First impression: Essie Gel Couture nail polish

I literally never paint my nails.

I will occasionally get a gel manicure, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a standard manicure and didn’t somehow manage to mess up the polish before leaving the salon. Standard polish also only lasts a few days on my nails without chipping and looking disgusting, so it really isn’t worth the effort to do them myself.

I know that there are at home gel manicure kits now, but they seem to take FOR-EV-ER. When I’m home I can’t spend an hour just doing my nails; there are way too many things distracting me, like dishes and work and naps. Even at the salon I get bored, and it’s been a long time since I had a nail chick who was engaging enough to keep the boredom at bay. The problem is that my nails always look gross because I don’t do anything with them.

Earlier this week I happened to be at Ulta with my niece and nephew, and we wandered past the Essie display. I’ve had their gel polishes in the back of my mind for the last few months but never felt compelled to buy them. On the day we were there Ulta happened to be offering 5x points on Essie purchases… I kind of had to buy a couple.

These are supposed to be long-wearing, quick-drying polishes that only require two steps. They’re a little on the pricey side at $11.50 each, though even Sally Hansen charges $10 for this type of polish. I purchased the top coat, a matte light green/gray called Beauty Nap, and a gray/blue shimmer shade called Closing Night.

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The most surprising part about this is that today, only a day later, I actually painted my nails!

I used Beauty Nap and had to add two coats to get full opacity, but I managed to do it without messing up and smudging my nails. Once I got the top coat on they did dry pretty quickly; they were tacky for probably 10 minutes, but not so wet that I couldn’t touch things or type. My nails have ridges and are generally a little brittle, but the polish completely covered up the imperfections. They look so smooth and shiny, and I didn’t do a terrible job or get polish all over my skin. My cuticles could use some help though.

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Overall I’m pretty impressed. The process was quick and easy, even for someone as fundamentally lazy as I am. The colors are really pretty and I may buy a couple more before the bonus points end.

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