Nail polish bloggers have their place on the internet, I suppose, but when looking at gel polish lines, you're best to ask a pro who (1) has used the product and (2) has taken a class from the manufacturer, if possible. I have done both with Artistic Colour Gloss. It was a four-hour class on March 17th. I ended up buying 9 shades & a special nail brush to wipe the tacky layer off of the base coat (per instructions), plus I already had the "starter kit" which included another shade, the base coat, top coat, nail prep, remover, some wipes, some remover wraps, cuticle oil (theirs is orange peel scented), and dehydrator.
Made by the same parent company as Gelish, ACG is very similar in prep, application (base coat is slightly less time in the LED lamp), wear, & removal. However, it is being billed as the "Runway" line. I have also found that the colors are stickier/tackier than other brands (Gelish included), so you can easily use craft foils, glitter, pigments, etc to give it an even more fun look. You can find a full list of shades including pics, here: ACG SHADES.
My test subjects were as follows:
1. E.S. -- a full-time hairdresser & mom to a (almost) 2y old. My regular routine with her (& other hairdressers) is Gelish base coat, three coats of color, & two top coats. Sometimes, the tips have a bit of staining from hair color (gloves cannot be worn ALL THE TIME, so that is to be expected), and occasionally, one or two have chipped a little bit (probably from all the hair washing, and none of my hairdresser clients are consistent with their cuticle oil).
For the experiment, we used ACG base, three coats of color, & two top coats. At the two week mark, when she returned for her redo appointment, she said she felt they held "about as well" as when she wears Gelish, but she got more staining at her tips.
2. D.K. -- my husband who normally wears OPI GelColor with little to no problems. Since I forgot to bring the top & base coats home, I had to use what I had here, which is GelColor top & base (we actually used MATTE top coat) with two coats of ACG "Trouble" (a beautiful silver; the matte top coat gave it a nice satin finish). He said it holds "about the same" as GelColor for all four layers, and he really liked the color (quite a bit outside his comfort zone; he usually wears dark creams).
3. S.F. -- a full time mom of 5yo twins. She wears gel enhancements with gel polish applied over them (different brands; no big difference in how they hold up). With her application, I completed the gel process (rebalance, seal with appropriate top coat), then wiped the tacky layer, buffed with a foam buffer, and applied ACG (no need for base coat over enhancements) colors & top coat. She, also, didn't see any difference with how ACG wore on her.
4. My daughter -- an 8th grade student. When I do enhancements on her, she can wear them for two full weeks. When I do gel polish, depending on brand, I usually get 7-12 days out of them. This time, she did sort of what my husband did (different color, regular GelColor top coat, and we did a design). They held for 10 days before she broke a couple, which of course starts the chip/peel process. I'd call that "about average" for her.
5. Me -- a very busy nail tech, mom, & wife. I wear traditional gel enhancements in two different lengths (almond on my left, square on my right). I am right-handed, so my nails wear at different rates. And, I love doing different kinds of artwork on them, so having the ability to use outside art supplies is a bonus for me. Just to test the difference, I went straight from the gel top coat application to the ACG color application (while the gel top coat was still tacky -- a process taught by CND; works great with gel-to-Shellac... not so much with gel-to-ACG). I found that the first coat of ACG color was *VERY* runny/streaky... I will not be doing it that way in the future. In doing this experiment, I have also noticed that these wear the same as Gelish &/or GelColor do (over my enhancements, they are about the same).
The shades are cheaper than the other brands I use in my studio; a huge plus. All in all, I am very happy with this system, and if I find more shades I love, I will be buying them. Now, if ACG would only come out with a nice wall rack... ;)
*Please note -- this is not a sponsored post. All thoughts are my own, and this blog post is only about my personal experiences with ACG.