Sula is a temporary peel-off water based nail polish for grown-ups which does not require nail polish remover. For this Sula Paint and Peel review I am going to try out the duo, which comes with a Paint & Peel nail color on one end and Lasting Love top coat on the other end. The color I will be using is a purple called modern mauve.
I am really excited to try Sula peel-off water based nail polish! So far I have tried non-peel-off water based formulas, which require remover. Sometimes the worst part of the process is removing the polish.
There are definitely times when a temporary peel-off formula is ideal. If you want to paint your nails in a bright party shade for the weekend, but remove it before work on Monday, a peel-off formula is perfect! I will be happy if it looks good on my nails for one or two days.
With peel-off nail polish you do not have to invest in nail polish remover, which saves some money. Other water based nail care sets can really add up, when you need to purchase polish, base coat, top coat, remover and buffer!
Note: Only the Sula nail polish is water based. The top coat is a regular solvent based nail polish formula. Bummer! If you are trying to avoid fumes from solvent based formulas, skip the duo and just get a nail color.
The glass bottle is long and narrow, with nail color on one end and top coat on the other end. Each section has its own brush. While applying the polish I realized that this bottle is a spill just waiting to happen. I had to hold onto the tall narrow bottle to make sure not to knock it over as I took out the brush and wiped off the excess polish. Also, if you want to rest the brush in the bottle, be sure to twist it back on, so the bottle does not fall over.
I did my nails on Monday evening before going to bed. It is best to apply any water based formula before bed to give it time to cure. Sula recommends avoiding contact with hot water for 4 hours after applying polish.
I applied three coats of the nail polish to all of my fingernails. Then I painted the top coat on my index and ring fingers. Ah hah! That familiar old smell. It has been half a year since I used regular nail polish but I do remember what it smells like! To me, using a regular top coat defeats the whole point of using a water based nail polish. I was not sure if I should use the top coat, but I figured since I have it I might as well test it out and see if it helps the polish last longer. See How to Apply Sula Paint and Peel for application instructions.
Sula polish definitely has a smell to it compared to other water based polishes. It is actually purposely scented with perfume. I would much prefer my polish to be as odorless as possible. My nose is very sensitive and most perfumes give me a headache. I hope the scent goes away once the polish dries. The smell is enough of a reason for me not to buy Sula nail color again.
The brush is a nice medium-thick size.
The polish goes on streaky. I tried painting as thin of coats as possible, hoping that would help. After three coats it was still a very uneven texture. It looks like the the peel-off polish from my childhood. It also reminds me of when my sister and I would put a thin layer of Silly Putty on our nails to look like nail polish.
The color is my favorite part about this polish. I used Modern Mauve, which is more of a purple color than a mauve. It is a beautiful lavender on my nails! It is very bright, happy and springy. It seems to be a shade or two darker once applied than it looks in the bottle. Just be prepared that the polish is probably going to apply darker than it looks in the bottle.
I added top coat to every other nail to see if it extends the wear of the polish. Applying the top coat lightens the polish about half a shade. Here the ring and index finger have a coat of top coat and the other nails just have 3 coats of nail color.
Keep in mind that this polish is only intended to be worn for a day or two. If you are looking for a long wearing polish, look into one of the other water based brands for grown-ups.
Day 1 (Tuesday evening)- Here is how the polish looked after wearing it for a day:
The ring and index fingers have top coat on them, while the other nails do not.
The polish on the tip of one of my thumbnails started to peel off today, but I just smoothed it back down and it went almost back into place.
Day 2 (Wednesday evening):
The nails with top coat on are definitely faring better than the ones without. If I were to wear the polish without top coat, I would probably just wear it for a day. Showering was especially harsh on the polish, so if you want to wear Sula just for an outing, make sure to do your nails after showering. Washing dishes, even with gloves on, made the polish peel back from the tips of most of my fingernails, but not as badly on the ones with top coat.
I would not want to go out with my nail polish looking like this. You can tell that the top coat on the ring and index finger helped, but even the polish on those nails is starting to peel back.
Sula Paint and Peel nail color lasts for one day.
The instructions just say to peel the polish off, without remover. I had read other reviews saying that peeling the polish off dry also took off some of the nail plate. I decided to try two ways of removing: just peeling the polish off and soaking my nails in warm water for 5 minutes first and then peeling.
With the first nail, peeling the polish off did tear off a little bit of my nail plate. So I soaked my nails in warm water for 5 minutes and loosened the edge of the polish near my cuticles. Then I took my hands out of the water and pulled the polish off each nail in one piece. This time it did not tear off my nail plate, and it was fun! So fun I almost wanted to paint my nails with it again right away. It really brings out the kid in you!
After peeling off the polish I added some jojoba oil to my nails to re-hydrate them.
I was disappointed when I realized that although Sula nail polish is water based the top coat is a regular old solvent based formula. If you are looking for a truly temporary polish, I advise getting just the polish without the top coat. The perfume smell of the water based nail color is enough of a turn off for me not to want to use this again. Oh, well. I guess I do not like all of the water based polishes out there. Other than the fragrance, the uneven texture is another big mark against it. I would not mind the thick rubbery texture, if it were at least smooth across the nails.
The things I liked about Sula paint and peel were the beautiful color and how cool it was to peel off. Does anyone know if the single bottles of nail color have perfume added to them? If they really are odor free I might be willing to give one a try.
I came up with a slogan for Sula Paint & Peel, what do you think? “Sula- because sometimes you are not looking for a long term commitment from your nail polish, just a one night fling.”
If you want to find out more about a peel-off nail polish that I am much happier with, read my review of Suncoat Polish & Peel.
Sula Nail Care Ingredients
Only the nail polish is water based, the Lasting Love top coat is a traditional solvent based polish. Bummer.
Paint & Peel Nail Color: water (aqua), styrene/vp copolymer (score of 0 in Skin Deep), PVP, glycerin (score of 1 in Skin Deep), PPG 26 buthte 26/PEG40, hydrogenated castor oil (score of 0 in Skin Deep), phenoxyethanol (score of 3-4 depending upon usage), pigment, fragrance (parfum). May contain: Titanium dioxide (CL 77891), D&C Red No.7 (Cl 15850:1), D&C Red No.33 (Cl 17200), D&C Yellow No.11 (Cl 47000), D&C Yellow No. 5 (Cl 19140:1), black iron oxide (Cl 77499), D&C Green No.6 (Cl 61565), D&C Blue No.1 (Cl 42090).
Top Coat (not water based): ethyl acetate (score of 4, moderate hazard in Skin Deep), butyl acetate (score of 0-1), isobutyl acetate (score of 1), nitrocellulose (score of 1, highly flammable), adipic acid (score of 1)/ neopemtyl glycol/ trimellitic anhydride (score of 3-4 depending upon use, allergy concern), copolymer, acetyl tributyl citrate (score of 1), isopropyl alcohol (score of 4, moderate hazard), acrylates copolymer (score of 2), dimethicone (score of 3, moderate hazard), benzophenone-3, Cl 60725 (Violet).