9/24/11

Nutra Nail Gel Perfect UV-Free Gel-Color: Mixed Results

Sometimes I go to Rite-Aid and it's such a bonanza of cool items and new displays that I want to go completely bonkers and buy everything. Last Friday night was one of those times.

I didn't go completely bonkers, but I did see a display that intrigued me.
The picture's not award-winning because I was trying to be stealth about it, but these are Nutra Nail Gel Perfect UV-Free Gel-Color (phew!) kits. There are 10 colors available (the Nutra Nail website lists 12; but there are clearly 10 in the display. I'm not sure which ones are missing). Also featured in the display are several packs of No-Mess Express, the remover kit that is suggested to go with the polishing kit. The gel color kit was $11.99 and the remover kit was $5.99. However, there is a tear-off pad on the display with coupons for $1.50 off either product. That sealed the deal and I had to buy it.

I've been thinking for a while about doing Gelish at home, mainly for pedicures. It's a not-insignificant upfront investment, but it would pay for itself after a few pedicures. I'm pretty boring when it comes to pedis - I like dark pinks, classic reds and the occasional vampy shade. Maybe a purple sometimes. But mostly I just don't like to change it very often. The Nutra Nail kit seemed like it might present a good option for my lazy woman's pedi and even for the occasional manicure.

Most of the shades in the Gel Perfect line are pretty safe - reds, pinks, neutrals - though there were two that stood out: Moonstone is a pretty blue shimmer and Torenia is a vibrant violet shimmer. I chose the Orchid shade, a medium red-purple creme. It's exactly the kind of shade I'd choose for a pedicure most of the time.


Don't worry, by the way - I'm not going to show you my feet! I decided to do my fingernails for the sake of experimentation. Besides, I'm much better at painting my nails than my toes.

Here's what comes with the kit: A bottle of cleaner (you use this to clean the color brush), a bottle of activator and a bottle of color. The color is .17 ounces, so it's quite small. For reference, an Essence Colour & Go polish is .16 ounces.

There are also two coupons inside the instruction booklet, which is nice. One is for the color kit and one is for the remover.


You can read the how-to on the Nutra Nail site. I read it through a couple of times before I applied the color. It's really not difficult at all. Basically you apply a layer of activator (which smells exactly like nail glue) followed by a layer of gel color. You do five nails at a time, cleaning the brush in between every five nails, repeating the activator-then-color process for the second coat.

So this isn't hard, but there is a bit of a learning curve. If you're the type of polisher that just slaps on color and then relies on a lot of cleanup afterward, this may not work for you. However, if you tend to be  neat and precise in your application then this shouldn't be a problem. This is because the color goes where ever you've applied the clear activator - so if you flood your cuticles with the activator, they're going to get flooded with color too. The color doesn't sit on top of the activator, it blends with it - so you definitely want to keep the activator out of your cuticles.

Here's what the bottle of cleaner looks like after you switch the brushes a few times.


Overall, I didn't have any problems applying this, and I did go back and clean up a little with a small concealer brush and pure acetone, which worked fine. For removal, Nutra Nail tells you to use the No-Mess Express removal kit, but as an alternate they suggest the foil method. So I'll try that and let you know how it works.

Anyway! Enough blabbering. Here are the finished results.
You probably can see some issues here. (That's a glare going diagonally across my nails...that's not a flaw in the application or polish.) There area a couple of bubbles and some slight unevenness - you really want to use a steady hand with this because it's not as self-leveling as some polishes and top coats. I have to be honest, though, in real life? It looks pretty darn good. Macro mode is very unforgiving, so you're seeing every single flaw.

The claims that you can "dig in your purse" and "step into your shoes" in five minutes seem to hold true. Immediately after I did this manicure, I fed the dog, washed my hands and put on lotion, pushed a cardboard box into the trash, did some typing and just generally went about my business. I didn't get any dings, smears or dents.

I also like that there is a troubleshooting guide on the back of the how-to guide. There are Facebook and YouTube logos on the instruction sheet included in the box, but I couldn't find Nutra Nail on either site, and there are no links to videos for this product on the Nutra Nail site. You can order Gel Perfect online though, just click "order now" under the color you want.


After one day of wear, however, I think it's safe to say these are not a great fit for my fingernails.

To be fair, I was hard on my nails on Sunday (the day after I put Gel Perfect on). I cooked, I cleaned, I bashed them into things. Because Gel Perfect cures so hard on the nail, when the gel cracked, my nails cracked too. I had two large chips on Sunday that took a layer of my nail with them. I did patch the chips, which worked fine, but I had several more chips that afternoon and evening...even on one of the nails I had just patched!

My nails are having a brittle moment, and as I said, I was unusually hard on them. But the drying effect of Gel Perfect is hard to deny. If your nails are better hydrated, perhaps you'll have better luck. And if you typically you wear your nails short, you might not experience the breakage that I did.

I'll still try Gel Perfect on my toenails, but I think I will steer clear of it on my fingernails, at least until I feel they are better hydrated.

31 comments:

Beautygal1986 said...

OMG!!!!! I am sooo happy that u did this blog!!! I have been hunting all over for this polish! I looked at meijer and didn't find it... I will deff be looking at my riteaid tomorrow!!!! I too was going to do the gel polish that's pricey...but if this holds up..then maybe my nail issues are over...and I don't have to purchase all the gel supplies to do the gelish at home <3 I am sooooo happy :) thank you thank you thank you :) now I will be disappointed if rite aid does not carry this... it should...FX that they do :)

Merylee said...

Thank you ladies for all the time and effort you put into this, and saved me! I'm a 58 year old professional woman, no longer a salon slave. I love beautiful hands and nails, but simply cannot stand the salon and salon nails. It is wonderful to have my ownnails back, and be able to actually feel what I touch again. I like them short,and polished. I can't wait to try this product. Now what do I do with all those bottles of lovely colors I've collected?

midwestgrrl said...

Merylee, please read the updates I added to the end! These did not end up working out for me, but you might have different results.

Luanne said...

I just tried this product yesterday (on short nails that I can't seem to grow back after acrylics!) and then was a bit tough on my nails that afternoon. I work at a bank drive thru which is always hard on your nails...they were a mess by the time I got home, about 36 hours after application! And I think you're right, I think the 'activator' is nothing but nail glue. So far, not impressed and now I see where you say it has a drying effect...that's the last thing my poor nails need!

Laura said...

I just bought this polish this morning at my local Bed Bath & Beyond (Palm Beac Gardens, FL). They had the coupons available and I used my BBB coupon on top so the full Monty was less than $10 including the remover. I'm right handed so my left hand looks great and my right hand is only so-so but I'm impressed. We'll see how long it lasts. I have 3 boys and 1 is still in diapers so I do loads of hand-washing. Salon gels didn't make it 4 days on me so this seemed way less expensive even if the results are similar, plus I can do touch-ups, if needed.

Anonymous said...

I am not impressd by the reviews of the Uv free stuff. I bought the gelish UV stuff 2 polishes and the under over stuff and the light for about $100. And after 5 ($30.00 at my salon) Applications i am very good at applying it and it lasts two weeks with little repair needed. I am now getting my nails for free and a lot less work.

Craig said...

Anonymous - where did u buy the gel stuff? Did you buy OPI or Shellac? How do you remove it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog--I was starting to have second thoughts about my investment in the supplies for Gelish, but now I feel better. :-)

Anonymous said...

I tried this last week and after one day I had lots of chips. My nails looked horrible and what was even more horrible was the amount of time it took to remove the polish. I have used glue on nails and those did far less damage to my nails than this polish. I would give this zero starts. There is no reason to pay 1 cent extra for this this over normal nail polish

Anonymous said...

I used this for the first time @ 7 p.m. last night. Did dry hard right away like it states. I went out to dinner right afterwards and when I got home less than 3 hours later, I had 2 nails that had cracked really bad. I left them alone but this morning when I got up, they were flaking off on all nails. Not impressed at all. Will send back for my money back guarantee, especially considering Walgreen's charged $13.99 for the kit.

Katrina said...

Tried Nutra nail a few days ago and it really burned my eyes. It did spread into my cuticles a lot. The color was not as smooth when I was done but it did dry fast. The second day one nail had a large chip. By the third day several nails were chipped. I repaired them but by the next day several others chipped. The chipping was in big chunks. Went to use the 2 minute remover and 45 minutes later most of it was off. I've been doing my own nails for over 25 years so I'm not a novice. I found this product to not be worth the price and to not hold up to any claims it makes other than it does dry fast. Just repainted my nails tonight with regular polish and they are much prettier now than with the Nutri nail color. They usually last much longer without getting huge chips than the Nutri nail did for me. Out the door top coat works pretty good for me. I use to use Seche Vite, which is awesome by the way, until I saw the warning on the bottle that it may cause birth defects... Anyways the eye burning I got from Nuti nail is enough alone for me to not use this product again.

Sharon said...

Happy to see so many unhappy people with this product. Same thing happened to me. Applied at 8 p.m., chipped by 10 a.m. the following morning. I was so excited when I bought it, now no longer have the receipt. Dang! Won't stress about the loss of $, just won't buy again. I always thought it was my flat nail beds that caused chipping. Now I know it's not my nails. Bummer! And this product was going to be so promising...

Anonymous said...

I just purchased this product and applied at 7pm last evening, so far they have not chipped and they look ok. We'll see how the remainder of the day goes.

JennyB said...

You, my friend, just saved me 10 bucks :) I found this polish at Walmart, in kind of a "beauty products clearing area" and decided to hold off because I didn't see any colors I liked. Stumbled into your blog searching for the polish, and I am thanksful. I will not be buying it. And I was so excited too.... oh well. Better than disappointed in the product.

Anonymous said...

After using Shellac, I thought I would try this product. All I can say is AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL. It was messy and did not leave a good result. Took me FOREVER to get the crap off. I soaked my nails, wrapped them in Acetone and the crap still wouldn't come off. Garbage, I threw it away.

Sam's talk said...

i bought it cuz i heard i was suppesd to be really good Lies toally Lies. It has recked my nails one of my nails has a hole in them from this nail polish i will never ever buy this nail polish ever ever again. This nail polish needs to be re called it is junk! It did chip after i put it on what kind of nail polish dose that thats not what nail polish should do it should stay on longer then 3 hours! Crap nail polish! RE CALL IT NOW!

momof2grls said...

I bought this product yesterday, applied it last night and it was messy! I removed it. I tried it again this morning but, doing one finger at a time. It worked better and was a little excited. When I switched the brushes as recommended, I gave the gel color brush a slight shake to evenly coat the brush. The bottle broke in my hand, spilling all the gel color! Alone.. I had to try to open the polish packet remover that was also recommended.. the gel color not only was quickly drying I had small shards of glass in the mess! Cut my finger trying to remove the color. It was the worse experience iv ever had with polish. It's garbage!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for taking the time to post this information. i just saw a commercial about this product and started checking for it when i found your blog.
i am NOT going to be buying this.
i am using glue on for nw and they do not hurt and are easy to deal with compared with what you all went through.
thanks agian,!

Alicia said...

I was looking into this. I'm so happy I found your blog and read the reviews. Looks like I won't be buying any of that nail polish! I like Broadway Im-press fake nails much better. Check them out sometime, they're really good!

britt said...

Thanks so much for this greatly detailed blog!

Anonymous said...

Uh Oh. I applied the Sheer Pink yesterday, and so far no problems...BUT I have to add that my first intention was to use this for French Nails...My nails have ridges, so I used Sally Hansen's thick ridge filler. THEN I applied the Gel Perfect. I followed the directions, one hand at a time. I put 2 coats OVER the other stuff. I was thinking I needed a third layer, until I saw this blog.

I still wanted a French Manicure, and was looking for something to use with this product w/o bubbling.

NOW I'm concerned about removing the stuff. I'm hoping the thick ridge filler is my saving grace.

Now, I have to add, I (so far) I don't have chips, breaks etc. I do love the shine...but I am nervous about taking the stuff off. Oh well there are always the bad w/the good.

Anonymous said...

Takes way too long to remove! Stayed good at the tips but started chipping near the cuticles. Taking it off now and the results aren't worth this hassle.

Anonymous said...

I , like so many of you had a desire to purchase after seeing the ads. But proof is in the pudding and by what I have read of y'alls experience I will save my nails and pass on this product! Darn it all...it looks so great on the ads.

Anonymous said...

Hi all I tried this product as well. I found that if you are extremely careful around the cuticle and are sure not to allow the activator to spread onto the skin or cuticle, you can get a very nice result. Also I used 3 coats rather than the recommended 2 . I did not spread too much of the color on each applications. I did end up with a great effect that I am happy with, you just have to be very careful with application. It is on sale 50 % off at Walgreens right now, I travel a lot for work and if you can't lug around a bunch of polish and a uv lamp with you this is a good option. Another trick is to have a fine tipped brush and some acetone right beside you while your applying it and you can if done very quickly wipe away any boo boos you make as go go hope this helps anyone looking to use this product . If you take your time and are careful I think it is a decent product. Of course nothing you can buy in the drug store is as good as a professional product but this is a close second.

Anonymous said...

I purchased Gel Perfect, shook the bottle and the bottom smashed out, spewing pretty purple all over my bathroom (and IT DOESN'T COME OFF!!) and clothes. I even cut my fingers from the broken glass bottle. Needless to say, I contacted the manufacturer, CCA Industries, and am far from satisfied with their lack of help/assistance. They refuse to assume any accountability for the defective product. BUY BEWARE!

Anonymous said...

I purchased Gel Perfect, shook the bottle and the bottom smashed out, spewing pretty purple all over my bathroom (and IT DOESN'T COME OFF!!) and clothes. I even cut my fingers from the broken glass bottle. Needless to say, I contacted the manufacturer, CCA Industries, and am far from satisfied with their lack of help/assistance. They refuse to assume any accountability for the defective product. BUY BEWARE!

Anonymous said...

I've been using this for a couple of weeks. It does start to peel and chip after about 4 days. You do have to be careful not to get it on your skin or else it's very thick and hard to get off. Otherwise, it dries in 5 minutes, which is awesome and I can practically change colors with each outfit. The shine and smoothness are beautiful, if you take the time and apply it carefully. I bought remover for gel nails, Kiss makes it, don't use the Nutra nail stuff, and it comes right off.

Cgl56 said...

As a result of this blog and other reviews, I returned the Nutra nail gel polish without even opening it. Took my 20% off coupon to Ulta and invested in the Red Carpet pro gel manicure. It comes with everything you need including an LED light and a great red color polish. Followed the directions and easily got a perfect glossy manicure that dryed instantly. I'm about a week in and not a chip in sight. It's just like the Gelish manicures I got at the salon. Spend the money on this and you won't regret it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad i ran across this blog looking for tips before I aplied Gel Pefect. I was just about to apply. Think i'll just return and spend money on some cool new colors of regular polish. I can get 5 bottles of Sinful at Walgreens for what I spent on this. Thank you ladies for savinge the hassle and disapppoint of this product.

Maxxie said...

If only I had read this first....I thought it was just me who had issues with this polish. I gave it two tries and both times the polish had chipped by the next day. I tried patching it, like it said, then I had a think mound of polish and it took longer to dry and didn't look very good. The remover is expensive, so before I purchased it I thought I'd try the Gel Perfect first and see how it was. I did what they said about using acetone, and that took forever. I'm done & if I can find my receipt, this is going back to the store!

Meva said...

The only thing perfect about Gel Perfect is right after you do them...they look perfect but don't try to do anything such as cooking or any type of housework. I followed directions to the letter and my nails looked great...for a few hours, then I had to make dinner, upon cleaning up I noticed a couple of chips, repaired them as directed. The next day I noticed a few more, did the same, well I don't have the time or energy to keep repairing and trying to remove it is an absolute nightmare, 45 minute in acetone and it still wouldn't come off. Save your money and just get a good manicure from the salon once a month. My nails have never been so dry and brittle as the are after just 1 application of this "not so perfect " stuff.