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Recently was reminded by various sources online that one of the best ways to extend a manicure is to reapply a top coat each day. Not only does it make the polish last longer, but it adds extra strength (and I can use all the help I can get to prevent nails breaking). This manicure is two days old, including putting it through it’s paces by prepping for a birthday party at my house (setting up tables and chairs and lots of dish washing). Just applied a new coat of HK Girl top coat and it looks like I just painted my nails. :)
Polish is Zoya Margo.Pin It
Fun mail day when new polish arrives! First time trying both the color and top coat. Color is Bikini Bottoms from INLP (awesome, smooth application–I liked the flat brush. Color is amazing!). Top coat is one that I’m trying out, hopefully to replace Seche Vite (I love SV but the shrinkage issue is super annoying). It’s called HK Girl from Glisten & Glow Cosmetics. It’s extra smelly (painted with a window open), but it dried SUPER fast and is very shiny. No sign of shrinkage yet, but the bottle is new.
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As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I ended up changing my polish color before traveling home when I was out of town last week. Bonheur is another polish from Dior, and I loved how to wore. You can see this color in action in a video at my papercrafting blog, which I filmed the day after I arrived home.
Base: 2 coats of Orly Bonder
Polish: Dior Vernis Gel Shine in Bonheur
Top Coat: Dior Gel Coat
Since Dior came out out with a new gel-like formula a few months back, I’ve wanted to test out some of the polishes. They’re supposed to mimic the look and longwear of Shellac or traditional soak-off gel polishes, but without needing to cure your nails under a UV or LED lamp (see this post for my first experience with soak-off gel polish).
Tra-la-la is very sheer, so I painted five thin coats to achieve full opacity. Mildly annoying, but I loved the color so much and application was so smooth and easy, I didn’t mind it too much. It did make for some thicker-looking polish when I was done, though. Interestingly, a few hours after drying, it looked much thinner look. Most of the time that many coats of polish it TOTALLY obvious. But with this polish, it seemed to thin down as it dried. It didn’t lose it’s opacity (after all, there were five coats), but it didn’t look thick at all. Pretty sweet!
I used two coats of Orly Bonder as a base (my current routine as I grow out some staining from dark polishes), painted the five coats of Tra-la-la, and then topped off with one coat of Dior Gel Coat. I’m not sure what made this combination so magical, but this manicure lasted an amazingly long time. Usually when I travel, I paint my nails the night before and the polish doesn’t last after the beating my nails get with packing and handling heavy suitcases. It’s my usual traveling ritual to immediately re-paint my nails after I arrive at my destination. However, this manicure lasted nearly 4 days and I only re-painted because I wanted fresh polish for the flight home (I’ll share that color tomorrow).
One thing to note. While the polish didn’t chip, cracks in the polish were noticeable right before I removed it. I don’t think the cracks were noticeable to anyone else, but I was particularly focused on my nails since this was a new polish that I was trying out. I believe the cracks were a result of my nails still being slightly flexible–a good thing in my opinion. If your nails are too brittle, they’re more prone to break.
All in all, I’d highly recommend both the Dior Vernis Gel Shine polishes and Dior Gel Coat. Used together, you really do get a manicure that mimics a gel polish without needing to set it with a UV lamp. The Gel Coat applied a lot like Seche Vite, but a little bit smoother, and like Seche Vite it was super shiny even a few days later.
Removal was like any other regular polish.
I have a ton of polishes in two shades: red and aqua. And I also have only two Dior polishes as well–in red and aqua. I ADORE both polishes. (The red polish is the one I used in this video a few days ago).
Of all the aqua polishes I own, I repeatedly come back to Dior’s Saint-Tropez. Sadly, I don’t think you can find it anymore. I ended up buying it on eBay a couple years ago, and even back then it was hard to find. That being said, I just love it. The formula goes on like butter and it self-levels to a perfect finish. Just a lovely polish to work with.
(The red Dior polish I love, Rouge 999, is still for sale, though. The formula has been updated, but it’s the same color).
Anyway, this is Dior Saint-Tropez…
A lot of nail art begins with a white base coat, and this is the color I use most often: Alpine Snow from OPI. A lot of white polishes can be either super streaky or thick and gloppy. Alpine Snow seems to be the perfect medium between the two. White polishes in general are hard to work with because, like black, they are unforgiving. While I don’t tend to wear this color on its own, it does look very crisp and striking when left alone.
NOTE: For tips on painting a white manicure, I have a video HERE.