I Tried the Latest Gel-Like Nail Polish and Here’s How It Performed

While my more-often-than-not bare nails would lead you to believe otherwise, I don’t think there’s anything quite like having my nails polished. Post-manicure, I feel much more stylish, cleaner and overall more confident. I know it might seem far-fetched that polished nails could bring on such a satisfying feeling, but hey, they say it’s the little things that count. 

Now I may boast about my appeal to polish, but I do have a love-hate relationship with manicures. In an ideal world, a manicure would last perfectly for two weeks, but let’s face it—I’m lucky if I can keep it chip-free for two days. I also have never been willing to hop on the gel manicure bandwagon, as my nails are not the strongest, and I don’t want to risk the harsh aftermath that I’ve heard can happen. And, so, I tend to make manicures an infrequent treat.

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Coming across Essie Gel Couture, the brand’s latest gel-like polish, I was immediately intrigued: At first glance, the bottle’s new shape, which looks like a twisted box, screams modernity and innovation. Better yet, the product promises up to 14 days of wear, and, well, I couldn’t help but feel a glimmer of hope as I polished my nails with the Gel Couture color Zip Me Up, a light mint green, followed by the Gel Couture top coat.

For three days, my nails looked flawless, but come the fourth day, I began to have some light chipping—nothing major, though. On day six, my index and pointer fingernails, the ones that I probably use the most, were noticeably chipped, and I normally would have taken off the polish at this point, but I was determined to make it to the end of the 14-day deadline. Unfortunately, my manicure didn’t quite make it to the 2 week mark.

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After the 14 days, I removed what was left of the polish—which, on the bright side, did come off very easily without damaging my nails. Even though the product didn’t last as long on me as I’d liked, it did stay on a longer than your average polish, making me believe that the manicure world is taking a step in the right direction toward a future of longer-lasting nail wear. Am I convinced to get manicures more regularly? Not quite, but next time I go, I’ll probably opt for an Essie Gel Couture color

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