Iím neurotic about my toes.
Recommend this product?
Year round, I keep my tootsies soft, sloughed, and painted. Even when I have no fingernails to speak of (I go back and forth between having a silk overlay, and attempting to grow out my own thin, weak nails), you will never find me without some shocking color on the tips of my toes. Why? Well, as Iíve mentioned in prior reviews, I live in Florida, so the 9 months of tropical weather allow me to wear open-toed shoes as often as I like. In addition, I have always found feet to be... well... just a terribly ugly body part (not just mine, but everyoneís!), so I feel like I should do my best to make them just a little less ugly.
How often do you paint your toes?
In summertime, I tend to change my pedicure color twice a week (more often if I buy a new color, or have a special event to attend). In cooler months, I paint them once per week (every Sunday night). So itís important to me that my nail polish be long wearing and durable, because nothing is more annoying than spotting a little chip on one of your toes only 2 days after youíve painted them!
But more important than durability, I look for one more feature in my toenail polish -- fast drying! As I mentioned, I paint my toes on Sunday nights -- after dinner, after Iíve washed up for bed, while my husband is reading and we wind down from the weekend. So itís important to me that my toes be dry before I climb into bed.
Just when I thought Iíd tried them all...
...Then LíOreal introduces their Jet Set line. Now I have always been a fan of LíOreal products, and already had quite a bevy of their nailcolors. But Iíd tried so many other quick drying nail colors before -- Maybelline and Revlon to name just a few -- so I was feeling a bit skeptical. I had found some to be good (Revlon), while others are horrid (Maybelline)... and all were far from perfect. But, being a loyal LíOreal customer, I decided to try it out.
The first color I selected was a bright, sparkly gold with flecks of glitter in it. It was summertime, and I was headed for a vacation at the beach (this was obviously prior to moving to Florida!), so I felt this would be a fun, festive color for my holiday weekend.
Nothing like planning ahead, eh?
Well being the procrastinator that I am, I failed to paint my nails in advance of my vacation -- in fact, I painted them within minutes of putting on my shoes and hopping into the car for our roadtrip. The first thing I noticed was that the directions advise applying one coat. Only one coat? Certainly they donít expect this vibrant shade to come out true and shiny with only one coat, do they? Yes they do. And I was pleasantly surprised that it also dried in a flash. Really! Within only a minute or two, my toes were cured and ready for shoes. And when we arrived (several hours later) at the beach, and I changed my shoes, I was relieved to see that I did not have those dreaded scuffs and chips on the surface of my toes, as so often happens when you put shoes on too quickly after painting your toes.
Having returned from our trip, I was ready to try yet another shade of Jet Set. So I brought out my nail polish remover and began to wipe it away. Sort of. This is the single most stubborn nail polish I have ever encountered! Eight cotton pads and 25% of a bottle of remover later, my toes were clean again. Sort of. Some of the glitter particles from the polish had adhered themselves to my toenails, and were not budging -- for anything! Though not all colors are as hard to remove as this one, I have found the more metallic colors to be a bit more stubborn than the other shades.
So what Jet Set colors do I have in my manicure case?
Lots of them. Tons. And several that I found I either just didnít care for anymore, or that were seriously out of fashion already, were tossed at the beginning of the summer. At the moment, I have 7 shades of Jet Set, plus the Jet Set Top Coat. Each color is wilder and more outrageous than the next, ensuring that I always have wacky, wild, funky toes peeking out from my shoes!
* Peach Fuzz is by far the tamest of my Jet Set collection. This is a subtle, pretty, perle finish peach, perfect for all occasions. Sweet, innocent, and subtly sexy (just as the name would suggest).
* Hasty is my very, very favorite Jet Set color. In fact, it may be one of my favorite nail colors ever! This is the definitive shocking pink. Not neon, not florescent, this color is neither fuschia nor magenta -- it is strictly shocking pink, with just a hint of perle. I always wear this color for parties and special occasions, and I always get compliments on it (mostly from men, but some from women who want to know what color it is!).
* Chop Chop was one of my more peculiar purchasing decisions. This is a bright, creme finish orange. Yes, orange. Not sure what I was thinking when I got it, but it is a fun color (not one I would ever choose to wear on my fingernails, however). Itís fun with bright madras plaids and floral sundresses in the summertime.
* Lickety Split is another odd one. This is a beautiful, deep, glittery shade of ocean blue, with just a hint of teal. Not for everyday wear, but great for a day at the beach, or with bluejeans and a tee.
* Urban Cola was one of the more recent additions to the collection, as part of one of LíOrealís summer color stories. In the bottle, itís a slightly intimidating shade of chocolate brown with a perle finish. However, once applied, the color is spectacular and elegant, on both fingers and toes. This is one of the few Jet Set shades that has a complimenting lip color, which I also found to be an excellent shade.
* Skyscraper is a whimsical shade of baby blue with a perle finish, reminiscent of cotton candy. This is pure, flirty fun, and looks great with white sandals.
* Concorde is a cold, steely silver. Very metallic, and very long wearing, it appears slightly deeper on the nails than it does in the bottle. I like this one for Ďclub night,í but it is impractical for daily wear.
But why does it have a kind of... matte finish?
Iím not sure. The only explanation I can think of is that the shine-enhancers that are contained in most nail colors has been reduced in this one, in order to facilitate the fast drying action. When I donít use nail colors for a few months, they tend to separate, and Iíve noticed that this one separates significantly less than even other LíOreal brands, so Iím assuming thatís what the difference is.
However, this phenomenon of matte-finish brings me to one of the drawbacks of Jet Set: you must always use a top coat! I do use the Jet Set top coat over this, and most any nail lacquer I use -- it is a superior, high gloss, fast drying protective shield, and I find it to be among the best available on the market today. If you opt not to use top coat, you will find that some shades tend to dry with a dull, matte-finish, particularly the more metallic shades (I have experienced this with Concorde, Lickety Split, Skyscraper, and a gold shade that I no longer have). Once the top coat is applied, however, the color is vibrant shiny and very tough! And, as with the nail lacquer itself, the top coat dries in only a few minutes.
So if this stuff is so great, why is OPI still your favorite nail lacquer?
Hmmm... good question. Well, while the color coverage of Jet Set is excellent, OPI is slightly better, providing a clean, shiny layer in one coat. Also, I like being able to save time and steps where I can, and since OPI doesnít have to have a top coat over it, it wins a few points in that area. However, overall I am terribly pleased with Jet Set. Itís inexpensive, the colors are extraordinary, and it truly does live up to itís claims! Overall, because of itís quick dry time and superior durability, I find this to be a great pedicure choice.
Authorís note: Fun Pedicure Tip!
I have to give credit where credit is due... at some point over the summer, one of the fashion mags (it was either Glamour or Cosmopolitan) had a feature on some of the latest pedicure ideas, including Burberry plaid and python patterns. The directions to create the python look were to use a pale pink base coat, then paint hot pink free form blobs over it. Finally, they instructed you to press a piece of mesh or netting to create a Ďscalyí look.
Well, I was dying to try this idea, however, found that I had no mesh or netting in my house to create the texture. So in browsing through my nail colors, I decided to try something a little different.
First apply LíOreal Wear Extraordinaire #31W Burlap (a semi-sheer, creamy pearl color) as a base coat; then paint free form spots on your toe nails with Jet Set #322 Urban Cola and top it all with a coat of Jet Set Top Coat. The resulting pattern is something of a ďPonyĒ look (though I was trying for Holstein when I created it). It sounds silly, but I got so many compliments on this pedicure when I first tried it - some of the men I work with still ask why Iím not wearing my ďPony ToesĒ anymore.
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