MelodySusie Gel Polish Starter Kit Review – Chickettes: Soak-Off Gel Polish Swatches, Nail Art and Tutorials
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MelodySusie Gel Polish Starter Kit Review

melody-susie-gel-polish-starter-kit-review
MelodySusie released a new gel polish starter kit that includes an LED lamp and all of the essentials needed to do a basic gel polish manicure… and some extra goodies for nail art too.  I have reviewed a few of their nail lamps and was really impressed by some of them, so I was looking forward to trying out this kit.  The kit arrived in a very sturdy box, and this is what the packaging looked like on the inside when I took the lid off:

ms-starter-kit-packaging

Everything was packaged really well. I pulled out the lamp and the polishes to find some compartments below that had little individually wrapped goodies. There were nail care tools and some nail art goodies that I wasn’t expecting. There was a lot more in that box than I imagined! Here is a shot that shows ALL of the items that are included in the kit.

ms-starter-kit-contents

Included in the kit are:

  • 3 gel polish colors
  • gel polish top coat
  • 6-watt LED lamp (4 fingers)
  • cuticle nippers
  • cuticle pusher
  • orangewood stick
  • toe separators
  • 2 nail files
  • buffer
  • nail brush
  • 3 rolls of nail art striping tape
  • a wheel containing different colored rhinestones
  • a pot of loose glitter (red)
  • and 2 sheets of nail decals (one for french tips, and one decorative)

I was impressed with the contents of the kit and was eager to do a manicure and try it out.

Application

I conducted a wear test with the #1 blue polish (the polishes don’t have names, they are numbered).  You can choose from two different color selections when you purchase a kit.  I thought the blue color was really pretty, so I went with that first.  The polish bottle says “3-in-1” on it, so at first I thought it was a one-step gel, but after reading the instructions I realized that it needed a top coat, so it’s really a 2-step since no base is required.  The top coat bottle that’s included in the kit also looks exactly like the other bottles, so that added a little to my confusion, but I quickly figured out that bottle #4 was the top coat.

I prepped my nails by shaping, buffing and cleansing with alcohol and then applied two coats of the blue polish directly onto my nails.  The application was ok, but I did get some shrinkage at the tips and had to do a bit of flash curing to hold the polish in place.

ms-mini-travel-lamp

The LED lamp that’s included in the kit is a 4-finger lamp, so the thumb has to be cured separately.  The lamp will cure for 45 seconds by pressing the button once, or it will cure for 60 seconds by pushing the button two times consecutively.  The lamp automatically turns off when the time is up.  The instructions said to cure the first coat of polish for 45 seconds, and the second coat for 60.  The top coat also required a 60 second cure.  The picture above is a quick demo shot of the lamp in use (no polish on my nails).  I had to turn my hand slightly to get all four fingers under the lamp at once.

The top coat didn’t have a tacky layer once it was cured, so it’s a no-wipe top coat.  I wasn’t expecting that and it was a pleasant surprise.  Below is what my nails looked like after completing the application… nice and shiny and I love the dynamic shimmer effects of this blue polish!

ms-wear-day1

Wear

So how did the polish hold up??  It held up great – not a single chip in the 10 days that I had it on.  Unfortunately though, the top coat went dull really quickly.  It was dull after just one or two days and stayed that way for the duration.  Below is a picture of what my nails looked like after 10 days of wear.  You can see there is some tip wear, and the top coat is very dull, but the polish is holding on.

ms-wear-day10

Removal

After 10 days I was pretty confident that this polish wasn’t going to chip or peel any time soon, so I decided to test removal.  I took a coarse nail file to the top layer and roughed them up, and then I started the removal process.  First I tried using my new Steam Off gadget since it seems to be working pretty well for me.  I soaked for the full 10 minutes, but the polish didn’t budge a bit.  In fact, the C-curve of my nails started to curl really bad to the point where it almost hurt.  Well that was strange… So then I decided to switch over to my NailMates to soak.  After another 10 minutes the polish around the edges just barely started to budge.  So I did a little scraping, a little soaking, a little scraping, a little soaking, etc… for an HOUR!!  Yes, an hour.  This stuff was not coming off, and I even applied heat with my warming mitts for 20 minutes at the end.  After a full hour of trying to soak the polish off, this is what my nails looked like.

ms-soak-off-1-hourYou can see that they were still a little curled at the tips, and the polish was just hanging on for dear life.  I think this polish would have stayed on forever if I hadn’t finally taken a buffer to them to remove the remainder.  Removal gets a huge thumbs down from me.  I wouldn’t wear this polish again without using a base that I know will soak off.

Colors

These are the three colors that were included in the kit that I received. As I mentioned, there are two different sets of colors that you can choose from when purchasing this kit. The other option looks like it includes red, black and taupe.

This is dark blue with a beautiful shimmer finish.  It seems to have some flecks of blue and purple.

ms-color-1This is a peachy shade of pink that has a golden shimmer.

ms-color-2And the last color is a medium-to-dark red with a golden shimmer.

ms-color-3The colors cannot be purchased individually, and are only available in the kit.

Summary

I’m impressed with all that the kit comes with, and the quality of the tools. It’s a fairly complete set, but doesn’t have cleanser or removal products. I like the colors, but after my removal experience I definitely think they should include a base coat for easier removal. I also prefer when polish colors have names instead of just numbers because it makes them more memorable, and the top coat bottle should be labeled as such to prevent any confusion.

If you’ve read some of my past reviews you know that I’m not a huge fan of 6-watt and/or 4-finger lamps. I personally prefer a 5-finger lamp for everyday use just to speed up the application process. For travel purposes, 4-finger lamps like this one are great though. This lamp is actually very portable and would easily fit in your luggage for a trip.

The kit is a good value for someone that’s just getting into gel polish. It retails at $79.99, and is currently on sale for $49.99 – you can barely buy four bottles of gel polish for that price.

The MelodySusie Professional Gel Polish starter kit is available for sale on Amazon.com.



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11 Responses

  1. Suzanne Grabow-Center says:

    That soak off was a nightmare for your nails! Thanks for the review!

  2. Libby in WI says:

    Beautiful colors, but that soak off is a real buzzkill! I think you and I have similar nails and body chemistry because if you have issues I normally do too. This one goes to the bottom of the wishlist :(

  3. Lynette says:

    Where can I get the warming mitts?? Amazon probably but I would appreciate your recommendation. There are so many! Thanks

  4. Lynette says:

    Exactly the ones I had my eyes on. Thanks so much.

  5. Joanna B says:

    Oh that blue is pretty….love polish with the different color flecks.

  6. Ana Brown says:

    I want this!!!! This is a must try indeed!

  7. Catherine says:

    That peachy shade of pink with golden shimmer is pretty much to my heart.

  8. Skinzen says:

    The colors and the finished look are stunning especially with the darker ones. I noticed some streaking with the base color of the peach one which was emphasized more by the gloss coat. Generally, I love the effect. I hope they could do something about the removal procedure, though. Apart from that issue, this kit can make a great gift for a friend, a bridesmaid , or even for myself!

  9. Janine says:

    Are there other available colors or hues to choose from? The basic ones with the kit are good enough, it would be more exciting if there are choices.

  10. Torrie Hoskins says:

    Love the colors, but ICK, don’t think I would be able to handle the soak off time. I get bored sitting there waiting for my Gelish and IBD polish to soak off, can’t imagine how bored I would be waiting for this brand to soak off. I love how pretty those colors are though, and for the price, you can’t beat it…especially since you get the lamp and tons of goodies, may be looking into it :) ) Thanks for sharing :)

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