Essie Silk Watercolour Kits

Image via Essie
Image via Essie

New nails for summer

By Lauren Kelly, Assistant Editor

I recently discovered the new Silk Watercolour polishes from Essie, which promised the ability to easily create beautiful watercolour nail art. I had to give it a test run, so I tried a different pattern on each nail, some that were shown on the box, some just freehand.

I tried the Silk Watercolour Kit One, which included warm shades, and Kit Two, which included cool tones. Each set comes with one full-sized bottle of “White Page” as a base, and then three smaller bottles of the different colours. I definitely preferred the colours in Two, which included a soft blue, a turquoise, and a deep pink. One included a soft pink and purple, both of which I like, but I was not a fan of the bright yellow as it didn’t match with the softness of the other colours. Although each set is made to work on its own, you could easily mix and match the colours if you owned both sets to create even more looks—and you can even layer them to create new shades. These polishes also held up incredibly well on my nails. I used two coats of “White Page” but did not use a top or base coat. Still, as of my writing this, each of my nails has lasted a full 48 hours with no chips, which is very rare for me.

The formula for the colours is very thin in order to create the watercolour look, and it succeeds well. The colours were fun to experiment with, and were easy to layer to achieve different effects. However, in order to get pretty much any of the looks they included on the boxes, you would need to use specialized tools or actual paintbrushes. Due to the size of the brush, it is very difficult to paint the small patterns accurately. Each box comes with instructions on the back to create one look, so I attempted both. Two has instructions for making flowers that seemed fairly simple, but dabbing the polish on with the large brush just created big dots, not the soft, wider petals shown in the pictures. The instructions in One, which involved a simpler, swirly sunset pattern, were much easier—but still came out far worse than the one shown on the box when using the stock brush.

When used alone on a nail, these polishes look beautiful. The layering of the white with the sheerer colour provides a very light, summery look, and the watercolour appearance makes them have a more playful look. I would recommend them for this alone, because for about $16 you get three different options for solid nails alone. Paired with the ability to create so many different patterns and looks, even if some require alternate tools, these kits offer plenty of value for the money you are spending. I would recommend these to casual nail polish users and more experienced and artistic ones alike. There is truly something for everyone here—as long as you like the watercolour look!