Pretty P.O.V.: Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat Friday 03 May, 2013

Seeking a pillow-y, gel-like shine on your manicure, but don’t want to use gel? Give easy-to-remove Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat a spin!

Up until a few months ago, the difference between gel nails and a regular polish job could be easily argued: Gels last longer (up to two weeks with proper care) than regular polish (which can last up to seven days, but probably has some chipping and noticeable wear). Gels also have a pillow-y, glass-like shine. That last part—the one about shine—is just something regular top coats can’t beat…until now. A new class of top coats meant to mimic the durability and heretofore unparalleled gloss of gels has arrived, and Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat is one of the best among them.

Backstage at the Trina Turk Fall 2013 show, I chatted with celebrity nail tech Gina Eppolito about the nail design. (Side note: I didn’t know Gina by sight, and I asked someone to point her out to me. They pointed me to a woman with a black bob, who I sat and interviewed about the nail look for a good four minutes. She seemed not to know what the hell I was talking about, but she played along. Guess who it was? TRINA Turk. Embarrassing…but “Trina” and “Gina” do sound alike…) The manicure boasted a gorgeous high-gloss shine, which Gina attributed to Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat. “It’s so fast-drying that it’s perfect for backstage—whenever you’re strapped for time,” she said. “It’s what we call ‘gel-like;’ it has to be housed in this black bottle because natural light cures it. Once you put it on the nails, it cures—that’s why it dries super-fast.” The best part? “It’s not invasive to remove; just use non-acetone remover!” she exclaimed.

Julep-Freedom-Top-Coat

When I played with it myself, I was shocked at how fast it dried; I was able to bump my nails against whatever I liked (and avoid that dreaded bed-sheet problem I encounter) within minutes of applying it. The directions say it cures in 5 minutes in natural light, but that if you want to speed up the process you can hold your nails up to a 60-watt light bulb for a 2-minute cure. As for the shine? It is pillow-y like a gel, and extremely reflective. Another side benefit I noticed: I had some bubbles form in my polish job (eek!), and when I sealed the design with Freedom, the bubbles disappeared. Weird…but welcome. As far as durability, each time I’ve worn it, I apply only one coat (Gina used two at the Trina Turk show, but I felt that would look too thick on my nails), and it holds up beautifully for a week.

The last key to this glossing product: It removes with non-acetone remover, which any gel-wearer knows is an amazing attribute. So, you can have the gel-like shine without the acetone removal—sign up anyone who loves the sound of that!

Get your Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat at julep.com.

Karie L. Frost Signature

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3 Comments

  • Alison says:

    The one downside I experienced with this was some major shrinkage. Even though I wrapped my tips, they ended up exposed and I got chipping within hours.

    • admin says:

      Hmmm…I haven’t had that happen. I wonder why that is occurring. I have a manicurist friend who is testing it out now. Maybe she can figure out why that is happening for you but not for me…

  • admin says:

    UPDATE: Answer to the question Alison posed about shrinkage…

    If you apply Freedom Polymer too thick, it will “shrink” and, thus, pull up the edges of the polish you have on underneath, which then causes your manicure to chip prematurely. The trick with this top coat is to apply it thinner. However, that can be a feat as well because the top coat can thicken if not properly stored, out of the light. Be sure to keep it stashed away in a drawer or away from light; despite it’s dark bottle, it can “cure” and thicken prematurely if you’re not careful. That has been my experience.

    BUT! I still stand by the fact that I love this product because it lends a super-high-shine that looks like a gel, and it dries in 2 to 4 minutes flat after applying. Can’t beat that! 🙂 Karie


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