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Is spray-on nail polish worth the hype? TODAY tests the new invention

We first told you about the invention of spray-on polish when it was announced and simply couldn't wait to give it a try. For those of us who can't paint our own nails (like, ahem, yours truly), it's especially exciting because it could finally mean foolproof at-home manicures.

TODAY got a sneak peek of the Nails Inc. Paint Can before it hits U.S. stores this March. We gave the $12 paint can a test run, but could it really revolutionize your manicure? Here's what we found:

The polish is slated to come in two colors: "Shoreditch Lane," a silvery metallic, and "Hoxton Market," a light pink. We got our hands on a bottle (er, can) of the former and opened it up before you could say "graffiti."

To go along with the new polish, Nails Inc. has created a base-and-top-coat combination specifically formulated to go with the spray.

I started by applying a layer of base coat and then letting it dry for a few minutes as directed, so it wasn't too tacky. The base coat dried very quickly and in a few short minutes, I was on to step two.

Now the part you've been waiting for: spraying the polish. Be ready to get a little messy and have some fun! It feels a bit rebellious, like painting graffiti on an old building, but with your nails as the backdrop instead.

I recommend putting down a layer of cardboard or newspaper since the spray goes everywhere, especially all over your hands. Painting one finger at a time is nearly impossible, so just spray back and forth as you would with any aerosol can until you have a nice, even coat across all fingers. And feel free to spray generously; I missed some spots even after thinking I had completely covered every millimeter of my fingertips.

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Once my nails were really polished, I let it dry for about five minutes before moving on to the top coat. The paint dries much faster than traditional nail polish, which is a major perk when you don't have fancy nail dryers to speed up the process. It was also surprisingly difficult to smudge since the formula had a more liquid-like consistency than normal.

After a few minutes of waiting for the top coat to dry, I was off to the final step: washing the polish off my hands. Nails Inc. says you can easily get the polish off your skin with some soap and water. The reality? While the soap-and-water combination helped my hands look far less like the Tin Man's, I can't say it did the trick. I had to rely on a little nail polish remover to be completely clean. This part of the process took way longer than I would have liked, especially since that's the spray can's main claim.

But I have to say the finished product looked fabulous! I absolutely loved the chrome-like shiny color and airbrushed finish the can created. My biggest complaint is that the polish didn't last. In about eight hours, it had already chipped and even peeled off one nail entirely.

So, what's the final verdict?

On the downside, the application method creates a mess, and it takes some elbow grease to get the polish off your skin. Also, I was disappointed when the polish peeled off so quickly after application.

But my manicure only took about 15 minutes from start to finish, and the application is fairly easy ... and undeniably a lot of fun. The "Shoreditch Lane" color made me consider silver my new go-to shade (who knew?). And the result had a unique finish — compared to a typical brush technique — which felt fresh and modern.

Perhaps this new product (which is available as of March 22 in the US) really is the future of nails!

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This article was originally published Dec. 22, 2015.

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