A few months back, I was travelling back home from uni through London one evening, and I decided to pop into Boots to pick some Sudafed up for my fiance. Because I'm caring like that. As a reward for being so darn thoughtful, while I was there I bought myself a Fuse gel nail starter kit, plus a polish or two to go with it...
If you haven't heard of Fuse before, you can find out a little more here. It's created by Sensationail, and it's marketed as an all-in-one one coat gel nail system. The starter kit contains the lamp and USB cable, buffer, cleanser, lint-free wipes and one polish. It's an LED lamp, and curing takes 30 seconds. The starter kit retails for £35 in Boots (I haven't seen them anywhere else) and extra polishes are £15. Don't tell my fiance.
A few notes about the lamp - it's only big enough for one finger at a time, but more about that later! It comes with a USB cable, but no plug, so you can either plug it into your laptop, or use an adapter like you get with kindles/phones/cameras etc. I'm sure everyone has at least one of those plugs lying around somewhere these days! It's quite a short cable, so I personally don't have anywhere that I could plug it in and not end up having to sit behind the TV or something to paint my nails, so I plug it into my laptop. That works quite well for me; I use my laptop as a little table and use it to do my nails on :D It's fine, my laptop's used to the abuse. I also has quite a cute feature, in that the top of the lamp (the bit that actually has the bulbs in) can be detached from the rest on the unit, and turned around to use on your toes, rather than trying to stick one toe in at a time which I can't imagine would be very comfortable!
Anyhoo, on to my adventures! So I bought a starter kit that came with Na-no Way!, a hot pink creme, and I also bought Gone Fission (not just because I love a good physics pun) and Lights, Camera, Re-action! I've also since bought E-motion.
So I got home, all very excited, got all my bits out to play (not like that). I decided to just go for using the hot pink that came with the starter kit and doing a plain manicure. I gently buffed my nails; the buffer is reeeeaally rough, like rougher than the nail file I normally used, so I was a bit wary of going too overboard with it. I then used the cleanser, as instructed, and got started on applying the polish!
So here's my issue number one. Some people may thing "You can only cure one nail at a time?? That'll take ages! I can't be bothered with that!". However, since this is a one-step system, and you have 10 nails to sure once each, that amounts to a total of 5 minutes curing time. To be honest, I didn't find that a problem, I just painted one nail and cured it while I painted the next. For a normal gel nail system you'll have your base, two coats of colour, plus top coat. You have to cure in three goes, so that's 6 minutes total curing time. And thus...Fuse is actually quicker!
Except for one thing. These are by no stretch of the imagination one coaters. Like seriously. That's not just be being fussy, you couldn't leave the house with one coat, you'd look like an idiot. For this pink, I used three coats to get an opaque finish.
Issue number 2: it buuuurns! I have no idea why. I've used Red Carpet Manicure which is also LED and that didn't burn. I don't know if it's because you have to apply this polish quite thickly (it's like applying treacle). But seriously, I didn't even know my nails could burn. Ow!
But burning aside, I was very excited about my gel nails :D I excitedly showed them off to everyone in uni the next day, and then got very sad when I got a chip :( And then more chips. And then, issue number 3, the next day just as I was about to leave for work, this happened:
Perfect. And, issue number 4, it stained! I suppose it's not surprising really that you buff away the surface of your nail, apply a colour to it with no barrier in between and it stains. But still. Not happy. Happy I hadn't bought the blue though. Removal though was easy (ha, not surprising!). I used the foil method and they came off no problem :)
I figured that, being new to the game, it was probably my application that was the problem. So, not to be defeated so easily, I tried again! And this time I really buffed! I was working away with the Environment Agency for a fortnight and couldn't really take any polish with me so I wanted something that would last. This time I went for Gone Fission. I'm never quite sure how people will react to nail polish, so I thought something pale was probably sensible (and glitter's sensible too. Right?).
Here it is. All four coats of it. I really think it's too dense to be a topper though so who knows what they were thinking. This was seriously thick by the time I was done as well. However, to give credit where it's due, these did last without chipping until I removed them because of growth.
Yeah, glitter, pretty etc etc. ISSUE NUMBER FIVE!!! Look at that bottle. What do you see? Pale pink with flakies? Indeedy. Do you see any flakies on my nails? No you do not. The bottle is a LIE. The polish is just a 'full coverage' glitter. It has a couple of different shades of pink glitter, but no lovely creme base, no beautiful flakies. Hmph.
And then...Ugh, I shudder just thinking about it. The removal. It just wouldn't come off. I soaked and I soaked and I soaked and it wasn't going anywhere. I had to...sob...pick...sob...and buff...and weep gently as I whispered lovingly to my nails "it'll be okay...it'll all be okay". I was using that Poundland stuff though, which I could swear used to be pure acetone but now has jojoba oil in, so maybe if I'd used pure acetone it would have been okay. But still. All very traumatic.
I've had one more go since, using the other two polishes (which did look like the bottle). I was back to the issues I had with the pink - the corners lifted and started peeling by the next morning. So currently for me, these polishes are utterly pointless because they don't last as long as normal polish.
I have pretty much assumed I'm just rubbish at application. But then, I've used two other gel systems (full gel systems) with no problems - they haven't chipped on me, even with constant abuse from being painted over and that polish removed time and time again, and removal has been easy with both. So I don't know... Whilst I don't think the small lamp is an issue, I do of course think that fact that the polishes don't last is! And I'm also very upset at the misleading bottle for Gone Fission. In hindsight, I wish I'd done a but more research and bought a decent gel system rather than just impulse buying this because it was in a cute little box.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has used Fuse and what your experiences were. Or any other one-step gel system for that matter! Leave your thoughts in the comments :)