Orly EPIX Flexible Nail Polish Review: Gel Manicures at Home

A few years ago, I put dedicated effort towards learning how to be better to my nails. After all, nails provide a valuable and high impact space for self-expression with one of the lowest financial investments in the biz. A handful of dollars can get you a nail color that will carry you through the next year or more! But with all the new nail trends and color releases, not only can I not keep up on the newest shade, but I also don’t have the hundreds of dollars required for a salon-ready color collection. Plus – where the hell would I put it? 

On top of the fact that I have recently become a house-building farmer, my nails have been polish-free for ages. Why bother putting enormous amounts of effort into something that’s just going to be ruined in the next 12-24 hours by dirt, hammers, or food prep? I am better off saving manicures for special occasions. I’ve tried gel manicures (so ex$pensive and $tinky) but I miss having that “extra accessory” on hand, literally.

BeautyBrands.com now carries Orly EPIX Flexible Color – an intensely strong, gel-like (but stronger) nail polish formula that brings long-term manicures home.

Orly EPIX Nail Polish System

Orly EPIX Flexible Color claims to:

  • dry faster (“8 minutes”)
  • last longer (“over a week”)
  • fix its own smudges
  • never chip
  • wear like a gel, remove like a polish

Orly EPIX Nail Polish in Call My Agent

The process requires two formulas: a base color and a flexible sealant. You’re instructed to buff your nail, wipe it with rubbing alcohol, apply two coats of color and top it with the sealant.

I can confirm that this nail polish is unlike any other. It caught my eye because I could see a place for unbreakable nail polish in my hands-on life… But does it work? More importantly, can it work in this color?

Orly EPIX Nail Polish in Call My Agent

Orly EPIX in Call My Agent is a very vivid peachy, coral pink – damn near fluorescent. One of those colors that, when you’re pale as hell like I am, it almost makes you look tan when you wear it. I tried it on my hands* and it was… kind of jarring. As in, it’s sort of all you could look at and all you could see. My boyfriend was barely able to listen to me because he was uncontrollably thinking about how much he hated this polish for the entire week that it remained on my fingers. I did not encounter anyone who did not notice and mention my nail color. I could have been completely nude, and the first thing people would say would be “Oh my gosh, your nails are so bright!/I love your nails.”

*My hands have been building a tiny house for the last three weeks, so forgive me for not posting the picture of my actual bandage and dry everything hands)

It’s truly a bright color, and if you love that, or have some kind of skin that doesn’t look red and scaly against neon colors – this is like an early Christmas gift for you. Wear it on long, long nails and be the Electric Miami Goddess that lives inside of you.

Once I realized that people also paint their toenails, I knew that Call My Agent had a place in my life. Worst case scenario, it’s almost winter and socks are about to prevail. I honestly like the color a lot, but the amount that it interferes with my life is truly noteworthy and somewhat mystical…

Anyway, I loved Call My Agent on my toes!

Orly EPIX Flexible Color in Call My Agent

Orly EPIX Flexible Color in Call my Agent

Okay, now aside from my clearly imperfect polish application, I have some other things to talk about – like whether or not this stuff lives up to the hype.

Does it Dry Faster?

Orly EPIX definitely dries quickly. After about 10 minutes, you can tap two nails together without any tackiness or sticking. That being said, if you forget you just painted your nails and try to get a popcorn kernel out of your teeth, it will definitely smudge, but not come off. You’re generally not supposed to put your fingers in your mouth so soon after a fresh manicure, so I’m going to say that this was a neutral occurrance that still supports the quick drying claims of Orly EPIX. I’m just dumb sometimes.

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Does it Last Longer?

This polish behaved very differently on my fingers versus my toes. As I mentioned, I have been very hands-on lately with house projects, and this stuff lasted almost a full week on my toes, but only a handful of days on my fingers.

The back of the package suggests buffing the surface of the nail lightly to smooth it out, and then wiping each nail bed with some rubbing alcohol to remove any oils that may be present. This, according to the package, prolongs the life if your manicure. I tried one hand without buffing/wiping and one hand with buffing/wiping and the with hand definitely lasted longer without chipping – but only a day or so.

Does it Self-Correct Smudges?

I can definitely confirm this! I am not the best nail polish applicator, so there were definitely some knicks and smudges around (on top of some other challenges – we’ll get to that!), but after adding the top sealant coat, I literally watched the smudges and dents fade away to a smooth, shiny finish. They’re not kidding when they say the sealant leaves a shiny topcoat!

Does it Chip?

Again – this behaved very differently on my fingers than my toes. I experienced chips on my fingers around day 2-3, but very minor and easily fixed – especially since the topcoat fixes any overlapping polish bumps or dents left behind. My toes – flawless and I’m on day 8.

Does it “Wear Like a Gel, Remove Like a Polish?”

If you mean “removes like a polish” as in it will peel right off if you don’t apply it well? Yes. As for using regular nail polish remover on a cotton ball and removing the polish? Double yes. It removed with nail polish remover extremely easily, and considering the strength of the sealant topcoat, I was impressed.

Orly EPIX Flexible Color also boasts a “new brush technology” which is supposed to provide a precise application and even coverage. I actually experienced the opposite. The formula went on very patchy on both buffed/alcohol-wiped nails and untouched nails, and I struggled heavily with achieving an even coat. Tons of streaky applications, and I was careful to mix before opening and everything. My bottle could very well have been a lemon, though, because I’ve read tons of other reviews where people have had no problem applying perfect coat after perfect coat.

Orly EPIX Flexible Color in Call My Agent

I would definitely recommend this to people who are looking for a longer-wearing nail polish that resists mild to medium hands-on activities. If I weren’t building a house, I have no doubt that this formula would have stayed on my fingers for the full week it promises. The polish definitely resisted knicks and chips for a long time, and on my toes – incredible.

Each color is $11.99, and you can use the same bottle of sealant topcoat (also $11.99) for each one. BeautyBrands.com has them divided into color categories so you can pull all of your favorites at the same time. I also love all of the Orly EPIX neutrals.

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.