cnd vinylux nail polish

Confession: I’ve never had a gel manicure. I’m just too damn afraid of what they’ll do to my (already nibbled-on, cuticle-picked) nails. But I’m also as annoyed as the next woman by painting my nails at home and chipping after three days of normal wear and tear. So I was very intrigued by the CND VINYLUX collection, which promises seven days of chip-free wear when worn as a system (polish and top coat). Did it really work? It’s damn near close enough that I’m willing to endorse them as a great alternative to gel manicures.


Price: $9.90 to $10.50 per bottle of polish on, plus the Weekly Top Coat for $9.90

How to Use It: It’s a simple system: you paint one or two coats of your CND VINYLUX polish color and then top with the Weekly Top Coat. They have to be used together to stay chip-free. (Whatever is in the top coat is pretty amazing, because it’s the fastest-drying polish I’ve ever used!) 

Results: I first tried CND VINYLUX at a brand event over the winter, where I got this gorgeous manicure in their color Crushed Rose:

I was slightly less enthused the next day, though, when I noticed a chip on one of my nails. And this was after a professional manicure, too! It was only a small chip, but wasn’t it supposed to last seven days?  Over the next few days, a few more small chips appeared — nothing horrible, but enough that I wasn’t buying this “seven-day chip-free” thing anymore. (Reading MakeupAlley reviews, it seems most people say five days is about average until the polish chips.) 

All that being said, though, the vast majority of the polish stayed on my nails for the full seven days — and ditto, both times, when I gave myself at-home manicures with CND VINYLUX polishes. The chips were small and truly, CND VINYLUX really isn’t as chip-prone as any other brand of nail polish that I’ve used. It’s definitely a new favorite (especially considering it’s only slightly more expensive than drugstore polish brands!).

I also love how smoothly CND VINYLUX applies. I had absolutely zero streaky or smudges — and I am the queen of messing up my nails before they’re dry. The shine is very pretty, too. For now, I still have no interest in ever trying gels. 

Disclaimer: I received CND VINYLUX nail polishes and the Weekly Top Coat as samples.

READ MORE: To Gel or Not to Gel? Gel Manicure Safety