on toes without chipping. We use our hands as tools and experience much more wear and tear. It’s true that gel polishes don’t have the ingredients that some regular polishes have, that’s just a marketing twist to try to make you think they’re safer.

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