The Julep Plie Wand Can Help You Paint Your Nails Like a Pro… But With Lots Of Practice

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: A model has nail polish applied backstage ahead of the catwalk show on day one of Rosemount Australian Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2007/08 off-site at The Studio at the Overseas Passenger Terminal on April 30, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
Source: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

An in-salon manicure is my weekly indulgence. As a beauty writer, I luckily get polishes and tools to play with, some of which I don't use too often because my neighborhood mani-pedi place has everything I need. But what about when I'm in a time crunch? It left me wondering if there was a product that could help me paint my nails like a pro when left to my own devices. Then the Julep Plie Wand, a weapon-like, ergonomic tool that vows to lead you to the promised land of the perfect DIY mani, landed on my desk, along with a bottle of the Myrtle polish, a rich, Taylor Swift-like red that was just begging to stain my cuticles.

The selling point of the tool, besides the fact that it looks a bit like the Rouge Louboutin polish wand, with its long, pointy, and stiletto-like tip, is that allows for improved dexterity with your non-dominant hand. I'm a lefty, a status with unique challenges. So whenever I am forced to paint my own digits, the right hand always looks better than the left. If you do your own nails, you know it's a common problem for do-at-home manis. We can't all be nail artisans like Zooey Deschanel

After using the Plie Wand, I have to say that the jury is still somewhat out for me on the product. Yes, the tool definitely allowed me to get a good grip and to paint my nails more carefully, but I think I'd need a lot of practice with it to get to perfection or to a mani I want to show off. 

The wand was easy to hold on to, more so than the usual, stubby polish cap and wand, and it didn't slip. The slender construction allowed it to act like a guide and you can move up and down the shaft, so to speak, to get a firmer, more comfortable grip while applying the polish. Using the Plie Wand was like switching from using a chubby chunk of chalk to a calligraphy pen as a writing instrument.

Still, I needed to have nail polish remover nearby to wipe excess smudges on the cuticle with a tiny tip cotton swab or with my own fingernail on my other hand, the latter of which is a salon manicurist trick of which I often question the sanitary-ness. But when doing it on your own? That trick can get messy when you've already painted one set of nails and have moved on to painting the nails of the second hand. You can't use the tip of your finger or your nail or you'll smudge the fresh coat of polish. 

I'm also so dominantly left-handed that whatever I do with my right hand doesn't look as good as what do with my left. The Plie Wand's brilliance lies in its magnetic bendability to accommodate for using your non-dominant hand. But I thought the polish applied to my left nails by my right hand looked only slightly less ratchet when using the Plie Wand. So it was definitely an improvement, but not anything close to perfect. 

I thought the polish I applied to my right digits looked really good, though. Like so.

Again, I'll need some practice with the Plie Wand and I'm pretty certain that lacquer lovers who host at-home mani parties are masters at using the Plie Wand. I'm not there yet. Also, I have to give props to Julep for its color range and the quality of the polish. The color payoff is intense and totally glossed out. 

Overall, the Plie Wand isn't convincing enough to get me to give up my weekly mani, since it's like a 45-minute escape from checking emails. But I wouldn't mind practicing with it even more.

 Images: Julep (2); Amy Sciarretto (4)

Must Reads