1 coat of OPI Pink of Hearts with 1 coat of China Glaze White on White + striping tape
In response to a co-worker’s question about 1) using gel top coat on RNP and 2) the wear time of that vs. RNP top coat, I conducted a wear test on these products for one week. Here are the results, and they’re pretty much what you would have expected…
On my right hand (left hand in the above pic)-
On my left hand-
I gave myself a manicure with RNP per the above and allowed it to dry overnight. Approximately 10-12 hours after the manicure I applied RNP top coat to the nails on my left hand and gel top coat to the right. As you can see, I experienced no crinkling or warping of the RNP under the gel top coat. I believe application was successful because I allowed the RNP to cure sufficiently before applying gel top coat. I did not do any maintenance to the manicure for 1 week. Note that, early on in the week, I had an unfortunate run-in with a Tupperware container and bent but did not break the pointer and middle finger nails on the right hand. This caused some chipping on the right middle fingernail that otherwise would not have been so pronounced. Also, I broke the Tupperware container lid!
As you can see, wear was slightly worse on the nail tips on my right hand, though there was tip wear on both hands. This was to be expected since I am right-handed. Overall both manicures were durable with minimal tip wear for the 7 day test period. Gel top coat appears to have performed only slightly better than regular top coat would over RNP.
To answer the questions posed at the beginning of this post: 1) Yes, you can apply gel top coat over and RNP manicure, provided that you allow the RNP to cure for several hours first. 2) Gel top coat performed slightly better than regular top coat did (especially if you take into consideration the Tupperware container incident). Gel top coat is also more flexible than RNP top coat. I wonder if the chipping caused by the incident would have been as bad if the whole manicure on my right hand had been gel.
If you don’t want to stop using RNP or are interested in getting slightly longer wear with your RNP, I would recommend trying a gel top coat with it. However, you can’t expect it to be as good as the wear time you would get with a gel manicure. For that reason I would suggest that, if you’re not heavily invested in RNP, start transitioning to gel polish… unless you like changing your RNP every couple days to match your outfit, mood, occasion, etc. If you’re looking for 1 week+ wear time, gel is the way to go.
The OPI Mariah Carey Liquid Sand set includes “Get Your Number”, “Can’t Let Go”, “The Impossible”, and “Stay the Night”. This design features the intriguing black polish with magenta glitter called “Stay the Night”.
For this design I applied two layers of FingerPaints “Bid on It Berry” on the middle finger and thumb. Once that was dry I laid down nail art tape in two stripes down the nail. Then I applied two coats of the liquid sand enamel to those nails, back to back as quickly as possible. As soon as the second coat was on, I pulled the tape off, revealing the berry-colored polish beneath. On the other 6 nails I applied three coats of the liquid sand enamel, allowing each one to dry thoroughly before applying the next. Later, I applied a thin layer of top coat.
I have used several of OPI’s Liquid Sand polishes so far, and they are really nice. They apply evenly and dry more quickly than I expected. My only complaint is that the “liquid sand” appears slightly white after the polish is thoroughly dry. I think you’re not supposed to apply top coat so that you won’t smooth over the texture, but I found that a thin layer of top coat fixed the whiteness issue while retaining the textured feel of the polish. I hope you can see that in the photo.
Red Carpet Manicure (RCM) has released a new collection of their gel polish called “Dazzling Gems”, which they advertise are produced with certified precious gems, like emerald in the color called “Emmy-rald Winner” and Opal in “Stealing the Spotlight”.
This new line was inspired by some colors RCM created for limited edition wear by celebrities, like 2012’s “Amor 24” which contained 24 karat gold dust and was worn by Rihanna, and their 2013 color called “Set in Stone” which was infused with diamond dust and worn by Carly Rae Jepsen to the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. Now, they’re offering different (and more!) colors at a much more affordable price point – $11.99 at your local Ulta.
As you know, I am loyal to Gelish. I have never bought any other gel polish brand. This might be a game changer, though!
This is the first time I have seen gel polish with precious gems added and offered for retail sale to the public, but infusing regular nail polish with precious metals is nothing new. Right now you can buy OPI top coat nail polish with 18 K white gold and silver flakes in it called Mariah Carey Pure, which was released in fall 2013 alongside her holiday collection, or Zoya’s Limited Edition “Gilty Pleasures” also with 18K gold flakes in it (but no silver flakes).