I’ve been hearing so much about Triple Vitamin liquids and there are some that just love it to pieces *cough* Rachel AT Schmitz *cough*, while others consistently get breakage and spider cracks in the top coat. When TV was having an epic Black Friday sale, I figured I’d snag some and try it out so I could judge for myself. For this mani, I used the main three steps- base, activator and top coat. The colors are from my beloved Zooty, who is having a release Thursday with Naughty and Nice collections. Join the group if you haven’t already! These colors are Cell Block Tango and Mr. Cellophane from the Chicago collection, with some stamped snowflakes from Maniology (use code Melanie10 for 10% off!), and stamped chrome on the two middles. I finally used the smudge free top coat, which is amazing. Seriously, no effort and no smudges! It does get cloudy as it starts to dry, but it clears up completely by the end so don’t freak out. I used the latex-free mani mask too, and it was effortless cleanup. I got some polish on my cuticles, but the mask just completely pulls up like Elmer’s glue on your palm. Stop looking at me like that, I know you did that as a kid too. I will note that if you don’t put it on thick enough, good luck. It’ll stick on until you partially scrub it off and look like the crustiest person on the planet. Speaking from experience here.
[Side note- any knitters or crocheters out there? I made the blanket in the background years ago when I was pregnant with my first kid, and I recently found the KnitCrate that will deliver delicious soft and squishy yarn to my house monthly. The first month is only $5 (watch for the popup when you get to the site), and you can cancel anytime. The best part is that they’re sustainably sourced and they’re made out of actual natural fibers. This month was a sumptuous blend of merino, silk and alpaca. I might be snuggling with this yarn right now, I don’t know. ]
But anyway, on to the liquids!
Base Coat- I liked it ok. It wasn’t super thin, but it also didn’t leave globs or run and flood the cuticle. It’s self leveling, so I thought it would spread but it doesn’t. It just flattens out any lumps which is pretty cool! Also, it feels more like gel and gives you a little more time to really press in glitter or ombré before it irrevocably dries into a solid clump. The brush is medium-thick, and needs extra liquid pushed off of it before you take it to the nail. I would say my one complaint is that I can’t see in the bottles to witness the state of my liquids, the level, or even if I may have gotten random glitter in it. I do, however, wonder if the non-clear bottles might protect the liquids from being affected by light.
Activator- It’s activator. It’s stinky, but not overly so. Doesn’t leave you smelling like a vanilla cupcake but I don’t really expect that of a chemical, and I don’t really trust those that do, like Dipalicious. They make you want to sniff it but I really hate the thought of good smelling chemicals around the kids. Like antifreeze that tastes like Kool-Aid, wtf. Just not safe overall.
Grade: Ambiguous N/A cause who really cares about activator. Use whatever you have on hand, it’ll work.
Top Coat- This is where I tend to get scared. You can take a good application and completely ruin it in 30 seconds flat with ill-timed top coating. These liquids didn’t come with instructions, so I winged it! I waited about 2-3 minutes after activator (single application since I didn’t buff afterwards) before applying my first coat of top, wiping between fingers, and then waited for the shrink-wrapped salami look before doing my second coat (maybe 15 seconds?). Don’t know the shrink-wrapped salami I’m talking about? It’s when the top coat looks like it’s pulling back and has some texture. When you first apply it, it’s smooth and glossy and then it hardens and “tightens”. That’s usually optimal timing for top coat #2, when the first coat is just barely dry but the activator can still get to the second coat. This step was smooth, consistent and fluid and my brush didn’t harden.
Smell- I really wanted to touch on this since TV touts being super low odor, tear-free and burn-free. I even did this mani without my 3M mask for you guys and I totally regret it! Low-scent it was, as there wasn’t really a discernible odor unless you got really close. The burning, though? Ugh. My eyes, nose and throat were all stinging with all three steps, and this was with me trying to keep my distance. I also had a sore throat the day after, and felt incredibly fatigued (which happens whenever I use very strong liquids, like Revel). I totally recommend you guys get a 3M mask if you happen to have any experience with the dip flu, or even if you don’t! If some people have reactions to the liquids, I can only imagine the miniscule changes that are happening to your mucus membrane tissues with each exposure. And sure, my hypochondriac imagination may run away with me sometimes, but what does it hurt to protect your lungs? Smoking was considered safe at one point too!
Shine and Durability- I was surprised that it seemed completely smooth over glitter even without a coat of clear. I also didn’t have to take out a stopwatch, but didn’t have any cloudy spots AND the top coat is super shiny. It didn’t quite reach the super thick gloss of gel, but I also don’t think I’d complain about it really. I’m on day 2 of this mani and haven’t had any scratches or otherwise marred surface, or any spider cracks. I normally don’t keep a mani more than a week, and I doubt this will be an exception, but I can update with longevity up to that point. On that note, they do also say fastest removal as well, in 7 minutes flat. I used peel base, but if it somehow fails me I’ll update on how soak off goes as well.
Overall, I’d definitely use these again and I’d call it one of my top three liquids. I liked that it leveled itself and needed minimal to no filing/buffing. I think it’d be great for details where you need a little more time to really move stuff around or ombré well. TV base absolutely screams PAIR WITH CHUNKY GLITTER AND PAT ME DOWN. Dip system grade A-