Beauty Test Drive: Londontown Lakur Nail Polish, Base Coat & Hardener
I’ve been looking for a decent top coat for ages, so Londontown’s Kur top coat and nail hardener are more exciting to me than the line’s pretty fall colors. Londontown’s polish is vegan, 5-free, and ultimately better for your nails than a typical chemical-filled polish. The top coat and hardener promise to make nails strong, healthy and chip-resistant. Here’s how things panned out…
Price: $25 for Base Coat/Hardener, $16 for Lakur Nail Polish, Londontown
Application: The nail hardener can be applied as either a base coat or top coat, so I opted to put it on as a base. It only took about ten seconds to dry, and I topped with the brand’s Lakur nail polish in Cheerio, a translucent pink-ish color. The Lakur is designed to bond to the hardener and make the nails even stronger. Cheerio dried a bit less opaque than I expected and the color didn’t mesh well with my skin tone, so I topped it off with another a pale pink shade (Frosting Fancy by The Body Shop). After that I applied the top coat, which also dried quickly and made my polish feel thicker.
Results: My nails definitely felt healthier and stronger. They seemed totally immune to breaking, peeling, hang nails, or anything else icky that can ruin a manicure on weak nails. Something about the texture of the polish felt more like it’d been done in a salon than at home, which I loved – until the chipping started. The look lasted maybe a day before starting to chip. This top coat and base are meant to be chip-resistant, but since it bonds together so well, the chips that do happen come off in big chunks. On the day after applying I started to see big gashes on my nails despite not having done much with my hands besides typing.
This morning, two days after applying the polish, I woke up to find huge chips on several of my nails. I hastily redid them before leaving the house, and I wish I’d stopped to take a picture first of just how giant the missing pieces of polish were. I’m bummed out because I really want to like this stuff. In theory, it’s so awesome – it made my manicure feel so solid for the short time that it held. I’m going to give it another shot using the hardener on top of the polish instead of as a base coat (and with a more exciting color) to see if that makes a difference or moves me to update the rating. I’m itching for a top coat I can use all the time, so I really want a reason to love it. Fingers crossed!
Update Dec 11, 2014: Since I mixed in a different brand of polish last time that didn’t fit with the system, I tried this again with a Londontown polish that’s specifically designed to adhere to the top coat and nail hardener (a pretty blue called Smashing Majesty). It sets off a reaction with the nail hardener that creates a molecule bond to keep nails stronger. I did see slightly better results – it still chipped more than I’d have expected, but it took a bit longer to set in and was in much smaller, less noticeable pieces. For the record, I now use the nail hardener and top coat for pretty much every at-home manicure I do. I’m not happy with the chipping but I like how much stronger and sleeker my nails feel. I’m upgrading the rating to 4/5.