The Day After Christmas: The Gifts You Didn’t Get– Here’s the Highlights!

Now it’s the day after Christmas and in case Santa (or whomever) forgot something you wanted OR perhaps you got things that just didn’t work out because of color, size or style, here’s your chance to get those things that maybe you could/should have gotten.

For those who want to have great nails but can’t always find the time to get a manicure or want to save some bucks and do it themselves, here’s a way to try out the new gel nails in a DIY situation. This works on almost any kind of fingernails– however if you have a damaged nail or a fungal situation, don’t use this (or any other nail product) until you have healed up the situation

I was given the Red Carpet Manicure set by the Red Carpet Manicure people to test drive. They gave me the basic set up which consists of 8 pieces including the portable LED light which is battery operated. They also sent me two more polishes (value $9.95 each for a 9ML bottle.)

The system really should be purchased completely utilizing their products:
(except for buffers, emery boards and orange sticks. You can buy those yourself for less and you probably are like me and have all of those tools already)

*Prep Max Adhesion Sanitizer

*Structure— RCM Structure secures adhesion while not damaging the natural nail plate. RCM Structure cures in 30 seconds in a LED Light or 1 minute in an UV Light. (this is the GEL base)

*Purify— Pre & Post Application Cleanser (YOU need this)

*Erase (to remove the gel polish) (ESSENTIAL!!! This is the acetone to remove it.)

*Brillance –Seal & Shine Top Coat Gel (This seals the gel polish and keeps the nail polish shiny and sticking to your nail)

*Revitalize –(Nourishing Cuticle Oil)

The polishes come in 36 colors at this time– pretty good selection though the other types of gel polish systems are more expensive but are a bit more polish in the bottle (more than .5ML)

Here’s a photo of the complete set of what you need:

The key to making this system work is having all the products, being really careful with timing the LED usage (you need a timer with this portable UV light) and being patient and using thin, thin layers of product– not matter which one, thin makes this work!!

If you are tired of reading this, you can watch youtube videos on this process and there are reviews. One person has covered this process now 4 times to give you the full review that could be done in one review if she had just done it all at one time.

Here’s what I like about this system: totally DIY!! Saves you money (but not initially)
The first round of products will cost you about $80– and that’s with the portable light.
I am not a huge fan of this portable light.
In the process of this review and me testing out these products, I ran across other people that I knew who were using the system who were more adept (and farther along in the process of doing it) than I was at that time. Also I had been watching every youtube.com video out there and there are a LOT of videos.

Want to know who does a good video?
Red Carpet Manicure Application — Missy1726
REVIEW: Red Carpet Manicure Gel Nail Polish Beautyinlaw
Red Carpet Manicure Review/Demo — kentralmakes3

Why am I referring you to these other videos ? Because I don’t want to bore you stiff with you watching me for 20 minutes to get this done and why I switched out a few things.
My first time doing this gel polish, I botched it and I realized after emailing someone I know online about what I was doing wrong was that I wasn’t being PRECISE and being slow about it. S L O W
works better here– except when it comes to UV lights. Why should you wait for 2-3 minutes (and sometimes have to repeat that 2-3 minutes on that same hand) to cure the polish.? I found on Ulta that there is a larger LED light that is more user friendly, has greater wattage and takes less time.
It’s part of what Red Carpet Manicure calls a PRO KIT:

Between the videos and the reviews on Ulta.com and other sites, I found that I had to buy an LED light. I heard via a friend online who’s very very nail savvy: SF who lives on the east coast — that it took her 90 minutes to do this the first time with the portable light. As soon as she realized what was going wrong, she checked online at Ulta.com and then did her homework online to find the best value for her money (and her time) to cut the time down. She went for the pro machine and that’s what she told me to do. Get the best LED machine you can afford. Ulta sells one for $50 and it has it’s own timer. Every other LED light machine for gel nails does the same thing and the prices run from about $60- over $300. However you don’t need to spend anything over $100 to get what you need. Just buy the one that has the largest wattage, fastest curing time for your budget. I particularly like having a closed machine so that I don’t run into anything else. Another spot to check for a variety of LED machines is Ebay.com.

With the addition of the LED light things went smoother. The biggest thing I would tell you again is to use thin coats of product– any product.
Also you don’t have to use foil and cotton wrapped around your nail. You can soak your fingers in acetone or the remover from Red Carpet Manicure in a tiny tiny bowl and wait about 10 mins. If you wiggle your fingertips in the acetone you can feel the gel loosen up. You do need to remove all the gel polish from that nail. Clean up your cuticles – just push them back. Clipping at your cuticles won’t make it better. Do use the Revitalize Cuticle Oil every day you can on your nails and you will find that your cuticles are much better. Coconut oil works well too if you run out of Revitalize.

Also I found that the colors on the outside of the bottle don’t always match the color on the nail– which is disappointing and frustrating when you have gone to all the trouble to do your nails. I am one of those people who will leave it on for at least a couple weeks before I will change it. I want to see if I like the colors. I liked the three colors I got:
After Party Playful— a warm pink on the bottle and more blue-pink on the nails.
Glitz and Glamourous— a deep red that looked almost foil-like in the bottle but was a holiday red that I could work with. It didn’t scream RED at me so that was fine. I would have liked sparkle but what can I say.
Candid Moment as my least favorite as it as a super light pale pink (so not me) If I do pale, it’s going to be a sparkly gold or peachy tone. I am not a “pink” girl.
They have lots of other unusual colors– all I can say is bring it on!!

I did not try using plain regular nail polish as some did in their videos– and if you hit youtube.com you can see people using regular polish. I don’t think I have that kind of nail type that will sustain that — but then again, I haven’t tried it.

I did not do a pedicure with that little portable light– there was no way I was going to do that with a dog. It was enough to get my nails done.

Here’s what I like about Red Carpet Nails
1) they got into a store where you can see all the colors at one time and all the products and talk to someone about how to do it
2) They are expanding their colors as fast as possible.
3) They have the upgrade from the UV to the LED lamp which is where you should start (*yes it costs $30 more but why waste the $20 on the portable that takes more 3+ minutes to cure your nails)
4) All the products you need are from one company and you know where you bought them and where you can get refills.
5) If the color consistency where more “true” from bottle to nail, I think I would like it a lot more.

However when you add up the price tag of the products, it’s pretty affordable and when you figure out that for less than $150, you can get great nails that really do last for 2-3 weeks — providing you did everything carefully and correctly– then you have paid off your investment in 3-4 months of DIY manicures with just that initial investment. After that, other than refills of select products and buying more polish colors, it doesn’t cost you anything but time! That’s a very fast turn-around.

I would like to thank Red Carpet Manicure for giving me the kit to try. They did not pay me to do this review but they did give me the kit– retail value on this was about $100 on the starter kit.
It’s a system that’s worth the time to try providing you educate yourself before you start it. Understand what the procedure is and how to do it. I would HIGHLY suggest that Red Carpet Manicure come out with a DVD with these kits for $5 to answer the questions that everyone has. Had I not had others to turn to online, I would not have been able to continue this. It was so frustrating at first. I know that SF on the east coast was exceptionally helpful and she’s doing her nails at home now and no longer goes to the salon (when I last asked her about it.)

For more information check out www.RedCarpetManicures.com

Another thing you might not have gotten was beyond your fingertips but right in front of your eyes.. or actually worn on your eyes and face!! That’s makeup! What I found that I was really finding to be a GREAT great gift was some of the new products from Tarte:

The Eye Candy Amazonian Clay eye pencils I bought at Sephora were great. A long-lasting pencil set that’s a great deal and would be a super gift for anyone in the future or if you are having a party for someone (bridal, graduation or BFF get-together), buying the set and splitting them into individual gifts would be tres cool. Pretty much these are eye liners that have anti-oxidant properties to them, they stay put- however if you work fast, you can use them to create a unique smokey eye. Word of warning: the lightest colors or any color with glitter in it will shed. I thought the light pink-gold color would rock as a liner but it’s more of a shadow and has glitter in it. I had glitter on my face. (oh well.) Love the other colors and the set of 6 is only $30.00! That’s $5 per pencil and I know that pencils like these chubby pencils are retailing for $25 each– so you get a steal of a deal in this.

The other great great deal Tarte has is AMAZING: Putting on the Glitz is a MUST HAVE product and you won’t be sorry you bought it.

This is a set of three palettes that snap into and out of a cute gold clutch bag with a chain strap, this is the go-to, must have product for New Year’s Eve. You could change your look at every party or location you hit.

Featuring stunning metallic python leather (faux, of course), this clutch is bound to turn heads this season and sure to inspire a chain reaction of ooohs and ahhs. This clutches is home to a perfectly portable palettes– three of them — and a universally flattering, maracuja-infused lipgloss inside so it can easily transition throughout the day making it the ideal versatile option for your accessory wardrobe.
Each set includes:

•3 interchangeable palettes for a total of 18 eyeshadows, 1 Amazonian clay 12-hour blush, 1 Amazonian clay shimmering powder and 1 park ave princess Amazonian clay bronzer
•maracuja-infused lipgloss
•reusable purse that features 4 credit card slots and a removable mirror
•detailed “get-the-look” instruction card
The entire set retails for $48.00. SUCH A STEAL!!! Ok so you didn’t get it for Christmas or Hannukah. You can buy it for you now!!
Hurry up and head to a Tarte counter at Sephora or order online and step up the shipping!!!

Stevie Wilson,
LA-Story.com

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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