As nail polish fanatics we are on a never-ending quest for that holy grail combination of base coat, polish and top coat that will give us extended wear and high gloss shine with a quick dry time and no staining (Smurf fingers begone). Nail industry innovator, CND, is attempting to solve that riddle with the introduction of CND VINYLUX Weekly Polish.
A new take on the traditional nail polish process, the CND VINYLUX system consists solely of nail polish and top coat, no base coat required. It also claims to deliver a stain-free product that dries in 8 & 1/2 minutes flat, with a full week of wear thanks to a top coat that gets stronger when exposed to natural UV light, no lamps required. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Formula & Application: CND VINYLUX Weekly Polish is 5-Free (Formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor). It comes in the old school CND polish bottle (pre-Colour & Effects) but with the thin, flat, flexible brush from the C&E bottle. It’s the best of both worlds.
The polish is thin and easy to manipulate. It flows freely on the nail with excellent pigmentation. With one notable exception (Electric Orange), they all give full coverage in two thin coats. With Electric Orange, I felt a couple nails needed an extra coat to fully disguise my tips.
One of the benefits of VINYLUX is its quick dry time. The claim is that your polish is dry in 8 & 1/2 minutes. I test the theory in this quick VINYLUX application tutorial.
CND VINYLUX Electric Orange has been carried over from the now-retired Colour & Effects nail polish line. It was created as part of the Primary and Secondary color lineup so it is a very true orange creme. This one is a touch more sheer than the rest of the shades I tried so I used three coats to avoid VNL (visible nail line).
CND VINYLUX Gilded Pleasure is a shade shifting duo-chrome with a golden olive base that flashes antique gold and a pale leafy green. Due to its metallic nature, it does show some brush strokes.
CND VINYLUX Pretty Poison appears in the Shellac line as well. It is a moody, blackened forest hue filled with bronze, gold and grass green flecks. It’s even more spectacular in person. A MUST-HAVE in my book!
CND VINYLUX Rock Royalty is based on a shade from the Fall 2007 Imperial Anarchy collection. It’s one of my favorite purples of all time. It was originally resurrected in Shellac and now carries over to VINYLUX. The current version is not exact replica of the original. It’s darker with less shimmer, more red in its base and a bit plummy.
CND VINYLUX Seaside Party is a slightly greyed, marine blue creme. It has a touch of green in its undertone to give it an aquatic feel. Along with Gilded Pleasure, it is a brand new color, exclusive to VINYLUX.
CND VINYLUX 8 Day Wear Test
I’ve tested CND VINYLUX multiple times over the past few months. Outside of needing an extra coat of Electric Orange to achieve full coverage, the application process is as simple and easy as CND claims. Two coats of Weekly Polish and one coat of Weekly Top Coat and 8 & 1/2 minutes later I can function normally. Like reach in my purse to grab keys normal.
One thing I noticed is that because my nail beds have ridges and are far from flawless, I don’t get a perfectly smooth, glossy finish from VINYLUX.
Part of that could be that I put my nails through torture, constantly testing new products and changing my polish more often than the average person. The other part could be that I don’t buff my nails to make them perfectly smooth. My nails are naturally thin so I try not too buff and weaken them.
Regardless, I found the wear of VINYLUX to be very good. It’s not perfect but neither are my nails. Over time, the finish dulled some. Though daily use of cuticle oil helps prevent that. I did have a few chips near the end of the week but only on nails that consistently split and peel.
CND VINYLUX FAQ
I spoke with CND Education Training Manager Roxanne Valinoti to ask your most pressing VINYLUX questions. Her direct quotes will be italicized alongside answers based on my own experience.
Q: Why no base coat?
A: For years we’ve touted to always use base coat to promote adhesion and prevent staining however VINYLUX uses newly developed proprietary adhesion promoters that dramatically improve adhesion and eliminate the need for a base coat. The adhesion promoters are designed to anchor directly to keratin and form a barrier to prevent the pigments from coming into contact with the natural nail. – RV
Q: Can you use a base coat?
A: If you DO wear a base coat those adhesion promoters can’t bond to keratin so you wouldn’t have the same wear. – RV I tested VINYLUX with both CND Stickey and CND Ridge Out base coats. In both cases, the wear was good but not as good as on the bare nail alone.
Q: If you don’t wear a base coat, what about ridges or nail imperfections?
A: VINYLUX may not be a great option for someone who has damaged or ridge nails. In our testing, 80% of the women wore it for 7 days with no wear however the other 20% did not have healthy nails. I would recommend CND Shellac for that client. – RV I experienced chipping wearing VINYLUX, as directed, on nails with splits or tears.
Q: Is CND VINYLUX Weekly Top Coat the same as Julep Freedom Polymer Coat or Rock Top Coat?
A: I don’t own Julep Freedom Coat but the ingredient lists for it and Rock Top Coat are different from VINYLUX Weekly Top Coat. The basic principal is similar but I haven’t tested them side by side to make a definitive conclusion.
Q: Should you reapply the CND VINYLUX Top Coat throughout the week?
A: You won’t need to and if you do it may effect the removal. It removes like regular nail polish but, since the topcoat gets tougher over time, the longer you wear VINYLUX, the more “energy” to remove. Personally, when I wear it on my toes, I saturate a cotton pad with acetone and hold it on the surface for a few seconds so it can penetrate before swiping off. – RV I found that, left alone, the surface dulled over the course of a week.
Q: How do you remove VINYLUX?
A: With acetone-based nail polish removers. Same as traditional nail polish. Non-acetone nail polish removers work as well but they require more effort.
Q: Without a base coat, will the VINYLUX polish colors stain?
A: If clients do have dry, damaged nails, that would be prone to staining, I recommend a thin layer of a neutral sheer (Lavishly Loved) before dark or bright colors. – RV My short answer, no. I tested all five colors over a week and none of them stained. Considering that blues and red-based purples are notorious for staining, you shouldn’t experience staining with VINYLUX.
Q: Can you use the VINYLUX Weekly Top Coat over other brands of nail polish?
A: VINYLUX Weekly Top Coat should be used only with VINYLUX Weekly Polish as you won’t have the same benefit with traditional nail polish. – RV I tested the Weekly Top Coat over five major brands (China Glaze, Essie, L’Oreal, OPI, Zoya) and they all dried fast and wore well over the course of a week.
CND VINYLUX Pros & Cons
PROS: 1. No base coat means faster application 2. No staining 3. Thin and easy to apply 4. Full coverage in two coats (with one noted exception) 5. Quick, 8 & 1/2 minute dry time 6. Top coat gets stronger when exposed to sunlight 7. Full week of wear on healthy nails with little to no signs of chipping 8. No strong odor
CONS: 1. No base coat means no ridge filler to camouflage ridges 2. The top coat dulls over time 3. The finish doesn’t have the thickness or high gloss to mask imperfections like best sellers Seche Vite or Out The Door 4. Can chip if there is splitting along the free edge. 5. Intended for professionals, DIYers who aren’t adept at manicure prep and polish application may not get the same results.
Bottom Line: CND VINYLUX lives up to its claims with the quick dry time being a major selling point. If you don’t change your nail polish often and haven’t found a product combination that gives you week-long wear, VINYLUX may be your solution. The polish itself has a lovely formula, diverse color range and great pigmentation. The fact that it doesn’t stain is genius. Although CND doesn’t condone using the Weekly Top Coat over other brands, it dries just as fast over other polishes so I suggest picking it up for that reason alone. If you have weak, splitting nails, this may not be a good option for you.
CND VINYLUX Weekly Polish is available as a service at professional salons and spas nationwide with product available for purchase. Visit CND.com to locate a salon near you. Service prices will vary by location. CND VINYLUX Weekly Polish and Weekly Top Coat will retail for $9.90/ea for a .5oz bottle. I’ve also seen VINYLUX sold on Amazon.com and BeyondPolish.com though I can’t vouch for the legitimacy of those sellers.
To view the entire CND VINYLUX color range, visit my original post HERE.
So, does VINYLUX live up to the hype? Have you tried VINYLUX? How did it work for you? If you haven’t used VINYLUX, will you give it a go? What are your favorite colors from the line?