Ever since Sally Hansen released their Miracle Gel formula I have become a fervent fan of at-home gel nail polish. Finally a retail brand found a way to cultivate the staying power and shine of a Shellac manicure without breaking the bank. I found myself gravitating towards these polishes so frequently that they became my go-to polishes 9 times out of 10. How could I possibly go back to a regular polish that chipped after 1-2 days when I found a polish that lasted more than a week without a chip?!
The only drawback with this line was that the colour selection wasn’t as wide as I hoped for! I found myself getting tired of the same old shades and hoping for a new collection to be released to satisfy my longing for a wider colour selection. So naturally when Essie released their Gel Couture collection, I rushed frantically to the nearest drugstore and picked out my favourite shades to put to the test. Essie’s colour range for their regular polishes is absolutely fantastic, so as soon as I heard about this release I knew all my gel polish problems would be solved! I purchased the shades Spool Me Over, a light apricot pink, and Touch Up, a soft medium mauve.
Overall, I’d have to say I’m definitely impressed. The application of the Essie polishes went on extremely smooth and after two coats both polishes were completely opaque, which is a score in my books! The polish is formulated to leave no stains behind, so a base coat is not necessary and I can attest to this being true from my experience. Although, if your nails are known to be easily stained, I’d recommend using one just in case. The Essie top coat adds an amazing shine that mimics that of a gel manicure from the salon.
The real standout feature of this new product is the unique shape of the brush. Rather than being a square brush, the tip is actually tapered to line up perfectly with your cuticle. I find this brush super easy to manoeuvre and it provides a very refined application which typically requires no more than 1 or 2 strokes to cover the entire surface of the nail. Another feature of the wand is the “swirl stem” which prevents any unwanted dripping from the base of the wand while you are painting your nails!
Although I can’t attest to this polish lasting chip-free for a full fourteen days, I am happy to say I received a full 10 days without a single chip! My main issue was the inevitable gap forming near the cuticle where my nails were growing in, but this had nothing to do with the actual product itself. A common issue I found with the Miracle Gel was that after a few days, the polish began to “crack” in a sense and I’d begin to notice small lines forming across my nails in a super unflattering way. With the Essie Gel Couture, absolutely no cracks! Overall, totally on board for the new Essie Gel Couture! I didn’t think it was possible to find a polish I loved more than my Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, but low and behold the Essie gels have stolen my heart.
As if this line hadn’t already impressed me enough, they released FOURTY TWO shades to satisfy my need for new gel polish colours! YAS. The polishes are divided into four collections: Atelier, First Look, Fashion Show and After Party. If you’re a fan of other Essie shades from their regular polish line, I’m happy to inform you that I noticed many of the gel colours overlap with the regular polishes! Some may even be exact dupes. One thing I will warn is that I found the colours dried darker on the nails than they actually appear in the bottle, so just keep that in mind when searching for your perfect shades.
The Essie polishes retail from anywhere between 8-11 dollars at the typical drugstore! I’d definitely recommend purchasing the top coat as well because this is what adds the Shellac-like shine to the nails.
Have you tried the Essie Gel Couture? If so, what did you think!? I’d love to hear your opinions on at-home gel polishes below!