Recently, I read a review for Essie Gel Couture on Plastic Bows beauty blog and on another blog that I can’t remember. Both blogposts featured a shade that’s one of my all time favorites. Essie calls it Sew Me, shade 30, and describes it as “cream caramel rose”. I’d say it’s shell pink. It’s part of Essie’s Gel Couture Neutrals Collection.
In addition to being captivated by the color, I was interested in the fact that Essie Gel Couture is supposed to be a longer wearing formula. A couple of years ago, I bought Gel-Setter, another duo from Essie, that was supposed to be a longer wearing formula and, for me, it was meh. But the Sew Me shade got me over the hurdle to try this new version that comes in eye-catching twisted glass bottles.
You can buy Gel Couture in a set containing a polish and the gel topcoat, but the duo shades that were available at my CVS weren’t to my liking. However, there is a significant cost-saving in buying the set, $18.50 vs. $11.50 buying each separately. Regardless, I really wanted Sew Me, so I bought the polish and topcoat separately. Luckily, I had a 30% off coupon that made the purchase much more affordable.
Usually, I am not a fan of gel manicures. The few times I’ve gotten a gel mani at a salon, I was concerned about the curing under the lights, and the removal process damaged my nails. This set needs no LED lamp, and the polish removes easily with regular remover.
The nail polish seemed thicker than most polishes to me. I’ve been wondering if that’s how it is, or if my bottle of Sew Me is just thicker than normal? The brush is a bit wider than a traditional brush, and it makes application easier IMHO.
The polish dried surprisingly fast. I applied two coats of color (over a coat of Seche Vite Clear Basecoat), and it provided good coverage without streaking. Next, I applied one coat of Essie Gel Couture Topcoat, and it dried quickly too.
Essie claims that it provides a gel-like shine. I’d say not so much. It’s shiny, but more like regular polish shiny.
So how well has it lasted? With most regular polishes, I get tip wear on day 2. It’s just something about how my nails are shaped, I’ve always thought. With Essie Gel Couture, I haven’t had any tip wear at all and I’m on day 5. Plus at the end of summer, my nails are longer than usual, and that often makes them more subject to chipping. However, I did have a big chip off the tip of my left hand index finger, the finger I use the most. But it was easy to remove the polish on that one nail and reapply. I was amazed at how quick it was to do that.
Essie says that Gel Couture can last up to 14 days. I don’t expect anything near that. Frankly, if I get to day 7 without tip wear or more chips, I’d consider that a miracle. The results I’ve seen so far are the best I’ve gotten with any polish/topcoat combo that I’ve done myself at home. I’m satisfied. I think I’ll buy another shade from the 42 shades offered and see how that goes.
Have you tried Essie Gel Couture yet? How did it work for you?