Nail polish that smudges is probably up there in my top ten daily niggles - as a permanent fidgeter and notoriously impatient person, I have a habit of painting my nails late at night and then inevitably ruining them on my bedsheets. So, when ORLY offered to send EPIX 2 step flexible colour kits* for each of the gift bags for #NWmeet - I was intrigued to see just how well a nail system that claimed to auto fix smudges until dry would work.
Each set comes with two nail varnishes, the first a flexible colour (this particular colour is Call My Agent) and the second a flexible sealcoat. I really like the look of these bottles - the Orly rubberised base coat I used to swear by was the same as this but smaller and there's just something smooth and elegant about the bottles - not quite in the same league as the Nicka K offerings that take pride of place on my desk shelves, but pretty none the less. I was intrigued to find out not only whether this top coat did what it promises, but also if it would work with my other standard nail varnishes to make them smudge proof - the answer, it seems, or at least according to the website is no. Disappointing - but I suppose it ensures extended use of their products so, you know, also pretty clever when you think about it.
This stuff genuinely does appear to work - it dried quickly (The bottles claims it takes around 8 minutes, but it's definitely touch dry a lot faster than that most of the time) and although mega chips need to be fixed manually, bed sheet smudges etc. really do seem to be auto corrected for the most part, at least enough to get away with. This colour doesn't really translate like it is on photographs - although the tone is right, two colour coats and a sealcoat has this a bright neon peach, I haven't got a single colour that even comes close to it in my collection, and I'm all over a good one off.
It's not all rainbows and flowers though, this definitely has it's issues. You definitely couldn't get away with a single colour coat of this, it's a weird watery streaky consistency; this gives it a strong, even colour in two coats but you could definitely never just use one. This stuff is also super expensive in the UK - as far as I'm aware one of the only places that you can get a hold of this is Amazon and a double kit like this is going to set you back around £23, and a single bottle around £11 - which is a shame because I've had my eye on the stunning pale blue of Cameo.
Although this doesn't chip very easily, it does seem quite thick - to the point where it actually peels. I don't mind this too much, I like to peel off my nail varnish and redo it every few days and so I like a nail varnish that peels off cleanly - however, if you were paying a lot and aiming for a long lasting manicure, I doubt you'll find it here. For best results you should apply the sealcoat every three days but I'm yet to get that long without at least the edges peeling.
Overall, the theory is good - and it does work - but the fact is, this doesn't work out a cheaper alternative to gel nails and so for the price I'd pay for colours in these, I could just got a get them done. The technology is there but until I can use the sealcoat with other nail varnishes, it's just too much for me to consider dropping on nail paint I'll inevitably pick off by the end of the day.