........A Chicago area beauty blogger's foray into day-spas, med-spas, and countless beauty counters........

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Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel

Everyone who reads my blog knows about my dilemma to find a long-lasting polish and keep my nails from breaking after removing acrylic nails back in October. Of course for regular nail lacquer you'll be hard pressed to do better than Butter London (6-8 days of wear with their base and top coats), and for gel manicures Red Carpet Manicure UV Gel Pro Kit for home is awesome (2-3 weeks of wear but takes a long time to remove while sitting with nails wrapped in acetone and foil), but now I see advertisements in every major magazine for Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel claiming "Gel-like shine. Shatterproof color up to 11 days."

Hmmm....since it was on sale at Ulta for $4.79, I picked up a bottle of Amethyst (purple) polish to check it out. Regular nail polish that's supposed to last up to 11 days? Sounds like a crazy claim.

I painted my nails on a Friday afternoon. I didn't use Revlon's base and top coats as Revlon (of course) recommends because I already have Butter London Nail Foundation and it's the best base coat I've ever used, and I have Butter London Hardwear top coat and also Seche Vite top coat (not to mention the gel top coat that goes with Red Carpet Mani)---enough with the base and top coats already. If this stuff doesn't stay on using BL's base, then it's not going to stay on. Keep in mind, base and top coat need to be used to get good wear from any polish, but if you have to choose because of budget, always go with a better quality base coat than top coat. Base coat is what all the other layers cling to in order to stay on the nail.

The first thing I noticed is this polish is THICK like a gel. Not the easiest to spread, but if you have nails that break easily, this thick enamel should make them more resistant to breaks. The brush is wide and not very flexible or easy to maneuver, but I got used to it. It takes awhile to dry, like most regular nail polishes do--even 2 hours later with a quick-dry top coat I could still dent the polish. The color before adding top coat is pretty dull, it's not even as shiny as most polishes are when a top coat is added, but it's decent.

Here's what matters: I got to day 6 without a chip. That's not to say that the ends didn't wear, as they do with any polish or gel from typing, texting, etc, or that the shine didn't begin to fade, because it did, but 6 days is excellent for me considering most polishes last less than 1 day on my nails. At the end of day 6, 6 of my nails were chipped and 4 were not.

Most brands (OPI, China Glaze, Essie, etc) chip off my natural nails the same day. Even when I get professional manicures, I rarely make it 24 hours before I get chips or entire sheets of polish lifting off my natural nails; sometimes it chips an hour after I leave the salon making it not worth the money for me to pay for manicures.

I know the PR people at Revlon would tell me that if I used their base and top coats I'd get to 11 days (whatever--then send me a bottle), but I'm good with 6, and I suspect other people would get longer wear than me considering my history with other polishes.

I recommend adding a top coat every other day to extend the life of the polish and keep it shiny and free of chips, but Revlon Colorstay is definitely a great buy!

Have you used Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel with Revlon base and top coats and gotten 11 days of wear without chips? Tell me about it on Facebook---I really want to hear!