MY FIRST TIME: Essie Gel Manicure

Lauren Quick | May 5, 2014 | 11:07 AM
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Day 14: All gone! Nails look to be in good health
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I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for nail polish.

And no, I don't necessarily think I'm a product of my profession—though I'd be lying if I said I don't pay more attention to such things in my current position. I do think watching my mother file and paint her nails throughout my childhood was where the addiction began.

In college, my fondness for the stuff really blossomed. In my journalism school days, there were a lot of things to do and not a lot of sleep at night. I felt like having my nails painted was one way I could be somewhat pulled together even after 3 or 4 hours of sleep every day for a month.

I've been fond of Essie since the beginning of my polish endeavors, and that's a big reason why I was intrigued and excited to hear that the fan-favorite brand had developed a no-chip line, Essie Gel.

Just after America's Beauty Show, I hustled to a salon in the Chicago area that carried the new gel line to try it out for myself. Picking a color, as always, was a dilemma because springtime just opens up a whole new world of brights, lights and pastels I'd shied from during the arctic Chicago winter months.

See how it held up:

I elected Essie Gel in Scavenger Hunt. It's what one of MODERN's Instagram followers called "the perfect purple," and I'm not one to argue with that.

The application process went like any other no-chip mani I've had; base, gel, cure, gel, cure, done. I think I was at Polish and Pour Spa about 45 minutes in total. The color went on deceptively thin for a no-chip and was shiny, happy and dry when I left, as it should be.

The nails went through a lot in those two weeks: weekends at the dog park, a trip to LA and typing wonderful content for you lovely people day in and day out. I did the dishes without care (or gloves) and popped back in the salon two weeks from my initial appointment to have the gel removed.

That process was standard as well; acetone-soaked cotton was wrapped in foil over each nail, and I treated myself to (a Peach Daquiri by Essie) pedicure while I waited for the gel to heat up and soak off. My manicurist actually asked why I was getting the gel off because she said it still looked really good. I agreed, but my nails were growing out quite a bit, and I'd already had the appointment set up. After about 20 minutes of soaking, the foil and cotton was removed, and my manicurist used an orange stick to push off any remnants still hanging on, which wasn't much.

Would I opt for Essie Gel again? Yup. Should you try it out? Definitely! I always think of myself as an equal-opportunity employer of no-chips. You can't know what's the best if you haven't tried them all!

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