Saturday, September 12, 2009

Apothecary: CND Air Dry

Hello ladies,

I want to introduce you to my favorite quick dry topcoat: Creative Nail Design Air Dry. It dries, seals and adds shine to polish on claw and occasionally on hoof. 

My topcoat holder is the bronze sculpture of the Ram in Fitler Square Park. 

CND Air Dry has been my topcoat for the majority of my manicures this year. It was given to me as a holiday gift by my boss, who is a former nail tech and currently does hair and make up design for drag shows.  I have been using CND treatment products for about three years. Air Dry was added to my treatment apothecary in December 2008. Stickey base coat and Super Shiney top coat began my devotion to Creative Nail Design. They were first recommended to me by a friend who owned her own nail salon and did nail design for fashion week. She used CND treatments on her clients' nails. 

I have maintained different nail lengths at various points in my life. I can say that since using CND products my nails are the longest they have ever been.  Air Dry hardens polish to a glassy finish with speed. I paint on Air Dry when my polish is still wet. I use a paintbrush dipped in acetone to remove any excess polish around my cuticles. My nails are ready for Konad stamping by the time I have finished clean up on all ten fingers. I am very efficient doing clean up as it's an almost daily practice. 

Air Dry is self-leveling. This means that the topcoat will create a uniform seal over the nail without any visible brushstrokes. Another benefit is I have never experienced tip pull with Air Dry. I have no issues even if I forget to cap the free edge of the nail with a thin layer of color before adding topcoat. There is no shrinkage of polish after showering. The color stays as I paint it and the only tip wear I experience will come from actually using my hands. Shrinkage exposes the free edge of the nail. It can leave the nail vulnerable to damage that can cause peeling or flaking at the tips. It also makes polish more prone to chipping. 

I love using Air Dry over glitter polishes. The consistency is thick enough to smooth over the glitter for maximum shine in one coat. 

CND has recently done product revamping, making their treatment line big three free. My current bottles of Stickey and Super Shiney contain toluene and formaldehyde resin.  If this is a concern for you, please check the labels to be certain which formula you are purchasing. I have had great success with the older formula. I am hopeful the newer formula can summon the same magic through my fingertips. 

I have the 2.3 fl oz. size of Air Dry. The ball size product has a far superior brush to the 0.5 ounce bottle.  I was using the smaller size for the past six weeks and couldn't wait to return to the larger bottle!  I do not recommend purchasing anything but the 2.3 ounce size. It currently retails for 9.95 at Victoria Nail Supply. 

I have a cute manicure to show tomorrow and news of a fun outing. There will actually be sun available for photography. I'm so excited after five days of cloud cover!

Happy painting ladies! 


  1. I'll try and track some down - this looks like wonder product :o)

  2. I use CND sollar oil and cuticle eraser and I'm very pleased with them - I haven't got the chance to try this topcoat, but I'll look for this one when I'll be in USA :-)

  3. Hi, I enjoy reading your blog. Have you ever tried essie g2g or INM out the door? could you compare them to the CND? thank you for the answer. I am a recent nail polish nail art addict;) please check my blog, if you have time.

  4. This looks like a great top coat, I love how you chose a ram sculpture to showcase it!

  5. Love the sculpture! I've been a big fan of CND treatments. This sounds like another great product from them. We finally have some sun too, thank goodness!

  6. I love the ram photos!

    This stuff sounds amazing - I need to check it out and see whether we can get it here in the UK.

  7. great review, I love quick dry topcoats i will definitely try this!

  8. excellent review hun,i love the ram,he did a great job moldeling hehehe

  9. I really enjoy that you find somewhere or something new to show us with each manicure or product. I love seeing sculpture and flowers. When I finish everything I have I'd like to try these products. I really appreciate the information.

  10. mad munky: It's definitely worth seeking out. :)

    tuli: I know they have the smaller bottles at Ulta in the US. I have had to mail order the ball size. Cuticle Eraser and Solar Oil are amazing. :)

    KONADomania: Thank you. Unfortunately, I haven't tried either of those topcoats you mentioned to compare them. I will be reviewing Diamont topcoat from Nubar soon.

    gildedangel: I figured a ram is a good representative for strength. He's also cute!

    Mary: I will definitely be showing more local sculpture and supporting art in my own way. ;) I have been relishing these past two days of sunlight.

    Helen: Thank you. Let me know about CND's UK availability.

    Kae: Thanks! I don't know what I would do without quick dry topcoats! I think you'll love this one.

    Skye: The ram did a favorable job showing the strengths of this topcoat. ;)

    Lucy: Thanks! I love exploring and finding interesting ways to show my favorite products. I love my home city too. It's nice to share little vignettes.

  11. i got my first bottle of air dry, because of this post :) i can tell you i haven't been disappointed so far! (i think it is a non-3 free bottle tho, as it was in a discount bin at trade secret tho, so hope to try one of the new versions next time.) and it is hard to impress me, as i am a hard core seche vite devotee! thanks for telling us about this!

  12. I like the shine that Air Dry leaves but it does not really help the nail polish on nail extensions last longer because after a week nail polish starts chipping. i was wondering if anyone knows how long super shiny takes to dry and if it lasts longer

  13. I do have Super Shiney. I use OPI Drip Dry Drops with it to speed drying time. It is a quality product though it is not marketed as a quick dry topcoat. There are two versions of Super Shiney around. The newest is big three free. The bottle I have is the original version that contains formaldehyde resin.

    I'm really not certain what is standard wear time for polish on nail extensions, but for natural nails a week's wear is optimum. Even before I had the blog, the longest I would go without changing my polish would be a week, though every three to five days was more likely. It was less of a wear issue and more that I love switching up my polish.


Thank you so much for stopping by! I do my best to answer comments. I read every single comment. If you have any questions or links that are unrelated to the post, please e-mail me.

Please be respectful and avoid leaving your blog link in the comments unless requested. Refer to the FAQ if needed.