Beauty Test Drive: Dermelect’s “ME” Nail Lacquer Is Chip-Free (For A While Anyway)

I have a mild obsession with any type of nail “system” that involves magic combinations of top coats and secret polish formulas. While I happily fork over cash for pointless purchases in other categories (ahem, overpriced coffee), I’m weirdly stingy when it comes to salon manicures and am always looking for fun ways to DIY it. I’m all about springing for gels or fancy nail art, but sitting there while some random applies regular old nail polish that you could’ve done on your own for free? Nope. Professional manicures never look much more spectacular than the job I’d do at home, and I’m not particularly exceptional at doing nails, so that’s saying something. I only get roughly 24 hours to fully enjoy the new polish before it starts chipping anyway, so what’s the point? I still get manicures every now and then, especially if I have an important event, but I’m forever trying random fancy polish combos to see if I can find something more chip-resistant. My latest attempt was with Dermelect’s “ME” Nail Lacquer, a polish infused with protein peptide that came along with a nifty top coat and oil treatment.

Price: $14 for Nail Lacquer, $16 for Manicure Extender Top Coat, $14 for Revital-Oil Treatment

Application: First I applied two coats of the polish in Dune My Thing, a mauve-ish taupe-ish color, and then put on the top coat. I finished with the oil treatment on my cuticles and under my nails. I’ve been intended to use the oil treatment every day since then because while I used to be saintly about using cuticle oil every day, I’ve slipped these past few years and my nails have definitely suffered for it.

Results: I’m a fan! The manicure lasted about a week, and up until that point it held solid. For a while there, nothing could make this stuff come off, and it has a nice smooth finish. Once the chipping began, the whole manicure started to deteriorate all at once, which tends to be how it always goes for me. I’m not sure if that’s my nails or just the way polish works! The top coat promised to make your manicure last up to 9 days, and mine held up for about 6.5. In the era of broken cosmetic promises and shattered beauty dreams, I’ll take 6.5 days as pretty good delivery. I cropped out the rest of my hand in this picture because you guys, my hands were so winter-dry that it was SHAMEFUL.

Nails

As far as home manicures go, Dermelect is now one of my favorites. I tend to say that Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is my fave choice, but its process is weirdly inconsistent in its awesomeness, so it’s really only my favorite when it actually chooses to work well. The problem/blessing with Sally Hansen’s process is it requires that you let your nails dry a hella long time between every coat — like, an unnaturally long time. So if you don’t have like two hours on a weekend morning to leisurely paint your nails, Dermelect’s process is a better choice to get a chip-resistant look, and is more consistent with its results. It still takes care to make sure each coat is fully dry, but it can be finished much more quickly. I’m also just obsessed with this color, because it’s a fun pastel while still having a neutral vibe to it — everything I want in one!

Rating: 4.5/5