This is Sinful Colors Silver Solution over Beige Of Honor, after a week of wear.
More specifically, this is two coats of Nicole by OPI Strengthener Plus, two of Beige Of Honor, one of NYC Grand Central Station, two of Silver Solution, one of an old Sally Hansen top coat that's discontinued, and one of Seche Vite. A week might be a personal record for me. It only happened because I did a lot of driving around looking for a specific present for The Beard. I didn't find what I wanted, but I bought a lot of polish. How'd that happen? Anyway, it meant I didn't have a lot of downtime at home and I lucked out that my mani lasted. I had some tipwear and Beige Of Honor was starting to show through a bit, but the part that bugged me most was how huge the gap got. Look at this!
I had chipping on both thumbs too, but very minor.
...and while we're at it, a better look at the tipwear.
So really...not bad for a mani done on 7/8 and not changed until 7/15, right? I usually get bored with a polish and change it before it ever chips. What's my secret? I can't really attribute it to one thing, and that is why I don't believe in wear testing. Too many factors affect how polish lasts. Everything from nail strength, thickness, shape, length, and use to the polish itself, the application technique, and the other products used.
I think by now we've all seen this Consumer Reports article about how well different brands wear. The best thing I can say about it is that they had one manicurist apply the polish. That knocks application technique off the list of variables. The biggest flaw was that they used each brand's "corresponding" base and top coats. Huge mistake, as far as I'm concerned. Base coats are almost as varying person-to-person as things like moisturizer or foundation and once you find what's right for you, pretty much any brand of polish will wear better. It seems like they tested Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure and CoverGirl Outlast without any base or top coat at all. They even included *wince* Nutra Nail Gel Perfect, which is essentially super glue. Yuck. I don't agree with their methods, but if it steers people toward trying bargain brands I'm all for that aspect. After all, the week-old mani you saw above did use Sinful Colors polishes.
So what can you do to boost your polishes' lasting power? Here are some things to try:
- Avoid over-buffing. Nails that are too smooth don't give polish a good gripping surface.
- Prep matters: Some people use oil, others prep with acetone or vinegar. Either way, it's best to start clean.
- Don't skip the base coat!
- Find your base: Try different base coats until you find the right one. You'll know. Life changer!
- A gap at the cuticle will reduce the chance of lifting.
- Wrap your tips with base, color, and top coats.
- Hone your technique: In general, go thin on the first coat and a little thicker on the second/third.
- Don't skip the topcoat either! For mattes, chromes, etc, put the topcoat under the last coat of color.
- The old "jewels, not tools" line: Treat your nails well for fewer breaks and better polish wear.
- Wear gloves when your hands will be in water for long periods. Nails swell quickly when wet and polish may detach.
- Avoid hand sanitizer gels when possible. Be cautious with bug repellent and sunscreen too.
I think there are times when wear testing makes sense. Gel and "gel-like" systems are one example. I think when a brand makes a boast about wear-time or a "revolutionary new formula", a test is important. For standard polish though, I think base and top coats matter as much as the color itself...if not more.