Above the OPI is three steps: base, color, and top coat. The cost for each was $10. Maybe they're a little cheaper somewhere else, but that's what I got them for. This is advertised to last 10 days without chipping. See my results below:
The OPI actually lasted a good 5 days for me without chipping. I was very skeptical about this but five days wasn't bad considering - I would have preferred their advertised 10 days though. With the cost of $10 bucks each I guess compared to in salon gel manicures, the cost is good. I would just have to pay $10 for a new color and reuse the base and top coat until containers are empty.
Above is Gel Effect, only two steps color and gel top coat. This is also advertised to last 10 days without chipping. The cost of each was $5 bucks. See my results below:
I was more optimistic about this one, but it was a major fail. It started chipping the third day. The gel top is recommended without a UV light. I think that I should have applied at least three coats of gel, I don't know. I guess cheaper isn't always better in this case.
I still looking for inexpensive manicure alternatives that I can easily do myself, so if you have any recommendations please leave them below. Thanks!