Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Essie Sparkle Manicure

Maybe you follow me on Pinterest. Maybe you don't (you should). Either way, you may have seen this manicure before.

That's me.

If you have't seen the one above, you most likely have seen this one. This is a manicure from emery.b. It's Pinterest famous.

My manicure is Pinterest D-list at best. I got the idea for my manicure from emery.b and pinned my own version using some Essie colors I own. Unfortunately, I uploaded the image from my phone and it was long before we had this blog. So every time it was re-pinned it just linked back to my own Pinterest page. This made me sad for two reasons.

1. It should link to a blog. I hate when pins don't link to their original sources so this image should have linked to a source more awesome than an "Uploaded by user" page.
2. My cuticles look like hell. How embarrassing. 

So here's my do-over. Plus a little how-to. Feel free to pin the hell out of it! I take much better care of my cuticles now.

I started with my new Essie Protein Base Coat. I'm really loving this base coat by the way. Once dry, I topped it with three coats of Essie's Chinchilly. This is one of my favorite neutrals. Some call it a "greige". That a beige/grey combo for those who don't spend the majority of your screen time reading nail polish blogs.

Essie's brush is a little on the thin side and so people who don't polish their own nails often might have a seriously hard time with it. Many of Essie's polishes are also relatively thin so a lot of them need 3 coats for full opacity. My favorite thing about Essie's formula is its magical ability to smooth itself out. A sloppy application seems to transform to a smooth and shiny manicure while it dries. I don't understand your witchcraft, Essie, but I like it.

Three coats of Chinchilly by the window
At this point you can add a fast drying top coat like Seche Vite over this if you'd like. I had the time so I let it dry almost all the way on its own. 

Now it's time to add the sparkle. Set In Stones is from Essie's holiday Luxeffects line. It's a nearly perfect silver glitter that's comparable to OPI's Crown Me Already! from their Miss Universe line. Set In Stones is a clear base loaded with all different sizes of silver glitter. It's not super packed with glitter so it would take awhile to get full coverage but that's the point. It's supposed to be used as a glitter top coat. Crown Me Already! can easily reach full coverage so they are not exact dupes. Maybe a comparison post is in order.

Apply the Set In Stones just around the cuticles. You may have to "dab" the brush a little to make sure you get the larger hex glitter in the right places. The goal is to make the sparkles look like they are sort of falling down the nail.

Once dry, apply a coat of Gelous to smooth out the glitter and then add a coat of Seche Vite on top. SV doesn't always play nice with Essie polishes so you might see some shrinkage or chipping if you use it. I had great results with this combo and the manicure lasted about three days with minimal tip wear before I changed it.


  1. I love this manicure! Set in Stones makes a great flashy French manicure, too.

  2. Hi, i'm sorry but I would like to know where I can by the same top coat (Gelous) and how much does it usually cost pls ?