Hey folks! I have been looking forward to sharing this amazing find for WEEKS!! Today, I’m going to introduce you to the THE best nail polish system I’ve EVER found (and yes, this stuff seriously deserves the all-caps!). Sephora’s Fromula X Polish, Base Coat, and Top Coat are something I stumbled upon late in the summer and I am totally hooked and have basically skipped the salon manicures in favor of home manicures ever since (and my polish lasts SO much longer!).
A Little Background
Let me give you a little background on me…I think the last time I regularly did my own nails was when I was in college (aka money-strapped college kid!). Once I was out in the working world (aka a gainfully employed ‘adult’!) I started getting my nails done at nail salons. I was never into the wraps or anything like that, I stuck with my natural nails and just had regular polish applied.
Why did I make the switch? For two reasons - convenience and my nails looked a heck of a lot better when someone else did them! See, when I do my nails, they generally look like a 3 year old playing with crayons! Plus, no matter where I’ve worked, there’s always a nail salon right across the street which makes for an easy lunch time pampering session!
I think I’m hard on my nails…I type all day long at work (and also in the evenings when I get home), I dig into things, I pry open cans, whatever! Needless to say, my salon manicures usually only look good for about 2-3 days. Then they lose their shine, start wearing off around the tips of the my nails, and finally the chipping sets in.
By the time I reach day 5, I usually whip out the polish remove to remove what’s left because it’s starting to look like a hot mess. Sound familiar, ladies??
Well! Back in August, I was shopping at Sephora with a friend. She does her own nails and they always look like she’s had a salon manicure. I’m always been ready to bow down at her feet in awe and amazement! What was her secret?! It had to be a steady hand and then being extra cautious in the days following.
While browsing around, she mentioned Sephora's Formula X base coat is amazing and she can go over a week without a single chip! Well…I was intrigued!!! Was that even possible with non-salon polish???
I was determined to find out (to quote Barney Stinson...'Challenge Accepted!')!!
So, into my basket went their 4 bottle 'The System' set (go big or go home!)! Included in this kit is the not only the awesome base coat she highly recommended, but a nail cleanser, a top coat, and a spot to add your choice of polish!
I couldn’t wait to give it a try, so before the end of the weekend, I gave myself my own manicure.
The results…..she wasn’t kidding!
My nails remained CHIP FREE for over a week!!!
A week's worth of photos
Recently, after doing my nails, I decided to take a photo (with my phone) every couple of days to show you how long they lasted! I didn't touch up my nails in any way, shape, or form!
Usually, even on day 7 they still look good (with maybe a slight bit of wear along very tips of the nail), but as luck would have it, I was working on a craft project on the night of day 6 involving wood and sand paper, so I did end up with a chip on the morning of day 7. But with that said, how many times does a manicure survive sand paper at all, especially on day 6?!?!
Needless to say, I am a total dedicated Formula X user! I’ve only had one pro manicure since then (and that was at a spa day for one of my closest friend’s birthday) and I took not only the polish in for them to use, but also the amazing base coat.
When I first bought the kit, I added a polish to the kit, so I started with only one color. Since then, I have picked up a "few" more each time I find myself in the near vicinity of a Sephora!
How to Make your Nails look FABULOUS!
So, how do you use this kit to give yourself a salon quality manicure? Allow me to walk you through it!!
Step 1 | File & Buff your nails
After removing any old polish, file your nails in your desired shape and length. Finish off with a nice buff to smooth the surface and make it nice and even for the polish.
Step 2 | Exfoliate & Moisturize your hands
I happen to love the Satin Hands kit from Mary Kay, but whatever your product of choice, exfoliate your hands and apply a nice dose of moisturizer to get your paws nice and soft!
Step 3 | Apply the Nail Cleanser
The first part of the Formula X System is to sweep this evaporating nail cleanser on your nails. This will help rid the surface of any lotion or polish remover residue. This basically sets the stage for your nails being in the best state for the base coat and polish!
Step 4 | Apply the Base Coat
This the magic ingredient, my friends! It's called a 'sticky' base coat, but once it dries, it doesn't feel sticky to the touch, But, the polish that you will paint on top of this sticks to it like nobody's business! This is the key to the long lasting manicure!! If you only buy ONE piece of this system...go with this little pink bottle of goodness!!
Step 5 | Apply your polish of choice (2 coats)
You know the drill...once the base coat is dry, apply two coats of your favorite polish (and it doesn't have to be the Formula X brand, although I do highly recommend it!!).
Step 6 | Apply the Top Coat & Let Dry
Once your gorgeous polish is dry, sweep on a layer of the Formula X top coat to seal everything in! I always add an extra bit to the very tips of my nails to really seal in that delicate area.
A few extra goodies
I wanted the drying spray because I’m crazy impatient when it comes to wet nails and it works like a charm! After I apply the top coat, I wait about a minute, then I carefully spray a little of this on my nails. Then I continue to let them dry and within about 15 minutes, I can pretty much do what I need (well…I am still cautious, but they’re pretty much set at this point!).
I liked the remover simply because of the cool pump style bottle (seriously, THAT was the one and only reason why I went with this stuff!).
And that's it folks! With this system, I can do my nails while watching a favorite TV program and have them looking like new for a week or more! The bottles of polish are a little more pricey than the standard Essie or OPI, but given how much you will save by doing your own nails and having your manicure last longer, it seems like a worthwhile splurge to me! But, like I said earlier, if you only get ONE thing out of all of this...make with the Base Coat!
So, tell me...are you a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to your manicures, or do you regularly go in and have someone do it for you?! Leave a comment below and let me know!