I have lousy fingernails so was thrilled to discover and wear acrylic over my nails for 20+ years. Back in the day, every young mother at soccer practice sported 10 perfect talons painted in glossy, bright colors, which were never chipped. That was the magic of acrylic nails. They were strong enough to grow to impossible lengths and the polish never, ever chipped. I loved them.
Every two weeks I went in for my “fill” which meant clipping off the loose acrylic, sanding, filing then filling the grown out sections with more acrylic. The salon reeked of noxious fumes and heaven knows what it was doing to everyone’s lungs. When the acrylic finally came off, my nails were destroyed beyond all recognition.
I didn’t give up on polish because I wanted pretty nails, but it was a waste of time and money. The polish never lasted longer than a day, if I was lucky. Then ran across the Essie Gel Couture system at Target several years ago and haven’t bought a different brand since.
Is It Gel?
Gel polish is typically cured under a special light. This Essie Gell Couture is a two-step system that air dries on its own.
How to Apply
On clean dry nails apply two coats of color. No base coat needed. I allow them to dry between coats which only takes a few minutes. Top with one swipe of the high gloss topcoat which protects the polish and dries to a gel-like shine. I wait 10 minutes before doing anything so I don’t smudge everything. It could not be easier.
It’s available in 100 colors! I have several favorites and lean towards pale colors because my nails are short. Essie’s iconic Ballet Slippers has been a cult favorite for 36 years. It’s a go with everything, soft ballet pink that blends with my skin tone. They don’t make that exact shade in the Gel Couture line but many are very close. These are my favorite colors-
- Fairy Tailor-a semi-sheer pale pink
- Pre-Show Jitters – a soft white- a favorite for my summer pedicure
- Matter of Fiction – soft pink with blue undertones
- Stitch By Stitch – ladylike pink
- Drop The Gown – a soft ruby red I use on my toes in cooler months
- Model Clicks – a deep aubergine wine color for winter pedicures
Unlike salon gel, this gel-like polish comes off easily with regular nail polish remover. No soaking or filing and no damage to your nails. My nails feel stronger since I’ve been using this consistently because they’re protected and get a boost of strength.
How Long Do They Last
Essie says your manicure will last 14 days without chips. That may be true for some, but my nails break or tear long before then. I can only report up to a 5-day window which is epic for my soft, peeling, weak nails. This polish is my best and only shot for having a polished, natural nail that’s affordable and easy to do at home.
The other thing I’ve done in an effort to have halfway decent or at least not embarrassing looking nails is to take this Biotin morning and night. I made the mistake of thinking that the liquid would be easier, but it’s not for me. It’s hard to describe it’s taste accurately, but it’s a cross between rotten fish and formaldehyde.
Colors I Like
Are you blessed with strong, pretty nails?
Please share what you use.