I haven't, however, been able to give a full review. That's because it's absurdly difficult to review a top coat in a way that isn't silly and arbitrary. I decided that the best way to do this would be to do a comparison with my go-to top coat: Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat. In January, I told you to expect a comparison with graphs. Well... the data (finally) is in.
|Head to Head: Julep Freedom vs. Seche Vite!|
Although it would have been possible to control for the nail polish I wore to avoid a potential confounding factor, I decided that it would be an undue hardship on my stylishness to wear one boring color for so long. Instead, I took the psychologist's method: random assignment. In psychology, you can't possibly control for all the factors that make human beings different from each other. Instead, you assign them into your control group and your experimental group[s] randomly, and hope that shit just sort of balances out based on probability. I don't plan my nail polish colors in advance, so what I did for my "random assortment" was pick out my color[s], and flip a coin. Heads represented Seche Vite and tails represented Julep Freedom. I decided, arbitrarily, that ten data points for each condition was enough to figure out if there were any differences I actually cared about. Once I reached ten data points on one top coat, the rest of the trials were automatically the other top coat.
My previous nail polish comparison-- which compared nail polish appliqués-- had two measures. One was the "first chip" and one was the point at which the nail polish was no longer wearable. I decided to eliminate that second measure from this comparison for the sake of both time (this took an absurd amount of time already) and for the sake of objectivity (although I operationally defined the idea of something being "no longer wearable", this is hardly an agreed-upon standard). As before, I only used full days because there is no way to know whether I noticed the chip right as it occurred or much later, and, for sake of practicality, I cannot create a protocol that involves constantly checking my nails for chips.
On the off chance that you are most motivated blog reader ever and you want to check my math or something, I decided to include the raw data:
Seche-- Color Club Wild Cactus Applied Feb 13, First Chip Feb 16th, Days: 3
Julep-- Julep Marion Applied Mar 7, First Chip March 10th, Days: 3
Seche-- Julep Otte Applied Mar 14, First Chip March 19th, Days: 5
Seche-- Etude House Mint Applied April 28, First Chip April 30, Days: 2
Seche-- Christian Dior Dusty Rose Applied May 2, First Chip May 5, Days: 3
Julep-- Color Club Harp On It and Sinful Colors Fusion Neon Applied May 10, First Chip May 12, Days: 2
Seche-- Zoya Julie Applied May 15, First Chip May 20, Days: 5
Seche-- Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Acceler-Grape, Applied May 23, First Chip May 28, Days: 5
Julep-- Julep Joan AND Essie Shine Of The Times, Applied May 28, First Chip May 30, Days: 2
Julep-- Not Like the Movies, Applied June 1, First Chip June 3rd, Days: 2
Julep-- Julep Reagan AND Payton, Applied June 3rd, First Chip June 6, Days: 3
Seche-- OPI Black Cherry Chutney, Applied June 7, First Chip June 10, Days: 3
Julep-- Color Club London Calling, Applied June 12, First Chip June 14, Days: 2
Seche-- Julep Zora AND Julep Mackenzie AND Color Club Something?, Applied June 14, First Chip June 16, Days: 2
Seche-- Julep Lauren AND Julep Stella, Applied June 16, First Chip June 18, Days: 2
Julep-- Sation Front Row Flasher AND Julep Myrtle, Applied June 18, First Chip June 20, Days: 2
Julep-- Zoya Julie AND Urban Outfitters Bandeau, Applied June 23, First Chip June 27, Days: 4
Seche-- Color Club Pardon My French, Applied June 28, First Chip July 1, Days: 3
Julep-- Julep Tracy AND Julep Fireworks, Applied July 1, First Chip July 2, Days: 1
Julep-- Julep Myrtle AND Julep Fireworks, Applied July 3, First Chip July 4, Days: 1
If you want to view that in a way that's a little easier to interpret, you end up with the following numbers:
Seche Vite Dry Fast Topcoat: 3, 5, 2, 3, 5, 5, 3, 2, 2, 3
Julep Freedom Polymer Topcoat: 3, 2, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 4, 1, 1
The mean for Seche Vite is 3.30 days, with a standard deviation of 1.25 days. The mean for Julep Freedom is 2.20 days, with a standard deviation of 0.92 days. Obviously, those numbers are different, with Seche Vite keeping my polish in place longer than Julep Freedom. The question remains, however, whether or not they are different to the point of statistical significance.
To look at this, I was able to do a simple t-test. My results showed that Seche Vite did in fact have a benefit that achieved statistical significance, t(18)=2.24, p=0.038. A p-value of 0.038 means that there is less than a 4% chance that these differences could have occurred by chance alone. Usually, a p-value of 0.05 is considered to be the threshold for statistical significance.
In summary, if your number one concern with your topcoat is that it wards off chipping for as long as possible, Seche Vite is preferable to Julep Freedom.
I did do one additional test as well-- I tested drying time. It almost feels silly to include this after this big thing that took months of effort, with multiple trials, where I ran stats... and then I follow up with something I did in three minutes just now, but I do feel that this information might be relevant to some of you.
I tested the two topcoats over completely dry polish to ensure that the polish below did not affect the dry time. I applied Seche Vite to two fingers, started my stopwatch, waited 30 seconds, and then began to test the dryness by lightly tapping those two fingernail together. When they are wet, you feel a stickiness. When they are dry, you do not. I recorded the time when the polish felt completely dry to me. I repeated this procedure with Julep Freedom.
Seche Vite tested dry at 1:25. Julep Freedom tested dry at 1:15. (As someone who habitually applies a topcoat over wet polish, both of these times seemed strikingly fast to me!)
For me, a very small difference in drying time is inconsequential, whereas a significant difference in wear time is important. Based on these findings, I am sticking with Seche Vite.