So listen up.
Manicures Are a Waste
I hardly ever pay for a regular manicure because it usually lasts somewhere between 12 and 14 hours. And I don’t like paying for a gel manicure at the salon. First, it ruins your nails. And B, my nails grow too fast, so even if the manicure lasts as it should, I have a reverse French in about six days. I hate a French manicure; I hate a reverse French more.
I rock a painted nail about 90% of the time. I spend a lot of time on
boring ass conference calls, and I work from home. No one knows I’m multi-tasking by painting my nails while I’m dialed into Webex.
Thanks to genetics, my nails have ridges and they peel. So I’m re-painting them about every other day. I wear OPI, Essie, butter London, Chanel, or Zoya. None of them last. Not even Lincoln Park After Dark, the greatest nail color of this century.
Essie Gel Couture Polish
CVS is my second home. I’m an asthmatic who struggles with anxiety, allergies, and eczema. The pharmacist and I are tight. On a recent visit to pick up some Advair, I saw the big display for Essie Gel Couture nail polishnear the front of the store.
achieve a gel-like manicure in an easy 2-step system
42 lust-worthy shades
I’m generally skeptical of claims being made by a brand, but I thought, Why not? If I try it and it doesn’t work, I’m no worse off than I currently am and I’ll just add another color to my nail lacquer collection.
I grabbed a bottle of “Sew Me” and a bottle of the top coat. They cost around $12 each, which is on the middle range of what I typically spend (More than OPI and regular Essie, less than butter or Chanel).
Gel Couture goes on like regular polish. Two coats of the color (wait 60 seconds between coats) followed by the special top coat. No lights or lamps. No heat. No scuffing your nails up prior to application. No base coat. And I really liked the brush, which is key to nail polish technology.
I was going to let the manicure go until it chipped, but it never did. After nine days, the tips started to wear down a bit but not a chip in sight. The top coat stayed shiny and the edges stayed attached to my nail. Dang. I wasn’t looking for the two weeks I was promised, but I was convinced.
I bought two more colors (“Zip Me Up” and “Make the Cut”) and those lasted, too. I’m a convert! I have been keeping the polish on for three or four days, just because I like (hope and) change. And you don’t have to soak your nails in 100% acetone to take it off. Gel Couture comes off like regular polish, with a cotton ball and whatever remover you prefer.
Now that it’s fall, and I know the polish works, I’ll invest in some darker colors. Essie has Neutrals, Pastels, Brights, and Deeps.
I’m jealous of the person who gets paid to name these shades. “Surrounded by Studs.” “Take Me to Thread.” “Twill Seeker.” How do I get this job? Can I paint my nails while naming nail polish?!
Essie Gel Couture Is Sold at Stores like Target, Walgreen’s, Ulta, and CVS. Look for the Curved Bottle. Buy it!
All still images are either from Essie’s website, or are personal photos