Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Deborah Lippmann Gel Labs and Through the Fire

I have a confession to make about the Gel Labs. Not the set or anything I did to it...My house is old. It has a lot of doors and two drive ways. They leave stuff all over the place. My Gel Labs set was left on the front stoop where no one goes except stray cats. And apparently the FedEx guy. I need to put a sign up. Regardless, it's winter in my world and these...well, they were rained on and then the box froze to the stoop. The polishes do not appear to have frozen, but they were wet through and the box was ruined so I can't show you that. So anything I have to say about them, I'm afraid I have to ask you to remember that these might not perform up to the snuff of others. Just because they may have been a little frozen...which sucks epic amounts.

I tried these first with a Lippmann polish because that's the correct way. I have tried it also with a couple of Illamasqua's, one I can show you later, maybe next week and it did perform differently, but I think I know why.

First up, these are supposed to perform like a gel but act like a polish. Love that idea. I hate gels, you all know I hate gels. I just don't find they do what everyone else thinks they do. But I'm willing to try one that acts like a polish and isn't exposing me to more UV rays. I'm practically translucent. I don't need more sun exposure.

These are the bottles...the base on the left and the top coat on the right. The base is called Coat of Arms and the top coat is Shining Armor, which makes me think of A-England. Even though Coat is milky in appearance in the bottle, it goes on clear:

There is a little staining there from Rouge Noir, I apologize. It's called a stain cause you can't get it off! I was putting on another red, I wasn't worrying about it. You can see this is clear. It's not as fast drying as a gel but then again, you're not curing it, either. It's supposed to have good life-giving things in it, which I like. This plant, that root, I'm all for that. Your body absorbs those things we put on it so I prefer if they are natural if possible at all. I don't obsess over it, but I prefer it.
So just one base coat. To follow the system I did exactly as it recommends: I coat of Coat of Arms, two lacquer and then one Shining Armor top coat.

It was Sunday night, I needed to paint my nails and I was dreading my job as I spend most of my waking hours doing when I'm not actually at it wishing I could get home to dread it some more. It's not a love/hate thing. I just hate it. So I try to inspire myself and choose colors or color names that make me smile or feel strong or whatever. Through the just reeks of survival, doesn't it? It was one of the holiday release colors and I was intrigued by it. It's a shimmery deep red.

The can see the shimmer here. I'm not sure why I did such a bad job. There is paint everywhere. And let me tell ya, with the Gel Labs system, you can't just peel that off your hide later. It's on there. Don't be messy when applying this stuff is my advice.

These shots are from when I first applied.

Very good picture! This is true to color, no kidding. It's this red, this shimmery and this gorgeous. I really love this one. I love how it blackens around the curve and how it looks like it goes on forever. It is really deep and beautiful. And so wearable, too. This could do the office, a makes itself at home with any outfit. It's lie. But I tend to overdress nails and jewelry and be cas every other way. It's just me. This swatch and the next have Shining Armor over the top.

Shining Armor does definitely bring on the shine. It's a great top coat. It doesn't dry that fast, though. However, once it did? My nails felt acrylic hard. They still had some flex, which is actually important. but they weren't going to tear or break without a trauma. It leant that hardness that a gel does. Excellent.

About 4 or 5 days later. I apologize, I got behind on my swatches and while I'm doing better about writing myself notes I'm still not great. I need a dedicated notebook....maybe next time I'm skulking through the B&N bargain tables. But this is about an average length of manicure time. I'm thinking 5 days. Not terrible here, right?

Just a little tip wear. On this hand.

The right hand, though....a little worse for wear. And that torn cuticle there? That's what happens when you dread your job and it makes you a nervous wreck and you don't moisturize. Be sure to put lotion on frequently. Don't let this happen to you! That was really sore for days.

This is pretty normal chipping for me. I didn't try to repair this so I'm not sure how this set will fair with that, but this is normal wear. The next swatch will show you some of the thumb... Bottom line. I like the Gel Labs set. I've tried it a couple more times, one of which I can show you, and I love how strong it makes my nails feel. I think it did wear better than a standard base and top coat, but maybe not better than Seche, honestly. Is this because mine was frozen to a stoop? Quite possibly. It wasn't frozen when I found it, though, so it's possible it never froze. It had been warm enough to rain rather than snow or sleet.
I recommend it and would be interested to know your results.

Through the Fire is a gorgeous deep shimmery red. Definitely recommend that, too.

Happy Talons!

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