01 September 2015

Swatches & Review // Madam Glam Soak Off Gel Brick

Hi loves! Today I have something new to share with you. My first experience with soak off gel polish! Madam Glam kindly offered to send me the beginners kit that holds a lamp, base- and topcoat as well as a color of choice. I've been meaning to try out gel for a while now, especially because wear time on me isn't great with regular polish and this way I can do my nails when we go on vacation for example, and be sure my nails look fabulous for a while!

Madam Glam Soak Off Gel Brick

Are you curious?
When Madam Glam contacted me, I immediately knew I wanted to try their gel range. I've been reading enthusiastic reviews over at Manic Talons and couldn't wait to try this for myself! last Sunday I finally had the time to sit down and try this system.

Image courtesy of Madam Glam

As I mentioned, the beginners kit comes with a led lamp, a base- and topcoat as well as one color of your choice. It retails for $104,84 BUT coupon code deborahp30 will give you a 30% discount (please make sure to use the link mentioned above for the coupon code to work). The lamp is small and while it doesn't take up much space, you might need to cure in 3 steps: thumb alone, middle 3 fingers, pinky alone. The little bulbs are only in the top of the lamp and if you try to cure your pinky along with the rest, it won't cure properly. Other than that, the light works just fine. It automatically turns of after a 30 second cure time; if you push the power button more than 2 seconds when turning it on, it cures for 60 seconds. 

Please note you´ll need an adapter for the power cord if your not in America!

Now, as this was my first experience with gel, I did a bit of research and laid down my tools before starting my journey :-D! I bought a UV cleanser and already had Blue Scrub at home, which cleans the nail properly so that you have less chance of the gel lifting or chipping. I also used some orange wood sticks, cotton pads, a clean up brush and acetone while putting the gel on.

Madam Glam Soak Off Gel Brick

Application and formula
The basecoat from Madam Glam is nice and thin. It didn't seem to pool my cuticles and it applied evenly. The color I chose is Brick, a nice vampy jelly red with a brown undertone. In my pictures it looks a bit uneven and a tad too light, but I also included an Instagram snapshot at the end that's more like it. Just like the basecoat, the color went on thin, but also a tad sheer. It felt so weird being able to manipulate the gel polish even after 2 or 3 minutes - normally you don't want to mess around anymore after putting down a coat of polish! I made sure to wrap my tips with each layer of gel (also with my basecoat) and ended up using 3 coats of Brick to get to the opacity I liked. If you look at the close-up of my tips, you'll see I have a bit of build up. This is probably due to me wrapping the tip at the end of adding a layer, instead of doing so at first. That way you'll smooth out any build up, good to know for the next time! After I cured all the color layers, I used the topcoat. This one also applied quite nicely though I had a lot of teeny tiny airbubbles it seemed. Again, because you can keep on manipulating the topcoat before curing, I was able to smooth them out and the ones that remained didn't seem to impact the result, but I'm not sure where they came from!

Now, my final step was to take away the sticky layer by using my UV-cleanser, and after that I was left with super shiny nails! Again, not really visible in most of my pictures but check that Instagram shot at the end ^^ (are you following me already? I'd love to have you around there!).

While writing this review the gel has been on my nails for barely a day so I can't really comment on wear time, and I'm not sure I'll be able to at all because well, weekends are for swatching so it is coming off in a few days.

Madam Glam Soak Off Gel Brick

Overall conclusion
Seeing as this is my first experience with gel, I'm quite satisfied with my results and the final look. The led lamp seems fine for at home use though I'd love to be able to at least cure all 4 of my fingers at the same time, only leaving the thumbs to be done separately. The products applied very easy and smooth, the color went on well without pooling my cuticles or being too thick, and the shiny finish is just so pretty! I can't wait to try some more gel polishes from Madam Glam and see if I can improve my gel skills.

Een foto die is geplaatst door Deborah (@lovevarnish) op

Have you ever tried soak off gel polish yourself? And why would you want to, or why wouldn't you want to? Tell me in the comments!
Madam Glam is based in New York City and besides soak off gel polish, they also sell regular nail polish and other make-up items. All polishes are 5-free, cruelty free and vegan. Worldwide shipping is available and they also just introduced their Vip Box program where you get to choose 3 gel polishes for just $29. That saves you half off regular retail price!

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