.essie is the bestie.

I’m shamelessly addicted to nail polish. My lifer status began in junior high, where I gleefully selected neon shades of Sinful polish and giggled as I read the color names (I would include a link to their website, but sadly after 20 years it’s still non-existent).

Though I hate to be the “sorry hipster, already did that” person, it must be noted I rocked wacked-out nails long before they came full circle in 2012. Leopard stick ons? Love it. Two-toned French mani? Done that. Elusive “ring finger rocking separate bold shade”? So depressingly underwhelming (though I have donned it many times!). Then along comes Pinterest. Take one quick search of “nails” and see if you aren’t hooked for hours. Days, even. Everything I thought I knew about nail art was shattered as soon as Pinterest came into my life. Lacking the $50-a-week-manicure budget required to possess one of the many flawless Pin-inspired looks, I took matters into my own hands.

Quality nail polishes are surprisingly inexpensive, and you can get a crazy plethora of shades for under $10/bottle. Depending on usage, a typical bottle lasts roughly two years. Some sites claim otherwise, but for frequently-used bottles I get about 24 months of usage. Unopened, they stay perfect for much longer. I find once bottles run low they tend to be chunkier and chip quickly, but you can always buy nail polish thinner to solve that problem. On the flip side, nail polishes are physically incapable of holding bacteria and therefore cannot “go bad” but I have noticed difference in performance after two years.

Invest in a good brand, spend maybe $50 stocking up on shades, and you’ll be set for months. I recommend getting a manicure approximately every two weeks and maintaining yourself in between appointments. You can be creative with just a few shades! Try the five-fingered ombré look, or go for design and use tape to assist painting. Pinterest makes it easy to get inspired and while some looks definitely require a skilled technician, many are easy to recreate on your own.

Essie is my personal favorite nail polish line. Its collections are cohesive and current, and the polishes are each innovative. Essie has an ability to transform a potential “old lady” shade into a hue you never imagined. Dull brown-orange? Evolved into metallic, bronze goodness. Boring nude-pink? Reincarnated as a shiny, poppy blush. Essie is the most imaginative, playful line out there – and I am absolutely obsessed.

Another major bonus? Essie is exclusively made in the USA. Quintessential American dream. Support your fellow Americans and buy my all-time favorite shades: Mint Candy Apple, Jazz, Lilacism, Chincilli, Brazilian, Mojito Madness, Tart Decot-the list goes on. Excuse me while I occupy myself with impending fall colors…..

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