I purchased Sula Paint & Peel for two reasons:
1. I love the bottle design. LOVE. The shape is so appealing to me; it’s very simple and slightly smaller than the average bottle (.37 fl oz / 11ml compared to .5 fl oz / 15ml). And the typography? Oh man. That is probably the aspect that really sold me on the purchase.
2. The polish is non-toxic, water-based, and B3F. I feel more comfortable using this polish to paint my daughter’s nails, and I imagine it would be perfect for pregnant women who want to avoid the harsh smell and chemicals in traditional polish.
There are a couple of things to know before you decide to pick up a bottle. The formula, because it’s water-based, is a bit hard to apply. It can be quite streaky and uneven, so I definitely recommend thin coats with sufficient dry time between them. You’re meant to apply the polish to naked nails, which I completely forgot about when swatching (I have a few more Sula P&P polishes to swatch, so I’ll try to remember for next time). You also have to avoid hot water for 4 hours, or the edges will start detaching from the nail.
After it dries it takes on a rubbery finish, but Sula sells a water-based top coat if you want some shine. In fact, Sula P&P polishes are now sold in dual-ended bottles, with the color on one end and a clear top coat on the other.
As for removal-by-peeling? Eh. I have never been successful in peeling off the entire strip of polish in one go, like I’ve seen elsewhere. Also, it feels like it’s pulling up on nail as I peel, and that’s enough to make me break out the remover.
Basically, there is a trade-off to be made. If you want to use this water-based formula, you’re going to lose some of the advantages of traditional polish, such as the smooth application and lasting power. These polishes are meant to be temporary, as the Sula founder pointed out in the Style List article linked above. Whether that was the true intention or simply a marketing ploy used to excuse the formula… the world may never know.
On to the swatch! This is three thin coats of Vermilion, a vibrant orange, with Seche Vite top coat (which is full of chemicals, haha):