I have always been an OPI girl–I love the funky-shaped bottles, witty polish names, and the endless array of cool colors. I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of choosing an Essie nail polish at the salon because of my brand loyalty. But when I landed in New York City a couple weeks ago and the first email I received was Racked announcing Essie’s first-ever salon on the Upper East Side, I knew it was a sign–it was time to give Essie a fair chance.

And girl, am I glad I did.

The salon is cute and clean with white walls and pink and purple couches in actual Essie hues. It’s nothing extravagant or out-of-the-ordinary, but it does have 300 freaking polishes to choose from. As if I don’t get enough anxiety when choosing a color at a regular salon.

I mean…it was hard. I thought about going rainbow but I was a little hungover and didn’t have the brain power or energy to choose five colors, so I went for the sparkly accent nail and selected this trio.

From left: Watermelon, Cascade Cool (new summer collection), A Cut Above

Watermelon may officially be my favorite nail polish color of all time. And just like the actual fruit, it pairs well with vodka.

The manicure was incredible. The nail tech was so meticulous and used this rich hand cream that made my skin glow like I’d put it through the Instagram Toaster filter.

Behold: The finished product on the streets of NYC:


I’m a believer, you guys. This manicure has outlasted any other manicure I’ve gotten (with the exception of gel, obvs). As in, it’s been ten days and it hasn’t even chipped. I…know. Maybe the nail tech just had the secret touch, so I’m going to test Essie out at another salon, but I have a feeling the outcome will be the same. And now I’m looking at my large collection of OPI polishes like it’s the last guy I dated–good-looking, but just not up to par. Or long lasting.

I’m kidding (sorta’). I’m not going to dump OPI completely (I’m not that heartless), but we’re no longer exclusive. And for the record, the NARS polish on my toes is still going strong THREE weeks later.

What’s your favorite polish? Let me know with a comment or a tweet!


2nd and 3rd photos by Kelley Hagen 

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Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. Ok, so I’m an at-home nail painter type. Just tried my first bottle of Essie, and yep, the finished product lasted forever. But the painting process was rough. Smear-y and uneven application. I’ll definitley leave Essie to the pros!

    • Ohhhh interesting! I am going to have to get some to do it myself at home and may have to post an update: Essie for salon, OPI at home. Thanks!

  2. Have you used Essie’s Good to Go? Ah-mazing. Not only does it dry hella fast but also extends the life of your mani to like 10 years, not really buts definitely a game changer.

  3. OMG I love Essie! My favorite is Fiji. It’s a light pink almost white color that looks amazing on hands & toes. Where is the salon in NYC? I am going to New York in August.

  4. I second what Cari said. The “Good to Go” topcoat is my favorite thing EVER. My nails are literally dry in less than 5 minutes, and as someone who is incapable of not chipping or smudging a salon mani even if I let it dry for 20 minutes under those stupid lights, being able to rock an Essie mani at home and cook dinner within the same hour is fabulous. Glad to see you’ve been converted 🙂

  5. Essie’s “Set in Stones” is my favorite polish EVER!!!!!! Currently sporting it over OPI’s “My Chihuahua Bites..” True Story. There’s really something to be said for OPI’s cute names. I’ve worn 2 layers of “Set in Stones” on its own, too and it was brilliant! It didn’t last very long without chipping off in giant flakes, but that’s my fault for doing it myself..

  6. […] just used the polish and it was everything I hoped it would be…and more (Essie was […]


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