Well Gemma you will not have had a very good experience with gel if the Rio kit is your only experience with it.
I would say go with a well known Nail company, Read up on different makes, Buy try me kits and when youv'e made a decision.
Go and train using this product
Thanks Lesley, yes ive only used Rio, but not geting very good results really, there not bad for a total beginner, just the gel doesnt seem to harder and im left with lumps and bumps, the blending of the tip isnt too bad tho, just that i seem to be either still having the line show, or rubbing the it away totally!! maybe the strenght of the acetone tho, so im told!
Bec - just what i was after a company name to look into... thank you!
I used the Rio system the other day... as far as I was concerned it was good for practising tip blending (which I'm still no good at on my right hand.. why wasn't I born ambidextrous? ) but the gel was very thick and hard to apply. I bought a trial kit from The Edge which contains 5g each of their pink, clear, and white UV gels, and then the other bits and pieces I needed (wipe off gel, I decided to use their anti-fungal nail glue though not sure if it's a bit of a gimmick, tip blender - again, possibly gimmicky - and primer) which totalled about £25-30 maybe. The pots at 5g are pretty small, but you can immediately tell the difference between that and the Rio stuff. It self-levels really well for a start. Whereas it's very hard to apply a thin coat with the Rio and not get brush streaks, the Edge self-levels much better, so you can get a much finer application, and it goes on more smoothy to start with. What's more, each 5g pot has it's own brush in it.
To be honest it's more than I'd ideally have spent, as I'd still like to try other brands such as IBD and NSI Balance, so if anyone knows which brands do 'proper' trial kits ie, everything in one bag in small quantities for a low price rather than buying trial size gel and full size everything else.. could you let me know too?
I'd also think/hope that a better quality tip would blend more easily, and also using a range of grit files rather than just the white sanding block from the Rio kit. I'm going to order some Millennium clear tips but am tempted not to buy any files yet as I know they're included in my EZ Flow acrylics kit... As far as The Edge Tip blender was concerned... I found it either made no difference at all, or made too much difference and made the tip edges too ragged, but maybe Chocolate or someone else who is more experienced using The Edge could correct me? Anyway, I got The Edge from creativenailplace.com Shipping is free with orders over £25 and I got my items next day. I think IBD is available from wholesalers rather than the net, not sure about other brands...
Dont forget Arkentz!! Its getting really popular and its very reasonably priced. I know anna from toronto has a step by step gallery on her website so check it out.
I use LCN for my buff off gell and Biosculpture for my natural overlays and tips.