Essie Gel Couture Review

Essie Gel Couture Review

If you’ve read the blog for any length of time, you know I love salon gel nails and nail art.  I wore them for about a year straight and there are a ton of great things about them.  The one thing I hate about them though, is the difficulty in getting the gel polish off without a trip to the salon.

For the last couple weeks, I’ve needed to be able to take my polish off with very little notice.  Since it is difficult to do a last minute appointment via the salon I prefer, and taking gel polish off a home is a giant PITA, I’ve opted to not have my nails done lately.

I looked for an alternative and thought you might be interested in my experiences.  My first try was the Essie Gel Couture system.  It’s a two step process, one being the color gel polish and the second being a clear gel top coat type polish.  The big selling point for me was that you are able to take the polish off with regular nail polish remover.

Since my nails were pretty beat up after stopping my salon gel, I opted for a pale pink color.  The consistency of the polish was pretty streaky for the first coat.  I actually had to do 3 coats to get a solid color and it showed every bump in my nails.  The brush is a bit larger than I was used to and is rounded, which some feel makes it easier to apply with. I personally found I needed a couple minutes to get used to the brush.

I thought the 2nd step might smooth out the polish a bit and it did to a certain extent.  I applied one coat of the clear gel like topcoat. No light is needed to cure the gel.

It dried fairly quickly considering I had to put on 3 coats of color, plus a top coat. I couldn’t wait to see how long it lasted.

I painted my nails on Sunday and this is what they looked like on Wednesday with very little abuse.  I am pretty easy on my nails in general and these absolutely did not hold up.  By Tuesday, I was noticing wear on my first two fingers on my left (non dominant) hand and as you can see, but Wednesday they were chipping.  You could also see every bump or knick in my nail bed through the polish.

Essie Gel Couture Review

I left the polish on til Friday just to see if they got worse.  It stayed about the same, but of course, my nails started shredding where the polish had worn off.

The polish did come off really easily with regular non-acetone nail polish remover.

Overall, I wouldn’t spend the almost $25 to buy both steps (each bottle is about $11.50 on average).  I had much better results with my Shellac Hack method I explained previously here.

I’d love to hear if you’ve tried Essie Gel Couture and how it worked for you in the comments!


Best Christmas Nail Art

I love to go crazy with my nails for Christmas and thought you might want to see some nail art I’ve sported last and this year!  All nail art on my nails was done at Dallas Beauty Lounge in Pittsburgh, PA.  My very favorite place to get nail art!  I’ve never brought in an idea that they couldn’t create and make even better!


Christmas Nail Art

I went in to last my nail appointment all set to get these and ended up getting something different at the last minute.  These are still in the running for my final appointment before Christmas.  Originally found here.


Salty Blonde Blog


These snowflake nails are what I ended up with at my last appointment.  I love them!  Super subtle ode to the season that’s easy to wear everyday!  Nail art by Kalynn at Dallas Beauty Lounge in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Salty Blonde Blog

These whimsical ornament/snow globe nails were some of my faves from last year.  I came in with a couple of different ideas and Kate from Dallas Beauty Lounge combined them into these!

Salty Blonde Blog

These chalkboard nails were so adorable in person!  Kate from Dallas Beauty Lounge did a fantastic job in creating these for me!

I need your help in deciding what to get for my last appointment before Christmas!  The first idea is at the top of this post and here’s a couple more.  As usual, I pulled these ideas from Instagram.  Give me a follow here.  Let me know in the comments which you think I should get!

Salty Blonde Blog

These are a strong contender!  I love the Christmas tree on top of the car image in general, so to see it recreated on nails made me squee!  Nail art by Sierrasnails via Instagram.

Salty Blonde Blog

This gorgeous Christmas tree caught my eye on Instagram.  I love the impact of it on one nail versus having a bunch of images on various nails.  Would be lovely with hunter green nails too.  Nail art by Sierrasnails via Instagram.

Salty Blonde Blog

This Starbucks cup inspired art by Nailstorming is reminiscent of my own ornament nail art, but I like the simplicity of this being just red and white.  Nail art by Nailstorming via Instagram.

Salty Blonde Blog

I love these teeny tiny Christmas trees and I think paired with tiny candy canes would be really cute!  I am super into the teeny tiny designs, so this could be a winner.  Nail art by Minipolishh via Instagram.

Which one do you think I should pick?  Let me know in the comments !




Killer Shark Week Nail Art

I’m following up my Celebrate Shark week post from earlier in the week with some Killer Shark Week Nail Art.  There are so many cute shark themed nails out there on Instagram, it was hard to narrow them down!

Killer Shark Week Nail Art

Via Nail Artiste

I think these might be my favorite! The cartoon aspect, the swimmer, cracks me up!

Killer Shark Week Nail Art

Via ChantalsCorner

This shark is pretty vicious looking! I love the fins on the other fingers.

Killer Shark Week Nail Art

Via Dahlia’s Nails

If two species are too much for you, you could always have one shark and paint the rest gray.

Killer Shark Week Nail Art

Via Miriam Hussam

Love the use of blue on this one, plus the fun kawaii sharks!

Killer Shark Week Nail Art

Via Polished Yogi

I love the middle finger repeating shark pattern of this version, plus the ombre blue.

To see more Shark Week ideas, check out my Pinterest board here!

Memorial Day Nails

Memorial Day is right around the corner and as usual, it’s a combo of patriotism and the start of summer.  I thought it might be fun to round up some nail art that represents both sides of Memorial Day.  There’s tons more on my Nails Pinterest page.

Memorial Day Nails Roundup

Memorial Day Nails

American Flag Nail Art

This American Flag nail art from FabFatale is amazing.  It might be too much for me on every single nail but on one or two it would be awesome!

Memorial Day Nails

Camo and Flag Nail Art

Loving these Camo and Flag nails for Memorial Day.  I believe Nails by Nette created them for Veteran’s Day, but I love them for either holiday.

Memorial Day Nails

Patriotic Bow Nails

How cute are these Hello Kitty/Retro inspired Patriotic nails from Dressed Up Nails?   You could do this same idea in other colors too.

Memorial Day Nails

Picnic Nails

What’s Memorial Day without a picnic?  These picnic nails are hilarious.  I love the red checked picnic tablecloth and the Budweiser!

Memorial Day Nails

Camping Nails

Wondrously Polished actually created these for Father’s Day, but they depict Memorial Day to me too.  The tent on the middle finger is awesome!  (and kinda describes my thoughts on camping, if you get my drift)

See more of my faves here, on my Pinterest Nails board.

What are your Memorial Day plans? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!


It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about some things I’m obsessed with on the blog.  I’m rectifying that today!  I have a couple things I’m crazy about I want to share with you!

Dog Birthday Cake Hat

Birthday Cake Hat

It’s my puppy’s first birthday next month and it’s going to be epic! I bought this birthday cake hat for him from Etsy seller Eternal Light Shop.  She literally shipped it overnight and it looks exactly like the photo.  My devil dog immediately tried to destroy it, so we are going to need to be quick with the photo opportunities on his birthday!

Glitter Bomb Phone CaseGlitter Bomb iPhone Case

The photo does not do this Glitter Bomb iPhone Case justice.  The glitter floats around in liquid inside the case and is super gold and glittery.  People ask me everyday where I got it.  It’s also fun to play with while bored waiting in line 🙂 Love it!

My cup size is Stanley

Stanley Cup Tee

The Pittsburgh Penguins are on the road to the Stanley Cup and this shirt from Etsy seller Blue Frog Tees cracks me up.

Pineapple Nails

I am in love with my Pineapple nail art from Jessica at Dallas Beauty Lounge.  She was able to combine a couple ideas I had into this.  Super cute!

See my review of Dallas Beauty Lounge here.

Patriotic Fringe Flag

Patriotic Fringe Flag

This Patriotic Fringe Flag from Craft Yourself looks like something even I can make.  You have time to whip one up before Memorial Day!

Best St Patrick’s Day Nail Art

Tomorrow is March 1st, so St Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and I’m back with the best St Patrick’s Day Nail art!

I scoured Pinterest and Instagram for the cutest designs I could find.  I have to admit, some of the nail art scared me a little bit! Ha! It just was too over the top for me personally.  I do think even some of the over the top designs could be workable if you only used them on a nail or two.  Here we go with the best St Patrick’s Day nail art out there!

Best St Patrick's Day Nail Art

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Hard for me to choose a fave out of this group, but I think number one, the emerald ombre might be my fave.  Which one is yours? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


If these are too much for you, check out my recommendations on the best green nail polishes here.


Best Green Nail Polishes

I’ve been collecting some St. Patrick’s Day nail art ideas for a future post, but I know that nail art is sometimes hard to wear to work.  And St. Patrick’s Day nail art is definitely on the crazy side!  If you want to be in the spirit, but still able to wear your nails during the work week, I found what I think are the best green nail polishes out there!

I really don’t wear green a ton, but I have to say, after researching these colors, I am definitely going out and buying a few of these.  I could see myself wearing them on other days, not just the holiday.  I also have to add, you don’t realize how much green goes with until you see it next to other colors.  I have an olive colored bag I picked up this fall and it went with so many outfits, I really hadn’t thought of it matching.

I linked up to each brand’s home page to make it easier for you to find, click on the pink links below the photo (no affiliate links).  All are either Zoya, OPI or Essie.

Best Green Nail Polishes

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six


I’ll have another post soon with some nail art ideas for St. Patrick’s Day.  Do you have a fave green I should add to this list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Like my nail posts? Follow my Pinterest nail board here for more ideas!