Goldilocks and the Ten Nail Polishes

nailpolishes1Ever had a debate with your girlfriends, or maybe boyfriends, about what nail polish is the best? Inspired by former O.P.I snob Anne’s Duri experiment, here at BX we decided to put some of your favorite polishes to the test for a ten-finger nail polish-off. We nominated one poor BX Staffer to be at our mercy and had her journal the nail-to-nail smack down, making her our very own Goldilocks looking for the polish that is juuuust right.

DISCLAIMER: We feel it’s only fair to warn readers that this particular BX staffer manages to ravage her nails like no one we’ve ever met. We have seen her get a perfect (and expensive) manicure only to chip it five seconds later – or next day at best. Truly, we are baffled. We are pretty sure she isn’t mountain climbing, building sandcastles, or mixing cement with her hands – last we heard – thus making her the perfect candidate.

Paint each nail with a different brand of polish. Each nail gets two coats, no top or base coat – let the polishes speak from themselves.


Essie “E-Nuff is E-Nuff.” (thumb) – First coat: smooth application, almost overly-thick consistency. Full, even color. Second coat: almost clumpy because of thickness- manual labor to spread it evenly.

Red Earth “MS096.” (pointer) – First coat: more watery than Essie, but that didn’t make its color any less opaque. Second coat: almost unnecessary.

Revlon “Cherries in the Snow.” (middle) – First coat: thicker than Red Earth, not so thick as Essie. Second coat: Unlike Red Earth, it definitely needed a second coat to look good.

Nubar”Green Tea.” (ring) – First coat: thin and watery, streaky. Second coat: evened out the color to a matte spring green.

Wet ‘n’ Wild “Lavender Pearlescent.” (pinky) –  First coat: the application was smooth, not streaky at all. Second coat: the brush stroke lines are STILL visible.




Sally Hansen “Precious Peach.” (thumb) – First coat: thin and watery, and the brush? Obscenely small. Second coat: layer it on for non-translucency.

Orly “Haute Red.” (pointer) – First coat: great color, but resulting in a veritable mudslide of polish. Second coat: same story, who has ever heard of non-adhesive nail polish?

O.P.I. “Bastille My Heart.” (middle) – First coat: one word, streaky. Second coat: required to even the color out.

Duri “Girl Power.” (ring) – First coat: easiest application: smooth, thick and even. Second coat: Unnecessary, but rules are rules.

NYC “Skin Tight Denim.” (pinky) – First coat: a little watery, but not streaky. Second coat: Not needed, but it did help smooth it all out.



HAND TO HAND MATCH (as journaled by BX Staffer)

Day One: All fingers painted successfully. Stayed in the lines (which is hard for me). By the end of day one there is a small chip on the Revlon nail – however, nothing too sloppy.

Day Two: Chips in Red Earth and Wet ‘n’ Wild; Revlon continued to chip away even more. All three brands are on my left hand. I am right handed. What?

Day Three: Thought I’d be helpful around the office and hand-wash some dishes. Big mistake.  O.P.I, Orly, and Nubar got severely water damaged, my bad. Later in the day, NYC, Red Earth and Duri started to flake off a little (in that order). That night, after my shower, Essie chipped a little on the corners.

Day Four: Sally Hansen finally chips. That polish is one tough cookie.

THE WINNER (BX Staffer Says):

Which polish did our Goldilocks pick? Which one satisfied every nail polish fantasy?

“The experiment yielded no perfect, ideal polish (maybe, like with boys, my standards are too high). Each polish has its own strengths and weaknesses. For some (like Sally Hansen and Essie), I was disappointed by the application (too thin, too thick) but was pleased by their endurance. Other polishes seemed like they were going on too watery but ended up having bright, even color (Red Earth, Nubar).

If I have to pick my favorite, the one that is juuust right, I choose Duri. The application was easy, and, if I measured, I’m pretty sure I could prove it chipped the least (except for Sally Hansen which is freakishly strong).”

  • Goldilocks


    I did actually. Not many- but one night, as I'm getting my I.D. out for a bar, the bouncer actually commented on the many colors. Perhaps they made me look younger!


  • AH

    Did you get any weird looks from people during your 4 days?!