First introduced in 2013 by Creative Nail Design’s Vinylux, long wear nail polish is a hybrid nail lacquer that combines ordinary nail polish with gel nail polish. Coined the “seven-day polish,” this new category in the nail enamel market has emerged as a true winner over gels in the minds of clients and nail care professionals alike.
What makes long wear polish hybrid formulations attractive is the easy application process – it’s just like applying traditional polish. Furthermore, these polishes do not need a UV light source to cure, nor does it require that you use a base coat. Long wear lacquers are durable, you can remove the product with regular nail polish removers, and it maintains its shine throughout the life of the manicure.
Until recently, offering clients gel manicures has been the best way to ensure durable, long-lasting manicures. But in the last few years, due to health and safety concerns, the gel manicure craze has slowed, and gel services have come under scrutiny.
Why Long Wear Polishes Are Winning
Per the American Cancer Society, exposure to UV radiation is a risk factor for most skin cancers, which includes UV nail dryers. Additionally, there is little or no regulation in the nail lamp manufacturing industry. Bulbs, wattage, and amounts of radiation output can vary; leaving salon professionals in the dark about how much UV exposure the client’s skin receives over time.
Another growing concern for many nail technicians as well as clients is damage to the natural nails before application and during the removal process. (If you want to work on your removal skills, check out these how-tos.) Etching the nail before each service over time can cause nails to thin and become weak and brittle. Acetone used for soaking can dry nails out, and if the gel is not properly removed, (i.e. using e-files to remove top layers of gel polish or scraping it off with metal implements) it can cause further damage to the nails and nail bed.
Because of these health concerns, and the ease of application, long wear nail polishes have gained huge popularity and have soared in the nail care market by triple digits since 2015 while gel nail products and services have begun to decline.
Applying Long Wear Polish
Like traditional nail polish, apply two coats of self-adhering, long wear nail polish on clean, dry nails - no base coat is required. Long wear polish brands claim the special formulations are self-adhering and its specially formulated top coat prevents yellowing of the nails.
After applying two coats of polish, apply the specially formulated, fast dry top-coat. Where traditional polishes take up to 20-30 minutes to dry, long wear polishes dry in 8-10 minutes. The secret is in its light-sensitive polymer technology which increases chip-resistance and durability as nails are exposed to natural light. More exposure to light actually makes the long wear manicure stronger.
Removing Long Wear Polish
When ready to remove long wear polish, simply use regular acetone-based removers – no filing, scraping or soaking!
Nail care brands offer long wear nail polish for both at-home and professional use. Lacquers used and sold in salons and spas are normally formulated to last the longest. Professional and consumer brand polishes and top coat prices range from $5-$30 per .5-ounce bottle. Services for long wear manicures are typically $25-$35.
Photo: Shutterstock | tara83
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Tiffani Douglas is an author, speaker, beauty-marketing consultant and licensed nail technician with over 20 years experience in the beauty industry.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Tiffani worked her way through college as a manicurist to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, with a concentration in strategic marketing. After college, she went on to work in corporate America as a marketing and media maven, but ever passionate about the beauty industry, she founded her own mobile spa.
During that time she also began consulting other beauty professionals in the areas of marketing and branding, which sparked an idea to write two e-books, Social Media Marketing: A Guide for Beauty Professionals and Are You a True Beauty Professional– 7 Practical Steps to Being More Professional, Upgrading Your Business and Increasing Your Revenue. She recently released her first published book, Straight Outta Beauty School - 10 Things You Need to Know and Do After You Graduate.
Tiffani resides in Dallas, Texas where she continues to inspire beauty pros young and old by offering them the tools they need to grow personally and professionally.
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