Thursday, March 19, 2015

Soaking off gel polish with NailMates

Hello lovelies! Today I have a new product to talk about and show you to go along with the beautiful gel nails I've been sharing here on the blog. I'm talking about NailMates, and they are awesome for removing gel polish. I actually first tried these out months ago (think before Halloween), but I kept procrastinating forgetting to post about them until now. Sorry guys!


You may have seen my Gel Nail Removal tutorial where I show you my easy soak-off method using a bowl of warm acetone. Since I'm constantly wearing and changing my gel polish I feel like I'm constantly soaking my nails off too. I still stand by my method and it works very well for me, but sometimes it just plain sucks having to sit with my fingers soaking in acetone for 10-15 minutes. I'm impatient, and I have a bad back, so sitting there hunched over a bowl for that long kills my back and neck. NailMates help remove my gel polish quickly and easily and gives me the freedom to get up and move around while doing it.

OK, so what the heck are NailMates? They are these awesome little caps that come with special foam pads, that you saturate with acetone and put onto your fingertips to soak off your gel manicure. They keep the acetone from evaporating and drying out (unlike the foil & cotton ball method, which I despise). Best of all- they are reusable! You can learn more about NailMates on their website and order directly from there (like I did). Each set comes with 10 reusable caps with 20 pads for about the price of a bottle of gel polish. Not bad! You can also buy extra pads separately, but I've been using and rotating the same 20 pads for the last 5 months and they are still working just fine.

Let's take a closer look at how NailMates work.

First, gather your supplies. In addition to the caps and pads you'll need pure acetone (the clear stuff), a nail file, and orange wood stick, and some cuticle oil.


Before you can apply NailMates you'll have to file the tops of your gel nail polish to break the seal in the top coat. You don't have to file them a lot- just rough them up and remove the shine so the acetone can really soak in and do it's job.


Now it's time to saturate the pads. I had a bit of trouble the first time in getting enough acetone in them so that they didn't dry out, but not so much that they were dripping when I put my fingers into the caps. I placed the pad over the top of the acetone bottle and tipped it upside down quickly twice and that seemed to be just about the perfect amount on each pad. When you soak the pads you'll notice they swell up and the acetone spreads nicely across the entire area. These are designed for even distribution! Perfect. Now you're ready to load them into the caps. I like to saturate and load all 10 at once and then slip them onto my fingers. They fit nice and snug and the acetone soaked foam pads were resting right up against my nails.

After about 10 minutes or so I removed the NailMates to check on my gel polish. You can't tell from this picture, but they were ready! I used my orange wood stick to gently push off the loosened gel polish.


See?

Here's what my nails looked like after removing all of the gel polish.


Lastly, my freshly naked nails were in need of a little TLC, so I did a quick basic manicure on myself. I filed my nails down a bit shorter and gently pushed my cuticles back. Then I used my nail buffing block to lightly buff the tops of my nails to make them evenly smooth. Finally, I used a nail brush to scrub my nails clean with soap and warm water (this is also a great time to rinse/wash your nail mate caps and pads too). I finished up my mini mani by slathering on some cuticle oil because acetone is very drying and cuticle oil is your best friend!

Overall, soaking off gel polish with NailMates took just about the same amount of time as it does with my usual method, but I love that I had the freedom to sit comfortably or get up and walk around the house during the process (or attempt to use my phone with my 2nd knuckles, haha). I have to admit that these are my new favorite way to soak off my gels! Since trying NailMates I haven't used the bowl method again. I really do love these and I recommend them to anyone who does their own gel nails. These would also be great for non-gel polish users trying to get off stubborn glittery nail polish.


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Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. I did not receive any compensation for my review of NailMates, nor was I given this product for testing purposes. All opinions are, as always, my own :)

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