Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home2/libedon/public_html/wp-content/themes/StandardTheme_272/admin/functions.php on line 229
Julep Freedom Polymer Topcoat – Review | The Polished Fox

Julep Freedom Polymer Topcoat – Review

In February’s Julep Maven box, Julep sent out not only their Oxygen nail treatment, but also their Freedom Top Coat. From Julep’s website, the top coat is said to:

  • Protects nail color from chips, dings, and dullness twice as long as regular top coats with Polymer shield
  • Cure under regular light in three to five minutes (depending on brightness and proximity to light source); no UV light required
  • Remove with ANY polish remover, including gentle, non-acetone formulas

I couldn’t wait to try it out – as a nail art lover, I’m always trying to find the best top coat that will allow me to wear designs that won’t chip, but I’m also looking for a top coat that’s safe. Most fast drying long wear top coats aren’t 3-free, including favorites like Seche Vite. The Freedom Top Coat is 4-free though, meaning no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene or DBP. I’m so excited they sent it in February’s box. On with the review! Below you can see the simple hearts and dots loop design  I did using Essie Where’s My Chauffeur and Butter LONDON Trout Pout.

Julep Freedom Topcoat | Review

Julep Freedom Topcoat | Review

It’s not a crazy fancy design or anything, but I mostly wanted to see how the top coat would handle a simple design and a bump of polish. As you can see, there was some dragging when applying. I’m pretty careful and tend to use a pretty dense bead of top coat when I apply so that the brush doesn’t disturb the design, but there is obvious dragging and the coral polish spread when the top coat was applied. You can see the dragging pretty well on my pinkie and on my index finger in the photo below. I’ll also note that I let the design dry by itself without the top coat for five minutes so it had time to set and wasn’t prone to dragging (clearly didn’t help).

Julep Freedom Topcoat | Review

Julep Freedom Topcoat | Review

But, the redeeming factor for Julep’s Freedom Top Coat is with a single color of polish. I’ve made no enhancements to the photo below (or any of these photos, actually) – check out how smooth it is on my thumb! What I do like is that you actually cure the top coat for two minutes under any 60 watt light bulb at home, and in two minutes it is dry to the touch. In five minutes, I can type this blog without worrying about hitting my nail on a key. The finish is as glossy as a gel manicure without the fuss of a gel manicure. No UV lights, no 2 weeks of the same color, no annoying removal process.

Julep Freedom Topcoat | Review

Julep Freedom Topcoat | Review

Overall opinion: I really wish I could say that I am replacing Seche Vite with this top coat and that it’s a life changer. But, alas, I can’t. I won’t be reaching for Julep’s Freedom Top Coat as a topper for intricate designs, because I don’t want to risk smearing the design. But, if I’m wearing a single color as a manicure, I will ABSOLUTELY use it – it dries rock solid and is very forgiving, spreading color evenly and gives a great gloss finish. What do you think? Have you used the topcoat yet? Will you use it in the future? Let me know in the comments!

I purchased this product on my own. All opinions are genuine.

18 Responses to “Julep Freedom Polymer Topcoat – Review”

  1. Erin February 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Can you cure it under a fluorescent bulb? Somehow I had in my mind that you had to use an incandescent bulb, but I don’t have any in my house anymore!

    • Libby February 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

      I cured it with a fluorescent bulb – totally works!

  2. Madeline Rodriguez February 2, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Thanks so much for this!! I got it yesterday and used it over the color only nails I was too scared that this would happen to the art work so I stuck with my Seche for that And now I’m so glad!! It is a great color only top coat!!

    • Libby February 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

      You’re welcome! Glad you used on the color only nails too. I agree, perfect color-only top coat!

  3. Natalie February 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    I have to say I was really disappointed in this product. Although it dried to a high gloss shine, like seche vite I experienced major shrinkage with it. I also cured for 3 minutes with a 60 watt bulb and although the top coat was dry to the touch, I definitely couldn’t go digging in my purse, as advertised. I got some pretty hefty dings in my manicure from every day use. Because of the shrinkage, I had tip wear and chipping in less than 12 hours. If anyone has similar issues with seche vite, try Butter London’s quick dry top coat or Sally Hansen’s Insta Dri. I’ve had great luck with both of those (with straight up manicures…no nail art).

    • Libby February 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

      I’m also seeing shrinkage today Natalie – after just 24 hours I have visible free edge on my nail (even though I always wrap my tips) and chipping for sure. I can also get a dent in mine if I push lightly with a nail. I haven’t tried butter London’s topcoat yet but I love their matte finish, I’ll have to check it out!

      • Natalie February 6, 2013 at 1:52 am #

        I know polish/top coat success might vary based on body chemistry, but Butter London’s Hardware is by far my favorite. It dries very quickly without shrinkage, which makes it a total win in my book. I like Sally Hanson’s InstaDri, too, but it thickens much more quickly.

    • Fiona March 3, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Yeah, I have had THE SAME problems w this product- i want to like it soo much, but it chips within 12 hours. super shiny, but the chipping is a big problem

  4. Zhanna February 4, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    I think part of your problem may stem from the fact that your polish may not have been dry. The directions on the box (I own this) say to apply over DRY polish. Meaning it’s not a fast-drying top coat that dries your nails down to the plate. This is a topcoat which will give you the gel-like finish and wear as long as you use it over already dry polish.

    • Libby February 4, 2013 at 4:11 am #

      Ah, maybe that was the issue. Still though, the way the polish has been advertised on their YouTube channel has been for a quick drying polish that gives you freedom. To me, waiting for polish to dry 20 minutes before putting on a top coat doesn’t seem very freeing. I will try it again over dry polish and see how it compares, though. Thanks for the advice!

      • Natalie February 6, 2013 at 1:53 am #

        I agree…the purpose of a quick dry, gel polish top coat, in my mind, is that it cures all polish quickly without the need for a manicure to dry fully first.

    • T K Martinez April 10, 2013 at 7:33 am #

      Can’t agree with this. I have tried multiple times, on multiple colors — no designs — to use Freedom Polymer over a totally dry mani, and it still drags color like crazy. I can’t even have an accent nail that contrasts too much with the rest, or the color will smear into everything. So glad this was a free gift… The colors I got in this Maven box were fabulous, but the topcoat has been a major let down.

  5. Julie February 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    I kind of want to try this but I feel like I’ll just end up running straight back to Seche Vite.

    • Libby February 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      I’d check it out for the quick cure – it dries hard, like tappable, in five minutes. I love it for one color of polish, but ill still use seche for any nail art. The other suggestion I’ve heard is butter London’s topcoat – I have yet to use it, but everyone has said it’s seche without the drawbacks like shrinkage and gooey half bottles.

  6. Crystal March 11, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    The instructions call for completely dry polish before application.

    • Libby March 11, 2013 at 7:54 am #

      I see that – and I waited a good 5-10 minutes for my polish to dry before putting on the top coat. In the YouTube video I saw from julep, the employees that were demonstrating the topcoat said it was “really forgiving. They applied it to a fresh manicure that they “could do over lunch” and is touted for its time saving qualities. http://youtu.be/jHOnc4Kt1EQ

  7. Rebecca L March 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    I’ve tried Freedom a few times, with negative results each time. I first tried to use it a few minutes after applying polish (like I usually do with my regular topcoat) and it dragged HORRIBLY and completely ruined the polish job.
    I tried it after letting my polish dry for 10-15 minutes and it did the same thing.
    And I even tried it on nails that had been polished the day before.
    It caused shrinkage and dragging every single time. Not a fan at all. I was really disappointed because I love everything else that I’ve tried from Julep.

    I didn’t always use a lightbulb to cure it, which I’m wondering if that was a problem. But the time that I waited to apply it for 15 minutes, it was barely on my nail for 30 seconds before it completely ruined it.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

%d bloggers like this: