I have almost all but given up getting my nails done at the salon. I’m just way too hard on them, and also clumsy, so polish always chips within a couple days for me. The only thing that really helps color last on my nails is if I get a gel manicure.
But alas, gel manicures are expensive, super time consuming, and hard on the nails. So when the CVS Beauty 360 brand came out with their No-Light Gel Polish, I was more than intrigued. This line includes an Adhesive Base Coat, High Shine Top Coat, and 36 colors for whatever mood strikes you. Together, the formula is supposed to last up to 10 days with full color coverage, all at just $4.99 a bottle.
The polishes have a really great consistency— thick enough to cover your nail in just a few strokes, but still able to be layered without clumping up. The Adhesive Base Coat dries quickly and creates an even layer for the color to lay on. Even though my new nail routine has made my nails longer and stronger, I still do have a little bit of unevenness on the nail bed. Luckily, the base coat smoothed everything out to prime them.
I chose the shade Pebble, which is a pastel grey that’s so chic and applies creamy. In two thin coats, I had completely opaque color. The High Shine Top Coat went on smoothly as a last step, drying quickly for a manicure that almost looked professional! It totally looked like a traditional gel manicure, and I felt like I didn’t have to sit tight for ages waiting for my nails to dry. After about 15 minutes, the polish seemed set and I could get on with my day.
But, the problems started that night. While my nails had dried, they hadn’t hardened completely. Dents appeared after I had bumped my hand on something. I was able to smooth the polish out using my other finger, and it looked pretty unnoticeable, so I moved on.
I had used this polish in preparation for a weekend trip to Seattle, and was really counting on it at least lasting the length of the trip. However, more dents appeared the next morning on my index and middle finger. By day 3, I had chipping on the tips that eventually worked their way up throughout the trip. The thing is, since I wasn’t working or doing any of my normal daily nail-chipping activities (working out, washing dishes), it was surprising how quickly the manicure was ruined! The formula didn’t seem any more effective than my typical nail polish routine.
With that said, the color polishes are still nice little bottles for $5 each at CVS. I’m probably going to pick up more of the shades without expecting it to last any longer than my other at-home manicures. They still offer great 2-coat color and make my nails look great while it’s on. Unfortunately, it’s back to square one in the hunt for a truly long-lasting polish routine I can do at home.
Have you found an at-home alternative to gel manicures?