Hello Loves! I have a new product to show you today that I'm really excited about - Nail Mates!
As you can imagine, I soak off a lot. A LOT. I have been using foil wraps for removal for many years now, and they add up fast. Over the past year alone, I have used over 1000 foil removal wraps. So when Chris asked me to test and review her reusable soak off caps called Nail Mates, I eagerly accepted. Reusable is huge! Not only will it save money, but I won't have to listen to my husband complain about finding random foil wraps all over the house. Sure, I'll try them. :)
So, what are Nail Mates? They are these neat little caps that you load with special foam pads, add a little acetone, and pop onto your fingers to soak off your gel manicure. You can learn more about them here. They come in a set of 10 caps and 20 pads (refill sets of pads are also available) and are super affordable! A starter set of Nail Mates costs less than box of 100 Gelish Remover Wraps from Sally Beauty Supply.
The pads are designed for even acetone distribution, which is really cool in itself. With the foil wraps, I found myself saturating the pad to eliminate the need to add more acetone half way through soak off. With these pads, a few drops of acetone will soak into the pad and you can see it spreading (the pad starts to expand). So not only do you use a lot less acetone, but the pad holds the acetone so there's no dripping.
So, how do they work? It couldn't be simpler. Load a pad into the cap. Then pinch the sides and add a few drops of acetone to the rounded portion of the pad inside the cap. (You can add the acetone to the pad before loading it into the cap, but I find it easier this way.)
Slip your finger inside the cap so that your nail is against the pad. Then release the sides and wait for the gel to soak off. Easy-peasy. The design of the cap applies slight pressure to the pad so that the entire surface of the nail is covered. You might note that the caps don't cover much of the tips of my fingers. When I first opened the pack, I was concerned that my nails might be too long for them. Nope, they fit over my longer nails just fine and the shorter cap allows me to bend my fingers at the first joint - something I can't do with foil wraps.
Once the gel has released from the nail (as you know, this varies by brand but I found removal quicker with the Nail Mates for most of the brands I use), remove the caps and simply rinse or wash the caps and the pads. Let them dry and you can use them again! I don't know how many times you can use the pads before they wear out, but I can tell you that I have used the same pads more than ten times now and they haven't started breaking down yet. For me, that would translate to 50 foil removal wraps!
Another cool thing that I noticed about these is that I don't have to apply heat. When using foil wraps, I usually stick my hands under a heating pad to help the acetone penetrate the gel. With the Nail Mates, my fingers stayed warm because they trapped my body heat. This gives me freedom to move around while I'm soaking off.
As with any new product, there is a small learning curve to using Nail Mates. Be sure to check out the Nail Mates Q&A page to learn more about how to use them. The first time I tried them, I over-saturated the pad. Big mistake. The rubber(?) material of the cap has to grip the pad of your finger in order to stay on securely. Too much acetone will cause the inside of the cap to get slick and they'll pop right off. Seriously, a few drops is all you need! Also, if you use cuticle oil prior to soak off, you'll want to make sure the pads of your fingers are free of oil so the caps can grab.
Once I figured out how much acetone to use, I found that I can do a ton of things while wearing these that I couldn't do before. Need an example? I changed a diaper while soaking off today! (See that? I put that line in bold to grab your attention. I'm THAT excited by it!) It's the curse of motherhood - it never fails that as soon as I start to soak off, the little one will poop. I usually have to remove the wraps, change his diaper, then re-apply the acetone to the pad and re-wrap my nails. Not today! Since the pads hold the acetone so well and so little is needed, I didn't have to worry about acetone dripping onto his sensitive skin. And since the caps grip the pads of my fingers, they didn't pop off either. Yes, I can proudly say that I wiped a butt with my Nail Mates on (lol) and didn't have a single issue. (For the non-parents reading this, I apologize for the details. But for a parent of a young child still in diapers, this is MONUMENTAL!)
So, final thoughts on Nail Mates? Once I got past the slight learning curve (remember, less acetone is more), I love them. Once I realized how much I can do while wearing them, I'm over the moon! Now, if I could just figure out how to type with them on...just kidding. Seriously, huge thumbs up from me for this product.
Yeah, yeah, I know I'm showing my dorky side with that last photo...but admit it, its endearing. ;) In all seriousness, I don't see myself ever buying another box of foil removal wraps. Nail Mates are my new best friend. Want to try them for yourself? You can get yours here. :)
*The products featured in this post were provided by Nail Mates for my honest review.