Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The "healthier choice" gel manicure: Depend GelLack Nail System | REVIEW

On the nails: Depend GelLack Colour in How Sweet (pink) and Pretty Me (coral)

Shiny, glossy nails that last for 2 weeks or more with no drying time? That's typical gelish nails for you, and they unfortunately come with a cost - thinning, dehydrated nails that become damaged and brittle. 

The Depend GelLack Nail System is all but the harmful aftermath. Unlike regular gel nail polishes that require buffing (before application) and acetone removal, the unique formula of Depend requires none of that, thus making in the brand a much healthier choice for your nails while still ensuring that you achieve high-gloss nails that last for 2-3 weeks. The best part? All of this can be achieved in the comfort of your own home!

As if my love for Depend GelLack isn't obvious enough, read on to find out more about this in-home system, the how-tos on applying and removing your Depend gel nails, price and availability... all that jazz.


The Depend GelLack Obligatory Start Kit (S$99.00) contains the following products:
- LED lamp with adapter and timer
- Before/After Cleanser (35ml)
- GelLack BASE (5ml)
- GelLack TOP (5ml)
- Nail File
- Orange Stick

The cotton pad and GelLack nail polish (seen above) are my own and must be purchased separately.

The following photos show me doing my best friend's nails, because I already did mine with this GelLack system! ;)

Optional step: File nails

Step 1: Before/After Cleanser

Apply the cleanser onto a cotton pad and gently wipe over bare nails. Do not touch your nails after cleaning them with this product.

Step 2: Base coat

Apply a thin layer of Depend GelLack's base coat.

Harden your nails with the LED lamp thereafter - set the timer to 30 seconds at all times.

IMPORTANT: Because the nail polish hardens once it gets in contact with the LED light, make sure you clean off any excess nail polish at the sides (a.k.a the "meaty parts" surrounding your nails) before you put your fingers under the lamp. Not doing so will cause you to feel a burning sensation when the light shines on your nails; your gel manicure will not last for long either. (If you do feel a burning sensation, remove your fingers from the lamp for a second or two and put them back in again after.)
When the nail polish is hardened, apply the Before/After Cleanser onto your cotton pad again, and gently wipe your nails to remove the "stickiness". This step is mandatory every time you paint a fresh coat of nail polish. It sounds kind of tedious in words but once you get a hang of the process, it is pretty fuss-free.

Step 3: Nail polish

Apply 2 coats of Depend GelLack Colour*, each coat under the LED lamp for 30 seconds and wiped gently with the Before/After Cleanser.

*The Depend GelLack Colour range (S$13.50 each) has more than 30 shades available.
Colours applied: How Sweet and Purple Passion Glitter

Step 4: Top Coat

Apply a thin layer of Depend's top coat, harden with LED lamp, remove stickiness with Before/After Cleanser... and wallah! You now have glossy, long-lasting nails that are fully dried. Most importantly, no damage done to your nails!
My bestie's prettified nails thanks to the Depend GelLack Nail System!

That's not all!

Do you know that the unique design of Depend's LED lamp allows you to achieve pretty gel toenails with ease as well??

...Thanks to the rotatable lamp that enables you to turn it 180 degrees!
Holding the LED lamp with my hand to harden the nail polish on my toenails

Say yes to a set of long-lasting pedicure too!


This was how my nails looked like after 3 full weeks.
Within 3 weeks, I spent 2 whole days packing my room, carrying / moving / shifting loads of stuff around. If I had regular nail polish on, my nails would have chipped like nobody's business within an hour of packing... I'm not even kidding, although I honestly wish I am. Perhaps because they are really thin and brittle, my nails unfortunately chip a lot faster than anyone I know :'( With my Depend gel nails, I was extremely surprised to see no sign of chipping at all - even after 2 days of packing!!!

I also spent the next 2 days packing my luggage for a getaway, and this time there was a little chip on my thumb nail, but that was all.

During the 2nd week, the nail polish on my last finger came off completely, while the tips of my thumb and second finger chipped off. My third and fourth nail however, were still fully intact after 3 weeks.

I don't know about you, but I have already decided that I can no longer live without this whole Depend GelLack Nail System.


Traditional removal methods of gel manicures typically include a nail wrap and soak-off with pure acetone, which we all know is damaging to our nails. The gel will also need to be buffed away afterwards, resulting in thinning nails.

The Depend GelLack Removal Oil (S$6.90) neither requires acetone nor buffing, and this truly sets Depend GelLack apart from other gel nail systems. Removal of your GelLack nails begins with a simple massaging of the moisturising remover oil on the nails, and then soaked in warm water (40 degrees) for a few minutes.

Here's a pictorial of the removal process:
Non-damaged nails even after 3 weeks of gel manicure

Price and Availability

Here is the full list of prices for your easy reference:

1. Depend GelLack Obligatory Start Kit, S$99.00 - includes the following:
  • 1 Before/After Cleanser - S$5.90 / 35ml when purchased individually
  • 1 GelLack Base Coat - S$13.50 / 5ml when purchased individually
  • 1 GelLack Top Coat - S$13.50 / 5ml when purchased individually
  • 1 LED Lamp - cannot be purchased individually
  • 1 Orange Stick - cannot be purchased individually
  • 1 Nail File - cannot be purchased individually

2. Depend GelLack Colour, S$13.50 / 5ml each (over 30 colours to choose from - see here)

3. Depend GelLack Removal Oil, S$6.90 / 35ml

All Depend GelLack products are exclusively available at several Watsons outlets, or online at www.dependcosmeticsg.com.sg.

My Final Thoughts

When I first knew of the retail prices, I literally went, "Wah, these are not cheap." Once I did the math though, I realised the Depend GelLack Nail System is actually value-for-money. For one, I know of a popular and (usually) affordable Korean brand that sells their LED lamp alone for S$99, and this price comes with nothing else except the lamp - no cleanser, base & top coat, orange stick and nail file, unlike the Depend GelLack Obligatory Start Kit. If you head to a nail salon for a gel manicure, it will cost you a minimal S$30-40 per visit. Don't forget that Depend's GelLack technology also makes it a lot "healthier" for your nails as compared to typical gel manicures from nail salons - no acetone and buffing required. Yes, the "initial payment" may be a little steep, considering you still have to purchase your desired nail polish(es) apart from the Obligatory Start Kit. However, once you take into account the things I have mentioned, Depend's GelLack products are undoubtedly worth the money. If like me, you...

- always love a good manicure but your regular nail polishes won't stay perfect for at least 2 days;
- avoid acetone in hope that your nails don't get thinner and more brittle than they already are;
- can't afford to pay regular visits to nail salons for gel manicures;

...then I'm pretty sure you'll think the Depend GelLack Nail System is a great investment like I do!

To prove how much I love the Depend GelLack, I even bought another GelLack Colour shade for my Bintan trip (a second getaway I had) because I needed assurance that my nails would stay pretty and un-chipped throughout my stay in Bintan!
GelLack Colour in Classic Red, topped with my own gold-speckles nail polish from O.P.I - this is Day 5 but just look at how "new" my nails still looked!

In order for you to show your nails more tender-loving-care, Depend Cosmetic has launched their 3-step nail care routine earlier this year so that you can have even stronger, healthier nails! As this blog post is too long, I have dedicated another post to tell you guys more about Depend's Nail & Cuticle Cleanser, Myrrh Oil and Cuticle Cream. Stay tuned!!


Disclaimer: The Depend GelLack Obligatory Start Kit, GelLack Colour in How Sweet & Pretty Me and GelLack Remover Oil were sent to me by Media Flair Communications Pte Ltd (PR company handling Depend Cosmetic Singapore) for consideration. I purchased the rest of the products (namely Depend GelLack Colour in Purple Passion Glitter and Classic Red) myself. This post does contain factual information from the brand itself, but thoughts and opinions expressed above are strictly my own and based on my personal experience. I am neither affiliated with nor compensated by the involved companies.

With love,

Jolynn Lim
My Beauty Road

"Don't forget to love yourself."

Follow me on Instagram @mybeautyroad for more beauty updates!

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