Lumos top coat and bottom coat

In my last post, I raved about Dadi’ cuticle oil, which helped me very much with my dry skin. Today, I have two products by the same company, Famous Names, to review. These are the Lumos top and bottom coat polishes. They were sent to me by Bittersweet Pea’s blogshop.

Travel size bottles

According to instructions on the website, you must take extra care when applying the base and top coat. You must string the base coat over the free nail edge, then go over with the manicure colour over the free edge, leaving a space around the cuticle area, then follow up with the top coat also covering the free edge. This way, the manicure is supposed to be extra long-lasting.

Let’s start with the base coat.

Lumos base coat vs Daiso $2 base coat

One thing I really like about this base coat is that it dries very quickly. You can almost see it bonding to your nail. If you look closely at this picture, you can see that there is an almost matte sheen on my nails where I painted Lumos, whereas the other nails look glossy. This is great because it means that impatient people like me can paint colour on immediately rather than waiting for the base coat to dry a little. Anyway, the other base coat I’m using is this $2 clear polish from Daiso, which is a Japanese shop that sells really affordable things at pretty good quality. It’s probably not the best thing to use for my nails, I know, but these polishes can be expensive!

One week after Zoya manicure

Another thing I really like about this base coat is that it seems to prevent staining. The second picture shows you what my nails look like after removing one week’s worth of green nail polish. You can see slight staining but this is a lot better than what I’m used to. Usually my staining is so bad I have to wait one whole week before I can put on my next colour. Also, you can tell that I followed instructions because the first photo showed that I left the cuticle edge unpolished!

On the other hand, I’m in two minds about the Lumos top coat. I love so many things about it. It is the fastest drying top coat I’ve used; it’s smooth and glossy; it doesn’t drag the manicure colour; and it won’t thicken in the bottle like Seche Vite. However, it is not the longest-lasting polish I’ve used.

To test this polish out, I engaged the nails of my friends in a lunchtime painting session. One of my greatest pleasures in life!

Painting Amanda’s nails; yes, the mini brush is tiny

Serena’s nails with Lumos base and top coat, iPhone photo

Barbara’s nails with Lumos base and top coat, iPhone photo

The base and top coat, together, helped their manicures dry within 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes!!! This is really incredible and is the fastest-drying polish I’ve used. Usually you have to wait for half an hour before you can pick up a tissue. And even then, the layers within are not really dry until one whole hour later. It’s great that we can pretty ourselves within our tight lunch hour and go back to work and type on keyboards without destroying our nails. Yay! The top coat is glossy and has a thinner consistency than Seche Vite. I can’t comment about the brush, however, because I was given the travel mini set and all mini set brushes are tiny and hard to work with compared to the full sized bottles.

Manicure after three days, with Lumos on two nails

My manicure started chipping after three days and the first one to go was the one with the Lumos top coat, not my regular top coat, which is painted on the midde and pinkie fingers. It’s the same case on the right hand. There are some great reviews online about the Lumos top coat so I’m not sure why mine would chip like that. But there may be two reasons:

1) I didn’t put enough top coat because the brush was too small

2) I didn’t string the free edge as well as I thought I did

If I find a way to work it better I will update this post. Nonetheless, this is a very decent top coat and there are many things to like about it. I feel like it’s a good complementary top coat to my current one as this is the one I will whip out when I am in a rush for time or when I want to paint my nails just before bed.

As with the Dadi’ Oil, you can purchase the Lumos top and base coats from Bittersweet Pea.

Famous Names Dadi’ Oil

Recently, I was sent some products from a local blogshop (more information after this). They were the Lumos base and top coats, as well as a cuticle oil, all of which were from a brand called Famous Names. I have here today a review of the cuticle oil. My only bottle of cuticle oil before this was the CND Solar Oil that I bought on my last trip to the US. I have always been vaguely satisfied with it because it was my first oil and I didn’t know what to expect. But after trying this Dadi’ Oil from Famous Names, I must say that it really is so much better than the CND oil.

Before you go on though, I must warn you that you will see some gross pictures of my toes. I have very dry toes and I don’t really go for pedicures or do anything about it so it’s quite horrible. But brave souls please wander ahead:

I know! Eww! These are my toes nails in their regular state. Not only can you see lots of dead skin at my cuticles, you can also see that the side of my little toe is very dry. Sometimes it would get so dry that I would start to worry at the dead skin and try to peel it off, which is probably not the best thing to do.

Here is my first application of Dadi’ Oil. Instant hydration as you can see! The oil is 95% organic, which is a plus point with me, as I like to be as hippie as possible. The three main oils are avocado, olive and jojoba oils. There is also Vitamin E. The oil is thicker than the CND Solar Oil but it absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel greasy. And it smells amazing, quite like the smell that hits you when you first enter a luxurious spa!!!

These are my toesies after one week of application of the Dadi’ Oil. As you can see, my skin has become a lot softer and you don’t see horrible streaks of dead skin anymore. I think they look pretty clean and okay despite my continued lack of pedicures. This is a vast improvement for me and clearly, not all oils were created equally!

Oh, I just read something very interesting. Apparently, both the Solar Oil and the Dadi Oil were created by the same person, Jim Nordstrom. He used to be the chairman of CND until it was sold to Revlon and now he has his own company Famous Names. Well, Dadi Oil is a huge improvement over his original creation, the Solar Oil, so good on him!

If you would like to give this oil a try, you can check out Bittersweet Pea’s blogshop or go down to Kenju nails. The oil’s retail price is $38.90 for 0.5 oz but right now it’s being sold at a launch price of $25.80. All these prices are in Singapore dollars.