The Best at Home Manicure for the Busy Woman

As promised: A review of current at home nail polish applications!

As many of you know by now, I work in biomedical research, which for the purposes of this post really just means my hands are constantly in Nitrile gloves and being sprayed with ethanol or wiped with Purell hand sanitizer… this all leads to a great deal of wear and tear on a manicure. For example, if I use a regular top coat my nails are chipped after one day of work! ONE DAY! It’s pointless to try to maintain my nails! So I decided to try out some of the other products on the market right now. I have evaluated their cost, ease of application, and how long they last into my decision. So here are the products I tried:

Color Street Nails

Color Street:

Rosy from Radiantly Rosy (A member of the 6 blogger style collaboration) recently became a “Stylist” for Color Street. She sent me a set to try and I was really excited for how easy they look to put on!

Time to put on: These take no time to dry (actually none they don’t dry , they are basically like stickers!). Once I got a hang of the process my nails where done in just a couple minutes. Win!

Look: I had some wrinkles on some nails I made mistakes, so there is a learning curve, but otherwise there are nice clean lines. You can’t get a mess all over your cuticles!

Longevity: 1.5 weeks before I had to take them off (but let me say taking them off was no easy feat for me, I ran out of nail polish and had to go buy more, definitely use a remover with acetone in it!)

Versatility: Each pack is one time use and in one color so to change them up you will constantly need to buy new packs.

Cost: $13 for patterned set and $11 for a solid set

Essie Gel Setter and Winning Streak

Essie Gel Setter:

I went into Walgreens and picked this up along with one of the newer colors, Winning Streak, to give it a try. I actually hadn’t heard of this product and was looking for their Gel Couture collection (see next option), but was intrigued and figured I’d give it a go!

Time to put on: Normal= base coat, two coats of polish, and the setter top coat.

Look: Like normal nail polish?

Longevity: 1 week (By day 5 my tips were a little chippy but nothing imabracing)

Versatility: Works with all the polish I already have!

Cost: $10 for top coat + all the colors you want

Essie Gel Couture and V.I.Please

Essie Gel Couture:

I have heard great things about this set of products from other bloggers, so I went to pick up one of the kits (a color, V.I.Please, and top coat) to give it a try! I was so excited since it boasts up to 14 days of wear!

Time to put on: Dried faster than normal nail polish!

Longevity: It says it is guaranteed for 14 days… I guess they didn’t test it on researchers, I made it 4 days before some chips where happening.

Look: Bold and shiny… I don’t know how to explain it but they look smoother and shinier!

Versatility: All the Essie colors now come in their gel formula, but it still won’t work on colors you already have

Cost: $11.50 for color + $11.50 Top Coat


Final Remarks and Winner:

For me the hands down winner for my lifestyle is the Gel Setter! There it is! I could sit here and keep weighing the options, but for one new top coat I was able to still use all my colors, get my nails to stay pretty for a week, and not worry about starting a new polish collection… for me it works! I will say I loved the Color Street products too! They lasted forever and if you need quick application, there is nothing quicker! If you have kids this is probably a must! I will definitely use them again, maybe even try one of the patterned sets! And the last option, the gel couture, is a great idea but I don’t think it’s worth it… Of course these are only three at home options, I could try all the different services at a salon (but I think that is out of my budget) or something else… but here I am, just happy to have my nail polish last more than a day!


What do you think? Is there something else I should try? Let me know in the comments!!!!