Hello Lab Partners!
We all know that a good mani depends on more than the polish. One of the most important components is a great top coat, preferably a quick-drying one that leaves the wearer able to get on with her day without fear of messing up that fresh mani. Cult Nails just released their new base coat, Get It On, and quick-dry top coat, Wicked Fast. We couldn't wait to give them a try.
|Cult Nails Get It On (base coat) and Wicked Fast (top coat)|
When we decided to put Cult Nails' new base and top coats to the test, I didn't think it would be that hard. I've been getting so much nail mail this week, there was always a few new lovelies waiting to be swatched. but I persevered and kept the color on for 3.5 days.
The task was made easier by the fact that I had the lovely Let Me Fly from Cult Nails as my nail color. It's a pretty, muted-yet-saturated, medium blue with fine hidden shimmer. Gorgeous! I applied two coats of the polish over the Get It On base coat and followed by Wicked Fast topcoat.
I'll just say that the base coat was fine, but requires further experiments. My mani did not chip at all for 3.5 days but that's neither here nor there. We can thus say the base coat is at the very least, adequate.
Now the top coat... I should preface this by saying I love Seche Vite. I love it even though it stinks and you have to thin it after a while and even taking into account the dreaded "shrinkage" that sometimes happens with Seche.
|Not that shrinkage!|
|This shrinkage. (Image from Candy Coated Tips)|
Now I am not saying Seche is the only top coat that does this, but it seems that it is most frequently accused of being the culprit.
But Seche Vite also provides incredible shine and hardness and dries faster than anything else I've tried. It also evens out the layers of polish and can make golden a clumpy application. I will always love it for its magic.
In this context, Wicked Fast had a lot to live up to and it is remarkable that I can honestly say, this is one good top coat! It dries a bit slower than Seche Vite but noticeably faster than anything else I tried (Poshe, Zoya, Sally Hansen, etc). The texture and shine were excellent. And my mani wore without even tip wear for 3.5 days. Here are the photos with the different outfits to prove it.
Overall, I can recommend the base and top coats. They're among the best I have tried.
So far we know these products do well with their own brand's polishes. But do they play well with other brands? I find it annoying when a product only plays well with its own polishes or vice versa. I know it makes sense from the companies' viewpoint, but as consumers, we'd like our base coats and top coats to be usable with all our polishes. Allison put these products to the test with a different brand.
|Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat over Zoya Petra. Inside, artificial light, no flash.|
|Cult Nails Wicked Fast used as top coat over Zoya Petra. Outside, natural light.|
The photos don't do justice to the shine Wicked Fast left on my mani. In one photo I chose not to show because I didn't care for the angle, I could clearly see in my nails the reflection of buildings behind me.
Now, I'm accustomed to changing my polish nearly every day, but because I wanted to see how well Wicked Fast helped my polish remain chip-free, I left this mani on for longer than usual. But after two days, I grew too impatient; I just couldn't resist changing things up a bit, so I used a fan brush to add some Zoya Goldie and a striping brush for a few streaks of Petra on top of my existing mani to create a mottled, gilded effect that reminds me of tiger's eye:
|Cult Nails Wicked Fast top coat over Zoya Petra and Zoya Goldie|
After another two days (four days after the initial mani), my mani was still going strong. My patience, however, were not. I just had to change polish!
What more can I say about a top coat that not only quickly dried my mani to a glossy finish, but also made my mani outlast my patience? Move over Seche Vite. Get out of the way Poshe! I've found a new favorite top coat.
Conclusions: Although more experiments are needed, the lab's first studies indicate Cult Nails' new base and top coats are worth a try! They may just be your new favorites.
EDITED TO ADD: Cult Nails are having a free shipping promo: Now through Thurs 10/6 11:59pm EST at shop.cultnails.com. No minimums - free shipping for everyone domestic & International.
Have you tried these products? What do you think? What's your preferred top and base coat?