I have been flip flopping between the light and fun spring colors and the darker deeper winter colors without rhyme or reason. Maybe it's because the weather has been all over the place or maybe I just love mixing it up. It's probably a bit of both but I find it sure keeps things from getting boring. Today I opted for a dark color with Pure Ice Shock & Awesome from the Geltech line. This line is marketed as having ultra-shiny shades that pack a punch of high-pigment colors that last. Since I change my polish very frequently, longevity is not very high on the list of things I evaluate nail polish on but I wanted to talk about that for a minute. I have not found any nail polish that will last as long as a genuine gel polish manicure. Gel is cured to your nails using special UV lights. My first experience with gel polish and the curing process had me wondering if the nail tech had just melted plastic on my nails? It got a little warm during the curing process under the UV light so I imagined that had something to do with it but that was many years ago. I absolutely loved not having chips or tip wear but after the first week as my nails were growing out and the gap between my polish and cuticles grew wider and wider I was irritated by that. I could fix chipped nails very easily myself but to fill the gel gap I had to go to the salon and pay again to get it redone or removed. Since my nails grow pretty fast I had to go back after a week. Today you can do all this at home if you invest in the lamp and special gel polish (still a bit pricey) but soaking off the gel polish was the deal breaker for me. I found that it was way too time consuming. The "gel like" polishes available on the market today perform very much like regular polish. You apply it without any special UV lights and remove it with regular nail polish remover or acetone. I find for the most part the formulas for these polishes are thicker and creamier meaning they cover ridges and imperfections on your nails very well. As for longevity, I find if you play around with base coats to figure out what works the best with your body chemistry you will be able to make most polishes last days longer than they normally would if you had applied them without a base or one that just doesn't work well with you. Finding a base coat that works well for you though is a trial and error process because everyone is different. Essie Fill The Gap is my favorite and lasts a whole week on me but peels off my daughter in a day. It's all about body chemistry and even though finding the right base coat can be a bit frustrating it's well worth the time invested. Top coat is what seals in your polish and gives it that amazing glossy look and protects it from wear. If you get yourself a great base and top you can sandwich just about any color between them and have it last. All you have to do is pick the colors you want and don't be afraid to mix brands. You can make your own rules, they are your nails after all! So back to my Shock & Awesome manicure. I found the formula very pleasant to work with because it just glides on your nails but it was a bit sheer. I applied three coats for this picture without top coat. It's incredibly glossy so the ultra-shiny claim gets a check mark but the high pigment claim... not so much. It dried pretty quick so needing to add that third coat for opacity did not bother me one bit.
Silver flowers stamped on top of Shock & Awesome helped add a bit of spring to this manicure and I sealed it all in with top coat. Should you buy this? Absolutely! I found this rich and beautiful plum very satisfying to wear and the price point for Pure Ice makes it a steal. I find people will sometimes comment that they are put off by the thought of applying three coats of polish. You are probably already putting on two layers so a third coat is not all that much more work. If you are using fast dry top coat then you have even less of an issue. Now if you are trying to work with a polish that has a bad formula it's a very different story. Get rid of it. Reuse it in crafts or recycle I don't care but don't torture yourself by applying it to your nails. Your time and effort are worth way more than that even if it was an expensive polish. Take my advice on this one, you will be glad you did.