5 Years and $28 Later, My Nails Have Never Looked Better

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dior nail glow

Harry Hill

Meet Byrdie Boy Harry Hill. Each month, he'll be sharing his latest musings on beauty and pop culture. This month, he shares why spending $28 on Dior Nail Glow was the best thing he ever did for his nails.

It took me five years to buy the Dior Nail Glow polish. When I first discovered it, I was a college student in Manhattan. Instead of going to a nail salon, I’d drag a friend to Sephora for DIY manicures. “C’mon! We’ll save money! The employees actually like it when random people loiter in the store and leave with a new nail color!” Together, we’d enter the black-and-white-striped beauty mecca and make a beeline for the nail polish display. Back then, I was really obsessed with glitter and crazy colors on my nails, so I wasn’t paying attention to any of the "boring," plain colors. Sometimes though, if I had an event to cater, I’d spring for a more neutral look so I wouldn’t get fired for showing up to a fancy dinner with lime green nails. 

It was one of those days, before a catering shift, that I first laid my eyes on Dior Nail Glow. I picked up the tiny bottle with pink liquid inside sloshing around, sparkling even without a speck of glitter in it. "DIOR" was stamped across the bottle, tempting the brand whore in me. The label next to its little resting place on the shelf read $28. I began to paint it on my bare nails, fascinated by the slippery wet look it delivered, like the skin of a rare pink dolphin. “Look,” I nudged my friend, holding my nails up to the light like they were treasure and we were pirates. 

dior nail glow
Harry Hill 

After that fateful contraband mani, I went back repeatedly to use Nail Glow, dragging my friends along. “My nails literally look like the nails on TV—like a supporting character on Gossip Girl,” I’d declare, flashing my freshly painted nails as we stumbled back onto 86th street, careful not to bump into anything or anyone with our fresh coats. The women I catered with would look at me suspiciously and tell me I had nicer nails than them. “They’re Dior,” I’d say, picking up a tray of mini hamburgers, dead serious.

Purchasing Nail Glow was out of the question, though. $28 was just too much for a bottle of nail polish. That was more than I made in an hour of work! I could barely make myself spring for a $9 bottle of Essie (unless I was on a drunken field trip to Walgreens at 3 a.m. for a bag of Cheetos and happened to stumble down the beauty aisle). After I moved to Brooklyn, Sephora became a schlep and my taste in nail polish was soon dictated by whatever one of my four roommates had lying around. Nail Glow slid helplessly into the back of my mind, joining the ranks of all the other shiny things I never let myself buy. 

Since then, I’ve matured a little—that is to say, I started getting manicures and stopped going to Walgreens at 3 a.m. (mostly). Unless it’s a holiday or I’m in a ballsy mood, I opt for one of the tried and true Essie staples, like Mademoiselle, Sugar Daddy, or Ballet Slippers; colors that enhance the natural nail but aren’t noticeable.

Depending on who you ask, nail salons aren’t an essential service, so I haven’t gotten a manicure for two months. And so, with two handfuls of naked, bitten nails and a whole lot of time, I began to reminisce on my younger years. Particularly the ones during which I freeloaded at Sephora during the day and catered at night. That’s when it came flooding back: Dior Nail Glow! I Googled it and watched as the juicy pink bottle loaded onto my screen. It was just as I had remembered: bright, juicy, and fancy looking. And still $28. I began to argue with myself. On one unmanicured hand, I’d saved a lot of money while quarantined because I haven’t been going out or doing anything. But on the other unmanicured hand, it’s still $28 for nail polish! Because nothing seems real anymore, I bought it. 

It was delayed because of the pandemic but when it did finally get delivered, it came in a box big enough to fit a Dior Saddle bag, which was a little sad because there was no Saddle bag involved. Just my Nail Glow, which came in a little holographic box, and some of those big plastic packing pillows full of (Dior) air. 

dior nail glow
Harry Hill 

On their website, Dior describes Nail Glow as an “instant French manicure effect, brightening treatment.” While I don’t have nails long enough to vouch for the “French manicure effect,” I can totally say that it is, indeed, brightening. It doesn’t need any help, either. Nail Glow stands alone. You don’t need a base coat or a top coat—it’s meant to be used by itself. When applied, it looks like the nails have been spit-shined by Rapunzel: enchanting and shiny. No nail polish has left me in such awe since the "shattering" nail polish of 2012. 

The Nail Glow brush is generously wide, allowing for full coverage within a couple swipes. Since it goes on clear, you can literally paint your nails in the dark and they’ll still look like you just got a profesh mani. It also dries quickly so it doesn’t need to be a whole production. Give yourself a 15 minute window and you’ll be Gucci. Well, in this case, you’ll be Dior, but you know what I mean. 

I think my absolute favorite part of Nail Glow is that it doesn’t turn yellow. A lot of neutral or sheer polishes can begin to sour after several days of wear, dimming to a less than desirable yellowish greyish hue. Add some chippage to your yellowed nails and you should just crawl under the bed because you’re a shoe-in for the boogey man. Not with Nail Glow, though. While it does kind of fade after a week of wear, it doesn’t brown out as much as it just turns into an average clear-coat, void of its original pinkish glow. It also doesn’t chip all that much either, which is a bonus because I’m constantly putting my hands through it. And by through it I mean attempting to do ten pushups a day and pretending to wash my dishes. 

dior nail glow
Dior Nail Glow $28

I know it sounds kind of gimmicky, like Sour Patch Kids cereal or the Anna Wintour Master Class, but trust me: If you and your nails are still on the fence after reading this, take your time. Remember, it took me five years and a global pandemic to pull the trigger. And now, whenever I reach into the fridge or go press “Yes, I’m still watching” on Netflix, my nails radiate health. And yours can, too, for $28. Now I think I’ll go paint some on my toes. Oh, the places I’ll glow. 

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