CND Vinylux: The solar-powered seven day manicure

I can count on two or three fingers how many new nail polish collections have gotten me really, properly, tinglingly excited in the course of the last year. Oh, sure: all sorts of new finishes and effects have come to market, from feather to leather and everything – and I do mean everything – in between, but most of these launches have just felt a bit gimmicky to me.

Not so the recent debut of CND Vinylux. These are the people behind award-winning products like Solar Oil and Stickey base coat as well a little thing you might have heard of called Shellac, which kick-started the craze for two- and three-week polishes. So when CND announce something new, the whole nail industry sits up and takes notice, like a well-manicured mob of suddenly interested meerkats.

Vinylux model shot

Vinylux is basically a frickin' excellent normal nail polish system that's being heralded as a game changer. Using the colour and top coats in tandem gives a manicure that lasts for 7 days chip-free, can be applied in salon or at home, dries in a lightening fast 8 ½ minutes, and removes easily with a swipe of acetone-based nail polish remover, just like your normal polish.

There's no need for a base coat since - and here come the science bits - the revolutionary formula of the Vinylux colour polishes incorporates adhesion promoters, designed to anchor directly to keratin and enable the polishes to form a direct, efficient bond with nails. To prevent staining, a barrier mechanism prevents pigment from coming into contact with the nail surface, while the fast-drying formula locks pigment in place. Meanwhile, patent-pending ProLight technology in the Vinylux top coat means it becomes more durable with exposure to natural light as photo initiators cause the polish to form a network of cross-linked polymer bonds, building resistance to chips and enhancing performance.

Where normal polishes become brittle and deteriorate, the idea is that Vinylux will toughen with time.

The Vinylux launch shades - all 62 of 'em The Vinylux launch shades... all 62 of 'em.

All in all it sounds perfect for anyone who likes to DIY, hasn't the cash and/or time to hit up a salon for gel polish manicures, or gets bored with the same colour on their nails for more that a couple of days on the trot. But how did it fare in a wear test?

Well, I found that application was straightforward, just like normal polish, although if you have very ridged nails be warned that Vinylux does little to disguise them. After about 4 days, I started to notice a little even tip wear along the free edge of my nails, but to my surprise it didn't get very much worse in the days that followed. Nor did it lead to chipping.

In a week where I gardened and did some heavy duty house tidying, I can report that I suffered exactly one chip – to the index finger that I caught in the door of the dishwasher. Otherwise, they looked damn nearly as good on day 7 as they had on day 1, and I am hard on my hands (at the moment, I could typically expect to get 3 days tops out of a manicure.)

Suffice to say, I'm well impressed.

Have you heard about or tried Vinylux yet? What do you reckon to it?


To the comments!

The Vinylux system is available for purchase through CND salons nationwide, where the RRP for colours and topcoats is €11.95 each or €18.95 for a duo containing both; check or call 01 4089191 to find your nearest stockist.

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