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I think one thing every nail polish wearer wants is longer-lasting polish. I know that is my biggest wish, although, not everyone has nails like mine (that chip in an average of two days.) While some products do work to prolong my my manicure, I'm always game to try the next best thing. The most recent next best thing? The Formula X The System XCEL. It's a four step system- cleanser, primer, colour, and shine (aka top coat) for a gel-like finish that is designed to rival a professional job. Can it last on my fickle nails? Read on to find out...
If you're thinking the bottles look a tad tiny, it's because I've been sampling The System XCEL in the To Go CLIX! format. The mini bottles are a great way to test out the system and aren't too hard to apply as the brushes are full size. All of the bottles click into the 'smart lid' for easy storing and portablitly should you need to paint on the go.
While there are few gel-like systems out there (Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, OPI Infinite Shine, Essie Gel Couture...) what makes the XCEL different is the cleanser. It's a solution you brush on nails pre-base coat that works to 'gently remove natural oils while conditioning the nail bed and leaving them completely dry to the touch'. I don't know if it's the secret of the system, but I'm thinking I need to pick up the full size bottle immediately (more on why in a moment.) After the cleanse, the system is pretty standard- base coat, colour, and top coat.
As for colour, any Formulz X polish can be used. The CLIX! kits are currently offered in to shades, Impeccable (cocoa-bisque) and Ignite (deep 'smoking' red) the shade I've been wearing. Ignite has a great formula that applies easily in two coats. I was impressed as deep red can often need a third to get the depth and even coverage. Once topped with the top coat, Ignite is super glossy, with a durable feel. The top coat dries pretty quickly and is fortified with acrylic to keep nails protected.
So, does The System XCEL live up to it's ten day, chip-resistant wear? Maybe. I'm on day five of wear and have only the tiniest of chips on my thumb (it's miniscule.) I didn't expect it to last (sorry, Formula X) and didn't give myself a full ten days. I have very high hopes that this can stand up for a few more days as it still looks just as good as when it was first applied. For that, I am impressed! I do find other gel-like polishes wear well on my nails, but few hold up this perfectly this long or meet the brand's claims (7, 10, 14, 3487 days)
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with The System XCEL! I think the magic is in the cleanser, but you really can't miss with the rest of the line up. I love that you don't need specific XCEL polishes (any Formula X shade will do) but I can't see why you couldn't mix and match with other polishes. I won't tell if you don't tell. What do you think? Could you use longer-lasting polish? Tried this yet or want to?