I love a gel manicure like everyone else, but my bank account sure doesn't. I know, I know, in the grand scheme of things it *looks* like you're saving money. Maybe the gel will last three full weeks without fail. But you know what simply does not last three weeks? My patience. I need the color to change after a few days, but I still want my nails to look perfect until I'm ready for the color change. Too good to be true? Nope...these three products are just the ticket:
Orly Bonder Base Coat ($10) This rubberized base coat is essential. It coats the bare nail with a tough, sticky surface that grabs hold of the color and keeps it there until you're ready to take it off. I find Orly products at CVS and Walgreens, but find the best prices at Ulta.
The Balm Cosmetics Hot Ticket Nail Polish ($10) This is not a brand I typically investigate, but I received this item in a beauty box a few months back and have fallen in love. This polish goes on smooth, opaque, and with enough density to stay on for many days. While I don't think this particular polish is essential, this brand does work far better with the other too products in keeping polish on for 7+ days. You can find these online and at Nordstrom.
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat ($8) I love nearly all Sally Hansen nail products, but this top coat takes the cake. Nails look shiny, dry quick, and simply do.not.chip. It's affordable and easily found...even at the grocery store!