Monday, December 30, 2013

Mani Monday #1: Essie

Shout out to my friend Erica for coming up with this idea for a series! Every Monday, until I run out of brands, I will be showcasing a different brand of nail polish and doing an in depth review on the wear and tear. Obviously within brands the formulation varies between collections, so I will try and pick colors in permanent collections in the hope that this will be a more universal test run. All of these polishes will be tested with the same base and top coat and following this schedule: painting the nails right before bed, allowing them to dry all night and then putting on the top coat first thing in the morning. All of the daily pictures will be taken at night right before bed and a chronicled account of my daily activities with an emphasis on anything that may have added to chipping. All tests will run for a full week, or until there is serious chippage that I just can't live with. I must apologize, I was in a huge rush getting this started so the day one picture is a little unfortunate to look at because I did a bad job cleaning up the edges (nor did I respect my cuticles) but I promise you it gets better!

This week we are taking a look at Essie nail polishes! It is no secret this one is the favorite in my collection due to the pretty consistent formula, as well as beautiful range of colors and glitters. These retail for about $8, a good mid range polish that can be found just about everywhere. I think I own upwards of 30 different colors so I can definitely provide a good insight into the general quality of the Essie brand. There are so many types of Essie I may have to do additional Mani Monday tests with all the different textures and finishes, but for now I chose a simple cream finish polish. This one is called Wicked, which is a dark, dark red and just absolutely gorgeous. I started with the OPI Nail Strengthening Base Coat, followed by two coats of Wicked, and then topped off with the OPI Top Coat. I forgot to take a "pre" photo for this one, but there really was no change for it as you will see in my daily entry.

Day One. I wasn't feeling my best so I woke up pretty late and then spent the afternoon shopping. It was a low danger day for chipped nails as you can see in the picture they still look flawless except for all the painting out of the lines that happened the night before (yeah that's how safe it was, it didn't even peel off my skin!). 

Day Two. Today was also low danger of chipping day. I attended a birthday party for a one year old, so that involved just a lot of standing around, sipping cocktails, and baby talking to just about everyone. Still wasn't feeling the greatest so I went to sleep very early (6pm). But at least I managed to clean up the edges!

Day Three. I've somehow attracted a glitter on my thumb on my right hand, it's a mystery to all how it got there. Went to class and then came home and napped for awhile (I do not do well with sickness at all) and then I've been just cranking out blog posts. Possibly the extra typing could account for this but on the ring finger of my right hand, and then the middle and ring finger of my left hand I see signs of the polish started to chip a TINY bit. You probably can't tell from the picture, I'm just very observant and OCD when it comes to nail polish. Today I started applying coconut oil again, which requires digging my nails into a solid chunk of oil and has been the cause of many manicure causalities, so far though this one seems to be holding up.

Day Four. Hair washing day! So obviously my nails took a beating doing that and I also spent some time scrubbing potatoes and then opening sealed bottles for baking ingredients so that put some wear on the polish too. There's just that one small chip on the pointer finger of my right hand and you can see on a few nails that the base where the polish meets the cuticle is starting to flake. That one is definitely user error, if I didn't do such a messy job that wouldn't be an issue now.

Day Five. I really didn't do anything crazy today. I was very indecisive when it came to earrings so constantly taking them off and putting them in could account for some potential chipping. I'm really not seeing much wear on my nails, there is some going on around the base near the cuticles, but I'm really surprised there isn't that much on the tips.

Day Six. Today was a lot and a lot of typing. I also chipped the thumb and index (more of it now) fingers on my right hand from trying to rip the plastic off a new box of tea today. There was also some mindless rubbing of those two nails together (sounds weird, but I can't describe it any other way) today so that probably aided to the chipping. Lastly I got quite a few packages of stuff I ordered so definitely had to use my nails to open some little boxes and packets. Otherwise still looking good, there's also a small chip on the side of my pinky on my right hand (why is my left hand so unscathed??).

Day Seven. Last day! Daaaaaangg. My mind is seriously blown by how good this still looks! So today was another day of a lot of typing. I also did some cooking, so a lot of scrubbing vegetables, peeling and water assaults. I also washed my hair today, extra hard scrubbing to get all of that dry shampoo and product built up from the week out. All the sides are starting to look a little ratty but I think this is mainly due to my messy application in the beginning. That index finger on my right hand did chip off more,

Final Thoughts. I am extremely surprised at how well this polish has held up, I was tempted to extend the trial period a few days longer just to see if there would be some extreme chippage eventually. The polish is still glossy and smooth on my nails, and even once those two fingers started chipping huge chunks of it did not start flaking off like I've had happen with other nail polishes. Obviously I definitely recommend everyone to go out and pick up Wicked because not only is it a beautiful color year round, but it has really stood up to the test of time in long wearing! In general Essie nail polishes have been great, they had a disaster few collections (looking at you Spring, Summer and Resort 2013 collections, ahem) but they've gotten out of that mess, as well as have a ton of permanent colors that always give solid performances. I give this a grade of A! If you want a reasonably priced nail polish that is just half a step up from drugstore brands, go for Essie!

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