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Home / Nails / Knockout Nails – A Review

Knockout Nails – A Review

Recently I had the opportunity to try out Knockout Nails. I had never used a UV hardening system for my nails in my home before. I’d also never had my nails done in this style at a salon, ever! So when I first opened the kit up, I was almost overwhelmed by everything! The kit comes with the UV ‘oven,’ the 4 uv bulbs, 1 bottle of cleaner, 1 bottle of hardener, 1 bottle of bonder, 3 different types of files (file, smooth and remove), lint free cleaner pads, orangewood cutile sticks (wish I knew why these were always orangewood, btw), 3 bottles of their 2 minute drying polish, cuticle oil and topcoat. It’s a LOT of stuff!


Now, I’m ‘challenged’ when it comes to polishing my tips. I can never do it neat enough. I’ve worked hard and practiced to try and get minimal amounts on my skin. I’ve finally learned the trick of dipping a stiff brush into polish remover to remove the excess polish from my skin. So when I first went to try out this system, I read through the instructions three times to make sure I had everything down pat. Then I applied everything very, very SLOWLY so as to not get any on my skin.

Here are the steps you need to take with this system (per the instructions that come with it)
1. File your nails to your desired shape.
2. Gently push back your cuticles with the orangewood stick.
3. Smooth your nail with the Smooth file.
4. Use a lint free cleaning pad with the Cleaner to remove dust and oil from the nail. This is very important. You need to spend about ten seconds per nail.
5. Apply Bonder to the entire nail surface, including the nail tip, basically wrapping the bonder around the nail.
6. Apply the thinnest coat of Hardener that you can manage, about 1/8 of an inch from the cuticle. You need to wrap this around the nail tip as well.
7. Inspect the nails to make sure they’re smooth.
8. Put your hand into the UV Lamp and press the red button. It will turn off when the Hardener is dry.
9. You now need to apply a second thin coat of Hardener.
10. Dry your nails in the UV Lamp again.
11. Use the lint free pad and cleaner to clean the surface of each nail.
12. Now it’s time for Color! While your nails will be lovely and shiny from the UV treatment, you can still add Polish. I did 2 coats of polish each time, letting each coat dry in between.
13. I topped with a top coat.

Now, I changed my polish several times in between, and the really great thing about this kit is that the UV hardener stayed on my nails! So you can change polish as often as you’d like. Your nails stay strong, and I felt like colors applied smoother than before!

This is China Glaze Techno Teal and a lovely purple shade that my friend Jessi whipped up.

Look how gorgeous these colors look!!!

This is Illamasqua Bacterium & Baptiste with Jessi’s sheer red sparkle on top.

This is Illamasqua Baptiste and Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie!

Price:
$89.97 for the entire UV nail hardening system.
$47.99 for the refill kit
I do hope they add an option to purchase the cleaner, hardener, bonder, and files separately.

I love this kit so much, I even tried it out on my toes :) I’m in love with this system.

Would I purchase?
Heck yes! After using this for a few weeks, I don’t think I can go back to doing polish without it. I’ll be purchasing my refill kit when mine runs out. I’ve found the UV hardener to wear very well. Even if I don’t have time to apply polish after I remove polish, my nails are still shiny from the UV treatment. They look great. Plus, they’re harder and less likely to split and peel, which I’ve unfortunately been experiencing. I also love that you can use this with polish that you already own. I’ve got a LOT of polish to go through!

I’ve got a promo code for you if you’re interested in trying out Knockout Nails.
Promo Code: KONPH, which will give you $10 off the retail price of $89.97

What do you think of Knockout Nails? What do you think of UV Hardeners? I’m curious, those of you who get your nails professionally done, what do you pay? Do you think a system like this would save you money?

I know I’m hooked!

Product sent for consideration. All opinions my own.

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  • About Phyrra Nyx

    Phyrra is an award-winning cruelty-free beauty blogger. She is hair obsessed, into alternative fashion, an avid urban fantasy reader, and a standard poodle fan.
    • http://www.beautybesties.wordpress.com Michelle Miller

      This is great! I’ve always wanted to try one of these systems. I’m a sucker for the name of this one, and you like it… so that is a win-win!

      • Phyrra

        I find it is definitely a win :)

        • Aimee

          I too have tried and personally LOVE this product!! I first saw it at a booth at our state fair, and was a bit scheptical, but after looking at reviews etc.- i tried it, and love it. I was already at the point where i needed to order a refill, so i looked online and see the the prices have gone up – bummer- probably because people are starting to realize that it is a great product. Anyway, i called the 800 number to see if they might have any deals etc. and found out that they have a Xmas special going on right now- 40% off everything!!! It did not show that while i was online though, so you would have to call to get that- but, if anyone is considering it- now is the time!!

    • http://www.paintedmoonkin.net Painted Moonkin

      Oh, I’ve got to try that, It’s going on my holiday wish list. I too have issues with polish on my skin, normally I just let it dry, then do the dishes & it comes off, but I wouldn’t wan’t to do that with the hardener. I like that you can use any polish you want.

      • Phyrra

        Me too! I’ve sometimes seen systems where you can only use their polish, which is boring.

    • Becca

      This is amazing and is now on my Xmas wish list. Being able to use ANY polish and not just “their” polishes is a great option, wow! It’d be nice to have a manicure which looks good for longer than 24 hrs; I hope I get the chance to try this one day :D

      • Phyrra

        Yep, that’s what really sold it to me, Becca!

    • http://www.whimsybeading.com aygee

      Something like this might even allow me to wear nail polish again. My nails are so thin and brittle from hypothyroid that they shatter at the slightest provocation.

      • Phyrra

        I’ve not had my nails break or peel since I put the hardener on.

    • Inky

      I’ve been getting gel (Shellac) nails for two months now at a cost of $20 a mani. They last a minimum of 14 days but I’ve gone to 20 days as well now that it’s colder out and my nails grow slower. I love the long lasting feature, as well as the gel keeps my nails from breaking and the polish doesn’t chip at all. I paint over the Shellac and remove with a non-acetone and paint over again at least once in the 14 to 20 day time frame. I’d love to try a home kit!! Thanks for the review and the code!

      • Phyrra

        I think this basically works like Shellac!

    • GigiMarquis

      This looks totally rad! The sticks are made of orangewood I think b/c it’s natually anitfungal…

      • Phyrra

        Thanks for letting me know, Gigi!

    • http://www.outinapout.com Jessica Allison

      Ok, so I’ll admit, I’m a little confused. Since you’re using regular polish, are you setting the polish with the UV lamp, or just the Hardener? And if that’s the case, are you getting any increased wear with you polish? I’ve had Shellac done twice, and the thing that made it worth the $25-30 price tag was having flawless nails for over 2 weeks! It was an added benefit that the Shellac allowed my nails to grow longer than I’m generally able to get them.

      Also, you mentioned that you have to use a file on the nails before application and a separate one after: that makes me worry about long-term damage. One thing that attracted me to Shellac was that there’s no need to file the nail at all, which keeps the surface of the nail stronger in the long run.

      • Phyrra

        Ok so, you do the nail hardener first, which is like Shellac, I think. I’ve never done Shellac, but this product is supposed to make your manicure last 2 to 3 weeks. On me, I change my polish more often than every two weeks, but with how awesome the holographic polish looks on such a silky smooth surface, I could see me going 2 weeks now, My toes lasted over 2 weeks before I decided to change them, though they usually last except for the tips.

        You use the smooth file on the top of your nails to smooth your nails. It feels like the softest side of a nail kit buffer to me (ever seen those nail blocks that have multiple sides?), When I used this gently on my toes, which my biggest toe has ridges, it smoothed them out, and then when I used the hardener, it seemed to make the surface even. In the past you could see my ridges in that nail even when painted, but this makes them smooth.

        • http://www.outinapout.com Jessica Allison

          Soooo…I’m so intrigued! I looked on the Knockout Nails website & couldn’t find this info- is there any way to tell from your kit what the wattage of the bulbs is? I know CND uses 4- 9 watt bulbs, and that’s integral to the quick setting time of the Shellac. I’m thinking if knockout uses the same, then that would make this compatible, which opens up even more possibilities!

    • Rachel

      I’m interested, my hands are in water ALL day at work. I get hooked nails and peeling. My manicures last a day at most. What is your experience with the polish lasting? I’d love to read a follow up review.

      • Phyrra

        For me it’s lasted until I changed my polish. My toes lasted 2 weeks without tip wear, but they usually last with some tip wear. My finger nails lasted until I went ‘need new color!’

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    • http://ryou-0013.deviantart.com Ryou

      Okay, I have paper-thin nails that would break if I stare at them long enough (I HAVE broken my nails tying my shoes — true story) so I’m pretty convinced I need this. I do have a question, though, how do you remove the hardener?

      • Phyrra

        You basically buff it off. Its supposed to stick around though.

    • Kira

      Caveat emptor …

      I’m still really hesitant due to the UV light aspect. Until someone who is NOT affiliated with the nail industry convinces me it is safe, I will stay away.

      I would discourage regular use to anyone with a medium to light skin tone.

      It is still UV light, and it will still raise your UV exposure. It is up to you to determine your safe levels.

      Being in one of the skin cancer capitals of the US, I am hyper-alert to excess UV exposure. Not to mention, it seems that my list of “friends with skin cancer” gets longer every month.

      • Phyrra

        Hmm, I do know that some sunlight a day is good (natural vitamin d), so I assumed that putting on SPF when using this, in addition to the fact that you’re only using it for a total of 4 minutes every 2 weeks would be safe?

        • http://www.outinapout.com Jessica Allison

          I had this same thought- I actually asked my nail tech if there was any reason I couldn’t put on an SPF hand cream before my Shellac treatments & she said it was totally fine. I do think I’d encourage regular users to apply sunscreen first (if nothing else, the back of the hands are usually one of the first areas of the body to show aging!) but with some protection, I think the risk seems pretty minimal.

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    • http://glazedtalons.blogspot.com thalie @ Glazed Talons

      I haven’t ever used the UV in home kits before.I have been to the salon for acrylics,and have been using artificial nails for too long. For 2012 I want to do something different,and this looks likes a winner to me.Sorry for commenting so late,but I just found out about this product a couple of days ago,and decided to google for more reviews. I am really impressed that you can change nail polishes,since I do like to change my nail polish more often than every two weeks. Can I ask,though,how long can you go before removing the hardener,and having to re-apply,or what does Knockout Nail recommend with regards to removal? I can’t wait to try this system!

      • Phyrra

        About 2 weeks!

    • http://glazedtalons.blogspot.com thalie @ Glazed Talons

      I haven’t ever used the UV in home kits before.I have been to the salon for acrylics,and have been using artificial nails for too long. For 2012 I want to do something different,and this looks likes a winner to me.Sorry for commenting so late,but I just found out about this product a couple of days ago,and decided to google for more reviews. I am really impressed that you can change nail polishes,since I do like to change my nail polish more often than every two weeks. Can I ask,though,how long can you go before removing the hardener,and having to re-apply,or what does Knockout Nail recommend with regards to removal? I can’t wait to try this system!

    • http://silhouettescreams.blogspot.com/ SilhouetteScreams

      I’m surprised at how inexpensive this is! Your nails look amazing and I’d totally be up for trying something like this myself. I’m bad at painting my nails too, I get it everywhere XD

      • Phyrra

        Thank you!

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