REVLON GEL ENVY LONGWEAR POLISH: REVIEW AND SWATCHFEST

so... you wanna see the new revlon gel envy, huh... prepare to go blind!
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Karen Falcon
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so... you wanna see the new revlon gel envy, huh... prepare to go blind!
revlon colorstay gel envy composite swatches

revlon colorstay gel envy

Revlon Gel Envy? Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy longwear polish with Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat? Creeping into stores right right now? Okay! But I gotta warn you, there’s a lot of pictures and a lot of words…

revlon gel envy wordy swatchfest

Update May 13th, 2014: Hold the phone! Hold the phone! I just got back from the Revlon launch event and I'm hearing that there is no UV component in this here reformulated ColorStay Gel Evny polish. I repeat, NO UV drying component. I admit to being stunned by this on account of my own experience with it. I'm going to investigate this (and other things) further and hopefully I'll have official word in a few days. In the meantime, polish as you normally would and if you notice anything interesting that affects your dry time, let me know, willya? 

revlon card shark

revlon card shark

revlon gel envy card shark: It’s the very first one I swatched and I’m going to quote my notes for you: “Level is spectacular. Two coats. Quick dry. What kind of magical nail polish is this?” Yep, that’s what it says. For real.

revlon hot hand

revlon hot hand

revlon gel envy hot hand: That’s two coats and sometimes, it really is that easy. You don't need a base coat, did I mention that? It's built right in! Revlon says the re-vamp was about streamlining the Colorstay nail polish process for busy women. So they tweaked the color formula to include base coat so they could cut out a step. Then they had to fiddle with the top coat to make it work with the new color formula. And it was so shiny... hello, Gel Envy.

revlon pocket aces

revlon pocket aces

revlon gel envy pocket aces: I had a tester for this shade (*Hi Alex! Waving*) -- it turned out to be one of her favourites. She says that “the polish is a great consistency and the brush is nice and wide.” I thought I could OCW this shade but alas, I needed two thin coats. The shine on this stuff is amazeballz.

revlon roulette rush

revlon roulette rush

revlon gel envy roulette rush: If you take a good look at the bottle, there appears to be some blue shimmer in there – once you get the stuff on your nails, there ain’t no shimmer at all. I’m not sure why it’s in there but it pops up again in other shades.

revlon queen of hearts

revlon queen of hearts

revlon gel envy queen of hearts: Oh! A lovely dark blue-y red. Have I mentioned how fast this stuff dries? With the right light, we're talking minutes - a couple handfuls of them and that's it.

revlon jokers wild

revlon jokers wild

revlon gel envy jokers wild: A pretty crème-y formula that really does have superior self-level and a beautiful shiny finish. But it all has a beautiful shiny finish because it's all supposed to be top coated with the Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat that you needa buy to go with.

revlon all or nothing

revlon all or nothing

revlon gel envy all or nothing: A lovely neutral for any time of year – that’s two coats for beautiful, even coverage. The VNL (visible nail lines) with this shade are acceptable - I'm really okay with them. Color me surprised!

revlon casino lights

revlon casino lights

revlon gel envy casino lights: If I didn’t already have this exact bottle of polish, I would go get it right now. It might be the best yellow I’ve used so far this year.

revlon in the money

revlon in the money

revlon gel envy in the money: Okay, I love this shade of green. There’s something almost off-putting about it and I think that’s where the appeal is for me. It’s not a green for everyone but it’s a green for me. As for the brush….

revlon gel envy brush

revlon wonky brush - but they aren't all wonky!

revlon gel evny in the money brush: A couple of the brushes I encountered while swatchin' were a little wonky. It caused great agitation and while you can’t see it in the results of my paintings, it was tricky to get nice clean lines at the cuticle with some of ’em on account of the lop-side-ed-ness. The brushes for this here line of polish are revamped. We’re talking about a split brush that’s thicker than the old ColorStay brush. I actually don’t love it but it works really well if you can get the hang of it.

Revlon Gel Envy In The Money Brush_2

Many, many, many people adore it but for me, between gravity and the split in the brush, I ended up climbing a huge learning curve. I polish with the polish blob against the nail. I swipe the other side of the brush clean when I take it out and I use that clean side to cap the free edge. The problem for me is that polish squished through that split and ended up on the side of the brush I like to keep clear of polish. It also squishes out the back side of the brush and messes with the way I paint right down at the cuticle. Oy, learning curve. The good news is that it is possible to master the brush fairly quickly – if the brush ain’t wonky like this one was.

revlon jackpot

revlon jackpot

revlon gel envy jackpot: Streaky McStreakerton. Know what I'm sayin'?

revlon full house

revlon full house

revlon gel envy full house: I wanted this to be a OCW so badly but it wasn’t – that’s two thin coats to a perfect turquoise finish. I can't believe the finish on 99% of these shades is so good. It's downright remarkable, yo.

revlon dealer's choice

revlon dealer's choice

revlon gel envy dealer’s choice: Alex (my super-tester) wore this for over a week. Around day 8 she noticed it was starting to look a little beat up -- she started to see tip-wear and surface scratches. Day 8! Amazing! Regular polish only lasts 2 or 3 days on her before that happens.

revlon sky's the limit

revlon sky's the limit

revlon gel envy sky’s the limit: That’s my usual two thin coats of the stuff and I should maybe have used three because I can see nail lines… Ugh VNL – so yes, should have used three.

revlon wild card

revlon wild card

revlon gel envy wild card: What is it about this exact shade of blue polish that makes it smell like a skunk played in the bottle? On the nail, after it dries, there's no smell. Weird. Just weird. But still pretty and still on trend for this summer. This color is everywhere! Two shiny, long wearing quick-dry coats.

revlon high roller

revlon high roller

revlon gel envy high roller: I can barely stand how easy this polish is to use. Seriously, once you master that brush, it’s a piece of cake! And this quintessential shade of eggplant? Faultless.

revlon high roller

revlon blue shimmery stuff in bottle but for high roller

revlon gel envy high roller overexposed: If you take a closer look at the bottle in too-bright lighting conditions, you’ll see there’s a pretty blue shimmer in there. Now go back and look at the swatch. Yeah, blue shimmer = 100% invisible on the nail. I don’t have an answer for why it’s there but I’m gonna see if it serves a purpose and will holla back.

revlon blackjack

revlon blackjack

revlon gel envy blackjack: On the nail, it’s black.

revlon blackjack 2

revlon blackjack

revlon gel envy blackjack overexposed: and in the bottle, it’s deep dark blackish blue with that blue shimmery stuff that 100% doesn't show on the nail. Mysterious, isn't it?

revlon all in over revlon blackjack

revlon all in over revlon blackjack

revlon gel envy all in: Looking at the bottle, I thought maybe I’d scored a duochrome so I slapped it on over a coat of Blackjack  to maximize the shift – you can see the light touches of purple around the edges of the bottle, right? Well there IS a shift. A shift so puny I don’t think I’d call this a duo. However, I still call it awesome. I lovelovelove shades like these. Dark and shimmery at the same time – an oxymoron in a bottle!

revlon showtime

revlon showtime

revlon gel envy showtime: Cue unintelligible noises please… Ooooh… Aaahh. Gimmie That! The finish looks kinda textured but it ain't - it's all kinds of galaxy-esque and the finish is so smooooooth because after you use the polish coat (that has the base coat built in), you hit this stuff with the Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat to make it all into the long-wearing polish it's meant to be. Without that top coat, you'll never get the longevity. Ever.

revlon winning streak

revlon winning streak

revlon gel envy winning streak: That’s two coats and That.Level.Is.Great. I heart it.

revlon up the ante

revlon up the ante

revlon gel envy up the ante: Again, you’re lookin’ at two, smooth-as coats. Magic in a bottle, people. Magic.

revlon royal flush

revlon royal flush

revlon gel envy royal flush: My notes here say “Raspberry sorbet w/ slight golden shimmer, heart, heart, heart. OCW!!!” That means I like it. A lot.

Note: There are 8 more shades over here in this other Revlon post that you should check out too!

“gel-like” thoughts

So what do I really think? I think that gel polish is gel polish. Nothing lasts as long as a pure soak-off gel polish and with all this “gel-like” stuff coming to market, this is the closest anything has come to actually being a long-wear polish on my nails.

But make no mistake, it’s not gel. It has gel-affiliated components in it, but it’s still not gel. It applies like a dream, but it’s still not gel. It dries fast and the top coat has a gel-shine finish, but it’s still not gel.

You get the idea, yes? If you can take stuff off with a good swipe of acetone, it’s not gel. But I tell ya what, this stuff, this Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy lasts wickedly well. Like, wickedly. With real gel, I get a whopping 21 days without a chip or wear (but mostly I roll with 12 on account of regrowth). With this stuff, Alex got eight days. That's pretty decent when you think it takes a fraction of the time to put it on and a fraction of the time to get it off. Pretty decent indeed.

revlon gel envy application tips

As with Revlon ColorStay Longwear, there are gel-like components in the bottle. Gel-like components that cure in UV light. That means you do not want to use (or store) this stuff in direct sunlight or in a bright room that’s filled with indirect sunlight. In too bright UV light, the polish will start to cure right on the brush and you’ll ruin the bottle. You want to use this stuff in filtered indirect light, but not in the dark with a crummy lamp. In the dark, the polish won’t cure and you’ll get sheet marks on it when you go to sleep. Trust me. I know because I test.

revlon colorstay base coat: bad news for nail nerds

Revlon Gel Envy has the basecoat built right in so if you're a nail nerd and you're deeply entrenched in a love affair with the Revlon ColourStay Base Coat, I'm about to break your heart. Revlon ColorStay Base Coat is being discontinued. I repeat, it is being discontinued. Fact. Straight from Revlon. Get thee to the store and buy as much as you can find because pretty soon, you'll be outta luck. As in No More Luck. Gone. Forever. I'm sorry. I feel your pain.

revlon gel envy final words

revlon gel envy in stores

Revlon Gel Envy is awfully new to market so what you’re reading here is my experience and my tester Alex’s experience. I’ve got loads of questions that need answers, and I do indeed have word out for an expert to answer ’em. When I get ’em, I’m going to share them with you. In the meantime, if you have questions, fire away – if I can answer them, I will. If I can’t, I’ll try to find someone who can.

Oh! By the way, Alex said she'd definitely recommend this polish & Diamond Top Coat combo to anyone out there who has problems with chips and wear in the early days of a mani. She's looking forward to sporting a few more shades and being amazed by how long they stick on for - she's tough on her nails - she uses them to do bad things like open pop-cans. Eight days is genius, wouldn't you say?

Lastly, there are seven more shades I didn't swatch for you (this line is launching with 30 shades + the one top coat) - maybe I'll get to the rest at some point. If you really must see any that I haven't done, let me know down there in the comment section and I'll swatch and add them to this gargantuan post.

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy ($7.99 each, except it's a dollar more in Shoppers Drug Mart) is rolling out all over the place as of right now. If you're thinking it might be for you, you should get some (and don't forget to grab the Top Coat while you're at it). For more information, visit revlon.ca.

UPDATE: Upset about losing Revlon ColorStay Longwear nail polish? Liz at BeautyReductionista was upset about it too. Here's her post on how Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy compares to Revlon ColorStay Longwear.

*By Reader Request: Mel, this is for you - a quick comparison for Card Shark vs other pink stuff

revlon card shark comparison swatch

Hey, thanks for lookin’ and thanks even more for reading!
Love you all long time.
xoKaren.

A big, fat, special thank you to Alex A who wore this stuff for days on end and reported back. I have the best tester a girl could hope for. Thank you, Alex.

Manicures and photographs by Karen Falcon (she's a swatchin' machine) ©2014 BEAUTYGEEKS/imabeautygeek.com.