I’ve never been the kind of woman who spends a lot of time on her nails.
Mine are short and brittle, with super-dry cuticles, and a nice little selection of hangnails, into the bargain. I can’t stand the feeling of long nails on my keyboard, and I have a job which requires me to type thousands of words every day, so although my nails grow quickly, I’m forever filing them down… and because I’m not very good at it, they always end up misshapen and awkward looking. Nail polish, meanwhile, doesn’t remain intact on me for more than a couple of hours – and that’s no matter how carefully I apply it, or what brand of “miracle” topcoat I use. It always chips, and always looks scruffy, so I mostly try to stick to the natural nail look, and sit on my hands whenever I’m in company, so no one can see the state of then.
Or I used to, anyway.
A couple of years ago, ShoeperMan bought me a gel nails kit for Christmas, and I never looked back. It’s quick and easy to use, and it leaves my nails looking shiny and polished until I decide to take it off again. And therein lies the problem. Gel nails might look great, and be virtually impossible to chip, but it’s also virtually impossible to remove – or not without a struggle, anyway. Mine has to be soaked off with acetone: technically it should only take around ten minutes, but it always seems to take much longer than that, and to leave my nails looking even worse than when they started, so while I swear by it for my toenails, lately I’ve been choosing to leave my fingernails bare – or to go back to “regular” polish, even although I know it’ll have chipped by the end of the first hour.
Which brings me to CND’s Vinylux.
This is the brand behind Shellac – which is one of the leading gel polish systems on the market – and although it’s NOT a gel polish itself, and doesn’t have to be cured under a lamp, it does claim to last almost as well as one. Note the word “almost” here: this bills itself as a “weekly” polish – so you’ll get around 7 days wear out of it, as opposed to the 2-3 weeks you get from Shellac and other gel polish. That might sound like a downside to some, but actually, one of the other issues some people have with gel nail colours is that they don’t allow you to change colour very often: that isn’t an issue for me, because I usually like to stick to either nude or red, but I know some serious nail polish addicts who like to switch colours every few days, and are frustrated by the long removal process you get with gels.
The big advantage of Vinylux, meanwhile, is that it doesn’t need to be soaked off. The brand claims that the longwear topcoat (there’s no base coat required) will “cure” in natural light – so the longer you wear it, the better it should get. I’m ever-so-slightly sceptical about that, but if it works, they can count me in as a customer: because who WOULDN’T want a nail polish that last all week without chipping, but which can be removed quickly and easily, with your regular nail polish remover?
I’ve yet to try this, but I have a feeling it won’t be too long before I do. If you’ve tried it already, meanwhile, I’d love to hear what you thought of it!