Friday, August 11, 2017

*NEW* Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat: Review and Swatches + Comparison

Disclaimer: The product featured was provided for review.
Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat: Review and Swatches + Comparison
As you may know, Essie launched its long-wearing, no-light needed Gel Couture range last summer and for this fall, the line is getting a new top coat that promises an even shinier, longer wear. Infused with pro-platinum technology, the Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat ($13.99 CAD) has been put to the test and today I want to share with my review and results. To read on, click.....
Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat: Review and Swatches + Comparison
Essie Gel Couture | Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat
Similar to the Gel Couture nail colors and the original Gel Couture Top Coat, the new Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat features a flat, wide brush with tapered sides. I'm generally more fond of a thinner, rounded brush for applying nail colors but for a top coat, a wider brush definitely gets the job done faster.
For testing out this new top coat, I used a bright red from the Gel Couture range called "260 Flashed". This is a gorgeous bright red that's rich and pigmented. I used two coats for the swatches below. I experienced some bubbling with the color but I'll admit that I didn't really wait for the first coat to fully dry before applying the second.
Essie Gel Couture 260 Flashed: Swatches and Review
Essie Gel Couture | 260 Flashed | Two Coats with No Top Coat
As a comparison, I applied the original Gel Couture Top Coat on my middle and pinky finger and the new Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat on my index and ring finger. With a runnier formulation, both top coats take longer than expected to fully harden. However, both are very shiny. The Platinum Grade Finish looks just slightly more voluminous and "gel-like" in person but I don't think you can tell very much from the picture below.
In terms of shrinkage (when the top coat retracts from the cuticles as it dries), the Platinum Grade Finish shrinks a lot more as compared to the original Gel Couture Top Coat. Shrinkage is generally not a huge issue for me as I don't look that closely at my nails but if it is a concern of yours, the Platinum Grade Finish may not be a great choice.
Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat: Review and Swatches + Comparison
Essie Gel Couture | Original vs Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat
Finally, in terms wear, both top coats are very impressive. For me, most nail polishes chip with in a day or two, no matter what I do. However, with both the new Platinum Grade Finish and the original, my tips remained virtually intact for a good four to five days. There were some tiny, barely noticeable chipping with the original formulation but the Platinum Grade Finish lasted like a champ. I remove my nail color after five days because I cannot stand the sight of new nail peeking out but I'd imagine that both top coats will last at least a week.
So overall, the new Essie Platinum Grade Finish Gel Couture Top Coat is definitely a winner. It's slightly shinier and more voluminous as compared to the original but in terms of overall performance, it's not too different. Its major shortcomings are the noticeable shrinkage and the longer than expected drying time but I would recommend it to anybody looking for a good, long-lasting top coat!

Please Note: I have not tested this nail polish with any nail art or stamping but based on my experience, the formulation may be a bit too thin and thus may cause smudging. My personal recommendation for the best top coat to use over nail art is the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat, which has a thick, viscous consistency that won't streak or smudge your nail art during application. However, that one is prone to chipping so there's definitely a tradeoff.

Availability:
Essie Gel Couture is available at salons and Essie retailers worldwide. For more information, check out www.essie.ca.
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