If you're a fan of nail polish, you're probably familiar with Deborah Lippmann's polishes and treatments. She's known for having some of the best, most unique glitters out there. I have tried some of her polishes previously (see this post).
I was in the market for a new base and top coat as the ones I had were simply not doing their job anymore. I saw this kit at nordstrom, accompanied by a little slip of paper that claimed there was a gift with purchase.
The Gel Lab base and top coat kit, $45
The polish that was the gift with purchase was "I kissed a girl", mini sized
This topcoat and basecoat system claims to give gel-like results with healthier consequences for your nails. For those of you who have not had gel manicures, it basically seals the polish to your nails so that you have to remove it with abrasives (scraping the nail and soaking in pure acetone for several minutes). This process is also expensive, but lasts a few weeks with superior shine, no smudges, and no chips. Gel nails are slightly more expensive than regular manicures, and take slightly more time to have done.
When I saw this claim for "gel-like" results, I decided to give this set a try. It boasts that the topcoat dries with "ultra quick" time.
I applied the basecoat to freshly cleaned nails, waited, applied a coat of Butter London's Cake-Hole, waited, applied another, and waited again. I then applied the topcoat from the set. As you can see in the picture above, the immediate results are quite good; very shiny.
The bad news, however, is that this system does NOT dry quickly. I gave it an hour or so to dry, and this substantial smudge above appeared when I washed my hands. I was definitely not impressed, given that this system is $45. A gel mani certainly would not smudge after this amount of time.
And it wasn't only that nail that smudged. The same thing happened to my other nail on my right hand shortly after.
To me, dry time is a very important quality of a topcoat and basecoat system. If I can't have a durable manicure an hour after I do my nails, then it's pointless to do them in the first place. I absolutely loathe smudges and have to redo my nails with smudges this bad. For a $45 dollar system, this is unacceptable, especially when you take the time to follow the directions and let everything dry in between coats.
The Deborah Lippman Gel lab system was a failure for me. It'll be heading back to Nordstrom as soon as I get the chance.
What's your favorite top and basecoat? Do you think gel nails are worth it?