This Colombian Nail Polish Doesn’t Chip (Even After Swimming and Cleaning)

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It’s the Colombian equivalent of Essie, and my nails have never felt stronger.

Every manicurist says her nail polish won’t chip, always. So when Maribel Romero, the aesthetician and manicurist at (new to me) Soho salon Marie-Lou & D, told me Masglo nail polish doesn’t chip, the statement didn’t really register. Masglo is the Colombian equivalent of Essie, she said, and very popular.

I was intrigued by the bright shades and ’80s-looking, elongated cap. I’m a sucker for anything that looks oddly vintage, so I told her to try it on me. After four days of aggressively nail-chipping activities (swimming, cleaning, and hairstyling), I could see that the polish really was lasting. I went back to the source. “It’s the base coat that makes the polish last longer, no matter what Masglo color you’re using,” said Romero, who’s a native of Colombia and has been using Masglo polish since she came to the States 25 years ago. “I used to have to bring it back with me from trips home to Colombia, but it’s available online now,” she said.

The Masglo Base De Ajo Y Limon base coat contains garlic, which has a rep for strengthening nails (Admittedly, I couldn’t find any scientific backing for this). Romero’s clients live for this base coat. “My steady customers say, ‘The base coat you use on my nails — it makes them healthier,’” she said. “So they’re ready to try the colors also. They trust me.” The colors, even the nudes, dry to shades that are true to what you see in the bottle with a couple coats. I’m similarly impressed by the finish. I’ve used polishes that resist chipping, but dull over the life of the mani. Masglo polish maintains that new-manicure sheen.

To be fair, Romero is a part of the Masglo magic. She cleans the nails with alcohol three times before applying the base coat, a step she says is key to making polish long-lasting. She also meticulously files and smooths the nail bed. But after my first experience with Masglo and chat with Romero, I bought the base coat and one color. After two applications (without Romero), my nails are stronger; they’re particularly dry and prone to breakage immediately after I remove polish. But during a two-day Masglo hiatus, I didn’t lose a single nail.

Masglo De Ajo Y Limon Base
$11, Amazon
Masglo Nail Enamel “Regia”
$8, Amazon
Masglo Nail Enamel “Dimanica”
$8, Amazon
Masglo Nail Enamel “Intuitiva”
$8, Amazon
Masglo Nail Enamel “Unica”
$10, Amazon

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This Colombian Nail Polish Doesn’t Chip