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Essie Leading Lady

I rarely fall straight in love with a polish and go out and buy it immediately. Typically, I hear about a new collection coming out via the blogs I read, and then I see some swatches. I may notice a polish or two, but most of the time I’m trying not to buy any more polish, so I attempt to persuade myself I don’t particularly like anything.

But often the draw of a polish is too much, and I start to lust over it. This was the case with Essie Leading Lady; a red jelly packed with small red glitter. I spent a long time still not buying it though; I love Essie but £8 is at the more expensive end of my range, so they are definitely a luxury.

Finally though, the lusting became too much and I had to give in. I had to have Leading Lady. I gave in last week and my bottle arrived yesterday. I have more than 140 untried polishes, and my oldest ones were bought back in the summer of 2012. But Leading Lady went straight to the top of the pile; I just couldn’t wait to put it on.

Essie Leading Lady
Two coast of Essie Leading Lady with three coats of top coat

My Leading Lady was a bit of a cow to apply though, and I very nearly fell out of love with her straight away. The glitter really needed some care and attention to get good coverage. A simple brush stroke didn’t work as it left really bald patches. So it needed a combination of brushing and dabbing. Additionally, the polish dried really quickly and started getting quite gelatinous and gloopy. It was as if I was spreading raspberry jam on my fingers. The first coat was all lumpy and patchy.

I changed tactics for the second coat and painted quicker and thicker. This seemed to do the job and the second coat left my nails looking fab, albeit the finish dried a little matt. But after a couple of top coats, I had beautiful red, sparkling, glass-flecked nails and my ardour was firmly reignited.

I added a third top coat before taking these photos, and that smoothed it out even more.


For this manicure I’ve used:
  • Base: two coats of Essie Leading Lady
  • Top coat: three coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip

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Wow this looks stunning! shame it was such a pain to apply! you can’t tell though!

Claire Kerr

It looks stunning, I agree. Chips easily though 🙁