As a nail technician and a complete beauty addict I am always looking to try out new products. The Manicure Company exploded onto the Irish nail market in 2016 and they have grown and grown since then. I had wanted to try out some of their gel polishes since they launched but I didn’t get around to it for a few reasons. Firstly, I like to use the best quality nail products I can find. I like to buy from repetable brands and like to know where exactly my products come from. Because I was not sure who or what The Manicure Company was I was sceptical to say the least. Secondly, I really didn’t need more gel polishes that I wasn’t going to use and didn’t want to waste my money. I had heard mixed reviews about the brand and so curiosity got the better of me and I needed to try them for myself.
I ordered seven gel polishes and some glitters from the range. I was kindly gifted with a base and two top coats from the company which was a lovely added bonus for my first order. So let me tell you all my honest opinion of the products I have tried:
The shipping was exceptionally fast. I received my order by 10am the following morning after ordering. The shipping was free which is also a huge bonus. I was emailing David from the company back and forth as I was asking questions on his recommendations and I found him a pleasure to deal with and very quick in his responses. So absolutely no issues with customer service or shipping.
The first thing I did notice when I received the order was that the bottles were quiet small compared to what I was used to. These are 8ml bottles and cost €10. At first I thought the brand was exceptionally cheap but when you compare it ml for ml against other brands its pretty much the same price and in some cases slightly more expensive. I do quiet like the smaller bottles. They are great for storage and a lot of the time nail techs will only use certain colours regularly and the others will sit on the shelf and only be used every now and then. The smaller bottles work great for this as it allows you to have a wider range of shades for a similar price tag.
To choose my colours I looked at the website and the Instagram page (@the_manicure_company). When I swatched the colours for myself I did notice a variation in the shades against the website and in particular Instagram so just be aware of that when ordering. In saying that I love every shade I bought so I am very happy with my order.
The colours above from RIGHT to LEFT are: PepperBerry, Frosted Bark, Arm Kandy, Loud Lavendar, Bubblegum, Periwinkle Portrait, Mint to be and PepperBerry with the 18ct Gold Top Coat. All other polishes are topped with the Non Wipe Top Coat.
The pigmentation of all the polishes I have tried are really great. They only need two light layers for full opaque coverage. The consistency is not too runny and not too thick so great for perfecting the cuticle area. They are really easy to work with and to manage on the nail. Unlike some other gel polishes I have tried this one allows you to create very thin looking coats which leads to very elegant, beautiful nails, even with the glitter gel polishes.
When I applied these polishes to my own nails I intentinally made some mistakes such as flood the cuticle and not cap the free edge and sure enough the nails didn’t last on me. These gel polishes are not forgiving on natural nails so you need to really ensure your prep and application is thorough and correct. The nails lifted where I had touched the skin and they chipped and later peeled where I didn’t cap the free edge. Although some brands allow for minor mistakes I don’t feel this brand does this.
I also find this brand a lot thinner than some other gel polishes on the market. I would compare the gel polish colours more with the consistency of Shellac as opposed to the gel polishes that have a thicker base to them. This is great for use over gels and acrylics and on strong natural nails. However, my weak, brittle nails struggled to resist chipping and when my nails bent they tended to crack the polish too. For weak nails I would apply a thicker base coat (I don’t think The Manicure Company have one in their range). The best thing about these being so thin is that they don’t look clumpy and unnatural over gels and acrylics. I have also encapsulated them under both gels and acrylics with no issues.
Over and under gel and acrylic these polishes will last as long as the enhancement does. On strong natural nails you will get 2-3 weeks before having any issues but the only concern is around weaker nails. Weak nails find it hard to hold on to any gel polish so I wouldn’t necessarily say this is an issue for the brand.
The usual soak off time of gel polish applies to this product too.
My favourite thing about the brand is the range of colours and different finishes they carry. You are sure to find everything your client needs and with the smaller bottles it’s nice that you don’t have to spend serious cash to build up your collection quickly.
The glitter gel polishes in the range are amazing too. I am not a fan of the glitter gel polishes that have minimial amounts of glitter inside lots of transparent gel polish. When I use glitter I want to only see the glitter and not have gaps as this just requires lots of layers and you end up having thick, out of shape nails. The glitters from The Manicure Company are one of the best I have tried.
So you can see that I am a fan of these gel polishes and I would definitely recommend you try them out. I have only tried seven in the range and I have heard other nail techs complain about the blacks in the range so be careful with them or maybe try before you buy to ensure you are happy. This isn’t unusual though. So many brands have issues with blacks because they are just so pigmented. I tend to cure them for an extra few seconds just to be sure.
These gel polishes are curable under both LED and UV lamps.
I didn’t have an issue with the base coat. The non wipe top coat is extremely thick. I don’t really like the consistency of it as its difficult to work with but I didn’t have any issues with uneven application or it looking thick on the nails once I applied a light coat. It does however have a glossy finish to die for. And the no wipe element makes it very easy to use and great for use with glitters and pigments. I also have the 18ct Gold Top Coat which adds gold glitter particles over any colour. This would be nice around Christmas time.
Other than having to have your application completely spot on for fear of running into difficulties I have one other bone of contention with these products. From my experience with ordering from the brands website it doesn’t seem that you need to provide proof of your nail qualifications before purchasing from the company. For me this is a complete no go area. Firstly because I don’t think it is fair to qualified nail technicians who provide clients with a good service and work hard to achieve their qualifications to have non qualified people be allowed purchase the same products as them and secondly because it is unsafe for non qualified people to use professional products without supervision. It does say that these are for professional use only on the bottles but I don’t see any restrictions from ordering them. I am not saying that this is the only company that does this, I know others do too but I just needed to point this out for people who have similar views to me. Just to note this wouldn’t be the same when buying from a salon supplies wholesalers because you would need proof of qualification to get your trade card.
The packaging is OK, it definitely isn’t the highest quality I have used and I have had issues with my top coat bottle as it seems the thread on the lid isn’t working so it wont close correctly. Hopefully this is a once off as none of my other bottles have this issue. I do however love the fact that the lids have the colour on them which makes it very easy to find the colour you are looking for.
On a more positive note I do think this brand offers a large variety of high quality products to the nail industry and I look forward to using them again in the future. I would be happy to use these products on clients and in particular over nail enhancements with confidence that the service will be as high quality as normal.
Have you tried anything from The Manicure Company? Are you going to try them now after reading this post?
I would rate these gel polishes a 4/5 loosing a point for my two concerns above.
For a full list of stockists you can click here. The products are also available directly from the website.
Thank you for your time. Please let me know what you thought of this post? Do you enjoy me dabbling into professional nail products every now and then? I know I sure love to talk about them.