A few weeks ago I attempted to do my first wear test to determine the best way to extend a manicure and minimize chips - either using a sticky base coat, or a chip preventing top coat. The wear test was interrupted by my office move, and I promised you all I'd re-visit the topic in the future.
The future has arrived.
Wear a manicure for 5 days (that alone is a challenge for me!) in order to find the best weapon in my current collection of top coats, base coats, and treatments to prevent chipping and extend the life of the mani.
Representing sticky base coats, weighing in at 0.5 fl oz, we have Nubar Foundation Base Coat. I realize that Nubar is a less well-known brand, but I'm hoping to inspire you to go out and find them. Really, they make fantastic colors and have a great formula - every polish lover should have a few in their collection!
Representing chip preventing top coats, from a well-known salon brand, weighing in at 0.5 fl oz, we have Essie No Chips Ahead Top Coat. Essie is an easily accessible brand, available at both salons and major retailers like CVS, Target, and Wal-Mart.
If I have to stare at the same manicure for 5 days, you better believe it is going to be a polish I love. I have hunted online and the streets of LA high and low to snag up a bottle of the sold-out Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine, from the fall 2010 The Real Housewives of the Tudors Dynasty Collection (yea, that's a mouthful). Rescue Beauty Lounge is a small, boutique nail polish brand based out of NYC with a passionate group of followers who call themselves ReBeLs.
Catherine is a dark, smokey, blue-tinted purple with a fuschia and teal sparkle. The polish applied flawlessly in 2 coats, however, RBL polishes are special for their colors, and Catherine is no different. Seriously, RBL gives you the most unique colors that you haven't seen anywhere before, and the uniqueness alone makes the price (retails for $18 for a 0.4 fl oz bottle) worth it. Take a look:
Unfortunately, we're in June gloom season in LA, and I don't have any direct sunlight to show you the fuschia/teal sparkle - so sad! However, I do have some close-up shots to show a hint of the sparkle on the nails and in the bottle. Here's a close-up in natural lighting:
And under artificial lighting (sorry for the blurriness, but look at her sparkle!):
So there you have it! The only rules are that I'm not allowed to touch up the manicure (aah!) except to re-apply top coat for shine. I'll be re-applying regular top coat on the Nubar nails, and the Essie NCA to the nails that already have it.
Let the battle royale begin! Check back Monday morning for results!
What do you think? Do you rely on a sticky base coat or hardening top coat to protect your nails from keyboards, dish soap, and all elements that would do them harm? Have you tried any Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes yet? What are you fave colors? Sound off in the comments!