SOLO One-Step Gel Polish Review

SOLO One-Step Gel PolishToday I’m reviewing SOLO One-Step Gel Polish, a new line of gel polish for the at-home user from the makers of Gel II.  This polish promises long-lasting wear for up to two weeks.  It’s a one-step gel, which means that it doesn’t require a base or top coat.  You simply apply two layers of color, cure each coat, and you’re done!  The polish dries to a shiny, tacky-free finish.

I received a SOLO One-Step Gel Polish Starter Kit. This kit has all of the essentials to give yourself an at-home gel manicure.  It comes with a small LED lamp, four shades of gel polish, cleansing wipes, a metal cuticle pusher, a nail file, a nail buffer and a 1 fl oz bottle of gel polish remover.

Solo One-Step Gel Starter KitSolo One-Step Gel Starter Kit


I unpacked my kit, read the instructions, and got busy applying my gel polish. I prepped my nails by pushing my cuticles back, lightly buffing, and cleansing with an alcohol wipe.  After letting the alcohol dry, I applied my first coat of gel polish.  The color that I chose to use for my wear test was called 3’s a Crowd (see swatch below).  The polish applied well and went on from edge-to-edge without any troubles.  I did find the brush a bit awkward to hold and handle at first.  The bottles are small, so the brushes are short and then the round cap makes them a bit stout.  After some practice it got a little easier.

I did notice a slight discrepancy in the instructions – the box says to cure for 30 seconds, but the instructions inside the box said to cure each coat for 60 seconds.  I decided to try to cure my polish for 30 seconds first to see if it was long enough.  A few of my nails were still slightly tacky after 30 seconds, so I cured a little longer.  I would say that 45-60 seconds was sufficient.  Once the polish was cured completely it felt perfectly smooth and not tacky to the touch at all. All of the colors provided good coverage with just two coats.

The lamp is small and only fits 4 fingers at a time.  The thumbs have to be cured separately, which doubles the curing time.


I wore my SOLO gel manicure for 7 days with no problems.  They stayed shiny and looked good.  There was very minimal tip wear.  The polish didn’t provide much strength, so my nails were a little soft and could bend, but that didn’t cause the polish to chip or crack like some others I’ve tried.  On day 8, I got my first little chip on my index finger.

SOLO wear test - day 8I continued to wear the polish for two more days, and on day 10 the chip was much worse so I decided to soak the polish off.  All of my other nails were still perfectly in tact and probably would have held up for at least a few more days.

SOLO wear test - day 10


The removal process was fast and easy, just how I like it.  I followed the instructions and lightly buffed my nails and then soaked them. The instructions say to soak for 10 minutes and then start pushing off the gel.  I checked my nails after just 8 minutes and the polish was already starting to peel off as seen in the picture below.  I pushed off the polish that was ready and soaked a little longer.  The total removal process took about 12 minutes.  The gel stuck to the tips of my nails a little better, so I needed to add some more remover to the tips to get it to loosen up.  I did very minimal scraping, and lightly buffed my nails after all of the gel was off.

SOLO gel Removal

The Colors:

Let’s take a look at the four colors that are included in the starter kit!

Pinkie Swear is a red-leaning pink with shimmery glitter. (It looks more red to me than pink). - SOLO One-Step Gel - Pinkie SwearChicks Dig Firefighters is a classic, bright, fire engine red cream. - SOLO One-Step Gel - Chicks Dig Firefighters3’s a Crowd is a gorgeous pink-ish purple.  This is my favorite color in the set, which is why I selected it for my wear test. - SOLO One-Step Gel - 3's a CrowdAnd Truth or Dare is a really pretty, frosty purple. - SOLO One-Step Gel - Truth or Dare

Cost & Where to Buy

The SOLO One-Step Gel Polish Starter Kit can be purchased for $129.99 on the SOLO website at  The individual polishes are available for $15 each.

The polishes are only .27 ounces (8 mL), so I feel that the prices are high for the size of the bottles.  You do save some money by not having to purchase a base and top coat.

Thoughts on One-Step Gel Polishes

One-step gel polish is awesome for people on the go that want long-lasting wear, but don’t have a lot of time to invest in their nails. You can apply just two coats of polish, cure, and not have to think about them for 10-14 days. The SOLO brand was very easy to remove too!

I usually find that the one-step gels don’t provide the strength that you get with a 3-step. So if your nails are flimsy and need a little extra strength, a 3-step gel system might be the better option. Gel top coats also provide that super high-gloss shine that you generally can’t get with a one-step polish.  But you can always apply a layer of gel top coat over your one-step gel if you want that extra shine, or a little extra strength.

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9 Responses

  1. Wanda says:

    Two coats cured for 60 sec each does not sound like much time savings. <y nails are so weak that I feel the extra coats of base and top coat help keep them from breaking, too. Given the small bottles, the cure time and the price, I think I would pass.

  2. NancyG says:

    When you say you soaked your nails for removal of the product, what did you soak in (acetone?) and did you use wraps?

  3. Melissa says:

    What type of lamp comes with the kit?

  4. Melissa says:

    I am sorry I just read it. LED
    Thanks :)

  5. shayne says:

    What if I don’t use the led light. Will is dry?

  6. Maddie says:

    Does a UV lamp cure this polish as well?