I was at the store today and just by chance discovered a set of "Gel Nails" that promised to provide professional quality gel nails at home, for just $9.99. Anyone who knows me can tell you that there was a time in my life when I always had my nails done. I love a good acrylic set. Since having the kiddos, and having a lot less time to myself - I've given up my nail expense/habit. Until today. I figured for $9.99 it was worth a shot and if it lasts two weeks or more, even better. The average cost for a "full set" is around $20 and about $12 for a "fill in" so really I am still ahead of the game.
What's even better is that I could easily do this during nap time and have it done/dry by the time they wake up. The instructions were fairly simple - apply tips, file to size/shape, apply gel, apply activator. Repeat. Apply polish if desired. The set came with two sets of tips - clear or "French" white. I went with the French. One downside was that they ONLY gave you two of each size tip, which meant I needed to do a little filing to get one or two to fit best. No biggie. I did not add color polish but HIGHLY recommend a clear top coat if nothing else. It really seemed to help the gel harden and set. The label says it drys in 5 minutes. And it pretty much did. But it wasn't completely hardened. If I hits something hard it would make an indent. Once I put the top coat on (not included) it did seem to help and as I type this they do seem pretty hard and comparable to salon quality nails. They certainly seem to withstand key strokes.
Apparently there is also enough of the gel/activator to do a fill in or two too - so we'll see how the next few days go and if I make it to the fill in stage. If think at that point I will likely use a color polish on them too.
---Update: the nails lasted less then 24 hours. I broke one off this morning simply doing laundry. Fixed that one and another broke. In the end I think they would be nice for an event but sadly nothing like the real thing.