Monday, July 5, 2010

OPI Axxium gel system - a first attempt

Yes, to wear it. Not doing it myself. I would never be able to. Actually, there is so much within the nail care business I truly suck at. I know how to polish my nails. Period.

Fortunately, there are others to do the rest for you.

When I went to the OPI Swiss press party, I had the advantage of ending up at the manicure station where the name of the manicurist was Sara. Not just any Sara, but my old neighbor Sara. We chatted away about our hometown, the schools we went to and where we were at right now- and of course we talked about nail polish. When I told Sara I nowadays run a small nail blog, she invited me home to her place to try out the soak off gel lacquers that also OPI, not only their compedators, carry in their range.

Sara is a bit of an interior design freak, and has not only a tempting home, but specifically a very cute nail corner under her stairs.

Yes, of course those are all OPI bottles, the lady works for the company in question!

Unfortunately, at the time I got my ass over to Sara's place, my nails had undergone quite the negative change due to my new work situation. As some of you may know, I am since some time back working on and off at a community for elderly people, where I spend most of the days taking old ladies to the bathroom and such, and therefore spend a lot of my time wearing air tight plastic gloves, only to use strong desinfectants when I finally take them off. So I had various bad breaks and lots and lots of peelies all over. No choice but to give Sara full freedom to do some nail plate enhancements, which resulted in only one fake tip where I had a break close to the nail bed, all topped off with a coating of the plain clear Axxium gel.

After that, the actual colored Axxium was supposed to go on. I had some trouble picking my color, so I let Sara decide. She picked out the rather vampy Russian Navy for me.

During the process we continued the neverending discussions about nail polish and the like, and I could tell Sara was a bit fascinated over the way we know polish within the community. As a sales person, her customers mainly refer to the polishes by numbers, while the true fanatics that we are, know the actual names of the colors, which collections they were part of, and what year they were released. I also took the chance to ask a lot of questions regarding the use of the different shaping materials. I asked about the pros and cons of gel compared to acrylic, and it seems it's merely a question of personal preference. The gel, however, is stink free, and from what I could make out of it, doesn't produce excess dust that may be toxic to inhale. Sara also told me that your preference is likely to depend on if you're situated on the east or the west coast, tendencies that apply to both the US and Sweden. Apparently, gel is the thing on the east coasts of both countries, while acrylic nails is much preferred if you're western. So if you're in LA or in Gothenburg, you probably like acrylics, and if you're in NY or Stockholm, you're more likely to get gel. How... Peculiar.

All the things above I'm sure that those of you ladies who frequently build nails already know. But to a noob like myself it's all new and sparkly knowledge.

This is how my nails ended up looking like:

Those of you who know my nails (a little too?) well, can see how they have a slightly different shape and look thicker.

The index finger, to the very left, is where the fake tip was placed, as you can see. And I know Sara will kill me when she sees this, because I did some filing at the tips. Sara gave me a professional squoval shape, but I'm a person who enjoys being anally habitual, so I immediately bounced back to my square style. (Of course I contemplated my new shape for a bit before I went ahead with the file!)

Overall, the experience of just getting the nails was very new and unusual for me. I have never been to a nail salon in my entire life (it's a little less common in Sweden than it is in for example the US), and very rarely had anyone else than myself doing my nails. I was previously unfamiliar with the slight sting of the UV lamp (that passed quite quickly after a quick tip from Sara), and just sitting there, having someone else attend to my nails was... Relaxing. Actually. By the time I went home, I could barely speak because I had gotten sooo sleepy! Weird.

This procedure is of course the main reason why I have been quiet for a while. I had to test drive these suckers!

I know there's a lot of scepticism within the nail community towards products used for nail enhancement, so I thought it would be a very interesting thing to try this at least once. However, you will have to wait until I have finished this little series of posts about the Axxium products to get to read my final verdict.

So, what do you girls think? Are you fine with enhanced nails, or do you loathe them?

Swedish word of the night:
utmaning -noun challenge
Because this really was one for me.


  1. yay! i am so interested in hearing the rest of your story. before i really got into doing my own nails i spent HOURS trying to find a salon near me that does axxium. then ofcourse i found this crazy world and i change my polish every day, soooooooo...
    and how fun that you are able to talk to someone that works for OPI! i know what you mean, they are always surprised at what we know!

  2. I think, besides being a little thick, they look beautiful. : )

  3. They look great :)
    And it is a wonderful option for those who need to do a lot of housework or have nails that won't grow as long as they wish!
    Hope you liked it :)

  4. I think that if you like your enhanced nails then they are fabulous. I've never had them for obvious reasons but It makes no difference to me if others wear them or not.
    I'm one of those none of my business people. :o)

  5. I have had natural nails for so long, but got sick and ruined the quality of the nails and cut them short.. so, one day, I thought what the hevk, and went in to a salon this spring and got acrylic tips and enhancement, and now I feel myself again with my long nails:)

    Funny thing with the westcoast eastcoast reflection, I live in Gothenburg and as you say acrylics seem to be teh favoruite here..

    Intresting to hear your opinion more about OPi gel polish?

  6. Nice post! But I dont quite understang waht you got... acrylic nails with color on top? Whats the OPI Gel polish?

  7. jbrobeck: Glad you like it! <3 If you're going away at some point or won't have time to polish for a while, try the Axxium. It is really cool. And you can put regular polish on top! :)

    Fernanda Trapp: Thank you! The reason they got thick was there were a couple extra rounds of gel top coat put on due to ...certain people's lack of experience under a UV lamp. xD

    Sarah B.: I tend to agree. But more on that later. ;)

    Evil Angel: But you may still have a preference, esthetically. ;)

    Monica Hansen: That sounds awesome, I'm glad if it works out for you! :)

    tasha~: No, gel nails (or rather a coating on top of my natural nail plate- the same length), with the specific colored gel on top. :) The Axxium system is a complete gel system, and as a whole differs from the acrylic system.

  8. I think your nails look beautiful. Do you know how much a treatment with the Axxium products will cost in Sweden?

  9. Nailtastic: About 300 to 400 SEK. :)

  10. I was wondering why your nails looked so figgity fat in the post photo, but I see now. Don't worry (not that you are), I've never had my nails done and I'm in the US. Personal preference I guess.


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