During lockdown, I’ve been missing my manis! I used to drive 40 minutes away from my house because that was the closest salon to me that provided a non toxic manicure. I couldn’t wait any longer for the salons to open, so back in May I asked for this kit for my birthday. Let’s get in to see what the Orly Gel Fx kit is all about, I’m going to review for you an accessible vegan, non toxic and cruelty free, at home gel mani kit!
About Orly Gel Fx
“Discover our ORLY Gel FX gel polish range, it’s chip resistant, hard wearing, packed with vitamins and lasts for 2-3 weeks. Our gel nail polish is made from 100% Gel. You can also paint over Gel FX with lacquer and change your colour. Since the ORLY Gel FX range is acetone resistant, you can just remove when you need to. GelFX needs to be cured under an LED lamp. ” The entire range is vegan and cruelty free, and free from 12 toxic chemicals including formaldehyde. The Orly Gel Fx range is part of the professional items sold, so is marketed more towards nail techs, but is readily available to the public. As it is acetone free you won’t be able to remove it using a regular gel acetone remover, but you can use the base with a regular polish on top, as they won’t react badly together.
I’ve been doing my own manicures for years it is not difficult for me to properly prep and apply polish to my nails. I picked the Radical Optimism set which was on offer, £44.99 for 6 polishes, I also needed the primer (optional), base coat and top coat, totalling £43.63, also the Genius Remover £8.55 and Cleanser £6.55, then I purchased a lamp on Amazon for £35, That totals £138.72 , it’s not cheap BUT that is only really 7 trips to the salon for a gel polish, I could get much more value for money using this kit.
The website is very helpful with instructions on how to properly prepare your nails for the polish, and direction on how to apply it for the best finish. To start, you have to buff your nails, and wipe them over with the cleanser, to remove any oils and dust. Next, a thin layer of the primer, this doesn’t require baking under the lamp, a thin layer of the base coat and cure for 30 seconds in the lamp. Next, add a thin coat of your chosen colour, cure for 30 seconds and repeat. Finally, add a thin top coat, care for 30 seconds then wipe away the sticky residue with the cleanser. It’s super fast to apply and dry, probably ten minutes per hand if that which is great, and then no smudging woo! That’s great, BUT a couple of days after using the polish, one nail just peeled off all by itself, a totally clean peel after I picked something up. Not a great start as Orly claims the polish can last up to three weeks, I didn’t even get three days! This done my head in because I don’t do chipped polish or one bare nail here and there, so I started to soak the polish off…and had a nightmare. If it didn’t peel off really easily, the part where I had used the tip primer was a NIGHTMARE to remove. It took me two hours to remove the polish, and that was with filing, buffing scraping and soaking following both the directions on the Orly website and usual methods I would do to remove a salon polish. Orly says “Can I peel my gel polish off? Definitely not! Peeling off your gel polish doesn’t just remove the gel; it’s also taking off the first few layers of your natural nail leaving them weak and more prone to cracking and peeling.” But, it peels off on its own, unless you use the primer and it’s so so difficult to remove then. Another problem I had, is the beautiful shade Everythings Peachy, I was so excited to use, it cured to a pastel yellow colour which was weird and nothing like what the bottle shows. Orly did offer to send me a replacement colour of my choice which was kind but sadly, that hasn’t arrived yet three weeks later! To the good news, when it is on it is super shiny, and if you can manage to not accidentally peel it off, or even on purpose because it’s so satisfying, it looks so good! Like a salon manicure, really high shine and lovely colours and quality. The polish is vitamin infused, I can’t see much info about this on their website about that, but it has definitely strengthened my nails, they’re longer, stronger and smoother than they’ve ever been. Not by much, where I’d recommend it as a nail growth miracle, but enough for me to notice a difference.
I’m definitely not satisfied with the value for money of the Orly Fx set, because of the peeling or other problems, it just doesn’t warrant the cost. I’ll certainly continue to use it, as it is ok if you have the time to quickly polish one chipped nail to keep your manicure matching, or for a sort of one day event it is ideal (no more so than stick on nails). It is of course a bonus for me that the product is vegan and non toxic so that is I guess a pro, just a shame about the cons!