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Nailed It! The Secret Weapon to a Better At-Home Manicure

Best Drugstore Gel Nail Polish: The Key to a Perfect At-Home Manicure

There are a few things I no longer have patience for. Like waiting a long time for a restaurant table, drivers who go 15 miles under the speed limit, and 90-minute appointments for a full set of artificial nails.

We’re talking an hour and a half of being chained to a small table…no reading, no eating, no watching This Is Us. This pricey time suck also leads to the inevitable practice of picking off said nails a week later, when they start driving me crazy at the computer keyboard.

Until recently, the only other option was a traditional manicure that lasted—in my always-at-the-keyboard world— about three days. This breaks down to roughly $7 a day, and unless I’m expected at Vogue’s Met Ball Gala, it’s a deal breaker.

So imagine my glee when I found the best drugstore gel nail polish ever, Essie Gel Setter Top Coat , a $10 bottle of clear nail polish that dries into the kind of hard, plump, power-shine finish previously reserved only for faux manicures. Even better, it lasts a solid week without chipping, peeling, or infringing on This Is Us viewings.

I now bring it along to my manicure appointments and ask them to use it in lieu of their own chippy top coat. I’m guessing Essie and I are the only ones smiling about this.

—Hillary Quinn

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