Through the Canadian Beauty Blogger Network I was chosen to join a contest and review for Bio Seaweed Gel polish. They let me pick two shades from their new Uptown Lights collection and I decided to go with Winnipeg and Halifax. They also gave me the No-Wipe Top.
The company boasts being Big-5 Free, which means No Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, BHA or Solvents. They’re also cruelty free and proudly Canadian. (Not to mention their office is less than 5 minutes away from my house!)
But I should preface this review with a couple things. I hate getting my nails professionally done. I do not like fake nails and no matter how much you tell me your acrylics or your bio-gel nails are really yours I don’t believe it. If the process of taking them off leaves you with shaved down stumps then how can they be yours? I hate typing with fake nails, I hate removing them and I hate having to pay >$20 for a service I inevitably regret.
That’s not to say I don’t love nail polish though, because I do. I love the colours, the designs you can create and the calming process of doing them yourself. But without fail I can only get a self applied manicure to last 2 days. Regardless of whether I’ve used, Revlon, Wet n Wild, Avon, OPI, Essie, Deborah Lippmann, FormulaX, Butter London, Ciaté, or Chanel.
Many of the places I’ve worked at do not permit loud colours, so I’m always limited to nudes, grays, or pinks. And I’ve only been able to find nudes that look good on dark skin, and even then it’s sometimes hard to discern if it’ll be too pale or not.
Winnipeg is a little bit more pink toned and sheer, I could see my white nail tips through it, which makes it ideal for a French Manicure (which I always struggle to find an appropriate colour for).
Halifax is a true browny-nude which is absolutely perfect for darker skin. I got a ton of compliments on this colour and the nail technician even wrote down the name to buy it for his salon.
The idea with these is to apply one thin layer of colour indoors, put them under natural light for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, apply a second thin coat, stand in natural light (30s-2m), apply the top coat and yes, you guessed it, stand in natural light (30s-2m).
I think the key to using these polishes is making sure you wipe off a lot of the excess on the rim of the bottle. The brushes are absolutely perfect at applying without streaks or globs but it is quite thick and you need to make sure you don’t end up with product pooling into your cuticle.
Because I’m always skeptical of product claims I let my hands sit in the sun for a full 2 minutes. After the top coat you’re supposed to be good to go, with no smudging etc. And although I’ve heard that about various top coats before I was pleasantly surprised to see my nails actually go smudge free while I hung out laundry and cleaned.
In the future I don’t think I’d use a cotton round + rubbing alcohol before applying the gel, as I did get quite a few cotton fibres on my nails.
The Unity All-In-One shades retail for $18 while the No-Wipe Top retails for $20. This is quite an investment per bottle so you definitely have to be certain you’ll use the shades you’re buying. But I do think it’s better value than both getting your nails done at a salon (unless you enjoy that) or buying Deborah Lippmann or other high end polishes.
They also have an incredible range of shades. But make sure you’re paying attention to the formula you’re buying. The Unity All-In-One Gel Polish is the only one that doesn’t require a lamp.
Hope this was helpful!