Image via iStock.
The promise of long-lasting, chip-free nails that don’t require fortnightly visits to the salon seems too good to be true. And until now they have been.
But some new gel-effect top coats are making it easier and cheaper to have shiny, salon-like nails without dropping $50 every fortnight. So do they actually work?
Well, yes and no. I’ve been testing out several brands and kits of late and here’s what I reckon is worthwhile and what’s not.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.
You apply two coats of colour – I found this was enough for the blue, but the softer peach shade required three coats – and wait for each to dry. I found this took roughly 10 minutes or a bit longer than a regular polish. You then ‘set’ it with the Miracle Gel Top Coat – you don’t need to cure this under a uv lamp, just daylight or a reasonably lit living room will do the trick. You remove this one with regular nail polish (acetone and acetone-free) remover, and you don’t need to soak or wrap the nails.
The results for me were a bit unbalanced. The pastel blue shade lasted eight days before chipping, but I only got five days from the coral colour before it started chipping at the tops of my nails. I’m not sure if it’s because I had more coats on the coral colour or I was doing more with my nails that week. I did love the shine though, and found it was almost identical to a salon finish.
Price: $16.95 each, available at Priceline and selected pharmacies.
Revlon Colourstay Gel Envy.
Revlon’s Gel Envy polishes are also a two-step process, a special base colour and top coat, like the Sally Hansen range. Firstly to the positives: I did love the colour. It comes in a vast 30 shades, which is great for different skin tones. It’s highly pigmented, which means that I only had to use one coat (an excellent time-saver for any impatient folks like me). I tried High Roller, a stellar dark navy, and Checkmate, a warm grey that unfortunately made my nails look anemic.