Hello! Today I have a review for you, yes you who came to my blog searching for ‘Canmake Gel Volume’ etc and got disappointed when you don’t see an entry 😛

In case any of you don’t know or haven’t seen what I’m talking about, here’s the product I’ll be reviewing today. You can read the official product description here.

The Canmake ‘GEL VOLUME TOP COAT’ retails at S$17.90 (ouch!) at Watsons. You can still get it at 20% off before 2 February 2011.

First of all, what exactly are ‘gel nails’? Gel nails are like acrylic extensions, they are both artificial surfaces to help your nail art last longer. The manicurist will use an art brush to layer on clear gel on your nails before telling you to put your hand into the UV machine to get the gel to harden and cure. Gel nails are super shiny, and they make your nails look thick and glossy. Celebrities usually have a gel overlay on their nails even with normal polishes on so that their fingernails look great in pictures.

So what exactly does Canmake’s Gel Volume Top Coat do? Basically its promising to deliver the extremely glossy surfaces that normal gel top coats give, without the UV curing. That’s right, I usually have to pay an extra S$10 for a gel top coat to seal the polish and having to UV them. With Canmake’s polish, there is no need for you to purchase a UV machine to get glossy ‘gel’ nails!

Now the question is, does Canmake really deliver on such its product? *JENG JENG JENG JENG*

I’ll have to be brutal here. The first time I tried it, I thought I just wasted money on a hyped-up product that didn’t work. For all of you who are smart enough to invest in a bottle of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, you would know that it gives you an extremely glossy surface and dries your nails in like five minutes flat as well. So why bother paying nearly S$18 for another top coat that is supposed to be a ‘quick dry’?

Then I decided that I should give the product another shot. And discovered that it did actually work, just not the way I expected it to.

Yes, I really liked the fact that it was a very fluid liquid and not gloopy, unlike what my Seche Vite would become after some time.

However, it wasn’t quick-drying at all. Not one bit I must say. And that was a major turn-off when I used it on my surface-dry fingernail and the polish stained my brush purple.

See the glop on my index finger? Yes, silly me thought that the CGVTC was a ‘quick-dry’ and it actually wasn’t. A little off-topic here but Siberian Nights looks purple in the bottle, but after two coats, it becomes a near black.

Anyways, I then decided to put on a layer of SV first to dry my nail polish, before piling on CGVTC. And viola, this happened!

See the difference in the thickness of my thumb? Thanks to liberal coats of CGVTC, I now have super thick and glossy nails!

**Sorry but I tried to take pictures of my other fingernails, they didn’t turn out spectacularly as it’s really difficult trying to photograph from the side and my sister had to help me out begrudgingly with it.

Here’s another look at it.

The CGVTC definitely makes my nails look plump and fat, which means they are great to photograph as they appear to have wider nail beds.

However, I also think its a waste to have to layer SV underneath to dry the color polish first, before you can layer on CGVTC. If you just want glossy nails, I would recommend you to invest in SV (and a bottle of its SV Restore!) It’s definitely more economical, and also dries your polish super quickly. At S$17.90, CGVTC is quite pricey and in my honest opinion, not worth a check-out. Good to have, but not a must-have.

Hope this review helps! xx