Monday, June 3, 2013

Opallac - Gel Polish Kit Review + Helpful Tips!

Hellloo everyone! This is a bit of a long post but very informative I promise you! If you want to know about soak-off gels or soft gels read this post!

Today I have the Opallac U.V Gel Polish Kit* to show you! I'm very excited to show you this because it is a very affordable kit (only $99AUD available exclusively to Priceline) and the colour range is gorgeous!! As i've almost finished my cert to become a nail tech I can answer any questions anyone has about gels and some helpful tips but i've tried my best to answer some questions I thought was needed! I really enjoyed using this kit and will definitely be using it again! The product claims to last up to 14 days. By day 3 I began seeing lifting on 2 nails and 1 completely came off. By day 4 the other lifted gel completely came off. Up until this morning I still had all 8 gel nails on and they looked as good as the day I put them on but with some growth at the cuticle! The reason i'm not annoyed at my lifting was because I applied the product too thick and I did not properly dehydrate my nail plate. Read below to find out some tips and tricks with gel polish!

This product is a soft gel so it CAN be soaked off as opposed to hard gel which must be filed off. Soft gel, hard gel, acrylics, or any enhancements DO NOT damage your is how the nail technician or yourselves apply the product that determines whether there will be any damage in the end.

This kit comes with a 7 watt UV LED Lamp, 3x gel colours (Cosmolicious, Seductress & High Tea), 1 x Gel Base Coat, 1 x Gel Top Coat, 1 x 2-in-1 Shine & Soak Solution and 1 x 30 pk Remover wraps. Individual UV Gel colours are 7.5ml and are $19.95 and there are so many colours! (Check out the colours here).  The product claims to last up to 14 days and it only takes 90 seconds to cure. One thing that annoyed me was that the lamp does not have a timer so you will need either a stopwatch, timer or any phone will be useful to know when you can take your nails out. 

Just a forewarning for anyone that has never used gel before ...some gel polish (more so for hard gels) can make your nails feel warm and start to heat up.. do not freak out! This is a very normal occurrence with gel and only happens if your gel is applied to thick. If it does happen to you and you start to feel a warming sensation do not pull your hand out quickly and shake it to try to relieve the warmth, slowly pull your hand out of the lamp and place is beside the lamp (so you are still getting some light onto the nail to cure it) and once the warming has stopped put your nail back in for the remaining time you had left. It should not heat up again after that. If you keep your nail in the lamp and let it burn you, you will cause damage so remember to apply thin coats!

Here is a run down on how I applied the gel on my nails:
  • Remove any existing nail polish and/or oil on the nail plate
  • If you have a nail primer or dehydrater you can use this (I would probably only use this if you know you have very oil nail beds and your polish lifts quickly, regardless of what you use)
  • Lightly buff the nail plate to remove any shine (just remember that shine means gel will not stick!)
  • Dust away any debris
  • Apply 1 thin coat of the UV Gel Base Coat - I like to really push it into the nail bed to make it stick better. Don't forget to wrap the free edge! Cure for 90 seconds.
  • Apply 1 coat of the UV Gel Colour - I used all the colours I received to make a skittle. (From pinky to thumb I used; High Tea* (a very light sheer pink), Go Gaga* (a seriously bright neon fuschia which looked so cool under the UV light!), Manhattan Spark* (a very pretty rose pink with shimers in it), Cosmolicious* (a slightly darker fuschia) and Seductress* (a gorgeous fire engine red). Wrap the free edge! Cure for 90 seconds.
  • If you need to, apply another coat on each nail - I skipped this step as I found it was opaque enough for me.
  • Apply 1 coat of the UV Gel Top Coat and Wrap the Free Edge! Cure for 90 seconds.
  • Before removing the sticky layer, if you've noticed your gel has moved around and has slid down the side of the nail, file it down slightly until you are happy with it. Then once you are happy soak a lint-free wipe with 2-in-1 soak solution to expose your freshly cured, super shiny and smooth looking gel nails! 
  • Lightly Buff the nail plate to adhere the gel better
  • Dehydrate the nail plate with primer or acetone to remove excess oils
  • Wrap the free edge to avoid shrinking and visible tip wear!
  • Try to always use lint-free wipes when working with gel to avoid any sort of fluff getting in the gel!
  • Apply the gel too thick otherwise it will lift and peel!
  • Pick off the gel from the nail, it must be removed properly otherwise you may cause damage to your natural nail plate
  • Under cure the polish otherwise it will neverrrrr dry! (Over curing is fine!).
  • Try to cure all 10 fingers in the lamp at once. You cure in this order: 4 fingers, 4 fingers, 2 thumbs together. If you try to cure the thumb with the 4 fingers, because of the angle it will be at in the lamp the gel will move and gravitate downwards so avoid curing thumbs with your fingers!

Helpful Tips with Gel:

- Try not to get any gel on your skin or cuticle as this will be an area that you may find that will lift quickly and it may annoy you to the point where you are constantly picking at it and therefore causing more lifting to the gel. If you do get gel on your cuticle or down the side wall it is very easy to fix if it has already been cured! Once you remove your hand from the lamp from curing your glossy top coat you will have the sticky residue layer and this is when you should file the gel! Then once you have finished and are happy with the gel and how your nails look use the 2-in-1 shine/soak solution to remove the sticky layer and any bits of dust from filing.

Day 1
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3 - 1 Fully Lifted and the Middle Finger has slight lifting. No change for the next 4 days.

Removal Method:

Get Your Remover Wraps & Soak Solution ready
Cut off 1 piece of wrap for each nail & soak with solution
Wrap your finger and leave on for at least 10 minutes

Remove wrap and the gel polish will have completely come off - if not use an orangewood stick to remove any excess

So overall I loved this product and although I like to change my nail polish every 2 days I can definitely see myself using this when I go overseas or on holidays or even to work on the weekends when I need a little more strength and thickness in my nails! I definitely recommend trying this product out! If you have any questions let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!


  1. This looks amazing!! I love how pretty it is! Really your post is really very good and I appreciate it. You write very well which is amazing. I really impressed by your post. :)

    - Cindy
    gel polish kit

    1. Thanks so much Cindy i'm really glad you liked it! :D

  2. Hi Mel what does "wrap the free edge" mean?

    1. Hey ness so the free edge of your nails you will need to paint the tip as well as the nail plate so it seals it and helps it stay in place longer otherwise the gel will shrink and there will be noticeable tip wear at the free edge! I hope that makes sense?

  3. Really cool product. I prefer the gelish/shellac base and top coats though. I use these with the opallac colours and lamp and it it lasts 2 whole weeks not a chip which is better than my salon shellac Mani. You probably would'nt have got that lifted nail with a different base.

    1. That's awesome Anne! I'd love to try shellac to see how it differs from competitors! I will definitely have to try that combo out! That's for the suggestion.

  4. Hi! can you use the gelish nail polish with this lamp?

    1. Hi Katdoll! Generally, brands make their products useable with their own products only. It is hard to say whether you can use a different brand of gel with this lamp because it may not cure (as the lamp wattage may be different to recommended for that gel polish) and there's the uncertainty of how long it will take to cure it. It may feel cured after certain amount of minutes under the lamp but it may not actually be cured and just end up peeling off after a few hours. Generally as a rule of thumb I would try to stick to using the brand polish with their relevant lamp unless stated. Also, if you want to use normal nail polish but use a gel base coat and top coat (and lamp to cure those layers) you will need to do this sequence: Gel base coat, cure, paint nails with normal nail polish and wait for it to completely dry (so about 30mins to 1 hour) then apply the gel top coat and cure. Hope this helps and good luck!!

  5. Hi there....
    I am confused with what the lamp is called because it says that it is a UV LED lamp. So which is it?? LED or UV?? I'm really looking for an at home kit that uses a LED light as I believe it is safer than the UV one.

    1. Hi Ellie. Actually I didn't realise until now but it is indeed confusing! It doesn't tell me anything about the lamp on the website except for that it is a UV LED Lamp...

      Can I come back to you with an answer? I will ask my contact for Opallac and let you know!

    2. Hi Ellie! Ok I have an answer which I hope helps. I was told this:

      "It is both. It’s a UV lamp that uses LEDs to create the light. You can actually see the little LEDs if you look at the top of your lamp. I think it is safer to use LED light and it’s perfectly safe for home use."

      If you are still unsure definitely go onto the website and contact the company to see if they can further explain! Hope this helps you!

  6. Great article!! It's so detailed. I would like to purchase the Opallac kit, just have a few questions.

    What can I use as a dehydrator? What type of nail file is best?

    1. Hi Jess thanks for your comment! I'm glad you liked this post :)

      For a dehydrator you can use acetone - so when you take your previous nail polish off your nails that will dehydrate the nails and remove any unwanted oils so you can re apply acetone to your bare nails just before using a gel kit! Otherwise most nail polish brands make a primer (also similar to dehydrator) such as Orly called Prime Time and it works the same way except that they generally add essential oils so it doesn't dry out your skin around your nails (like acetone clearly does!)

      Best time of nail file depends on what you need to do! If you are filing your natural nails to shape them, use a very fine grit and file in one direction only! If you want to file the gel so it doesn't look unnatural on your nail or if you have a bit of gel that cured and is bothering you and makes you want to pick it off - a medium coarse grit file so it files it down effortlessly and won't take you a long time to smooth down. If you want to file acrylics down - I recommend a very coarse grit file because acrylic is much thicker and harder than natural nails and gels it takes longer to file down. Does that help? xx

  7. Finally some useful info on the dont's of opallac! Mine peel literally the next day and I'm using acetone as a primer as I don't want to waste any more money however after reading your article I think my problem is applying it too thick so I've just put some on an hour ago nice and thin (had no burning this time too!) so I'll give it time and see how long they last! Fingers crossed!

    1. Good luck Heidi I hope it works better for you! Let me know how it lasts! Sometimes gels are really tricky and a bit difficult to apply thinly but once done right it's a great product!

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  9. This is awesome I know some people that will be getting some of that Gel stuff.

    Gel nails in Brentwood & Gel nails in Gidea park