Inside my DIY manicure with KISS Gel Strong Polish

Inside my DIY manicure with KISS Gel Strong Polish

Quarantine has created a new legion of DIY enthusiasts and I’m one of them. While I didn’t hop on the baking bandwagon or sow a garden grand enough to feed the neighbourhood, I did try my hand at beautification. I taught myself how to give my son a decent haircut and my latest feat was giving myself a manicure at home. Here’s how that went down…

Tool up 

The first thing I had to do was ensure that I had the right tools to get the job done. Pulling together nail files, clippers, etc. was the easy part but choosing the right nail polish was by far my biggest hurdle. I wanted something accessible (a product that I didn’t have to order online), inexpensive, durable and easy to apply. I found the full line of Kiss nail products in Carrefour and decided to give the brand a try. 

KISS Gel Strong

Goodbye KISS?

Regular nail polish doesn’t hold up well on my nails so I’ve been a gel polish queen for over a decade now. I usually wear Gelish or Shellac so KISS Gel Strong nail varnish seemed like an ideal choice for me. At AED 20 per bottle, it was also a budget-friendly option. Even better, the directions indicated that application would be simple with its glide on brush and it didn’t require use of an LED lamp. I was sold. 

KISS Gel Strong comes in a wide variety of colors but I’m a simple girl so I chose French White for summer. It pops on my brown skin. In hindsight, I probably should’ve chosen a different color as white is so unforgiving. I also picked up a bottle of topcoat for AED 20. 

KISS Gel Strong White

Applying KISS gel polish was simple; no issues outside of user error and I was able to easily remove polish from my cuticle with an acetone soaked q-tip. Getting white to a uniform, opaque application took three coats plus the topcoat. Drying took quite some time but that’s to be expected with that many coats of polish. 

I applied KISS Gel Strong to my nails on Thursday night and washed and re-twisted my locs on Friday morning (i.e. my hands were in water or wet hair for three hours). By Saturday, I had one little nick on the corner of my right thumb. Sunday, I saw crackling and chipped corners on several nails. By Tuesday, both hands looked half eaten by crocodiles. I removed the chipped polish from nails on Wednesday morning. Thankfully, it wasn’t a big ordeal. It comes right off with cotton swabs and nail polish remover. 

KISS gel manicure

The verdict? In terms of the 2-week long wear promise of gel polish, KISS Gel Strong failed but at this price point, it performed as expected. Will I use it again? Yes. My plan is to actually invest in a lamp and cure the polish. I think that’ll give it staying power. I’ll also switch up the topcoat and use the glass shine as the regular topcoat dries with a matte finish. KISS Gel Strong certainly has longer staying power than regular polish and I think it’s worth giving it a try. 

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