Essie Gel Couture-Review + Swatches

Essie Gel Couture-Review + Swatches

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Essie Gel Couture-Review + Swatches

Okay…… I’ve been raving about these all over my Instagram and Snapchat, now it’s time for some swatches and a review.

I have a thing for Essie polishes…. they usually have an amazing formula, are long-lasting and come in an amazing range of colors.

Essie Gel Couture Collection* promises to provide up to 14 days of no-chip color, professional salon manicure look with gel-like shine, without the need to use UV/LED lamps. Here’s what Essie says about the Gel Couture Collection:

Pure color pigment technology. Rich, streak-free color. No base coat required. Patented swirl stem brush. Gel top coat protects color and magnifies shine, gives the ultra-glossy finish. shatter-proof, hard shell technology extends wear and prevents chipping. Four families linked to key moments in couture:

  • The Atelier: embodied by the neutrals (whims & pins)
  • The Backstage: embodied by the pastels (preview peek)
  • The Runway: embodied by the brights (runway reveal)
  • The After Party: embodied by the deeps (after the after party)

What I love:

-first thing I noticed (other than beautiful packaging and a fun bottle, duh) is the brush. The shape is absolutely perfect and makes the application SO easy and flawless.
-the colors are absolutely stunning and every pigmented (except for sheer formulas)
-love that there’s no need for a base coat
-the finish is very glossy
-the formula dries quickly
-these are VERY very long-lasting. I have experienced chipping with only one of these shades: Signature Smile. They last for over a week on my nails (that’s with me constantly working on a computer, cooking + housework)

What I don’t love:

-it’s so hard for me to think of anything I don’t like about these. I think that one thing that’s a bit annoying is that darker colors tend to bleed A LOT when removing them. This is true for a lot of dark shades thought, not just from this collection.
-you have to remember to be very precise while applying the top coat. Apply too much and touch your cuticles, and the top coat will collect under your cuticles and won’t look too pretty as the nail is growing out.

Okay, this Essie Gel Couture system is a two-step process. You use a color + a gel top coat and let it dry. That’s it. Your nails will probably won’t feel like they do when wearing “regular” gel polish (meaning they won’t feel as “hard”) but they will sure look it! The top coat gives the nails a very pretty, glossy finish that stays shiny until you remove it. I don’t usually wear a nail polish for this long, but I’m sure these would last 14 days on me, as promised. While testing these, I wore them for about 8-9 days- I removed the color after a little bit over a week because my nails grow quite quickly.

You don’t need to use a base coat with these, but as with any nail polish application, start with clean nails and make sure to remove any dirt and oil prior to application.


Essie Gel Couture: Sheer Fantasy from the Atelier Collection. Wearing 3 coats here. It’s a stunning sheer pink- perfect if you prefer more natural-looking nails.

Essie-Gel-Couture-Pre-Show-JittersEssie Gel Couture: Pre-Show Jitters from the First Look Collection. This alabaster white is definitely one of my favorites- it’s smooth, creamy and non-streaky.

Essie-gel-Couture-Touch-UpEssie Gel Couture: Touch Up from the Atelier Collection. Beautiful, delicate and soft mauve.

Essie-gel-Couture-Take-Me-to-ThreadEssie Gel Couture: Take Me to Thread from the Atelier Collection. A creamy, taupe that will be perfect for Fall.

Essie-gel-couture-Beauty-NapEssie Gel Couture: Beauty Nap from the First Look Collection. Pretty, gray-moss looks mintier in direct daylight.

Essie-Gel-Couture-Signature-SmileEssie Gel Couture: Signature Smile from the Fashion Show Collection. Sharp, bright pink. This is the only shade where I experienced some chipping.

Essie-Gel-Couture-FlashedEssie Gel Couture: Flashed from the Fashion Show Collection. Bold, bright orange-red, probably one of the most flattering red polishes I’ve ever tried.


Essie Gel Couture: Model Clicks from the After Party Collection. Gorgeous, deep wine color that’s very sophisticated. This was one of the shades that bled quite a lot while removing it; still, very stunning.


Essie Gel Couture: Hang Up The Heels from the After Party Collection. The first thing that comes to mind? Slytherin. Black mixed with a ton of stunning, jade shimmer.


Essie Gel Couture: Turn N’ Pose from the Fashion Show Collection. Bold, deep plum that will also be perfect for Fall.


Have you guys tried these yet? I’m definitely obsessed!