Wednesday, September 10, 2014

DIY Hard Nails: Wear Test and Review

Press Sample Affiliate Links

Hello Loves!  I have a new product review for you today - DIY Hard Nails (pronounced Die Hard Nails)!  Don't let the "Hard" in the name mislead you.  These little beauties are soak off gel polish.  :)

DIY Hard Nails Gel Polish Review

DIY Hard Nails is a new brand of professional grade soak off gel polish marketed to the do it yourself gel user.  They come in a variety of colors and finishes and are free of Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Lead, and Mercury.  You may have seen them recently featured on Chickettes.  Well, I had the opportunity to put them to the test.  :)  I received five of the thermal polishes and the base and top coat to try out.  I have two swatches to show you today and will show you the others soon.  I wanted to keep this post shorter since y'all know I tend to talk a lot in my review posts.  lol

For this review, I completed a two week wear testing with Coca Cola Float and the DIY Hard Nails base and top gels.  Let's take a look at Coca Cola Float, shall we?  Coca Cola Float is a beautiful thermal gel that ranges from a reddish brown when cold to a peachy sheer when warm with silver glitter scattered throughout.
 DIY Hard Nails Coca Cola Float Swatch
DIY Hard Nails Coca Cola Float Swatch
As I was completing the wear test on this one, I looked down and saw something interesting happening on my thumb.  I saw not two, but three colors!  I quickly snapped a picture.  Excuse the waterlogged skin.  I had just finished washing dishes.  This happened on all of my nails throughout the test, but this was the only time I was close enough to my camera to capture it.
DIY Hard Nails Coca Cola Float Tricolor Effect

How so they apply?  These gels are of average consistency - not too thick and not to thin.  I found application to be quite nice.  They self level well and I didn't experience any issues with shrinking.  The glitter releases easily from the brush too.  I did have to place a few of the larger glitters, but that's common with any scattered glitter polish like these.

Let's talk about the base and top for a second.  The base gel is very thin, which I find I really like.  It was easy to apply and this bottle will last forever.  The top coat, on the other hand, is quite thick.  It applies and levels well and is surprisingly nice over stamping.  I found this one sealed my stamps completely in one coat.  I usually have to double up my top coat when I stamp, so I'm quite pleased with this.  And the shine is quite nice, as you can see in the swatch photos.

So, how do they wear?  Very, very well with the DIY Hard Nails base and top.  I haven't tested them with other brands yet, but they are advertised as playing well with other brands so I'll test that soon.  Before I show you the two week wear test photo, can we have a moment of silence for my broken pinkie nail?  lol  One week into the test, I dropped my phone and tried to catch it with the side of my way too long nail.  I knew I should have filed them down before starting the test.  :(  It snapped off clean.

I'm quite certain at this length it would have broken regardless of what brand of gel I was using, so I don't feel this is a reflection of the DIY Hard Nails.  My nails felt quite strong while wearing it.  With that said, I opted not to fix the broken nail or repair the chip.  I wanted to see if it would continue to chip over the next week.  I'm happy to report that it did not.  The gel looks exactly like it did on my pinkie the day the nail broke (I didn't get a good pic, but there's one on my IG account that was taken that day).  After two weeks, the DIY Hard Nails was still going strong with very little to no tip wear.  It didn't even start to lift on the broken nail.  I'm impressed.
DIY Hard Nails Two Week Wear Test Results

Ready to talk about removal?  I filed down my length a bit, buffed to remove the shine, then used my Nail Mates removal caps to soak off.  Soak off did take a bit longer than some of my other brands, but overall wasn't too bad.  After 10 minutes, the gel had softened but hadn't started to flake.  I put the caps back on for another 10 minutes and was able to push most of the gel off with my thumb nail.  After another 5 minutes, my nails were clean.  So I'm calling this one a 25-30 minute soak with the DIY Hard Nails Top and Base.
DIY Hard Nails Review

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the brand.  It cures nicely in my Couture lamp, wears well, and removal isn't too bad.  And you know I love my thermals.  Want to see another swatch?  Pink Galaxy is another thermal gel with silver glitter.  Pink Galaxy shifts from a deep purple when cold to a bright pink when warm.  I didn't wear this one long enough to see if it takes on a tricolor effect, but I'll update when I wear it if it does.
DIY Hard Nails Pink Galaxy Swatch
 DIY Hard Nails Pink Galaxy Swatch

Ok, so those of you who follow my blog regularly and probably looking at these swatches and noticing that they look very familiar.  The finish is very similar to the Bundle Monster Beneath It All Collection that I featured a few weeks back.  DIY Hard Nails has a few similar colors to that collection in their line.  If you're like me, you're probably wondering if they are dupes.  You may even be wondering if they are the same gels in different packaging.  I don't know if the colors are exact dupes since I don't have the gels that are similar from the DIY Hard Nail line, but I can tell you this - the formula is WAY different.  The Bundle Monster gels are much thicker than the DIY Hard Nails gels and the glitter is denser.

I snapped photos of one of the BMC gels and one of the DIY Hard Nails as I pulled the brush out of the bottle.  You can see that the DIY Hard Nails is thinner (though not too thin) than the BMC.  Please note that these are two completely different colors (DIY is the pink to purple shift, BMC is a blue to purple shift).  When the brush is pulled straight out of the bottle, the BMC gel is thick to the point of almost stringy.  The DIY Hard Nails is what I consider more of a normal consistency.  Between the two, I personally found the DIY Hard Nails easier to apply but I love them both.
BMC Gel Polish and DIY Hard Nails Comparison

I also mentioned the similar colors to Natashia from DIY Hard Nails when she contacted me to try them.  Thankfully she wasn't offended at all.  The formula is different for sure (as shown above), and Natashia pointed out that DIY Hard Nails comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  :)  The similarities basically come down to this - there are only so many thermal pigments out there, so crossover between brands is bound to happen.  I have all of the BMC Thermals to date and the new DIY Hard Nails thermals, and there appear to only be three that are similar as best I can tell.  ;)

So, there you have it - my full and overly wordy review of DIY Hard Nails!  lol  As always, feel free to hit me with any questions in the comments.  :)  And stay tuned for more DIY swatches in the near future.  In the mean time, you can see other color offerings with gorgeous swatches by Andrea from Chickettes in the DIY Hard Nails Amazon listing (the only place to buy at the moment).

Don't forget to follow DIY Hard Nails on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for updates and new releases!


*The DIY Hard Nails gel polishes featured in this post were provided by DIY Hard Nails for my honest review.  This post uses Amazon Affiliate links.  Purchases through these links generate commissions that help fund this site.


  1. I never would have guessed it's pronounced "die" hard! Thanks for that and for the great review.

  2. These are gorgeous, the thermal effect is SO strong! Thanks for the detailed review :)

  3. These are awesome! Thanks for the review. Would you consider the Bundle Monster ones good alternatives to these? Is the formula worth the price difference?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...