I’ve been working with a lot of gel polish lately because my Cindy hand (dominant hand, short for Cinderella- the one that does all the work and gets none of the recognition) gets abused at work, and I need polish that will stay put and protect my nails. This gel base coat and top coat from Clavuz was a cheap find at Amazon and really worked wonders. Keep reading for the full review!
This base and top coat set comes packaged in a box set, so it makes an awesome gift for your fellow nail art obsessed friend who loves gel polish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on a lot of wish lists!
The back of the box has instructions for how to use these items to produce a “14 Day Manicure.”
In addition to the instructions on the back, a leaflet is included inside the box detailing how to use different types of gel polish with this set.
The bottles in this set are huge. They’re both 15 mL each when most gel polishes come in bottles that are 8-10 mL. You’re going to use base coat and top coat with every gel manicure that you do, so there are no worries in whether or not you need this amount or not. Chances are that you’ll go through both bottles eventually. The cost per mL is so much cheaper than other brands, there’s really no comparison.
The base coat applies evenly without shrinking. It does not seem like it cures fully because it is slightly sticky to the touch even after it comes out of the lamp (I used a one minute curing time with my UV/LED lamp). The stickiness is a good thing because it allows your color coat to adhere to the nail surface without shrinking. I assure you that your manicure will not budge after all the layers of polish are applied and cured. Do be warned that you should not try to touch anything until after you have applied and cured the top coat layer because your nails will pick up lint and dust very easily at this stage!
The top coat is one of the best that I’ve used. It cured completely in one minute, and it is a no wipe formula, although the instructions on/inside the box will make you believe that it is not. It left my nails so shiny that they were hard to photograph afterward, and the finish is durable.
I have used this set for the manicures below. The results are very professional.
Both formulas apply smoothly and are slightly viscous so they stay put after you apply them. I’ve used lots of other cheap gel polishes before where the formula was very runny, making for a sloppy looking manicure. The Clavuz base and top coats both behave like versions that cost twice as much money.
As for how long the manicure lasts, I left the plaid manicure on my Cindy hand for a full week before having to take it off due to a need to have matching nail art on both hands for a concert. The shine was as brilliant on day 7 as it was on day 1, and there were no chips with only very slight wear at the tips. I have no doubt that it would have lasted 14 days, if not longer. I think the only reason why they say it’s a 14 day manicure is because it’s assumed that your nails will grow out to the point where you will want to have them redone, not because the polish will not last.
Removal of the manicure was fairly straightforward. I filed the top coat off with a 100 grit file, then applied pieces of cotton balls soaked in 100% acetone to my nails and covered them with silicone caps so that the acetone wouldn’t evaporate (aluminum foil also works). After leaving this on for 10 minutes, I removed a cap and used a polish scraper to remove the gel as much as would comfortably come off. I reapplied the cap to the nail while I removed the polish from the next nail and so on until I could cycle back again. The polish could totally be scraped away from the nail by this point (usually another 10 minutes) without causing any damage to the nail bed.
Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to order this base and top coat set. The stickiness of the base coat sets it apart from other cheaply priced gel base coats and definitely helps with the application of the color of your choice. The top coat does an amazing job of protecting your nails. Together, this set is a must have item in your manicure collection.
Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)
If you are interested in purchasing this base coat and no wipe top coat set (retail price is $7.49 USD), the link for the item is below. Happy polishing!
*Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.