Review: Red Carpet Manicure Red Carpet Ready Headliner and Walk of Fame Gel Varnishes (Red Carpet Ready Starter Kit Part 2)

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I did the first part of this review last Monday about the light and the extras you get in the Red Carpet Manicure new set, the Red Carpet Ready Starter Kit, so if you want to read about them you can find it here. I was definitely impressed and happy with that part of the set and that was the main reason for getting it for me so these nail varnishes were just a bonus I was hoping I’d like.

These two nail varnishes came in the set from QVC though if you buy the set now on the RCM site only Headliner, the red crème, is included, Walk of Fame, the more golden shimmer, isn’t an option though I think it’s available separately, I can’t find it at the moment on there but there are similar ones. The idea of this range is to have all of the steps in a gel manicure in their old version, the base, colour and top coat, in one product so you have two layers of this and you’re good to go. I really like this idea and was hoping it would work, though I did see a lot of review on the QVC site at the time saying this new version was rubbish and that they preferred the old one. I still hoped I’d like it, maybe my nails would work when there’s hadn’t, so I gave it a go with both colours. If you just want to see what I think of the set overall the scroll to the bottom.

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I quite like these bottles, I do like the bottles in general that have this shape with the lid that has the same diameter, or roughly, as the bottom of the bottle, a bit like the Nails Inc or Models Own bottles. These ones are really good when it comes to control, it seems like it should be harder to grip than the slimmer handles brushes but it seems to work. The brushes themselves are fairly wide compared to the average nail varnish brush, they take two stripes to cover my nails rather than three that I often need with normal varnishes. I think the brushes are the same as with their original style ones, they’re really nice to use and control which is good as these varnishes have a thin formula and spread very easily and you don’t want them to touch your skin or it seems to shorten the time they last, or at least it does with the original method.

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The colours themselves are a red crème called Headliner which is a nice, classic colour that’s a pretty thin formula and isn’t all that opaque at two layers. I think it would benefit from three but as it says specifically two I just stuck with that to give it a chance as it was meant to be done. Walk of Shame looks like it should be a gold online but it’s not that bright, it’s a nice shimmery metallic colour, I’d say it’s probably a gold or bronzey champagne like colour. It’s surprisingly subtle on the nails as, although it’s shimmery and metallic, colour wise it’s not overly bright or different from skin tone aside from the sparkle, at least to me.

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The first thumb nails, annoyingly some of my favourite stickers were on there, that’s why I’ve taken this photo, also shows that they chipped first and sort of cracked before they got caught and fell off

 

The first time I tried these I decided to do something Valentine’s Day themed and thought I’d throw everything at it to see how well it did with different top coats and things. I did four nails with the Walk of Fame and my ring finger on each hand with Headliner. I don’t think I’d do the combination again apart from around Christmas as it did give off a festive feeling to me but it was just giving them a go so I didn’t mind. With the thumb nail I decided to use some of the Snoopy stickers I got from Skinfood and used a layer of the original top coat on top which did set well and the stickers applied so easily as the formula for the colour sets immediately, no need for wipes and no stickiness like with the original method. The ring finger I decided to use a normal glitter top coat which did not work at all. Unfortunately it came off before I thought to photograph it, it lasted a grand total of four hours, and underneath it felt a bit wet and sticky which I think was the normal top coat affecting the layers underneath. If you do decide you want to try these out then stay away from normal top coats, at least that’s what I’d recommend. The thumb nails came off not much later, maybe ten hours after I had applied it.

For the second attempt I left the three remaining nails the same and redid the original two, this time just using the Snoopy transfers and the original top coat. They lasted OK, I’d say around 24 hours so better than the first attempt but not great and by that time the ones done exactly as the instructions said were peeling off too so I just removed everything and thought I’d give it another go. I think the main thing that finished these off was when I washed my hair, I had a shower and noticed they were catching in my hair which was when the plain ones started to go so maybe it was the heat or something, I don’t know but they should definitely survive hot water and shampoo. As far as removal goes this formula is even easier than the originals, it says to do the same and leave it for 15 minutes but after five when I was looking to see how it was doing the nail varnish came off with the foil and cotton wool so it’s a lot quicker in that aspect and no scraping the last bits off. To remove them it’s the same method as the original. You have to buff the surface of the gel first to remove the shine so the remover can get into the layers. Then you either use the wraps that you can buy but seem a bit of a waste of time as they’re just foil with some cotton wool stuck to them or you apply remover to some cotton wool, hold it on the nail and then wrap tin foil around it.

I was hoping for third time lucky and this time I soaked my nails beforehand, buffed them, used the nail varnish remover multiple times and the prep bottle that dries out your nails and removes impurities from the old set so I thought that’s the best I can do to make it stick as far as the preparation goes. I did it as it says and was happy with the result when it was finished, it’s so much quicker and easier than the original method with it being touchable as soon as it’s out from under the light and no need to wipe off any stickiness. The nail varnish however still didn’t last long. I did them on Friday afternoon, around 3pm and on Sunday morning I woke up and found that in my sleep three of the nails on my left hand and one on my right didn’t have the nail varnish on any more. Since then there have been chips showing on other nails and the ends are showing wear as it’s thinning and this is all three days after it was applied. I am still leaving these on to see how long they can actually last but if I wasn’t I’d have removed these remaining ones as they don’t look great. Fortunately this nail varnish, being shimmery, does hide the chips and thinning a bit. I think a crème or normal varnish, especially reds as they seem to do this the most, would show these up and look worse.

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I’m not sure why my nails are slightly yellow, they weren’t before I did the gel nail varnish but it might also be the painting I did, I didn’t risk scrubbing my nails as I thought it would finish off the nail varnish that was hanging on.

 

Overall these nail varnishes really aren’t worth it, I am most definitely sticking to the original method when it comes to gel mails. One thing I did notice is how this box claims it lasts three times the length of normal nail varnish whereas the original set claims two weeks (which it actually does last normally) so I suppose they are acknowledging the fact it doesn’t last as well. However, for me, these did not last three times the length of normal varnishes. Some nail varnishes, or maybe that should be most, do chip on me a day or two later but not too noticeably and they last nearly a week before I redo them but these have been redone three times in a week which is just not good at all. The only benefit that these nail shave over normal nail varnish is the speed of application and how you can do things literally within seconds of taking them out from under the light which is better than the original style. I think that the whole process, when I did it on all fingers as they said I should, took around ten minutes which is a lot quicker than normal nail varnishes for me or even the gel set. One thing about this set is that the hot feeling I get with the old style gel nail varnishes is even more pronounced with this set and happens on more nails. It’s not any longer but did feel hotter which I guess is the fact that base and top coat are in the colour and both of those cause the heating sensation for me.

Another thing I thought I would mention, as I have actually used them now, is what I think about the foil sheet things you get in the removal sets and, to be honest, I think I prefer the homemade approach even though I actually have these. With the foil wraps you get they don’t hold in place as well, they kept turning and I actually ended up using tape to hold down the folded over end bit in place so it didn’t get loose. This tape didn’t last too well as the remover itself removes the stickiness of that too so I was stuck holding my hands together to keep them all in place, at least with the handmade version I can do some things with my fingers (I’ve managed to type before) as you can scrunch the foil around your fingers more.

And now the overview thing for the whole set which is pretty much split fifty fifty with good and bad and all of the good is in the other post. I love the light, it works really well and is a definite improvement over my travel one given the speed of curing whichever method you use. I think it’s an improvement over the original Pro style light with the USB cable but that might just be me. The removal set is, as I originally thought, a bit of a waste of money I think as the only parts I will be using are the orange sticks, lint free wipes and remover and two of those can be replaced with cheap alternatives I already own. I will admit to being curious about this set and especially the nail foils so it was quite nice to try them out in this set as they were essentially free given the price of the light compared to it on its own. The nail varnish part of this set is useless, I would not recommend these to anyone and definitely not if it’s your first look at gel varnishes as it is not a good reflection on either the brand as a whole or the method if you went with a different make in the future. I will probably use the Walk of Fame one in the future as I love the colour but use it for a one night thing, it’s so quick and easy to use when you’re getting ready for doing something and you end up with a nice finish but I wouldn’t trust it for more than 24 hours. The nail varnishes themselves are £15.95 each but I’d say they’re not worth it. There is a range available if you want to give them a go and have either the Pro or travel lights already.

Overall the set is only worth it if the main thing you want is the light and the price of this isn’t more, or at least much more, than the light by itself if you already have the things needed for the original method. If you have the things like the prep, base coat and top coat then this is probably a cheaper way of getting the light than buying a whole new set with them included as you likely got the red that comes with it in the original light set you had and the top and base coats have lasted me a year already. If you don’t have the other bits needed then I think that getting the set that includes them with the light is the best way to go and ignore this set completely as you’d need to buy extra things and they probably add up to more than the difference between the two.

Basically the only good thing in the set is the light, if you’re getting it for the nail varnishes then don’t bother, the original way of doing it works a lot better and will last you longer. If they change the formula in the future or I see reviews saying one of the colours lasted well I might be tempted to try it as the speed of this method and the fact you don’t have to wipe it at the end makes it a great idea, pity it didn’t live up to what it promises.

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