This Nail Polish Delivers the Velvet Manicure Effect in Just 1 Swipe - For Only $9

Jessica Harrington

I look at pretty manicure photos the way some people look at pictures of their celebrity crushes: completely in awe and utterly obsessed. My Instagram feed is chock-full of nail-art inspiration, but I have to admit, no manicure has ever had me quite as mesmerized as the velvet nail trend.

When I first spotted this design in action on LA-based manicurist Amy Le's account back in December, I didn't know what it was or how it was created, but I was immediately in love with it. A quick scroll through various hashtags and inspo accounts, and I found a slew of velvet nail looks, each just as beautiful as the next. At the time, I was convinced that velvet nails could only be achieved with the help of a professional, so I saved the image for the next time I made it to the nail salon.

Fast forward a month later, and I was sitting on my couch painting my nails with the shade In a Gingersnap from the new Essie Winter 2020 collection when it hit me: I might have just found a DIY dupe for velvet nails. The finish of this nail polish looks fairly similar to the soft, crushed-velvet finish of the nails I was eyeing on Instagram. It has a slightly dull shimmer to it that catches the light beautifully without being too glitzy. Unlike most glitter nail polishes that have chunky pieces of glitter in the lacquer formula - which also make it really hard to remove - the Essie Winter nail polish color itself is shimmery.

Is it just as good as the salon version? Not exactly, but when is a DIY manicure ever better than the work of a pro? Rarely. As far as at-home velvet manis go, this one looks pretty damn good.