Essie Gel Couture Review + Swatches


The trees are alive with green leaves and the air is warm and fragrant with the scent of colourful blooms. It’s officially spring. It’s time to put our dark, moody nail polishes into storage and time to pull out the fresh and fun shades. Essie has launched a brand spankin’ new line of nail polishes for us to play with and enjoy just in time for the change of season. The Gel Couture range features new twirly bottles, a swirl-stem brush and a gel-like formula. This 2-step system encompasses base + colour in one bottle (R169.95) and then an ultra-shiny top coat (R179.95) to finish off the look. The best part? No UV or LED lamp is required.

essie gel couture

Essie claims that you’ll get a whopping 14-day wear time with their Gel Couture range, but as we all know, that’s never the case when it comes to at-home nail polishes. I’m not saying that you definitely won’t get two weeks worth of wear, but I will say that I personally only get a solid seven days of chip-free wear out of these. That’s about four more days then I get from their regular polishes. On the seventh day, my nails start ‘peeling’ at the cuticle and unfortunately I’m not one to turn down the opportunity to pick at my polish. Yes, it’s a terrible habit, I know! Your wear time depends on how ‘active’ your hands are. If you’re typing all day, constantly washing dishes and digging in handbags then your wear time will probably be drastically reduced.

essie gel couture swatches

My three favourites, of the six I was sent, are ‘Flashed’, ‘Dress Call’, and ‘Model Citizen’. The last two shades present no surprises, but I shocked myself with how much I liked ‘Flashed’. This colour is bright and vivid and completely out of my comfort zone.

  • Essie Flashed –  poppy electric vermillion
  • Essie Dress Call – charming orchid crème
  • Essie Model Citizen – flawless light deep pink

Essie also promises an impeccable gel-like shine, and they unquestionably deliver on that promise. Your nails will shine brighter than stars in the night sky. Two coats of the base/colour will already offer your nails an abundance of shine, but the top coat (R179.95) just sends that lustrous shine over the edge. I’ve also noticed that the top coat dries quite quickly, and that’s a lot coming from an impatient nail painter like myself.

essie gel couture in dress call

The flat, wider brush, which is life-changing by the way, allows for easy and smooth application due to the way it splays out. The updated brush stem has been designed to prevent undesirable polish drip. Essie declares that the Gel Couture polishes won’t stain your nails and they’re easy to remove. I haven’t tried one of the darker shades yet, but I have read on other blogs that you might need a base coat (as an extra) for the very dark, deep shades.

The Essie Gel Couture range is available in selected Dis-Chem, Clicks  and Foschini stores.  The colours are R169.95 and the top coat goes for R179.95.

September 7, 2016 • By