Why Is Essie Nail Polish Streaky And How to Stop It?




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If you have ever experimented with light or pastel shades of nail polish, you must have encountered a situation where the perfect color ends up looking very sloppy and messy on the nail. This is because lighter shades of nail polish are more prone to showing stripes and in general require more careful application compared to darker shades.

I found myself in a situation like this, and the first thing that came to my mind is that the manufacturer has made a mistake in the nail polish formulation and that I should try some other more known brands like Essie. But even with Essie sometimes I would get a streaky manicure.

Essie nail polish, as well as any other pastel, white or beige nail polish, can get streaky. To avoid stripes on your nails, make sure each layer is completely dry before adding another one on top. Also, using the right products for the chosen technique is imperative if you want to avoid this issue.

There is also an urban legend saying that a top coat can fix any stripes that were created in the process of polishing the nails. This is not true, but there are certain things top coat can do to contribute to the overall look of your manicure, which will be discussed further down.

essie Nail Polish, Glossy Shine Finish, Ballet Slippers, Sheer Pink, 0.46 Ounces

Why Does My Top Coat Smudge My Nail Polish?

Several factors can contribute to your nails looking streaky. The most common ones are that you have either chosen the wrong shade, or you have applied the top coat too soon.

When I first learned that the color of nail polish can play a major role in the end result of your manicure, I was stunned. If you ever painted your nails by yourself, you must have noticed that when you choose a really light shade of nail polish, it is very hard to achieve dense, good-looking results.

This is because of the structure of the color – lighter shades are see-through, and almost always they require at least two layers of nail polish to look good in the end. Although there are few brands like Essie that offer more quality, high-end products, even they can look streaky.

Essie as a brand had built a story that claims that with Essie you will always look classy and chic. And it’s true – you can’t go wrong with Essie! It’s formulated in a way that makes the application very easy, mainly due to the specifically designed brush that allows the precise and perfect application.

Essie gained its reputation because of that extra reinsurance they offer – you go for Essie nail polish when you want to have a long-lasting manicure, without lots of effort. This is the primary reason why 99% of women are willing to pay extra for this brand over many others that can be found on the market.

I can say that Essie is a leader in the nail polish industry and one of the most innovative brands regarding the colors they offer. The whole color range is based on pastel-looking colors with catchy names which are easy to remember. Because pastel is the dominant theme between these nail polishes, they can be very prone to creating stripes when applied.

essie Nail Polish Glossy Shine Finish lilacism 0.46 fl oz

Although Essie is formulated in a way that guarantees perfect, stripes-free application, if you do choose a really light shade, one coat of polish may not be enough. Most Essie nail polishes can be applied only in one coat, due to the good formula, but if after the first coat you can see through it, apply another one and the issue should be solved.

Another thing that can ruin the nail polish is the top coat. If you choose the wrong top coat or you apply it too soon, while the nail polish itself is still wet, the manicure would look smudgy and messy.

This is mostly not because of the formula of the top coat, but because the strokes of the brush are messing up with the nail polish that still didn’t have time to set. Naturally, the strokes would be visible after going through a wet surface. To avoid this, apply your Essie nail polish in one or two layers if necessary, wait until completely dry, and only then apply your top coat.

The only mistake you can make with the top coat is that you choose the wrong one, meaning if you’re going for matte nails, the top coat should have a matte finish. If you go for shiny nails, go for a shiny top coat. Putting a shiny top coat over matte nails would create stripes and ruin the manicure.

essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat, 0.46 Ounces (Packaging May Vary)

How to Avoid Streaky Nails?

As already explained, streaky nails usually tend to be the result you get when you apply light or pastel shades. Darker shades usually don’t have this issue, due to the density of the color and their texture. There are several things you could do to avoid stripes on your nails after painting them at home.

Preparation is the key to success here – priming the nails before the nail polish application would save you the trouble. This is because the primer is used to fix all the tiny imperfections of your natural nail and to create a perfect surface for another layer of polish.

You can find special ridge-filling primers on the market, that are formulated to be used only when you’re applying light shades of nail polish like white, beige, light paster, or any other opaque color. They are denser than regular top coats which allows them to create a perfectly sleek surface for nail polish.

Eternal Ridge Filler Gel – Clear Nail Polish Base Coat and Primer for Smooth Nails - 1 Unit

If these ridge-filling primers are not available in your country, there is a simple trick that can serve you – use a matte top coat as a base. Just note that the matte layer needs to be completely dry before you proceed with the regular nail polish.

essie Matte About You Mattifying Top Coat Nail Polish, 0.46 Ounce

Another thing you might be doing wrong is the brush position. If the brush is of good quality, when you keep it at a 45-degree angle it should not create any stripes during the application of the nail polish. Place the brush at the base of your nail, near the cuticles, and press it gently to spread it from one to the other side of the nail. Move the brush towards the end of your nail slowly and gently. 

If the stripes still show up, remove the layer you just applied and try with another, more thin layer. Sometimes when there is too much nail polish on the brush it may end up looking streaky or very messy. Make sure to remove the excess nail polish before placing the brush on your nail to avoid this kind of situation.

As you can conclude from everything aforementioned, good and precise preparation and application would prevent your nails from looking streaky. If even after this your nails are not looking as they should, just change the brand of the nail polish you are using and the issue should be solved.

If you want to find out how you can make your hands look younger you can read about it here.


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