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I Tried It: Nifty Nail Polish

August 5, 2011

Getting a manicure is one of life’s little luxuries that is all too often pushed to the side. After all, who really has the time or patience to go to a salon and have someone painstakingly (albeit beautifully) paint your nails for an hour, only to have them wrecked 15 minutes later while grocery shopping? Talk about heartbreak.

That doesn’t mean the desire for pretty painted nails in trendy colors goes away. To help you find a type (and color) of polish that can keep up with your busy lifestyle, I’ve tested two nail polishes to see if they quickly chip away or stand the test of time.

Test Color 1: Estée Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Wild Blue

Day 1:  If ever a nail polish was luxurious, it is this one. It went on smoothly and left my nails feeling luscious. I applied two coats of the color without a base or top coat because I wanted to see how it would perform without help.

Within ten minutes, the nail polish felt dry. But I know better! Oh yes, after being burned one too many times by nail polish that seems dry but gets mangled the moment you brush against even one loose strand of hair, I sat tight for another 20 minutes. After that, I could have buckled all the seat belts and opened all the letters in the world without any scrapes to my colorful new nails.

Day 2: Though I’d like to sit around admiring my lovely nails all day, it was time to get back to life! After my normal routine of cooking, dishes, cleaning, driving, and typing away at a keyboard all day, my blue beauties were still marvelously intact! The only difference was that the nail polish wasn’t quite as shiny.

Day 3: The polish began to chip slightly, but only on my index fingers–the digits that work the hardest. The chipping was hardly noticeable and didn’t interfere with the stunning look of my nails.

Day 4: More chipping. Any minute now, this could start to get ugly.

Day 5: Even more blue flaked away. While most of you normal gals (or not-so-antsy about your nails) probably could have kept it going, I just couldn’t take it anymore. When I took the nail polish off, my nails were stained blue because I hadn’t used a base coat. But by the next day all was back to normal.

Bottom Line: I am in love with this luxurious nail polish! For a polish to last five full days without a base or top coat is pretty miraculous. Not to mention that this blue color is so fun and vibrant! As lively as a blue summer sky, it’s the perfect standout accent to any ensemble.

$19, Macy’s, Hilldale, Madison;


Test Color 2: China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Ruby Pumps

Day 1: I got excited with the first swipe of this nail polish applied. Not only did it go on easily, it was so sparkly, I felt ready to hit the stage on Broadway. I applied two coats of the polish without base or top coats.

After waiting 30 minutes, this polish felt so sturdy I don’t think I could have chipped any off with a hammer if I tried!

Day 2: I’m ready to put this polish to the challenge. And after a busy day getting my hands dirty in a myriad of activities, the polish still looked good as new.

Day 3: Uh oh. A sudden chip on my middle finger. But I think my dry nails were to blame instead of the nail polish itself, because every other nail looked smooth. The polish didn’t quite have that jazzy sparkle, but there was nothing to complain about.

Day 4: The tips of my nails began to chip a little more. But overall, I was still looking snazzy.

Day 5: My nails were in great shape even after five full days! The red sparkles were just starting to exhaust me in the heat (it was like wearing 10 little disco balls on my hand!) so I took it off. The polish did not stain my nails at all, but it was difficult to take off because of the sparkles in the polish.

Bottom Line: China Glaze nail polish is my new best friend! (We’re going to go everywhere together.) It was wonderfully long lasting even without a top or base coat. With it’s intense sparkle, I feel like it would be best suited for the holiday season.

$5, Sally Beauty Supply, 678 S. Whitney Way or 2029 Zeier Rd., Madison

~Your fearless tester, Sammy

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