You may have noticed that the beauty world has coo-coo for coco pops over gel nails in the last year or two. The real deal is supposed to last at least a week, if not two, and can cost a pretty penny. Or at least it does to me. The last time I got a professional manicure, I was about seven years old and my aunt decided I was worth it. Of course it also conveniently meant she didn’t have to keep that close an eye on me while she got her acrylics redone. But that’s beside the point. What is the point? Oh yeah. Gel nails.
If you’ve been in a drugstore beauty section lately, you probably noticed that almost every brand that makes nail polish has at some point come out with the latest and greatest at-home gel manicure system. There’s the fancy ones like Fuse and Sally Hansen that come with LED lights and kits and nail cleansers. (Trust me, boys and girls, I’m saving my Walgreens reward points for one of the Sally Hansen ones.) And then there’s the lower-end gel polishes. Among them, the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy polishes. No fancy lights. No cleansers. Just a line of colored polishes and the Diamond Shine top coat. Sounds good to me.
Firstly, allow me to just say what a brilliant move Revlon made in putting Olivia Wilde in the ads. Let’s be honest: I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a girl-crush on her. And I’ll pretty much buy anything they put her face on. Admit it. You do too. Secondly, they put the base coat in the colored polish, saving us an extra step. I know what you’re thinking. This is sounding like a dream come true. Either that or you’re thinking that I’m bullshitting you. I’m not. I promise.
Let’s get down to brass tacks. So, the base coat and color step goes on smooth, and very opaque (except for the sheer color, but it still went on smooth.) and dries in about five minutes. And not that sort of dry where you’d get a massive dent in your polish if you basically did anything other than sit perfectly still. I mean the sort of dry where I can open a can of Pepsi and not have to be careful about it. And the double brush coats the nail in a maximum of three passes, even though the third pass is mostly just for good measure. After years of dealing with the skinny brushes in Essie polishes, it’s certainly a breath of nail polish-scented air.
And then there’s the top coat. Now, I was quite skeptical that anything was going to dry as quickly and work as well as my Seche Vite. Until I remembered that Seche Vite peels off of my nails in about two days. (I still haven’t figured that one out.) While the Diamond Shine top coat isn’t as thick as Seche Vite, it’s still pretty thick, especially compared to the old Sally Hansen standbys. And it, too, has the double brush, so you’re done in no time! All in all, it’s a pretty good top coat, even if I still feel the need to reapply it every few days.
To be completely honest, I’m not sure if these polishes really stand up to their gel claims, but they certainly perform better than a lot of their regular, non-gel, competitors. Do they last a week on my hands? No, they don’t, but, then again, I’m very hard on my hands and nails. They do last two weeks (or more) on my toes, but I rarely wear open-toed shoes and only walk barefoot indoors. I’m not sure how long they’ll last on my feet once I get back in the ballet studio. I guess I’ll have to update y’all if there’s any change in their performance as far as that goes.
Even though they may not be the best “gel” polishes out there, they’re still fantastic nail polishes. At $7.99 per polish and in a wide range of color options, you won’t be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t!