September 17, 2013

CND Vinylux Swatches & Review

Hi guys! Today I have some swatches along with a review of the new CND Vinylux system. Vinylux is a new product from CND that is supposed to give you 7 day chip-free wear with a 2 step system. All you do is apply your polish, no base coat required, and the Weekly Top Coat and you're good to go. The Weekly Top Coat uses "Pro-Light Technology" which creates increased durability and resistance to chips with exposure to natural light. Vinylux has a pretty huge range of colors and finishes, 62 in total...47 of which match popular Shellac colors.

I've had these for a few weeks now so I've been trying them different ways and wear testing them etc... check out all the swatches and my wall 'o text review after the jump!

I thought I'd just start out with the review, usually I put this at the end of posts like this but I dunno...I felt like putting it at the top today! Vinylux is meant to be used without a base coat, the polish self adheres to the nail which eliminates the need for a base. To be honest I'm not a fan of this polish without a base coat...I found that the polish sunk into every imperfection in my nail and did not wear well that way, I had really bad tip wear on the 2nd day. Without a base coat I got 5 days of wear out of Vinylux before I removed it because I just couldn't stand the bad tip wear anymore.

Next I tried Vinylux with CND Sticky as a base coat. Stickey is my go-to and I typically get great wear out of most polishes when I use it. When I paired Vinylux with the Stickey base I found that I got much better wear out of it. I still had tip wear after the 2nd day but it was minimal compared to the tip wear I got when I did not use a base coat. I had no issues with chipping with or without that was nice.

I do want to mention that one of my good friends loves Vinylux and has had no issues with wear so just because it wasn't fantastical for me doesn't mean it won't work great for you!

As far as the Weekly Top Coat goes I am not a fan of it. It was great the first day, nice and shiny, but after the first day it just seemed to get really dull looking. I thought maybe it was just me but it seems like most reviews I've seen of the system say the same thing. I had no issues with removal for any of these shades, I used my regular OPI Expert Touch and they came off without a problem. If anything I actually thought they came off easier than most polish.

Alright...on to swatches :) If you got though that text I applaud you! All of the photos in this post are in natural sunlight and with the Weekly Top Coat over the Vinylux shade.

Faux Fur is a rich brown creme. The formula was great, I loved the consistency and opacity of it. CND says to use 2 thin coats of Vinylux so that's what I did but it could have easily been a 1 coater.

Fedora is a very dark vampy red creme. This is pretty similar to Fedora but when you put them next to each other you can see how it pulls red. The formula was again, really great. I loved the consistency and the way it flowed onto the nail. Again, it could have easily been a 1 coater but I used 2 thin coats.

Lilac Longing is a light lilac creme. The formula was good, it was a bit sheer on the first coat but completely opaque with the second coat.

Masquerade is a wine red shimmer. This is my favorite of the 5 shades I have for you. It's super glowy and perfect for fall! The formula was perfection, great consistency and super opaque. I used 2 thin coats for the photos below. 

Water Park is a light blue frost. Unfortunately I really don't like this one. Aside from the color just not being something I like I found the formula to be pretty terrible. I'm kind of wondering if I just got a bad bottle because it seems odd that the other 4 were perfect and then this one was just a mess.

It was really thick and goopy, I had a lot of problems trying to apply it while making it look presentable. I ended up putting some thinner into the bottle after the first coat and it helped a bit but it still wasn't great. I used 2 coats for the photos below.

Overall I'm a bit on the fence about the Vinylux system. On one hand I loved the formulations of most of the polishes. On the other hand I was a bit disappointed by the wear I got with these, for something that boasts long wearing I didn't really find that to be the case. I get better wear out of normal polishes to be completely honest. I also did not care for the top coat :(

CND Vinylux can be found at various salons, for a listing check out the CND website here. You can also get them online places like Amazon!


  1. I tried out their Forbidden collection for fall and I agree it showed EVERYTHING going on on my nailbed without a bass coat. I'll have to try them with one next!

  2. If it makes you feel better, I've seen other bloggers complain about the wear time of this too! I'm personally not a fan of polishes that you HAVE to use this product or that to make it work, but then to see a product that promises long wear and doesn't deliver? Doesn't matter how nice the polishes themselves are, it's a pass for me :)

  3. Same same for me: really disappointed as it chipped on day 2. Also, the color I first tried, "Burnt Romance", actually needed 3 coats in order not to be streaky. :( Finally, I noticed that the top coat is reeeally thin, as I personally prefer thicker top coats (as Misa top speed or Sally Hansen Insta-Dri).
    Very disappointed for the price and promises. Like you, my regular polishes hold better than these, overall.

  4. It feels icky to put polish straight on my nail without a basecoat. It's like putting on a gorgeous new outfit but skipping the bra! lol

  5. Your honesty is really appreciated! I'm so glad that I know I'll always get an honest review on your blog. :)

  6. LOL that is like the perfect comparison. I totally agree about skipping base

  7. I've been wondering if this system was really as good as they said it was, thanks for the review! I can get normal polish to last for up to 5 or 6 days without wear using Seche base and top coat so think I'll stick to that for now. I am impressed by how opaque they are after two thin coats. Xx

  8. I agree!! It would just feel wrong x

  9. These actually work better than regular polish for me :). With regular polish, I can only get 1½-2 days wear, even with a sticky basecoat, before tip wear and chippping starts to be visible enough I have to remove it. With this, I get 3+ days. I'll get minimal tipwear after 1-2 days, and it only chips if my nail breaks or peels - which unfortunately happens a lot. I have yet to find a polish that'll stay perfect when the nail underneath it breaks off ;), so it's no surprise to me that this one doesn't either. By the end of day 3, I'm usually impatient to try out new nail art/colour combination, so I haven't tried wearing it more than 3 days yet.
    I agree about the topcoat dulling over time though, that's kinda annoying... Other than that, I'm very happy with the 3 colours I have so far. After seeing your lovely swatches, I think I'll have to get Masquerade as the next new colour!

  10. I just can't really get all that excited about the whole concept of these. I feel like my polish wears well as it is with good base and top coat - I really think those can make all the difference. Plus I'm not sure how often I'd want my polish to last seven days anyway...maybe on holiday, I guess. Masquerade is defo my favourite of these, too.

    P.S. You said, ' pretty similar to Fedora' - I think you meant 'to Faux Fur'. ;)

  11. I don't use regular topcoat anymore. I paint my nails at night, then put a coat of led uv curing gel on it the morning. If I want to wear a mani for more than a day or two, I do a gel sandwich. I have tried every base/top coat combo out there, nothing keeps a plain polish mani from chipping on me in a day or two.

  12. I love Stickey, buy it in the economy sized bottle when I get it. Fantastic stuff. I bought a bottle of this Vinylux a couple months back (Daring Escape, a beautiful slate blue shimmer), haven't tried it yet though. I didn't get the recommended top coat, thought I'd see how it looked with a regular one first. Oh well, if I don't like it at least CosmoProf lets you bring stuff back. Masquerade is gorgeous, Water Park is pretty, the cremes meh.

  13. So glad to read your review - I've been wondering whether to try this as I already get pretty good wear time out of my fave polishes, but I did like the last CND Shellac manicure I got. I'll probably skip as the colours are pretty but kind of similar to lots of other stuff I own. Thanks for your honesty!

  14. Pretty swatches!
    I was also disappointed with the tip wear on these - major wear after only 1 day. Not what I expected. I also don't know about anyone else, but I had a terrible amount of staining too, with no base coat (Scarlet Letter was the shade). I will try it with a base coat, can't hurt since I'm not overly impressed with it when I don't wear one...

  15. Brenda Shelburne SmithSeptember 28, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    you have to use scrub fresh on the nail plate. I use this in the salon and it is the best product on the market. cap your free edge with polish and top coat. it last the full week.

  16. Brenda Shelburne SmithSeptember 28, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Vinyl Lux is the best product on the market. Apply scrub fresh to an oil free nail plate. Apply 2 coats of polish cap the edges and apply the Vinyl Lux top coat. It will last a week.

  17. Glad to know I was not the only person with problems with Water Park! Yes, it gets gloopy, yes the color is hard to pull, and yes, brushstroke city! I'll stick with Water Park only when using Shellac rather than Vinylux.
    I'm going to redo it by using Midnight Swim. Shame they don't have Silver/Gold VIP Status to use for effects...

  18. I am pretty impressed with this product. I applied two coats of Rouge Red last Sunday and took if off today. I keep my nails short and I only had two major chips, one was unavoidable (undoing incredibly sturdy latches on a crate) and one just happened. But for the most part, it was just minor tip wear. And all through the week I showered, did laundry and the dishes and other things that like to ruin my nail polish. Normally a bright red manicure starts chipping immediately so I'm very impressed. As for it getting dull, I don't know since I am constantly applying hand cream. To remove the polish, I used real cotton pads and Sally Hansen remover and it wasn't any different than the usual pain of removing a dark colour.

    I reapplied a heavy single coat today, then once it dried (very quickly, I'll add), I applied the top coat and went outside and let my nails dry in the sun. I'm curious if that will make a difference. Next time I'll add a base coat as it did stain my nails.

  19. My local nail supply just got the full line of Vinylux colors and it covered an entire wall! I was really excited to try it. The owner went over all the details with me and provided me an information sheet from CND about the product, how to use it, FAQ, etc.

    Both the owner and the CND information sheet stressed that I should NOT use a basecoat. The reasoning is that the product's adhesion would be compromised as Vinylux supposedly adheres to keratin.

    My #1 question was: WILL IT STAIN? No basecoat scares me. On the CND info sheet it went into detail about how the new Vinylux technology does not stain the nails at all. This was a HUGE selling point for me because I hate staining. I bought Rogue Red and the Vinylux tc..and I just read in the comments that Rogue Red stained. >.< *wince* I just did a pedi with Rogue Red 1 day ago! :( Thank goodness I tested it as a pedi first! I will definitely take your advice and try Stickey next time I use Vinylux to see how it works for me. I love Stickey anyway so it's worth a shot!

    I did an additional step after my pedi as I read that exposure to UV light strengthens the polish bond. I used a Sally Hansen lamp that came in their gel starter kit. After that I turned my smaller Ott lamp on and slept with it pointing at my feet. I don't know if this will help or not as it's only been a day.

    You said that the topcoat looked dull after a day - did you use any other topciats on top of it to refresh the shine (like Barielle Mani Extender)? I'm not sure if adding additional topcoat is possible or not with these products.

    Something else I wanted to ask... When applying the topcoat did the nail color get on the brush? I waited a full 15 minuted between coats (and before applying the topcoat) and the polish was dry to the touch prior to my applying the topcoat. The topcoat has a clear brush and after painting only one nail I noticed red on the brush! Did this happen to you at all?

    Sorry for the super long comment! >.< Thank you so much for these beautiful swatches and your review! :D

  20. I got a pedicure when I was on holidays, they use Vinylux there and I absolutely love it! My polish stayed on for 3 weeks with absolutely no chipping. It's amazing! Nobody has heard of Vinylux where I'm from but there's a few women now that want to order Vinylux now. It worked very well!

  21. Hello,
    Q1: it does not need a base coat because there's already a base coat in the formula of the nail polish! Therefore, it will not stain your nails :)
    Also, I have tried Vinylux, and I agree, the top coat does look a bit dull after a day. Therefore, I don't feel like the top coat is any different from others (e.g. seche vite).

  22. I am not an expert or professional, but I did use a base coat and ridge filler before applying the nail lacquer CND. To finish it off with a high gloss, I applied Seche Vite topcoat/high gloss dryer. My nails lasted for 11 days. It would have lasted longer, but I took it off because of my new growth near my cuticles. So see if this works for you. Also, I use heavy duty (furniture stain) gloves to wash dishes. Good Luck.

  23. I am that person who can chip her fresh manicure in her sleep. So I picked up the Topcoat on a whim when I saw a counter display touting the 7-day claim. I have had it on over Zoya's "Bella" for 48 hours now - 2 days, 2 showers, and dishes washed without gloves. I have one teeny-tiny chip on the one nail I tap relentlessly on my desk. For me, this is a resounding success, as typically, I'd be chipped halfway up to my cuticle by now. It's also still shiny (no clue why, I see the other complaints). I can't wait to buy one of CND's actual colors and try the full system.

  24. Rebecca Jackson-MakinJune 3, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Hmmm I've just got round to trying this, i think for the price its not that great. I have the grape one and the consistency is awful. Don't think i will be amassing a collection.

  25. Whenever I do my own nails at home, the doggone polish chips within a week and looks absolutely tacky. Since I work as a corporate receptionist, it's essential my nails look their very best at all times. So I got CND Shellac Nail Polish for the first time last week, and they still look great. I LOVE it! Will be getting it from now on. Money well spent.


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