Our Resident Nail Art Enthusiast Gave These Gel Polishes 5 Stars

If there was a Nail Biters Anonymous, I’d have spent a solid 15 years attending meetings. My name is Christine, and I’m a mostly reformed chronic nail biter.

Much to my parents’ dismay and despite my best efforts, my perpetual nervousness and utter lack of self control resulted in grotty stubs where my fingertips should have been.

The remedy? Gaining a quiet obsession with nail painting, and for a short but unsustainable period of time, coordinating my nails with my outfits.

Since I’ve officially been bestowed Adore’s resident nail art enthusiast by our Beauty Editor, I feel I’m not only the right person to try new polishes, but I’m also an expert in what qualifies a 5-star rating when it comes to nail lacquer.

essie’s Gel Couture Nail Polish promises 12-day lasting power, chip resistance and easy removal. Oh, and the slightly curved brush apparently holds the “correct” amount of polish to coat nails evenly.

So here’s what I was looking for apart from what was promised:

– No streaks

– Easy (and mess-free) application

– Quick drying (I’m talking, within 2 minutes)

– Two coats for full opacity

How did you test this, Christine?

In an admittedly clearly attention-seeking way of forcing people to think I’m adorable and quirky, I’ve been using multiple different colours each time I paint my nails, which fortunately helped me try quite a number of the essie polishes in record time.

I left it for a week and went from there. Here were my initial thoughts:

Love the wide brush, barely any repeat strokes are needed to coat the whole nail edge to edge.

SO quick drying – a lot of other polishes I’ve tried have needed far longer between coats, where I’ve watched a full episode of Game of Thrones before feeling confident for a second coat.

The lighter colours did need 3-4 coats, but that’s just the nature of lighter shades across the board, and given the fast drying nature of the polish, not really an issue. The lighter colours also struggled on my ridgy nails, but that’s the fault of my own lazy self (remember to buff, guys!)

Shop here

And what are you final thoughts?

The more important question is: how many times did you flaunt your DIY manicure through the week? And the answer to that is too many times. The fact that I could convince friends and family that I’d paid to have my nails done was such a treat.

Upon my one week analysis, I spotted some receding at the very edge of the nails and there was also some small chipping. But really, I don’t do the things that people tell you to do in order to lengthen the life of your mani. I hand wash all my dishes with no rubber gloves on, I use hand sanitiser, I don’t reapply top coat through the week. I’m a mani menace, really.

So given this polish was able to withstand all of my torturous behaviours and given how many coats I used for some colours, that it was still able to come out the other end with minor chips and receding, I am thoroughly impressed – hence, the five-star rating.


Shop Essie Gel Couture Polish Here