I will be giving you my honest opinion about five brands that I use right now. OPI's axxium, CND Shellac, Harmony's Gelish, Cacee GP and Eagelly brand gel polish.
I love all of OPIs polishes. Especially the colors more so than the sheers. I'm kinda sweet on Essie's sheer colors. "Sugar daddy" being my favorite. OPIs French collection is my fave. "tickle my fancy" and the enfamous "you dont know jaques" are at the top of my polish list. The pros about OPIs axxium gel polishes is that you can match the gel polish with the corresponding regular nail polish of that color. (Eventhough you can put gel polish on your toes) The only con that I have noticed with this particular brand of gel polish is that it is the hardest to remove and slightly more damaging to the actual natural nail plate. Even more so when it is not removed the proper way or drills are used.
Oh Shellac, Shellac, Shellac! I was so excited when I first heard that CND was coming out with a gel polish brand. But it quickly turned into a nightmare for me. I purchased the started kit from beauty site online only to have to wait over 6 weeks to receive my (almost) complete kit. CND didnt anticipate the response it was to receive and could not keep up with demand and were always short on supply. After giving up I found a new brand that I absolute adore. So I decided not to purchase any more shellac for fear they would never have what I needed when I needed it. I have and still use the few bottles I do have. But I have noticed that it seems to be a little thick and instead of lasting the full 14 days its about 10 and sometimes it peels off like a sheet. Not good.
Gelish the 21 day manicure! I love, love, love Gelish! I found out about Gelish when I was going thru my fiasco with CNDs Shellac. I love they have 78 colors now...more than any gel polish brand I know of right now. The colors are fun, classic, conservative....what ever type of polish you are looking for they have it. Also they have their own LED UV light that I call supersonic (I know that is for hearing). the regular 36 watt UV lamp requires 1 minute for the base coat, 2 minutes for the 2 coats of color and 3 minutes for the top coat. The Gelish LED lamp only requires 10 seconds for the base, 30 seconds for the coats of color and another 30 for the top coat. I normally do a minute. I wont be done with the other hand in 30 seconds anyway.
Cacee GP Gel
I only have a few of these polishes but I love them just like the Gelish. One reason is because I can still use the gelish base and top coat with this product. I bought a few because they had neon colors available. They wear a little over 14 days.
Eagelly Gel Polish
Where to buy Eagelly
I dont even know anything about this company. They sell this brand at my local nail supply store. They had it on sale and I loved the colors so I bought several. The only thing is that this brand has a smell that is so loud and it can come on a little thick. But like the Cacee it can be used with the gelish base and top coat. I purchased the base and top made by eagelly but I dont like how it goes on. I guess Im just a Gelish girl at heart. I love that brand the most out of all the brands. I make sure that I have a variety just for my clients sake.
1. Find a nail salon that you like and stick to going to that spot. Different techs apply different ways sometimes. You want consistency.
2. If your tech uses a drill to buff off top coat please ask them to refrain. Same goes for removing the gel polish. You want to subject your natural nail to the least amount of stress as possible. A buffer or less gritty file will do just fine.
3. Removal wraps or just plain acetone soaked cotton wrapped with foil on each finger is the best way to remove gel polish. Soaking the whole hand in acetone will dry out your hands. You can also do this at home if you cant make it to the salon.
4. I suggest not wearing the gel polish of any brand longer than 3 weeks.
Now these are just my opinions, observations and experiences with these brands. Please feel free to try them all and come to your own conclusion. Just in case someone needed a honest opinion....these are just mine.