At home gel nails – Semilac Review

I’ve mentioned how I’ve gone over to the ‘gel-side’ a few times over the last year or so. As much as I love to try multiple nail colours, I love having a long lasting chip-free finish more. As a result, I’ve become a frequent visitor to my local beauty salon for regular gel nail manicures. It’s been great, no complaints. Well, almost. There are a couple of little ‘snags’ that don’t make this as dreamy as can be. For one, my diary is a bit all over the place at the best of times so trying to get an appointment at late notice when I need to can be challenging. Then there’s the cost – doing this every couple of weeks at £25 a pop… it can mount up. So I’m always keen to try out an at-home version – which is where this at home gel nails kit from Semilac comes in.

Post sponsored by Semilac

Semilac review

Semilac approached me to trial and review the kit and see what I thought of it. What appealed to me about the Semilac at home gel product is that it combines the best of both worlds of gel and normal polish. You have the ease and convenience of doing your nails at home but the smudge-free, long lasting finish of a gel manicure. Win-win, no?

Semilac reviewA little about Semilac as an introduction in case you might not have come across them before. Semilac are a brand that started in Poland in 2012, all about nails. They call the brand Semilac because it’s a hybrid nail polish that combines a bit of gel, UV and ‘normal’ nail polish together create a nail-polish that has the best of both worlds. Easy to apply but long lasting and with a gel-like gloss finish. The polishes come in over 140 colours and promise wear of up to three weeks. Giving you salon-level nails, but at home in a quick and easy process.

To give the brand a good test I was sent the Semilac Starter Kit 2 UV (£55) that includes:


– UV Lamp 36W and 4 bulbs

– Base/Top 2 in 1 (7 ml)

– UV Hybrid 007 Pink Rock (7 ml)

– Nail Cleaner Pure (50 ml)

– Nail Remover (50 ml)

– Cotton pads (250 pcs)

– Nail stripper

– Sanding block

– 2 nail files 100/180 & 180/240

Semilac review

Then I chose a selection of shades across the main collection, special editions and the hybrid polishes so I could sample a bit of everything from the colour offering. The colours I chose were:


  • UV Hybrid Velvet Disco
  • UV Hybrid Midnight Salsa
  • UV Hybrid Cobalt
  • UV Hybrid Pink Rock
  • Violet Grey
  • Pink Gold
  • Deep Ocean

Semilac review

L-R Semilac Swatches Above: Pink Rock, Pink Rock + Matte, Deep Ocean, Deep Ocean + Matte, Cobalt, Cobalt + Matte, Velvet Disco, Velvet Disco + Matte, Midnight Samba, Midnight Samba + Matte, Pink Gold, Pink Gold + Matte, Violet Grey, Violet Grey + Matte.


I was also sent the matte top coat so I showed this over each colour in the swatches so you can see the difference it makes to the finish.

I didn’t click when choosing my colours that Pink Rock was the shade that comes with the starter kit – so heads up if you order it, you don’t need to order that colour separately! If I had realised I’d have chosen another as with 170+ shades there are MORE than enough to choose from – the colour selections are endless and that’s what has really impressed me. Pretty much every shade you can imagine, with tonnes of variations in each family too. So you want your perfect nude? They have loads to pick from and find your match.

Semilac review

As with any online order, sometimes the swatches aren’t the *exact* same shade. But to help with this I recommend checking out their Instagram page for some great shots of colours in-action to get a ‘real life’ version of a shade. Personally I LOVED the selection of grey and blue tones, this is what swings it for me over a salon sometimes is the colour options. The perk of a DIY manicure is you can build your own collection of your favourite shades. Then that decision making part of a manicure is only tricky because they’re *ALL*  your favourites!

Semilac review

The application process is easy. There’s the tiny bit of prep to buff and clean the nail. Then it’s just like a normal polish process – except between each coat you pop your hands under the UV lamp for 120 seconds. The thing I would say is have a practice because in trying the kit out a few times I picked up a few tips including:


  • Apply thin coats – thicker coats can mean it doesn’t cure quite as well and won’t last as long.
  • Be precise & cover the nail with the base coat. The colour will only properly ‘stick’ to the base coat so if you don’t get this right it can shrink a bit and you will have edges around your colour that you swore you had painted perfectly before curing!
  • Go easy on the top coat, but cover the whole nail! A combination of the two tips above – you don’t want to go too thick, but you do want to make sure the nail is covered!
  • If in doubt, do a double cure! Especially if you think you did go a little heavy on the coat – a double cure and all will be forgiven!

Semilac reviewSemilac review

As with anything, practice makes perfect! I’m loving having the freedom to apply my own gel nails at home. Having already gotten the hang of removing the polishes it just makes it more convenient and speedy to be able to do it myself whilst catching up on the latest episode of Geordie Shore (or another of my favourite trash TV options!)

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You can save 10% on any purchase from the website with the code BJL10

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