I have been opting for gel manicures for the better part of two years. What can I say? When it comes to my nails, I don't have the patience (or time) to deal with chips, which always seem to crop up when I opt for regular polish, no matter how well I prep my nails or which polish I choose.
Recently, I got my nails done at JinSoon in Tribeca, New York City. Founded by Jin Soon Choi, a runway nail artist, JinSoon nail salons are known for their zen décor, luxe experience, and, of course, eponymous nail polishes. In an out-of-character moment, I opted for regular polish instead of my normal gel.
After, I had a few whirlwind weeks—I moved apartments, went on a weekend trip, and attended fashion week. Three weeks later, I was on my way to my next nail appointment, and I looked down at my hands and couldn't believe my eyes. It looked like I was wearing gel polish. My nail color was almost fully intact after three full weeks of wear (and with the fact that I was moving apartments, I wasn't exactly going easy on my hands).
Of course, being a hyper-curious beauty editor, I wanted to know if my incredibly long-lasting manicure was just a fluke. I went back to JinSoon to try the polish out again. It's been one and a half weeks since I got my nails done, and while my tips show slight signs of wear and tear, my polish still looks immaculate.
It looks just as good as a gel mani would at this point, except it was cheaper, I could take it off right now with nail polish remover if I wanted to, and I could even reapply at home. Plus, JinSoon's polishes are all 10-free, which means they're formulated without formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, triphenyl phosphate, parabens, or lead.
It makes sense that my manicures lasted so long since JinSoon polishes are formulated that way. "I chose a double-patented formula for a super-smooth application and chip-free finish, and high-tech polymers and resin for longer wear and extended shelf life," says Choi.
If you want the longest-lasting mani possible, Choi also has tips for making an at-home manicure stay put. First, you should make sure that your nail has absolutely no residue on it before applying nail polish, or it won't adhere correctly to your nail. Choi recommends cleaning your nail with a Q-tip until your nail is matte.
Choi also recommends painting around the top edge of your nail so your polish will last longer around the edges, and wait for nail polish to dry between each coat. "Apply the topcoat to the entire nail surface without touching the cuticle, working from the left to the right," says Choi.
Another pro tip that Choi has for ensuring long-lasting polish? Touching your manicure up with a topcoat three to four days after you initially get them done. "A topcoat does magic," she says. "It gives life to old nail polish and makes it last longer."
Shop the JinSoon polishes I used:
Shop Choi's personal favorites, as seen on NYFW models:
"I love the colors Fire Clay, Green Clay, Sea Clay and Earth Clay from JinSoon Fall Pottery Collection because they are perfect shades that represent the colors of fall," says Choi. The colors' depth and elegance were perfect for trends on the fall/winter 2022 runway, which is why we used the collection for Michael Kors, Brandon Maxwell, and Peter Do F/W 22 shows. JinSoon Audacity is also my ultimate favorite F/W shade. This color is a forever modern and classic color that never runs out of style. I used it for the Moschino fall campaign."