It didn’t take long for gel manicures–with their glossy sheen and long-wear application–to take the beauty world by storm. Who doesn’t want chip-free polish that can see you through an entire pay period? But sadly, between the damage that removing the gel does to your nails and the risks associated with UV light exposure, the shine may have come off the nail, so to speak.
But what if there was a product that could give you long-wearing polish without all the harsh side effects of a gel manicure?
With all the typing that I do in an average day, my manicures never survive more than three or four days without some chipping. So when a friend told me about Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab nail duo, I ran right out to buy it.
The system is fairly simple: You apply a coat of the base coat, and plow that to dry for two minutes. Then apply two coats of your polish, allowing each to fully dry. Lastly, you apply the top coat for a glossy finish.
In addition to allowing each layer to dry completely, you need to make sure that the base and top coats cover every square millimeter of your nail. If you miss even a whisper of an edge, that is where the first chip will appear. So don’t worry about glomming it on, you can always carefully clean up the excess later with some nail polish remover.
For those of us who do the at-home manicure, a product like this is a lifesaver. I do fairly well with my OPI Chip Skip and my Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat, but the Gel Lab set buys me at least a few extra chip-free days. Not a full two weeks mind you, but at least a full week. And since I so rarely find time to paint my nails anymore, this product helps me make the most of the times when I do. It’s a bit expensive for a base and top coat, but if you’re saving by polishing at home, I think it’s worth it for a manicure that lasts twice as long.
Also, if you like salon manicures, you might consider buying the Gel Lab and asking your manicurist to apply it for you.
As for lacquer recommendations, my favorite Lippmann shades are Harem Silks Bombay (a glorious purple), Ruby Red Slippers, and her Space Oddity set, containing a greige, a gold glitter and a platinum glitter.