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Sula Beauty

Sula Paint and Peel Polish Swatches and Review

By on July 10, 2009
in Big 3 Free, Lilac, Sula Beauty with 27 Comments
A number of you have inquired about Sula Beauty’s Paint & Peel Nail Polish. I must admit I was hesitant because the idea of peeling anything off my nail beds seemed unhealthy but in the name of research I was willing to give it a go.

If you haven’t seen this brand at your local ULTA yet, Sula is a water-based nail polish that you can remove by peeling. Being water based, it is safe for pregnant women and ideal for those fanatics who are looking for non-toxic nail color. Check out my swatches and full review after the jump!

I had the opportunity to test Sula’s Modern Mauve nail color and Metallic Base/Top coat. Both are water based and non-toxic so it is recommended that if you do not use Sula’s base/top coat, you wear the polish on naked nails.

I wore Modern Mauve for a week to give it a thorough trial run and when my friend Jewels spotted it on me, she of course asked about the brand. I told her it was a peel off polish and her response was, “like that old school Bonne Bell peel off polish?” Let’s just call this is the grown up version of that.

Application: To say the polish applies streaky is an understatement. Without the chemicals that make traditional polish flow, you have to be very careful to keep the finish from being lumpy. Even after three coats, Modern Mauve was a bit uneven regardless of using their base coat. The bottle instructs you to avoid hot water for 3 hours after applying.

Tip: Wait time between coats is essential to avoid severe streaking. The polish dries with a rubberized finish and is completely dry and touchable in minutes.

Modern Mauve looks like a pale lilac in the bottle but on the nail it dries darker and more vivid. It’s very eye catching. For me, it’s dark enough to avoid my light purple “alien hand” syndrome.
The Metallic Base/Top Coat applies milky but dries perfectly clear and doesn’t alter the polish hue in the slightest. It’s not so much a metallic as a micro-glitter top coat. The particles are very small pieces of silver glitter that dry smooth. There’s no gritty texture here.

I did a 5 day wear test with Metallic Base/Top on my index and ring fingers and just the polish on the middle and pinkie fingers. As you can see, my middle finger suffered the worst wear. The rubberized finish is mostly to blame. Similar to how Minx start to lift after a couple days, this polish’s slightly tacky surface snags on things and will start lifting. Otherwise the wear was impressive. I expected it to look much worse after five days.
Removal: According to Sula, you can safely peel the polish off your nails. It takes a bit of picking to get the polish started but tears off in decent sized chunks. I’m sure my fidgety fanatics out there will revel in the removal process.

My experience: I had WAY too many people tell me how easy it was to remove Sula and how it wasn’t AT ALL damaging to their nails. Though after testing Sula myself I wonder if those people wore the polish for any length of time or were just swatching it for fun. Because when I went to remove the polish after 5 days, I saw actual pieces of my nail bed rip off and I was left with severely dehydrated tissue. Halfway through removal I used acetone remover and saw no damage to my remaining nails.
Modern Mauve was one of Sula’s original Paint & Peel shades but now they have 13 additional Trend Collection polishes to choose from.

Final Verdict: Sula is a unique product. It’s not the first paint & peel polish on the market but it’s more accessible than other brands I’ve heard of. It’s great for fanatics who want fun nails but need a non-toxic polish. It’s an ideal diversion for people that tend to pick at their cuticles as long as they don’t leave it on too long. In terms of extended wear, I just HIGHLY recommend removing with a polish remover. I don’t want to see any of you taking off layers of your nail.

Sula Paint and Peel Nail Polish retails for $9/ea and is available online at and and in stores at ULTA.

Have any of you tried these polishes yet? What has your experience been? Have you tried other peel off polishes?

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