PERFECT FORMULA PINK GEL COAT
VS. SALON SCIENCES INSTANT ARTIFICIALS
It’s no industry secret that bulk of the smaller cosmetic companies use the same manufacturers – meaning its the same product with a different packaging. The moment I figured this out was when I worked at Headshots Photo Studio (best job ever) and we used a full coverage foundation – that Face Stockholm also sold for substantially more. – its now $48, but I’m sure it was much less back then. How sobering.
the COMPARISON: I had been eyeing the Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat ($30) for my very brittle nails – but chose to spend my money on other Lemmings instead. On a trip to Sally Beauty, I saw the Salon Sciences Instant Artificials ($8.49) which seemed to offer the same benefits. A good friend who had a bad experience with gel nails got the Perfect Formula to help her natural nails recover. Just to be sure I wasn’t missing out on a good thing, I compared the ingredients.
Shockingly, the formulas are nearly identical except the Perfect Formula has formaldehyde and the Salon Sciences has acrylates copolymer (which is basically another acrylic). It made me laugh that Sephora listed the Perfect Formula as being formulated without: Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Phthalates, GMOs, Triclosan. But it has FORMALDEHYDE! Making Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat not so “perfect” and another glaring example of why you need to read labels.
Salon Sciences Instant Artificials is a great product for those who need to heal damaged nails or just want a fast & polished manicure. Instant Artificials is also perfect for me since I rarely have time for a full manicure. My nails have grown in healthier and look brighter.
UPDATE (10-11-2013): In response to the comment made below – here’s what I read about formaldehyde:Formaldehyde in Nail Hardeners (fda.gov)
“Formaldehyde is used in many different products, some of which are regulated as cosmetics. For example, formaldehyde is an important component of nail hardeners. Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing ingredients are often used in other cosmetics as preservatives to protect against harmful bacteria, and formaldehyde also has been used in certain hair-smoothing or hair-straightening products. Different forms of formaldehyde have different names, such as “formalin” and “methylene glycol.”
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel concluded in December 2011 that formaldehyde and methylene glycol are safe for use in cosmetics when formulated to ensure use at the minimal effective concentration, but in no case should formalin concentration exceed 0.2% by weight. (This would be 0.074% by weight calculated as formaldehyde or 0.118% by weight calculated as methylene glycol.) CIR also found that formaldehyde and methylene glycol are safe under present practices of use and concentration in nail hardening products, where the concentration of formaldehyde is typically higher than the 0.2% level noted for cosmetics generally. “Present practices of use” include instructions to avoid skin contact. However, CIR found that formaldehyde and methylene glycol are unsafe in the present practices of use and concentration in hair smoothing products; see FDA, OSHA Act on Brazilian Blowout and the related Warning Letter.
Nail hardeners that contain formaldehyde may cause an irritation or allergic reaction to those sensitized to this compound. There is also some evidence that certain individuals may become allergic to toluene sulfonamide–formaldehyde resin, a common ingredient in nail preparations. If you are allergic to formaldehyde, have previously experienced an allergic reaction to nail preparations, or for any other reason wish to avoid this ingredient, be sure to read the product ingredient statement on the label to determine whether formaldehyde or related ingredients, such as formalin and toluene sulfonamide-formaldehyde resin, are present.”
There are numerous other articles that go back and forth about whether formaldehyde or other chemicals are “bad” for you when used in cosmetics. Yes – I drank the formaldehyde-free Kool Aid. However, the point of this comparison had more to do with finding a product that was $21 less (or $21.51 for you persnickety math buffs) than the Perfect Formula.
MONSTER SEARCH: Deborah Lippmann products are beautifully free of formaldehyde, Toluene and Dibutyl Phthalate. My two favorites: Across the Universe (dark turquoise with blue and green big glitter) and Diamonds & Pearls (golden rosey baby glitter – which looks great over all those awful “greige” colors). Rock Top Coat by European Secrets (Sally Beauty) is also formaldehyde and toluene free – and is the most hardcore top coat I’ve found.
PERFECT FORMULA PINK GEL COAT DETAILS:
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: “This “Suit of Armor” creates a sheer pink coating that strengthens and hardens natural nails so they grow beautifully long and strong. Its keratin-rich formula includes an optical brightener that filters out any yellow appearance in your nails, bringing out the natural color in your nail bed and making the whites of your nails appear whiter.” – Sephora
PERFECT FORMULA PINK GEL COAT INGREDIENTS: Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Phthalic Anhydride/Trimellitic Anhydride/Glycols Copolymer, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Camphor, Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Etocrylene, Formaldehyde, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Calcium Pantothenate, D&C Red no.6 (CI15850), D&C Violet No. 2 (CI 60725). (From Sephora Website)
SALON SCIENCES INSTANT ARTIFICIALS DETAILS:
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Salon Science Instant Artificials is the perfect alternative to achieving artificial nails without the damaging side effects. Instant Artificals mimics the hardness of artificials with just one application. The results are visibly thicker nails with a polished shine! Easily removed with regular nail polish remover. Toluene, Formaldehyde & DBP free.
SALON SCIENCES INSTANT ARTIFICIALS INGREDIENTS: Butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, phthalic anhydride/trimellitic anhydride/ glycols copolymer, acetyl tributyl citrate, acrylates copolymer, stearalkonium hectorite, camphor, etocrylene, hydrolyzed keratin, calcium pantothenate, red 6 (ci15850), violet 2 (ci 60725). (From Sally Beauty Website)
**Colored ingredients are the same as in the Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat.
Salon Sciences Instant Artificials and European Secrets Rock Top Coat are available at Sally Beauty Supply.