This Clear Nail Polish Gives You a Salon-Worthy French Manicure In Seconds
I’ll never pay for an overpriced manicure again.
No, Really, You Need This features wellness products our editors and experts feel so passionately about that they can basically guarantee it will make your life better in some way. If you've ever asked yourself, "This seems cool, but do I really ~need~ it?" the answer this time is yes.
Manicures have always been a special treat for me. Ever since I had my first one at 12 years old, the hour-long, $35+ (don't even get me started on nail art prices!) pampering sessions have been reserved only for occasions like week-long vacations, high school dances, and family weddings.
What's more, despite my best efforts to preserve the works of art on my fingertips, more often than not, I end up smudging the polish to the point of no return.
I’ll slowly snake my manicured hands through my coat sleeves, but half my nails will come out looking like they got into a boxing match with the fabric inside—and lost. I’ll hop into my car and smack my thumb on the steering wheel, leaving a huge divet in my freshly painted nails. I’ll wash and dry my hands with tacky polish and end up with an imprint of the towel on my nail beds.
Over the years, my smudging streak came to turn me off from manicures completely, and I began embracing the au naturel look for every day and occasion.
Then the Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat (Buy It, $30, amazon.com) showed up in my Glossybox subscription two years ago. (If you haven't heard of Glossybox, it's a monthly subscription box for premium beauty products.) After one swipe of the bubble gum-tinted clear coat, I was hooked. My nail beds suddenly glowed with a healthy rose hue, my tips radiated a cotton color rather than their usual eggshell shade, and the polish was bone dry in just one minute. It was the instant French manicure I didn’t know I needed.
Just check out the before and after nail polish pictures below:
Just like filling in your eyebrows, swiping on this natural-looking, quick-drying polish makes you feel put-together even when you’re rocking a messy bun and hoodie. The formula contains an optical brightener to filter out any yellow appearance in your tips, along with keratin, which makes the clear coat an actual suit of armor for your nails. This was another bonus: After a few uses, my once weak and pliable nails no longer broke after the slightest bend in the wrong direction.
The chip-resistant formula can withstand the daily wear and tear of typing and weightlifting, and it can even weather the efforts of the most determined nail-polish pickers. Perfect Formula recommends removing your coat once a week before re-applying, but your French manicure can last much longer than that: I’ve left my polish on for a month, my grown-out nail bed being the only sign of its old age. (Related: The Genius Trick to Freshen Up Your Manicure)
Thanks to the Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat, completing everyday tasks after my nails are painted no longer has to turn into a game of Operation. And the clean and polished look isn’t saved for once-in-a-blue-moon moments anymore. Sure, I skipped the nail salon and painted on a coat of the pink formula before my college graduation and every job interview, but I also swipe it on before making a Saturday-morning Target run or a stop by my favorite coffee shop. Considering one long-lasting bottle costs less than one salon manicure, I can't imagine I'll give up my at-home habit any time soon.
Buy It: Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat, $30, amazon.com