Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dermelect Cosmeceuticals basecoat and ridgefiller review

About three or four months ago, I got an email from Dermelect Cosmeceuticals about promoting their items on the blog. I probably wrote back a more-irate-than-warranted email; it just didn't make sense to me that I would want to repeat word for word a PR release about $18 nail treatments. My stance is: I'll talk about a product that I'm either excited about personally (generally that I've discovered myself) or, if excitement is too tall an order, a product that I've at least actually tried. Especially when we're talking $18 basecoats here.

That and the company is called "Dermelect Cosmeceuticals". Ever since the summer I spent in early adolescence analyzing advertisements -- especially beauty industry advertisements -- I've been suspicious about how women are sold on things they do not need. One of the major ways to do this is to pretend like the product is medically or scientifically proven to do something or other. (Ever notice the Prescriptives counters at department stores: why are they in labcoats? Gonna break out the bunsen burner, eh?) I'm not going to deny that real science goes into manufacturing these products but I somehow suspect that more is going to go into PR than R&D for many of them.

So anyway, Dermelect ended up sending me their basecoat, ridgefiller and topcoat. And in the spirit of giving an actual review that wasn't just rolling my eyes at their PR strategy, I decided to give Dermelect products a fair shot. I would use them for six weeks straight and then start using other brands interspersed with Dermelect products for the next six weeks for a three month, not-that-scientific-but-not-half-assed attempt at a fair review. I haven't actually gotten a chance to use the topcoat too much (so I'm not going to comment on that... yet) but I did stick to my guns on the basecoat and ridgefiller (shown below after six weeks of use for all of my NOTDs).

So the technical names of these polishes are Dermelect Cosmeceuticals Launchpad (a Peptide Infused Nail Strengthener and Anti-Aging Base Coat) and Dermelect Cosmeceuticals Makeover (a Peptide Infused Concealer + Treatment and Anti-Aging Ridge Filler). I even need to make a snarky comment here? No? Alrighty. They shall henceforth be known as Launchpad (or "the basecoat") and Makeover (or "the ridgefiller").

All that bitchy snark aside... OMG, I LOVE THESE PRODUCTS. I mean, seriously LOVE. You guys probably do not realize how much I hate loving products that are this pricy... because I totally think they're worth the price. I would completely keep paying $32 for this basecoat and ridgefiller (plus shipping and handling). I would cry a little bit each time I typed in my credit card info but I would be so happy to have an unending supply of this stuff.

I can't say it protects my nails from aging (I somehow doubt it does) and I'm not exactly sure what Makeover "treats" (since it's a "treatment"). They do their jobs as a basecoat and ridgefiller very well. I generally use one layer of Launchpad followed by a layer of Makeover under all my NOTDs and I found that my manicures have gone on SO MUCH smoother and have lasted much longer without chipping and with somewhat less shrinkage and tipwear than some of the other basecoats I've used (most notably Nubar Nu Nails, Seche Vite base, Sally Hansen Nail Quencher and Nailtek II Foundation).

During this six week period, only two of my nails actually broke (little chips on the side and usually because I banged my hand into something or other): generally, I've been filing down length because my nails have gotten too long for comfort, not because one or two broke and I have to make them match. (And this is winter: dry and full of hand sanitizer.) It feels like the Dermelect basecoat and ridgefiller offer better protection when I'm wearing them under my manis: my nails just feel that much stronger. (Maybe it's the peptide infusion. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's just a nice basecoat and ridgefiller.) In fact, I only started to get breaks again once I started using the other basecoats again: the two big breaks that kept me from doing much swatching or wearing cremes and metallics in the beginning of February happened a week or two after I started trying out other basecoats again. :(

The Dermelect basecoat and ridgefiller are also great on the rare occasion that I don't have color on because Makeover is a sheer pearly pink that gives nails a nice even sheen (and does not at all show through when you put anything with color on top of it). Also, as a reformed nail biter, it helps to have nails look pretty even when they aren't fully painted.

Both, the ridgefiller especially, are somewhat thick in comparison with other basecoats and ridgefillers, and they take a bit longer to completely dry but I didn't see any impact on overall drying time with any brand of polish and my typical topcoats (Nubar Diamont, Seche Vite, Poshe or Supply Source "David"). I generally applied color onto the basecoats while still somewhat tacky.

So what's the negative side of this basecoat and ridgefiller? (Besides price!) The one major one I can think of is that it offers no protection against staining. I had almost fully grown out my staining by using Nubar Nu Nails but I started using Dermelect before I finished trying to regain clean nails. Result: nails got re-stained very quickly. Now if I suspect a nail polish will stain, I use a layer of Nu Nails between Launchpad and Makeover: it seems to work okay like that.

There it is. I heart Dermelect. And I cry for the polishes I will not buy so I can buy Dermelect basecoat and ridgefiller.

One of my shopping dreams is to find these on big sale somewhere. Like a magical TJ Maxx that has Dermelect instead of Barielle (though I've never tried Camo and I'm told it's fabulous so maybe I shouldn't wish for that). The best tips I can find are the following: Zappos offers free shipping on all orders and offers 10% off with code SSM28859 with 6% cashback through ebates (and free shipping with $49+ order).