Let me begin by saying that I am not your typical nail polish wearer. I never have enough time to apply them, always end up smudging them because I'm too impatient and they hardly ever last longer than two or three days. Add that to a very unsteady hand and a habit to apply the polish far too thickly, and you've got yourself the recipe for disaster. Of course, always having a few tricks up my sleeve, I know that good base and top coats are my friends and can generally solve most of my problems, but I was yet to come across a really good nail varnish.

Enter Intensae, the New York-based brand by photographer and graphic designer Christian Roman and hair colourist James Samuel. Using an exclusive 5-free formula and producing all of their products in New York, Intensae is a great alternative for anyone looking to avoid toxins yet still seeking interesting and high quality nail pigments and consistencies. Rather than making nail polishes, Intensae create lacquers, which are slightly thicker and have a great wear time and coverage. Add the beautiful packaging, the strong women they were inspired by and the interesting range of colours and you've got yourself a winner!

By now, you'll all know my deep love for Butter London's base coat, so it may come as a surprise that I branched out and tried my luck with Intensae's Storm vitamin base coat. blue-hued and translucent, it applies and dries very fast and has done a great job at strengthening and protecting my nails.

Cellini is a sheer nude colour inspired by my beloved Audrey Hepburn. The sophisticated off-white shade is fast becoming my nail colour staple and looks best when applied in one thin coat, letting the natural nail colour shine through slightly. Ophélie is a warm soft colour, somewhere between nude and beige. Inspired by Vanessa Paradis, I find this shade is best applied in two coats to give the nails an opaque look. Let's not forget the most interesting shade of the lot: Kid* is a beautiful muted lilac shade. Having been created with Sarah Jessica Parker in mind, the lacquer works both sheer and opaque and is the perfect shade for spring. 

The lacquer application was smooth and, to my surprise, didn't end in disaster. Although the thicker consistency of the lacquers took some getting used to, I am more than impressed with the 'hard as nails' results and gel-like finish. The durability of the lacquers is seriously impressive – one coat has lasted me over four days now – and I intend to invest in some more opaque and bright colours (pinkcoral and blue) as well as a top coat (inspired by Björk!) soon!

Intensae products are available from their webshop (EU only) and Content Beauty.

*PR sample

Lilly Wolf