Have you gotten an OPI Gel Manicure at your local nail salon? I got a series of them in 2012. I love how the polish looks — shiny and hard as nails (haha!) — and it lasted for weeks, just as advertised. And when I had the first couple of manicures soaked and buffed off all was well; you can read about the gel polish removal process here. But after the third removal I noticed that my nails, which are typically super sturdy and firm (no, really), were dry as old bones, scored from the nail file used to remove the loosened polish and they were peeling at the tips. I think that the soaking in acetone and then the buffing (which took on more of a nail file scraping, at least in my nail salon) took a toll on my nails.
What did I do? What my cautious heart compelled me to do: I had my latest gel manicure removed then I went commando (yup, bare naked). It wasn’t easy. Oh, in fact, it was pretty unattractive for a few weeks — visible scrapes across my nails, ragged chipped layers at the edges — but I know that sometimes you gotta take a dose of ugly before you can get to the pretty. I persevered, and after about 4 weeks, I noticed a significant difference in my nails. I had new, healthy nails growing in, and the scratched peeling-at-the-tips was almost over.
I went back to traditional manicures and polishes with traditional removal. Just a few swipes of an acetone-filled cotton ball and the polish was gone. Sure, the polish didn’t last as long at only 7 days or so on my hard-working fingertips. Sure, I looked longingly at the shiny, hard gel manicures on other women as I walked out of my local salon, but I did what I did to protect my nails for the long haul: I don’t want to be an old lady with gnarly fingernails. My fingernails might be my best feature by the time I’m 80-plus!
Meanwhile, while my nails were growing out I started looking for a long-wearing, hard, shiny alternative to a gel manicure. After all, don’t you think that the likes of, say, Revlon must have been working on a less-expensive alternative? Well, guess what?! This morning I was flipping through the latest InStyle magazine and I saw the ad on the left!
After I finish writing this blog post, running 4 miles, showering and giving the kits a snack I’m going to hop over to my local CVS and buy the polish; actually, I read the fine print (see below) and I will buy the three polishes to try together. The ad says the manicure can last “up to 11 days”; now that’s not as long as an OPI gel manicure (which the company says will last “for up to two weeks”), but it’s only a few days short, enough for me to try it.
Have you used the Revlon Colorstay polishes? How did they work for you? I’d love some feedback! And I’ll share mine in a future blog post.