Is a Dry Mani as Good as a Regular One? I Try Out Incoco

incoco manicure, nail polish, review
I am a big nail polish freak. I try to hide it a bit, but the truth is I am a girl with hundreds of nail polishes in my office closet (the only area big enough to store them all). I am very particular about brands I will use and I have a very in-depth manicure routine, which allows me now to get about 6-7 days chip free from a manicure. From start to finish a manicure takes me about 10 minutes to complete, but I then have about 10-15 minutes of doing nothing at all and then about an hour for the manicure to be fully dry.

So, knowing how particular I am about my manicures, you might understand why I was a bit skeptical that a dry manicure like Incoco would work as well as my regular routine. Incoco claims to take just a few minutes and that their manicures will last for up to 2 weeks. How did they do? Find out after the jump.

First, I think that there is a learning curve with this product. I've now done 2 full manicures with them, and the second was definitely better looking and longer lasting than the first. I'm sure with more practice I would be faster and the results would be better.

The packages come with 16 nail appliques, which are 100% nail polish. They include base coat, color and top coat. The polish is a bit stickier on one side than the other, but overall reminds me of a Shrinky Dink. It's very flexible but does not rip easily and is able to be repositioned on the nail.

I started by preparing my nails for application. Lightly buffed nails (to remove ridges, but not buffed to shine) and pushed back cuticles will make application much easier. I picked an applique for each nail and usually could find one that fit almost perfectly. Apparently they can be stretched slightly to make them longer or wider, but I was not successful at making them much wider.

Next pull a clear plastic coating off the top and then pull off the polish itself. It is easiest to position the base of the polish first. Make sure it is straight and centered on the nail, then push the polish down the center of the nail gently. Next I pushed the polish down on either side. You need to be very careful with these steps to prevent overlapping the polish on itself or over your cuticle. Any uneven areas in the polish will be the areas that chip off first, decreasing the time your mani lasts. Luckily the polish does lift up easily and can be repositioned.

Once you are happy with the placement press down on the polish very hard to really place it. You will have a lot of polish overhanging the end of your nail, rip it off a few millimeters beyond the tip of the nail and wrap it down over the edge. Once all of your nails are done on one hand you use a nail file to file the tips of your nails which removes the extra polish.

My first manicure took about 20 minutes to complete, and since I had a few areas with overlapping polish and polish on the tips, the next day I did have a few chips. I was able to keep the manicure by putting a layer of regular top coat (my favorite is Seche Vite, but any top coat would work) to make the surface of the manicure smoother. In all I had 4 days of wear before I removed it due to chips. The second manicure took about ten minutes and lasted a week before I removed it. Note that with the second manicure I had fewer overlapping issues, but I did put a layer of top coat on immediately to smooth these out.

The removal process is similar to other nail polishes, just use your own nail polish remover. I did find it took more remover and more rubbing than regular polish to remove.

While I don't think that the Incoco will replace my regular polish manicures, I definitely will be buying more in the future. These would be perfect for travel since they don't even need to go in your 3-1-1 bag!

Available at, Walgreens and
Incoco Dry Manicures


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