Product Review: Red Carpet Manicure Pro Kit
|Product: Red Capret Manicure, LED Gel Polish Professional Kit|
|Buy it: RedCarpetManicure.com, Ulta, Ulta.com, Drugstore.com, Meijer and Fred Meyer|
Red Carpet Manicure is the first of its kind in the retail market bringing the professional salon experience to the masses. With 36 different shades and a portable or professional LED light, consumers now have an affordable, easy way to have beautiful gel nails within minutes that last for weeks!
What is it? Red Carpet Manicure is a do-it-yourself system comparable to Professional Salon Services like CND Shellac or OPI Axxium Soak-off Gel Nails. The outcome is similar to acrylic enhancements, except its safe and non damaging to your natural nails. The best part is, with just a few application pointers, anyone can do it at home for a fraction of the cost verses a salon visit!
The Gel Polish Pro Kit includes everything you need to get started: Prep Max Adhesion Sanitizer, Structure Gel Base Coat, Brilliance Gel Top Coat, Red Carpet Reddy LED Nail Color, Purify Pre & Post Cleanser, Erase Nail Polish Remover, Revitalize Cuticle Oil and Professional LED Light.
Since application is a pretty lengthy process the first time around, I would suggest reading the instructions carefully and watching Red Carpet Maicure's How To Video Tutorial before getting started. Additionally, here are some tips I've gathered up based on my own personal experience.
- Make time. My first manicure took roughly between 40-50 minutes, but once I got familiar with the system, my time was cut down by half. I'd also recommend testing out one nail first before you rush into a full blown manicure.
- The most important advice I can give; apply in thin coats - it can make or break the longevity of your manicure.
- Always clean up mistakes on the skin and under the nail as you go - before each cure. If you don't, the polish will harden and make next to impossible to clean up without ruining the application.
- Always wrap the free edge or tip throughout each step.
- Avoid touching the surface of the nail until the final step of curing. It will have a sticky texture, which is completely normal and expected. Just be careful with too much hands on; you could possibly leave imprints or smudges.
- Paint as close to the cuticle as possible without leaving any large gaps because nail growth will start to show after time.
Red Carpet Reddy is the only color included in the Professional Kit, and it's a glossy cherry red creme that goes on smoothly in two or three coats. I used three coats in the swatches since my nail tips are heavily pigmented and tend to show my visible nail line.
Wear time Results: With regular nail polish I'm lucky to get five days of wear, and that's stretching it quite a bit. So I was beyond amazed that it lasted a whole two weeks without budging. The only thing I noticed after week two - the color started to wear off my tips and it lost its glossy luster just a tad.
- If applied correctly in thin layers, you'll have a long lasting, 2-3 week manicure with no chips or smudges.
- The same results at-home as a CND Shellac Manicure or any other gel services at the salon for a fraction of the cost.
- Perfect for vacations, weddings, or any other event(s) when you don't have time to keep up with your manicure.
- Even though UV Gel Lamps are known to give off very minimal UV exposure, the fact of the matter, its still UV. So, it's safe to know the RCM Pro LED light does not emit any kind of UV rays. And most likely, you won't ever have to replace the LED lights. UV replacement lights tend to cost around $3-$5 per 9W bulb. Whenever in doubt about UV/LED usage, just make sure you use a SPF hand cream.
- Non damaging and Non staining to your natural nails.
- Great for thin and brittle nails, but not necessarily recommended for damaged nail beds.
- The initial cost for the system is more expensive - but then again, all it takes is 2-3 visits to the salon and you'll have it paid for.
- It takes longer than your average manicure (40-45 min at first), but requires NO dry time whatsoever.
- Application may require a little practice to achieve thin, even coverage - which is the key for a lasting manicure.
- Not your standard removal - takes approximately 10 minutes with acetone, cotton pads and foil.
Final Thoughts - I've had a blast playing around with the system the last four weeks, and I think it's an exceptional product once you get the application process down. It may seem like a lot of steps up front, but once you get the hang of it, time is cut in half from 45 minutes down to 25 minutes with no drying time or babysitting your manicure.
What do you guys think of Gel Nails? Has anyone tried the Red Carpet System yet? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Full Disclosure: The following product(s) was provided to Steph's Closet by the Manufacturer or PR company for consideration.
Posted by Steph at 06:32:am
views / 19 comments
Jen said on Mar 22nd, 2012 11:02 am
Thanks so much for the in depth review! I've been wanting to try this for a long time now!
Carol said on Mar 23rd, 2012 8:21 pm
I like the Gelish version and the gel manicure's long last but my nail technician first had me soak in a bowl of hot, uncovered acetone and when that was taking too long, drilled off the remaining gel polish. Now I am left with drill lines as if I had acrylic. I am currently trying to grow out the lines, not sure I will have it done again--very difficult to remove. I also was worried about the UV rays but just as concerned about the acetone vapors over a long period of time.
Steph said on Oct 10th, 2012 9:50 am
Good Lord, the nail technician should NEVER, ever be using a drill to remove gel polish!! I'm so sorry to hear about your experience, I hope it don't leave a sour taste for any future gel manicures. Initially, I was worried about the removal when I first tried the system, but it was surprisingly easy. All it takes is 10-15 minutes with acetone and foil wraps.
Nancy said on Mar 25th, 2012 8:12 pm
Oh, wow! I had no idea it used LED lights, I am so down! Thanks so much, Steph for the great review!
Michelle said on Mar 26th, 2012 3:17 pm
Hi Steph, I've been waiting for someone I trust to review this product, so thanks for that! I do have a question. I have RCM and I do like it but it just doesn't stay on long comes off in sheets? What do you think I'm doing wrong?
Michelle said on Apr 4th, 2012 10:36 am
Yep, I do neither of those! thanks for the tips!
Britt said on Mar 28th, 2012 6:57 pm
I've been using RCM for about three months now. LOVE IT! As you said, the key is thin coats, and staying away from the cuticle. It lasts me 3 weeks and then the only reason to remove is because of the growth of the nail. My nails ALWAYS look good now - worry free! :)
Steph said on Apr 4th, 2012 12:06 pm
That's just wonderful!! I haven't made it to the 3 week mark yet, but that's only because of my own antsiness! I have faith it would last longer, like you said! :)
cb said on Apr 3rd, 2012 10:19 pm
Looks great in your swatches! I have really short nails and it is hard for me to wrap the free edge. Do you think I could still make this work? And can you put a coat of regular polish over this if you get tired of the color before it needs to be redone? Thanks!
Steph said on Apr 4th, 2012 10:52 am
Absolutely to both! The only problem with not wrapping your nails, you might see the polish chipping off sooner than expected right at the edge. And as far as adding regular polish, just make sure you take it off with non acetone remover. It comes right off without damaging the gel.
Patricia said on Sep 26th, 2012 12:11 pm
Love your blog. You wrote: Always wrap the free edge or tip throughout each step. I didn't see this step in the video. Could you please explain how to do the wrap process and with what material. Thank you.
Melissa said on Nov 19th, 2012 9:58 pm
Did you get a response? I'm curious about this too. Thanks.
cb said on Apr 14th, 2012 9:34 pm
Thanks, Steph! I took advantage of a sale this week and bought it. Hopefully I'll have time to start practicing with a nail or two this weekend. Maybe it will help me get that free edge eventually ;)
Sue said on May 12th, 2012 7:55 am
Thanks for a great review.
I just recently purchased the RCM system, and was a little too worried about putting on the color so I only did the clear manicure. Thanks for the tips, because I look forward to trying the color this next time!
Debra said on May 26th, 2012 4:59 pm
I've been playing with this system for about a month now. I love it! When I first started I used the clear just so I could get a feel for it. Then I got adventurous and tried a "sandwich" with a China Glaze color. It probably would have stayed on longer if I had been able to seal off the edges, but my nails were so short it was a bit difficult. The next time I used RCM gel polish in Simply Stunning (a pale slightly shimmery nude color). This time I had gotten enough practice to really make my coats thin and it worked out fabulous. I'm trying to send all my friends the Ulta 20% coupon (5/26 is the last day) so they can get a kit for about $64. :) Now I hope to get a little creative with color combos and nail design. Thanks for the review.
Jill said on Aug 8th, 2012 5:47 pm
Hi, does anyone know if I can thin out the red carpet base coat so that it is easier to apply?
Shelly said on Aug 19th, 2012 3:43 pm
I've had my kit for a couple of months now and love the way it lasts; but the Structure and Brilliance brushes are starting to stiffen and so is the gel in the bottles. Anyone else having that issue? Is there a way to thin them out?
Steph said on Oct 10th, 2012 9:38 am
Hmmm, I haven't had any trouble with my brushes. Are you cleaning off the neck of the bottle after every use, especially if you tend to wipe off excess polish on the neck? Sometimes it gets caked on there and allows an air flow to dry up the polish and brushes. I have bad habit of that, and it dries up my regular polish like crazy!
Unfortunately, there is no product available to thin gel polishes. I had this problem a few months ago and contacted RCM directly and this is what they said:
The Structure base coat is supposed to be very thick. Before you ever apply it to the nail you need to make sure that you are getting as much product off of the applicator brush as possible. This will ensure max adhesion. Structure base coat acts as a double sided sticky tape that adheres the gel to the nail. So when applying you want to get it on there very thin. You will never want to add any kind of product to the Structure to thin it out as is will ruin the product. Remember to store your RCM products at room temperature and away from windows.
Megan said on Sep 8th, 2012 1:12 am
I am wondering if these gel polishes can be used with other gels. I have a different system with a different brand of base coat and top coat, can the different brands of gel mix?
Niya said on Oct 10th, 2012 10:07 pm
I recently bought this product and LOVE it so far! I users to get shellac manicures on a regular basis and this is very similar. I have had mine on for almost a week now and being that I'm an RN and wash my hands a ton, I'm amazed in the longevity! Very happy- bought mine at meijer on sale :)
Melissa said on Nov 19th, 2012 9:56 pm
I don't see a response to Patricia's post from September 26, 2012. I'm also wondering about what you said about wrapping tips. Would love to hear what you have to say.
Thanks very much!
Steph said on Nov 19th, 2012 10:28 pm
Wrapping your tips is basically just a manicure technique of polishing the free edge of your nail (non cuticle side). It's really simple with a little practice and extends the wear, especially with the Red Carpet System. Hope that helps!
Desreen said on Dec 16th, 2012 5:41 pm
How do you clean up your mistakes before curing? Can you use acetone?
Nicole said on Sep 26th, 2013 8:01 pm
I know I am a tad late on this but I just bought this system AND a additional Gel Manicure Basics Bonder + Dual Base/Top Coat and my total was $37!!!! I got it from Gilt and had a $25 coupon. It was for new customers and expires next year (2014). I am not sure if they have them still or not. I got the cheapest shipping option and it will be here tomorrow! Didn't take as long as I thought it was going to! Can't wait to use this!