Remember when the personal care industry focused on products that did double-duty expressly for men? The line of thought: Men want to streamline their grooming routine as much as possible because they’re either busy, lazy or a combination of both. Well, women are just as busy (notice how we left out lazy!), and multitasking products targeting their whims have become an ever-growing segment of the beauty industry—including nails. Now, rather than relegating treatment benefits (think: strengthening and hydrating) to a coat of clear, polish brands are incorporating them into their color formulas. Due to the need for active ingredients to directly nourish the nail, these polishes ask you to skip the base coat, which frees up a few extra minutes for the time-strapped lady. Additionally, for polish lovers who feel they need to take a break from traditional lacquers or enhancements, but don’t want to completely go clear, these polishes provide a great alternative. To be sure: These luxe lacquers are a no-brainer for women who seek multitasking products and desire a manicure that leaves their nails stronger and healthier. Here, we round up some of the newest offerings.
ESSIE TREAT LOVE & COLOR
Think of these sheers as a break from a fully-pigmented manicure. Aimed at revitalizing overstressed nails (dry, brittle, peeling, discolored), the Essie Treat Love & Color line promises to strengthen natural nails with ingredients such as collagen and camellia leaf extracts. It’s suggested that you apply the color to naked nails, and then refresh it every seven days (no need for removal until you feel the urge). The brand claims the lab-tested formula produces 60% less peeling and 35% less breakage in wearers’ nails in just one week. On the color tip, these three sheers lay down the slightest kiss of pigment to accentuate nail beds: ‘Treat Me Bright’ white brightens; ‘Laven-dearly’ lavender neutralizes; and ‘Sheers to You’ pink balances. essie.com
ORLY BREATHABLE TREATMENT + COLOR
One of the earlier adopters of treatment-packed nail color, Orly’s Breathable line features argan oil and vitamins C and B5 to hydrate and strengthen beds. But it’s the formula’s Advanced Oxygen Technology that’s interesting—and gives the line its “Breathable” name. Similar to the technology used in contact lenses that allows oxygen to reach the cornea, these polishes let oxygen pass through to encourage nail health. Now for the studies: Ninety-nine percent of women tested reported stronger, healthier nails with less chipping and peeling after one week of use. With 19 shades available that run the gamut from maroon The Antidote to lavender Just Breathe, Breathable cuts out base and top coats as well, allowing for a speedier manicure. orlybeauty.com
SALLY HANSEN COLOR THERAPY
With an extensive color library (38 shades neatly categorized into three segments: Rich Tones, Pinks/Corals and Nudes) to meet any mani lover’s whims, Sally Hansen Color Therapy utilizes argan, acai and evening primrose oils to deliver antioxidant protection and conditioning benefits. The brand emphasizes the line’s patented micro-delivery system, which sends the oil-rich formula into the nail bed for max benefits. ulta.com.
-Karie Lynn Frost