Essie Gel Couture – Worth the Splurge?

Listen, I love acrylic nails as much as the next girl. You know what I don’t love? The price. As an added bonus, I also don’t like the unnecessary exposure to other humans (yay COVID πŸ₯³). So the only logical conclusion was to re-up my subscription to Nail Polish Hoarders Anonymous. And thus, I bring you a review of the prestigious (and pricy) Essie Gel Couture line.

For this review, I used the shade Couture Creator, which was a summery pink with peach undertones.

Before I began, I painted my nails with one coat of a nail strengthener. Then I went in the the Essie Gel Couture, which provided a nice even coat like any other polish. Although it wasn’t the quickest dry in the world, I was only incapacitated for about 30 minutes and was fully dry and ready for bed within the hour.

**Please note: I am neither a manicurist nor a talented painter of half inch surfaces. I’m here merely to share my journey to the impending and inescapable reality that is chipped and cracked nail polish.**

Essie Gel Couture Update: Day 1

I wanted to really test this polish so I didn’t spare any wear and tear for this review and began day one with the good old hair washing test.

I don’t know about you, but it is a rare day that my nail polish survives hair washing day fully without any casualties. That being said, this polish did surprisingly well. Not a single chip.

It’s also worth noting that the polish didn’t stick to my skin and I had no issues with cleanup.

I did, however, notice some bubbles in the polish. I was told that buffing my nails prior to application would help so I’ll definitely be trying that hack next time. If you have any other tips, leave them in the comments down below!

Day 3

By day three, the Essie Gel Couture was still going strong.

I noticed a bit of wearing at the ends of my nails, but no chips. The wearing seemed more like the polish was being sanded down as opposed to chipping off in chunks. Although this is not ideal, of course, it still was preferable to entire chunks falling off.

Day 5

By day five, I had two full washes under my belt and guess what? STILL NO CHIPPING! I was starting to feel like this was a miracle polish that was sent from above to solve all our problems? Like honestly, 45 who, amiright?

Now, I did notice that the polish seemed to be squishing up at the tips of my nails a bit. Up until today, the polish looked more like it was being sanded down. Today it looked like I had just painted them and then bumped into something. Weird.

I was also starting to get a bit of cracking near the ends of fingers I use more heavily, which I’ve noticed more in lighter shades than dark. It is very possible that dark shades do it as well, but provide more disguise due to the nature of the color.

Day 10


I do have quite a bit of cracking now, particularly on my pointer finger and thumb. Again, this is more noticeable with lighter shades, so go dark if that’s something that bothers you.

I’m three hair washes deep at this point, so the complete lack of chips is a little mind blowing to be honest. The wearing at the tips is fairly manageable and the dulling of shine is minimal.

The most noticeable issue is that my nails have grown out. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

All in all, I think the Essie Gel Couture line is fantastic. I mean, I’ve only really tried this one shade, but assuming the formula is consistent throughout, this is a GREAT polish.

I don’t know about you, but I get really tired with paying $40+ every few weeks to get my nails done. I’d much rather splurge on an $11 nail polish once in a while. There’s something to be said for being pampered by someone in a salon. I get that. But there are a lot of things you can do to create a relaxing environment for yourself to unwind and try to emulate that experience as much as possible.

Giving yourself a nice mani-pedi that lasts and makes you feel confident without adding the pressure of upkeep is one of those things. With that being said, if you can afford the difference in price, I would absolutely say skip the traditional polishes and spring for the Gel line. You won’t regret it.

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