Cutex Spa Formula Nail Polish Remover, $3.98
Why: I was absolutely skeptical this formula would deliver what it actually claimed to do — make it possible to remove stubborn glitter polishes, gel manicures and other hard-to-remove lacquers. But, it totally does. Normally glitter polishes have to practically be scraped off with a knife, but when I used this spa remover, it actually swiped off with much, much less effort. Still not equally as easy to remove as a typical polish, but it came pretty close. The remover was really put to the test when I removed the CND Vinylux I sported a couple weeks ago. It easily removed that long-lasting polish from my fingernails. And, when I hit up a salon for a pedicure, the remover used by the manicurist was far inferior at removing the Vinylux polish from my toes. Proof that this stuff really is something different. Not just clever marketing. Though it is pretty clever to capitalize on the glitter and gel trend. Nice work, Cutex!
If you haven’t tried CND Vinylux Weekly Polish and Weekly Top Coat, you simply must. It’s my new manicure/pedicure obsession. Here’s why:
No. 1: It’s the perfect hybrid of Shellac/gel and standard nail lacquer. It’s long lasting, but doesn’t require special curing, buffing or removal.
No. 2: There are 70 (yes, seven-zero) shades to choose from. Including the fantastic Bicycle Yellow pictured above. It was my color of choice.
No. 3: The finish is super shiny.
No. 4: My manicure lasted eight days before chipping. This is a small miracle. Considering that normal polish usually chips after three to four days on my hands, I was beyond impressed at this polish’s longevity. I continued to wash dishes sans gloves, dig through my bottomless pit of a bag for keys, my phone and everything else day after day and it still held strong.
No. 5: My pedicure is on day 17 and looks nearly flawless (minus some regrowth). While pedicures always last way longer than manicures, this is still noteworthy.
The only thing that would make this product even more amazing: zero drying time. Right now it dries in about the same time as a standard lacquer, but a girl can dream, right?!
One final warning: It does take a skilled manicurist to apply the product. Precision is key to getting a nice smooth finish that will last as long as possible. If you’ve tried this previously and didn’t have great results, you might want to try it again with someone who you’re confident is a nail polish application perfectionist.
While I’ve already decided to sport a solid nail polish hue for my easter manicure (details coming soon), I love this multi-layered, tie-dyed easter egg-inspired nail art that the fabulous Jin Soon Choi cooked up. Here’s how she did it:
Step 1: File and shape your nails into a natural square or roundish shape.
Step 2: Apply a base coat. Try JINsoon Power Coat, $18
If you, like me, have less than five minutes to make your hands look presentable — and even, gasp, fantastic — do what I did. Grab a glittery or interesting-looking topcoat. I used the new Jinsoon Lacquer in Polka Black, $18. Slap on a clear basecoat and finish with the topcoat. Even without a colorful nail polish base, you’re left with a fun manicure that took very, very little effort. And even less drying time.