Innovations are always welcome, especially in the beauty department, which produces several mensa-worthy ideas yearly. The spotlight right now is on nail lacquers, which have upped the ante in a pretty big way. Think no top coat or base coat. Think gel polish that you can do at home, and which stays put for a solid two weeks without a chip. Now, those are some pretty impressive results. Here are some unique nail lacquers that we think deserve to take home solid gold medals, and certainly merit stocking up on.
I’ve never been much of a girl for top coats and base coats simply because I find them way too pesky. The idea of sitting down and prepping your hands is time consuming enough for a gal on the go, but the idea of top coats and base coats are for those who have a lot of time on their hands! COVERGIRL’s new Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss stays true to color in the bottle, and does what it promises: give your nails a lovely, rich glossy shine. Best yet, there’s no need for any top/bottom whatsoever coats. The polish is guaranteed to give you seven days of continued wear, and we put it to the test with the handy dandy daily notepad that came with our kit.
Days 1 & 2: We saw little to no chipping or wear or tear on the polish whatsoever.
Days 3 & 4: There was some small wear and tear on the top of our nails, but not in the middle.
Days 5 & 6: Our left hand nail lacquer held strong, but the right hand index finger was a tad worse for wear. We reapplied on that finger.
Day 7: The wear and tear had begun to show, but overall, this nail polish held up like a champ.
For a lacquer without the need for a base and top coat, this was pretty much of a minor miracle. It comes in 45 trend-inspired brilliant colors from Forever Frosted (pale white) to Black Diamond so you can simply pop a bottle and even paint on the go. The luxury-looking square shaped glass bottle (which reminds us of Chanel’s) is transparent and thick and looks very high end, and there’s a glossy black square top too. The 3-in-1 formula combines a base coat, high gloss color, and chip-resistant top coat. You can also mix and match colors to create a marbelized effect. Note: the polish does dry quickly!
Sally Hansen Salon Insta Gel Polish and Strips ($70 for Polish; $29.99 for Strips)
If you’re a fan of gel nail polish, then these new kids on the nail lacquer block will have you squealing. The at-home alternative to getting a gel manicure has finally hit the shelves. The shine is high and real, and the starter kit is the best $70 you’ll ever spend for long-lasting nails. There are two versions: the strips and polish. The starter kit aims to replicate the state-of-the-art salon gel manicure, complete with LED lights and curing time. The kit also comes with everything you need, including base coat, nail polish, top coat, and an acetone nail polish remover. The nail polish version includes 30 seconds of curing time in between base and top coats.
The InstaGel strips uses UV-cured real nail polish appliques and is a two step manicure, unlike the nail polish, which involves several (easy) steps. The Insta Gel strips and nail polish come in 8 designs and 16 solid colors and are truly a good gift for those who love their manicures and longevity.
Once you buy one starter kit (which is primarily for the LED light), then you only have to get the refill polishes and remover as you need to. The best part? You can find them at your local drug stores, food stores and mass retailers nationally.
The starter kit contains a base coat, nail polish, top coat, the LED Light,
acetone polish remover, a nail file and orange stick, and alcohol cleaning pads
The only caveat with the nail polish gel is that you must cure your nails after each step or else the gel polish will run over. The LED light will automatically shut off once the time is up but I found this the only cumbersome step in the entire process. But needless to say, my manicure stayed beautifully glossy well past two weeks, and there is nothing like this on the market that gives you this kind of at home capability for this price.
And your local drugstore has grown up quite a bit, in the nail department at any rate. CVS/pharmacy Beauty has a brand new Nail HQ Kiosk, which carries both the items detailed above, and more. The special in-store kiosk for nail accessories and nail lacquers is an island in the store, with colorful bottles and smart tools, including nail polish removers, specifically designed for the nail junkie. Which means hunting down that nail polish shade and the orange stick and nail file doesn’t have to be a needle in a haystack issue anymore. In addition to Sally Hansen, COVERGIRL and other popular name brands, CVS/pharmacy will debut a 32-piece nail lacquer collection in the Nuance by Salma Hayek Line. Nail HQ Kiosk will reach 2,000 stores nationwide. Follow the CVS/pharmacy Beauty Club’s Facebook page and Twitter account for more nail intel and inspiration!