Doing my nails has always been a part of my “me time.” It’s a nice way to relax after a long day, and the perfect opportunity for me to try out some new nail art. (Anyone remember crackle nail polish? Because that used to be my go-to.) Typically, I paint my nails right before going to bed, which isn’t great because I often wake up to a smudged manicure that didn’t get enough time to dry. Needless to say, a girl like me needs something that dries quickly, so when the Essie Expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polishes launched earlier this year, I was curious to see if they would stand up to the claims of drying in less than a minute.
In addition to its dry-fast claims, the polish’s new formula is also vegan and 8-free. The polishes come in a thinner, taller bottle than other Essie polishes, and boast a patented angled brush, designed so that you can paint your whole nail in only two swipes. While it might not work for everyone’s nail shape and size, it took two strokes for me to cover mine. This brush is big enough for wider nails but small enough to be easy to maneuver.
Even when I don’t do my nails before bed, it’s pretty common for me to accidentally mess them up before they are set. Not with Essie Expressie — within less than a minute, it was completely dried on my nails. I first applied the polish on bare nails with no base coat. I didn’t have to wait before starting a second coat, and it limited the overall time it took to do my manicure. The pigmented formula also meant that I only needed two coats to get the color opacity I wanted. And thank goodness: layering more than two coats leads to a longer drying time and — you guessed it — an opportunity to jack up my manicure. To make sure my manicure would last, I sealed it off with a top coat.
The collection has 40 different colors in a mix of brights and neutrals. As someone who doesn’t have a signature shade at all, I love that I can find one to fit my mood. When I’m feeling those autumnal vibes, I can grab “In a Flash Sale” (one of my favorites), a rusty orange shade that reminds me of going apple picking. If I want something bolder, I like the bright yellow “Taxi Hopping” color. I also found two of my new favorite nude nail polishes (which can be a feat for darker skin tones): the medium brown “Mid-day Mocha” and the deep chocolate brown “Take the Expresso.”
In less than 10 minutes, my bare nails are transformed into a beautiful manicure, thanks to this new collection. No smudges over here. Check out the rest of the winners from the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards here.