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    Updated on Jun 21, 2020. Posted on Jun 10, 2020

    I Tried Le Mini Macaron's Gel Manicure Set And Doing My Nails Has Never Been Quicker

    Seriously chip-free nails in just minutes.

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    As much as I ~love~ the look of a fresh coat of vibrant, glossy polish on my nails, I'd be lying if I said that painting my nails wasn't a little annoying sometimes. It always takes FOREVER to dry, when you think you can go about your day in style, your mani winds up smudged, and it starts chipping like three days later after all that work.

    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    So when I first heard about Le Mini Macaron's gel manicure kit, which uses an adorable LED lamp to cure wet polish in 30 seconds, it seemed like something that could put an end to my irritating mani woes.

    The small, macaron-shaped LED lamp inside a box and bottles of pink gel nail polish

    In addition to giving you perfectly dried polish in less time than a Hulu commercial, the set promises a high-shine, chip-free look that lasts for seven to 10 days.

    (BTW, it's available at Urban Outfitters in one color — and backordered in two colors, shipping around August 6th — for $35. You can also get a larger set designed to cure multiple nails at once for $60.)

    I had never gotten a gel manicure done so I was hesitant at first, but I eventually caved and ordered a Le Mini Macaron set of my own. It pretty much comes with everything you need for your very first at-home gel manicure, including gel remover and a cuticle stick.

    Everything in the kit
    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    In addition to the cuticle stick and gel remover pouches, you'll also receive an LED lamp that looks like a cute, 'lil macaron, a USB cord that connects to your laptop to power the lamp, a nail file, a set of instructions, and a gel polish color that matches the color of the lamp (cuuuuute).

    I wasn't totally feeling the pink nail polish that week, so I ordered another bottle of their nail polish in gray.

    First things first: You'll need to remove any existing nail polish, push back your cuticles with the handy cuticle stick, and file your nails to create a smooth surface — exactly what I did. I also went ahead and plugged the lamp into my laptop.

    The LED lamp connected to my laptop
    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    Now this part is very crucial...The instructions say to apply a THIN layer of polish to your nail. Though I was curious to see what would happen if I slathered the polish on, I assumed it could affect the drying time and decided against it. After applying the polish, I placed my finger inside the lamp and pressed the button to begin the curing process.

    My finger inside the LED lamp
    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    The lamp is designed to automatically shut off after 30 seconds, so you don't need to count yourself! I decided to check out Insta while I waited but by the time I opened the app and scrolled past a few photos, 30 seconds were already up.

    Nail polish in general doesn't exactly smell like cupcakes and roses, but I noticed a very strong gel polish smell that lingered around my room longer than the smell of normal nail polish does. I just opened a window to help the smell make its way out.

    Thirty seconds later and I was EXTREMELY impressed. I rubbed my finger against my nail, expecting the polish to just smudge off, BUT. IT. DIDN'T. It was fully dried and had a really nice shine to it.

    My fully cured nail polish looking shiny
    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    Y'all, I'm not even exaggerating when I say that it took me less than 10 minutes to paint AND fully dry the nails on the rest of my hand.

    A close-up of my finished nails looking shiny
    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    I've never had my nails dry this quickly — not even when I tried using quick-drying nail drops over my nail polish. At first, I instinctively tried to avoid touching things since I had just finished doing my nails, but then remembered that they wouldn't smudge because — for the millionth time — this set dried my nails like a dream.

    Sure, I could've added a second coat of polish and repeat the curing process, but I didn't feel like I needed to because one coat was so opaque and streak-free that it looked perfect on its own.

    But the ultimate test was when I decided to see how well my mani would hold up after 14 days of wear. As you can probably tell by these pics, it PASSED with *flying colors*.

    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    No chips!!!! I could see my nails beginning to grow out, which didn't bother me. Honestly, I'm looking back on all the moments when I let myself wear chipped nail polish because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of re-painting and waiting for them to dry and I AM SHAKING MY DAMN HEAD.

    BTW, I did end up painting on a thick layer of polish on just one nail to see what would happen. It still dried in 30 seconds, but it developed small ripples (like when you put tape over something but don't smooth it out properly), and the ripples chipped a week later. Moral of the story: do what the instructions say and only paint on a thin layer of polish.

    And as for cleanup, the remover wraps made the process much less daunting than I thought it would be. I just tore open the pouches, removed the adhesive strips, and wrapped the pouches around my nails like so:

    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    I left these on for about 15 minutes. When I removed them, it looked like the polish had literally shriveled up right there on my nail, and that made it sooo easy to just gently push off my nail bed with the cuticle stick. I was prepared to see cracks in my natural nails afterward, but the entire removal process was just surprisingly gentle and there was no sign of damage after my first foray into gel manicures.

    Bottom line: this gel manicure kit gives you a pretty, polished nail look in less than 10 minutes that actually remains chip-free for over 10 days.

    Close-up of my nails
    Jasmin Suknanan / BuzzFeed

    If you're like me and do your nails frequently, this kit pretty much pays for itself in the amount of time you get to save when you aren't trying to sit absolutely still so as not to ruin wet nails.

    And if you're the opposite of me and rarely do your nails, the sheer lasting power of one nice-looking manicure would make it totally worth getting. Happy nail-painting!

    Get the mini kit from Urban Outfitters for $35 (available in one color, with two others currently backordered and shipping around August 6th) or the larger deluxe set for $60 (available in one color).

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

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