When it comes to gel manicures, I’m not going to lie – I’m not the biggest fan. I have nails that bend in the breeze, and coupled with my short attention span for colours, I think I’m better suited regular polishes. What I do love about gels though, is the super shiny finish. So, when Essie sent over their brand new Gel Couture range, I got rather excited. (Evidently the post office did too, as a rather fetching coral shade had exploded in the envelope, so excuse any smudges or polish on the bottles!)
The whole concept behind the Gel Couture line is fashion-forward colours with 14 days of shiny, chip-free wear. Applied to clean, bare nails, Essie recommends two coats of colour with one of the new Top Coat. Everything about the line is new – the bottles are twisted (inspired by the line of couture dresses) and the brushes are even remodelled. The new line contains 42 brand new shades, and I’ve already picked out a few to order!
The first polish I tried was Bubbles Only – a stunningly rich red which verges on burgundy. It’s such a rich shade – it looks so chic on short nails, or as a pedicure. The formula was an absolute dream to work with – it applied perfectly smoothly and was nearly opaque in a single coat. There was no streaking or smudging, just really beautiful shiny colour, which stayed glossy well after the top coat had dried. Admittedly I did pop a base coat on my nails (they’re already a little stained, and I’m trying to prevent further damage) and I got three days of chip-free wear.
Take Me to Thread is a stunning neutral shade which hovers somewhere between grey and purple. Unlike a lot of similar shades in my collection, this one is a true one-coat-wonder, although, being the stickler for the instructions I went with two. The formula of the polish is creamy perfection, and self levels, meaning your left with beautifully even nails.
Depending on the light, the colour veers between lavender and grey, so it’s a great choice if you’re rotating through a summer wardrobe of neutrals. It feels like a nice alternative to my usual baby pink polishes, and I love how fresh it looks paired with a white shirt and jeans. Again, I got about three days of chip free wear with the polish.
The Gel Couture Top Coat comes in a white version of the new twisted bottles. It looks really fun (although mine got a little chipped when I was removing the coral polish) and it feels very Instagram-worthy.
The brush, like the polishes, has had a bit of makeover. It means you only need a single sweep to cover the entire nail, and it doesn’t pull or drag on polish. I absolutely love how quickly it dries, and I didn’t get a single bubble or smear. I’m more than a little obsessed with these new takes on Essie, and I can’t wait to collect a few more shades!
Essie Gel Couture Top Coat and polishes are priced at £9.99 each, and they’re available here.