Monday, April 1, 2013

Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat

Before it was released, there was a lot of hype about Julep's new Freedom Polymer Top Coat. 

If you haven't heard about this particular top coat, here's the deal: it is supposed to "cure" under "natural" light/by the light of "regular" household light bulbs in 5 minutes, giving a shiny, gel-like finish and it is supposed to last twice as long as regular top coats. But the best part is the easy removal - any nail polish remover, including acetone free, will remove this top coat easily. No need to soak your nails in acetone like when you remove gel polish.

Sounds promising. And perhaps a bit too good to be true.

And in my experience, it is just that: too good to be true.

First, the good: It does have a really glossy finish. Not quite as glossy as my gels, but close. And it really was super easy to remove, even when using non-acetone nail polish remover it just came right off with no fuss.

But the bad: Your nail polish has to be totally dry when you apply the top coat. TOTALLY dry. I don't have time to wait around forever for my nail polish to dry. Once you wait that out though and apply the top coat, you've got a 3-5 minute wait (according to the directions) before the Freedom polymer top coat dries. More waiting. ugh. But I figured if it really works like it's supposed to, it's worth it.

The ugly: Despite giving my nails a generous 15 minutes to dry/cure under a 60-watt light bulb (while also sitting close to natural light coming in the window), a couple nails still smudged an additional ten minutes later when I (finally, after all that waiting!) got back to my daily life which included washing a couple dishes from lunch. Ok. A little smudgy. Maybe it would just have to cure (even) longer next time. Let's overlook that a bit if we can. But here's the worst part. My nails were chipped - in a very bad way - within 24 hours.

I don't remember what nail polish I was wearing at the time, but this is how it looked 24 hours after applying Freedom Polymer top coat.

I tried the top coat a few more times, using different nail polishes, different base coats, letting it cure longer. Every time though my polish has chipped within 24 hours.

Considering this stuff costs $18 for a 0.27 oz. bottle ($14.40 for Mavens) I would expect a lot more from it. I'm glad it was part of one of my Maven boxes so that I didn't pay that much for it. If I had paid that much for it I would be extremely disappointed. Considering it was part of my Maven box though I can shrug it off as an "oh well" and not be too upset about it. I definitely would not purchase it separately though.

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