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Monday, June 17, 2013

The Ultimate Nail Polish Experiment




Happy Monday! I’m kicking off this week by doing the ultimate nail polish experiment. I have been getting lots of comments that our new nail polish collection, the Skylark Wild and Free Mini Nail Lacquer Set, has been peeling and chipping too quickly. I myself have noticed this when I have paired it with the Seche Vite base and top coat. So, while I was in Cabo with Ingrid I decided to test her top and base coats. I wore “Bdays in Cabo” with her Deborah Lippman Turn Back Time Base Coat and her Butter London P.D. Quick Hardware Top Coat, and it did not peel or chip for ages. It ended up lasting so long that Ingrid exclaimed, “This is a miracle polish!” Seeing as she is a total nail polish junkie I took this as a major compliment.

Now, even though Seche Vite is probably the most popular top coat, I have recently become aware of the harmful ingredients it contains. It contains toluene, which can be absorbed through your skin and can cause birth defects or reproductive harm. Even if you are not pregnant or trying to become pregnant this is worrisome. If it can hurt your unborn child it probably can do harm to you as well. In addition to the toluene it contains Formaldehyde and even has a warning label on the bottle.  I have decided to stop using this, and instead will be reviewing base and top coats that are “Big 3 Free”. The “Big 3” refers to Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, and Toluene. I am not sitting here telling you to discontinue the use of Seche Vite, as there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding whether those claims are reaching, but I think everyone should do their own research and decide for themselves.

So here is the Skylark Top and Base Coat Showdown. I went to Ulta and Bloomingdale’s and picked up a ton of base and top coats to experiment with. This is a run down of what I purchased:

Base Coats:

Deborah Lippman Turn Back Time Base Coat: This base coat has a micronized diamond core powder that immediately diffuses the appearance of imperfections so that the nails become smoother and more even. It also reflects light, instantly giving nails a beautiful luminosity while minimizing the appearance of any yellowing or staining. This is Ingrid’s favorite, and after using it in Cabo I knew I needed to pick it up.

Butter London Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat: This is referred to as makeup for your nails. Leaves a silk-finish, stain resistant, non-toxic base coat that is the perfect foundation for your nail color.

OPI Natural Nail Base Coat: I love and trust OPI, so I wanted to get this to compare.

Top Coats:

Butter London Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat: This is the topcoat that I used in Cabo. It features a super-shiny finish for longer lasting manicures. Plus, the P.D. Quick stands for “Pretty Darn Quick” which I think is adorable.

Poshe Topcoat: This was recommended to me through twitter by lots of people when I asked for base/top coat suggestions. It is also meant to be super-fast drying.

OPI RapiDry Top Coat: Another quick-dry top coat that adds shine. Probably similar to those above, but I wanted options.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat: I have used this before and liked it, so I thought I would include it in this experiment. This one claims to dry nails the fastest, in 30 seconds. Plus it claims no-chip shine for up to 10 days.

Also, I want to note that a twitter follower tweeted me a picture and said that her Skylark nail polish lasted for 8 days without chipping. I asked her what she used, and she said that she used no base coat, and Essie’s No Chips Ahead top coat. I don’t have this one to try but you can bet it is on my list next time I need a top coat! (Which will be ages, seeing as I just purchased lots).

Stay tuned for a video later on in the week documenting my experience with these top/base coats. I’m excited to have so many to try, and can’t wait to figure out what the best combination is! If you have a base/top coat combo that you adore, let me know in a comment!

43 comments:

  1. Will be keeping an eye out for your video feedback on these. I like the Revlon quick dry base coat and the Revlon quick dry top coat. They work hand in hand to make my nail polishes dry quickly and the top coat adds a really nice glossy finish. Also Revlon polishes are formaldehyde and toluene free which is a plus!

    Izzi x
    A beauty, food and life blog by Izzi

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  2. Amazing post! The Zoya top coats are great too and they are big 5 free! How great, right! :)

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  3. I don't like Seche Vite at all. All my polishes, no matter the brand, would peel off in one sheet. I quit using Seche Vite and now my polish lasts much longer. :)

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    1. Is it weird that I like this top coat for that very fact? I can sit there and peel off all my nails and only have to clean up a few spots with remover! I like to change my nails often though so it's convenient for me I guess.

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  4. Sounds like Seche Vite has a ton of disadvantages... It seems to chip and peal easy, and it has a ton of harmfol chemicals in it.

    angelicglitter.blogspot.com

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  5. Awesome! I've never been a big fan of the not-so-nice stuff in Seche Vite. Can't wait for your findings!

    ♥ Em from Mascara Warrior

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  6. Thanks for the heads up on the ingredients. Scary whats in so many things!

    Carina xx
    http://www.carstina.com/

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  7. Wow, I can't believe Seche Vite contains toluene. Toluene is considered a VOC, which is in paint - like for your walls. That is pretty scary.

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  8. I love Seche Vite because it dries my nails so quick and looks really nice. But with that being said, I find it does make my nails chip a lot! And all the harmful ingredients are just plain scary! I'm really looking forward to hearing the outcome of this experiment!

    Thanks Elle!! :)

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  9. Elle, I love that you are a beauty guru that I know I can always trust to be honest and do her research. Thank you, and great post! :-)

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  10. Deborah Lippman Turn Back Time Base Coat + Essie's No Chips Ahead is such a holy grail combo for me -- before i started using it i couldn't see that big of a difference between using a top/base coat and not, but after this I won't ever go back to painting my nails without it.

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  11. I've heard about the drawbacks of using Seche Vite and I'm excited to see what you find out form this little experiment! :)

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  12. Great post! I honestly don't mind if a polish chips quickly as I like changing my polish every day or every other day. But it's nice to have options!

    AddictedtoOPI

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  13. You should also test our Orly's "bonder" base coat. I'm tough on my nails, and my at home mani has lasted 6 days so far! Its a record for me. =]

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  14. Really great post. I really like how you have directly addressed the complaints that you got while also admitting that you had some chipping as well. I have also stopped using Seche Vite (I have one more then no more) due to the fact that it makes nail polish last so much less than other top coats. Yes my nails are shiny, but they peel in a day! I've been loving the Deborah Lippmann base coat as well and look forward to your video recap of your findings! Great new blog overall!

    www.themakeuparchitect.blogspot.com

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  15. I havent tried any of those! But i love a good base and top coat. Its an added step that pays off!

    Hopefully skylark will be available in the UK soon?

    Come visit me!
    BlogLovin' | Blog | Facebook
    xoXo

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  16. definitely check out Sally Hansen's Mega Shine top coat! I love it!

    xox Gen
    www.geninthecity.com

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  17. I can already tell I'm going to be obsessed with reading your blog, Elle! Loved this post and can't wait for the video to come. xx

    Shannon - http://shannonleiMUA.com

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  18. I'm using the Seche Vite one, because it dries in just a few seconds and gives the most gorgeous shine, but I did notice that it can cause a peeling effect with some of the nail polishes. I guess the formulars don't work together well...

    I'm looking forward to your in-depth reviews. I'm going to LA in about a month (yay!) and I would love to get some new top coats, as most of these are not sold in my country.

    Sandra - The Puzzle of Sandra's Life

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  19. I did not like the OPI Base Coat at all!! It made my nail polish chip pretty soon (like two days). I only realized it was the OPI base coat, when I started using a different one!

    Looking forward to your review!! :)

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  20. You should try the Revlon quick dry base coat! It's really good and so is the top coat!

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  21. I love Sally Hansen's insta-dry! I works so well for me!
    xx Stephanie (www.stephaniesstyleblog.blogspot.com)

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  22. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat is my favorite top coat of all time. It dries polish so fast and I change out fingernails once a week. My favorite base coat is either of the adhesive base coat options from Avon.

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  23. I love the Slly Hansen top coat you mentioned- it is very similar in finish to Seche Vite but does not cause the shrinking you can often see with Seche Vite.

    Loving your new blog!! x

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  24. My daughter and I like the CND Sticky base coat. :)

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  25. Not a huge fan of the Sally Hansen top coat (it's too sticky in my taste), but love the Butter London! ♥

    www.alessonoflovely.blogspot.com/

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  26. Good thing I read this post before I bought the Seche Vite, no thank you!

    - Sandra
    backto--neverland

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  27. I'm excited to see the results! I have never had any luck with top coats. For some reason nail polish just won't last long on my finger nails. I currently use Essie's No Chips Ahead top coat and my right index finger will always chip after 24 hours. The rest usually start to chip after 48 hours. I can't afford to experiment with topcoats so I'm looking forward to reading your reviews!

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  28. Essie recently came out with their Good To Go Top Coat which is fast drying and I love it! I'll probably do a review of it on my blog soon. It has such a nice, shiny finish and I haven't noticed a large amount of chipping with it!
    xx Amber
    lovely-notions.blogspot.com

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  29. I love the OPI base coat and the rapid dry top coat!

    Seaside Beauty
    xxx

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  30. I'm struggling with top coats as of late and can't work out whether it's the polish or the top coat so this was really helpful thank you!

    P.S. Have you noticed you're in the top spot for up and coming beauty blog on Bloglovin? (In the UK at least!) Well done lovely!
    xxx

    www.oliviasword.blogspot.co.uk

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  31. I never knew that about seche vite! AH I'm so sad I was in love with it! I'll have to check out the other alternatives! Lovely post and blog!

    http://beauteacoffeechic.blogspot.com/

    xx

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  32. Thank you so much for posting this
    I have been on the hunt for the perfect top coat for months now.
    Did you try the basic Sally Hansen clear top coat? I believe it is only 2-3$ at Walmart and honestly...I think it's the best one I've tried yet. I use it both as a base and top coat.

    I've tested the life out of it so I can for sure tell you that it makes your polish last for minimum 1 week with no chipping. :D

    Love the new blog by the way!
    xox Kisses from Canada
    ♥anamascara.blogspot.ca♥

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  33. I have never been able to get Seche Vite to work for me either. It always chips or peels off in sheets the next day. The last time I used it, it didn't peel off but chipped and cracked. In my job I use my hands a lot to open boxes and I cannot find a topcoat that will make my polish stay for more than one day. Any ideas would be appreciated. I love your blog Elle! Great work.

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  34. That is intimidating! I just ordered a new bottle of Seche Vite as it's the only topcoat I've used that dries everything so quickly! Will be looking out for this video to try to find a new one I guess.

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  35. Check out SILKY POLISH Topcoat too! Wears for 2 weeks!

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  36. I just got my first ever Seche Vite. It definately dries super fast but nail polish chips at the same rate :) Otherwise I was using Sally Hansen Double duty base and top coat although it takes time to dry manis last really long. I would love to try Sally Hansen in red now

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  37. please post a link where you stated that toluene is absorbed through the skin.....

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  38. please post a link where you stated that toluene is absorbed through the skin.....

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  39. if your a zoya user or 5 free then SV sucks ballz! A cheap option compared to high end would be out the door! It's amazing! It last 2-4 maybe 5 days if you apply another coat after or on the 2nd day. Deborah Lipmann is AWESOME! I use the nail hardener as a base and zoya then the addicted to speed topcoat....my mani's last a week or even longer.....absoutely amazing and so time consuming...i do get bored with polish after a week though but it's awesome to not have any chips at all. I have never found a perfect combo in years! Just thought I'd update....

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