Saturday, July 2, 2016

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish: Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: The product featured was provided for review.
New from Essie is the brand new Gel Couture ($13.99 CAD) nail polish line designed with a whole new look and an innovative brush. Available in a plethora of exciting shades, the polish promises a 14-day wear. To read my review on the new design and formulation, read on to find out......

I love the looks of the original Essie bottles but I have to admit that the Gel Couture bottle looks like a work of art. Imagine the traditional rectangular bottle twisted along its length to give an almost architectural feel. The design supposedly makes the bottle more ergonomic to hold but as your average consumer (and not a manicurist) who would usually just set the bottle on a flat surface during application, the feature has more of an aesthetic appeal.
Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish in "Spiked with Style"
I've always loved Essie for their thin, easy-to-maneuver brush so I was a little hesitant about the new wider applicator. The brush has a tapered design but I still don't find it as easy to use as the original brushes, mostly because it's trickier to get as close as possible to the cuticles during application.
Another feature of the applicator is the twisted stem that mirrors the design of the bottle. The feature not only looks cool, but it is actually designed to decrease dripping from the stem. As you know, sometimes when you think you've applied the perfect amount of polish, a huge dollop drips down along the brush stem and completely throws things off balance; the feature is designed to prevent this. However, I noticed that it doesn't make a huge difference. The brush stem is fat and wide, carrying more polish than your average stem. So in the end, you will still experience some unwanted dripping, which can only be prevented by swiping off the excess on the rim of the bottle. Ironically, the twisted stem actually makes that much harder to do., so I personally would have just preferred a regular, straight stem.
Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish in "Spiked with Style"
The Essie Gel Couture are regular (no curing needed) polishes that promise a 14-day wear when paired with the Essie Gel Couture Top Coat. Longevity is not a huge concern of mine as I am constantly changing and swatching new polishes, so I can't really comment on the 14-day promise. I have to admit, though, that the polish on its own (without the top coat) is pretty shiny to begin with. I have here the shade "Spiked with Style", a deep oxblood semi-translucent cream. The shade is slightly sheer, not uncommon for reds like this, so I had to use three coats for the swatches above.

Essie Gel Couture is available starting June 14th nationwide.