Longwear Lacquer Vs. Regular Nail Polish: What's the Difference?

As longwear nail lacquers continue to make a statement among traditional nail polishes, many are left wondering: What’s the difference between the two? Here, CND co-founder Jan Arnold weighs in.

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What is the difference between regular and longwear lacquer?

Regular nail lacquer is based on a traditional (60-plus years old) nitrocellulose formula that contains pigments, solids and solvents that, once applied to the nail, gets old. It instantly begins to dry out, micro-crack and show wear, loss of shine and adhesion. This leads to chipping and peeling of the manicure within days of the initial application. Back in the day, we even instructed our clients to apply a fresh layer of top coat every three days tofill in those micro-fractures in order to make it all the way to five-day wear. Crazy, right?

Longwear technology is a new science (CND was the first to introduce and innovate it!) with improved resiliency, flexibility and toughness. We formulated CND Vinylux to be a two-step system with a self-adhering color coat and adhesion promoters designed to attach to the natural nail for seven-plus days of wear without lifting or separation. This innovative color coat contains long-wear durable polymers that go far beyond standard cellulose for elevated performance and long wear. The Vinylux Top Coat is designed with customized oligomers that get tougher over time with exposure to natural light. Because of the advanced performance of longwear nail polish, removal demands an acetone-base remover and a durable lint-free pad with an energetic touch.

How should longwear lacquer be applied to ensure extra-long wear?

Extra-long wear of any nail coating requires a pristine preparation of the natural nail plate. Perform a manicure and remove cuticle from the nail plate. Remove contaminants from the surface of the nail with a waterless natural nail cleanser and temporary dehydrator.

Blend the polish before use by turning the bottle upside down and rolling it between your palms. This will homogenize the ingredients for an even distribution of the color on the nail. Application of longwear nail polish requires floating the color on in thin even layers. Once on the nail, this will assure proper and even evaporation of the solvents, leaving a smooth and even layer of the solids and pigments behind. Allow each layer to dry before applying the next layer. Usually only two coats are needed. Apply a layer of Vinylux Top Coat, then finish with hydrating cuticle oil.

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