I mentioned a couple of days ago that I purchased the AQUAgenetic base by Dance Legend, well today's post is a review of it (finally!) and a comparison to how well it works with holo compared to other regular bases, It's a slightly more picture heavy and wordy post than my normal posts.
AQUAgenetic is a special basecoat designed to make the application of holographic polishes easier. I have never really been bothered about getting an aqua base as most of my holos are trouble free, having been spoiled with a-england, Color Club and OPI DS polishes I didn't feel I needed one. I do, however, have a few Layla holos and I dodge using them as they are a serious pain in the arse to apply so I decided to get the Dance Legend base when it came into stock at Rainbow Connection.
I have tried the base a couple of times with Layla holos which usually streak horribly and found that it helped, I was suddenly able to get away with a "quick" polish job and not spend ages carefully applying the polish. I have also tried it with holos from other brands such as Kiko and found it made already good polishes seem better (yay!)
For today's post I picked the least used holo I own: Layla Cloudy Violet, a deep unforgiving shade which has always streaked and needed 3 to 4 coats.
AQUAgenetic is quite a fluid polish, it goes on with a slightly blue tint and dries clear. It takes longer to dry than a normal base, but is quicker than PVA glue. I have found I only need one coat to work miracles. AQUAgenetic has a smell which is quite unexpected, it smells nothing like chemicals or nail polish, it smells more like fabric conditioner and to be fair that's actually what the liquid looks a little like! Hubby has asthma and he said (when I put my nails under his nose) that he was still aware of chemicals, but personally I didn't notice any.
First up I have swatches of Cloudy Violet in which I used 2 coats of Duri Rejuvacote, added a coat of AQUAgenetic then allowed around 10mins for it to be fully dry before applying 2 coats of Layla Cloudy Violet. No top coat on these initial pictures. Cloudy Violet went on so well in one coat that I almost didn't need to do a second, but in typical polish blogger style, I added it anyway!
I added a coat of HK Girl and took the next picture very shortly after - in the time it took to walk across the kitchen.
Just WOW!!! I added the top coated photo with HK Girl for anyone who isn't familiar with that brand of top coat, to show how the holo is totally unaffected by it. Initially when adding topcoat to a Layla, the polish goes cloudy and you lose the holo for about 30 seconds. If you are adding Seche to a Layla you get wrinkles too :( wrinkles don't fully smooth out. So HK Girl ading shine and not dulling, wrinkling or shrinking is a winner!
Now for comparison...
Last year Anna of AnnaBean's nails did a comparison post of bases and holo polishes. I even commented on that post about Layla's and how using matte top coats worked for me (they did when I wasn't using this colour!) so I had to try a comparison for myself just to see if this Dance Legend really was all that with a cherry on top.
For my comparison prepped each nail with a different base, Duri Rejuvacote, Mentality Matte top coat, Dance Legend AQUAgenetic and a bare nail. As a randomer I also did one nail with Picture Polish Revolution (it was that or PVA glue and PP was closer!)
The first picture here DL really stands out as the holo is visible and the polish looks shiny. PP actually matched it! The others are not so good.
After two coats,DL base is perfect, PP is perfect, no base nail is good, Duri was still streaky at the tip and looks matte (not picked up in the light box) and the matte base had dragged and got balding near the cuticle (again, not really picked up in the light box)
I could have added a third coat to my index and middle fingers, but by this time I had two clear winners, the polish which is intended to be used under holos, Dance Legend AQUAgenetic AND piCture pOlish Revolution glitter base! I wouldn't generally recommend Revolution under a normal polish as personally in the past I have found it caused my nail polish to wrinkle, however in the comparison post above I'd allowed about 20 minutes drying time before applying the Layla, and this worked well for me. Revolution has a similar consistency to AQUAgenetic, so perhaps that's why it worked? I haven't sat and compared the ingredients though.
Having used AQUAgenetic a few times and now done a comparsion I agree with Anna Bean that you do benefit from an aqua base with holos, especially when a 3coater becomes perfect in one coat!! Bring on the sunshine and lots of holo nails :)
All products mentioned were purchased by me, Duri from eBay, piCture pOlish from Sally Magpies (also stocked by Rainbow Connection) Mentality and Layla from Sally Magpies, HK Girl and Dance Legend from Rainbow Connection.