Truth be told, it’s been a good while since I’ve blogged about polish and that’s likely because in the craziness over the last few months, I had not exactly found the energy to paint my nails. However, I’ve gotten back into it with gusto and I’ve realized that I want to sing the praises of a particular top coat – as I adore it, even though it’s going on a year old and I don’t use it as intended. While I don’t get a week of chip-less wear out of a single manicure with the CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat ($12.25), I have noticed that I have the longest lasting manicures with this top coat out of any that I’ve tried, and that’s even using the system as unintended – the seven days is only promised in combination with the matching polish that I’ve never gotten around to trying. Before I get onto the other details, I have had friends use my top coat who have way less fidgety and chipping-prone hands and nails and they have consistently gotten a week of solid wear out of a polish when combined with this base coat. I’m coming to the conclusion that polishes just tend to chip on me faster than others, but with this top coat, it’s the least bad.
The system promises chip-free wear for seven days when combined with polishes from the system – and while I can’t comment on this, I find that it gives me 3-5 days of solid polish wear without noticeable chipping, even with my constant scratching away and fidgeting. In terms of getting to the point here, the top coat works in my experience to add serious longevity to your manicure, even when you’re using it without the matching polishes. This top coat is one of those ones that hardens in response to natural light over time, making it more durable as time goes on; I can definitely agree with this claim, while I experience some minimal chipping because it prevents the polish from breaking down on my nails when in contact with surfaces and picking at them. It’s also intended to add serious shine, which it definitely does, often looking as glossy as a salon manicure.
The top coat is not specifically described this way, but in my experience, it’s definitely one of those thicker top coats and as a result, it smoothes out the texture of polishes in an instant and leaves behind gel-like shine. It’s not one of those fast drying polishes as a result, but I can’t complain given its other attributes – and it’s not like it’s the slowest drying top coat either. Because of the thicker formula, it can definitely get gloopier over time. However, I found my bottle did not do this until far after the sixth month mark and I was able to restore my bottle with ten or so drops of polish thinner. I guess even though I’m using this top coat in a non-label fashion, it is my favourite top coat.
Not only do I have a nail chipping problem, I appear to have the worst luck in the top coat department – and this is a clear example of that. The most irritating thing is that I absolutely loved the whole Sephora Formula X System together, as it seemed to provide the most fuss-free long-lasting manicures but after maybe six weeks, it appears that the once-lovely top coat has thickened up to the point that it’s actually unusable. I have tried maybe three times to use the top coat since I’ve kind of been forced to notice the texture change and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is unworkable in its state now. Note here that I’ve only tried a sample size container of the Sephora Formula X Shine Top Coat ($13) from one of their point perks so there is a possibility that the formula is different in the full size bottle, though…
To sum it up, like the Essie No Chips Ahead, the Formula X Top Coat is not outwardly bad — perhaps even less so, as when it’s performing at its prime, it performs like the very best of them. However, I could not be more disappointed to find out that this product that I loved enough to include in last month’s favourites post could turn so quickly from user-friendly to unusable.
The search for the perfect top coat continues… Have you tried this offering?
In my experience, (and what I’ve gathered to be the experience of the consensus of others who talk/write about such things) Essie polishes are either fantastic or finicky, being gorgeous but sheer requiring a multitude of coats and effort and based on my experience with this top coat, the Essie No Chips Ahead Anti-Chip & Shine Top Coat ($9-10 CDN), I would wager that their treatment and coating products are very much the same. It’s not that the top coat is outwardly bad, as it adds that shine expertly and has that smooth top coat feel but it doesn’t work particularly well at preventing chips and it takes ages to dry so it can lead to less than spectacular results – bubbling or marks, anyone?
I’ve mentioned before that I’m less than stellar at all things nails so I’m definitely open to the possibility of user error, however, I just feel that despite the name, this is not the ideal top coat for someone with chipping prone nails that I have and less patience than desired. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten nice looking manicures with this top coat but they have required a wee bit more patience than usual and they haven’t lasted much longer than they would without a top coat.
I will note that I was actually quite fond of this top coat worn alone on the nails because I found that it wasn’t too thin, didn’t smell weird, applied easily, added that gorgeous shine/smoothness and felt rather nourishing on the nails – it’s not marketed as nourishing or anything so I cannot exactly be certain – and I likely will use more of it this way. I would not recommend this top coat even to those with chip-resistant nails and infinite patience because if one is that saintly, I still wouldn’t recommend shelling out around ten dollars for this. I have heard fabulous things about their regular Good to Go Top Coat and honestly I wish I had listened to my first instinct and bought the standard one rather than hoping for more with the chipping-directed one.
And it’s not pink, originally anyway. I may have tried to apply the top coat over a vampy polish before it was not exactly dried down…
I don’t know about you, but I’m addicted to reading beauty blogs (pretty much a given considering that I write one) and my greatest addictions are ones that incorporate their lives into the mix as well, without completely veering off from beauty-related territory – Suzie’s Hello October, Amelia’s Liana Beauty and Alix’s I Covet Thee, to name a few.
I feel compelled to warn you that I have an extremely boring life and rather rarely do anything interesting so lower your expectations before reading further. For years, as I’m such a procrastinator, Sundays have been that day when I have to be productive but endeavour to do so in the laziest way possible. My general life philosophy is rather lazy and you might have already guessed that I write the majority of my blog posts on my bed and take a good number of my pictures without having to move. You caught me.
On the agenda today is the usual readings and assignments that I should have already done, thinking about cleaning the catastrophic state of the room and blog post writing and/or planning and doing something to fix the state of my nails – It’s screwing with my mind writing a blog post about blog post writing.
Skin; while mine is nowhere even close to the realm of flawless, I have been receiving compliments on mine in real life and can easily say it’s the best I’ve had since I turned thirteen and I’ve been planning on doing a full-on skincare update for some time now but I never seem to get around to it. I thought I’d share what products I’ve been grabbing in the morning religiously.
I’ve been cleansing with the gentle but annoying to use on account of it’s lid, Bioderma Hydrabio Cleansing Milk ($25 CDN)in the mornings (although I use it on occasion at night as it removes makeup well) and I like it. It never makes my sensitive, easily-irritated skin angry looking afterwards and for that it might deserve a gold star. Unless my skin is particularly sore (which thankfully it is not at the moment) I use the most gentle chemical exfoliant, the Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion ($16 CDN) that (along with my nightime chemical exfoliants, Peptabright and the Neutrogena one) I attribute the increased brightness and radiance in my skin to, as well as the radical reduction in the pesky chin breakout bumps and the clogged pore situation on the forehead. It works without irritating the skin whatsoever so my naturally-flushed skin is less flushed than it has been in ages believe it or not. The skincare trio was completed by slathering on a good layer of the soothing but not heavy Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ($42 CDN). Sometimes I add an oil for good measure, but this is how it’s been in the mornings and I’m happy with the results my routine has given me. Following with the laziness theme, I can’t be bothered to apply makeup – and this is a sign of skin improvement.
Now I fear I must conquer the frightening sight that is my neglected nails and move onto the more difficult stuff. x