Essie | Gel Couture

Essie Gel Couture opener


Taking things up a notch in the nail lacquer game, Essie has just launched Gel Couture, a new range of polishes (42 shades in total) that draw inspiration from the fashion industry and are ready to take you from ‘the atelier to the after-party‘. The first thing you’ll notice is the bottle with its unique twisty shape, a feature that is not only visually exciting but created to fit ergonomically in the palm of your hand (honestly, it’s such a ridiculously comfortable fit; makes you wonder how no one had already thought of it). The other innovation is the patent-pending swirl-stem brush, designed so that the polish flows smoothly down to the brush, without any nasty blobs coming down to spoil the party.

This 2-step system (polish + Gel Couture Top Coat) aims to offer up to 14 days of chip-free wear without the need for UV or LED lamps – in turn making these polishes easy to remove, with the shades arranged in four colour families:

  • Atelier – embodied by the neutrals
  • First Look – embodied by the pastels
  • Fashion Show – embodied by the brights
  • After Party – embodied by the deeps

For anyone who’s ever complained about the tiny size of Essie’s brushes, you can now rejoice: joining the ranks of some of my all-time favourite polish brushes (such as Dior, Guerlain and the new L’Oréal Vernis à L’Huile) the brush in this range has been given an upgrade as well. Wider than before and with rounded yet tapered bristles that splay perfectly along the nail, you need very little pressure to apply product evenly and effectively, making the job so much easier than before.

Essie Gel Couture

Essie | Gel Couture

Essie First View

Essie | Gel Couture

Essie Gel Couture brush

Essie | Gel Couture (brush detail)

Essie Sheer Fantasy swatch

Sheer Fantasy | (Atelier) Sheerest baby pink with a hybrid crème-jelly formula that is definitely not meant to be opaque. Glossy, self-levelling and non-patchy, this is the perfect ‘palate cleanser’, and while I actually love the translucent effect at 2 coats, I gave it a third layer here to show the effect.

Coats: 3, thin + top coat


Essie Stitch by Stitch swatch

Stitch By Stitch | (Atelier) A soft bubblegum pink crème hue that applies in a buttery smooth way, showing good flow & coverage that leaves behind a glossy finish. Easy-peasy & oh-so-pretty, no?

Coats: 2 + top coat


Essie First View swatch

First View | (Atelier) Cool-leaning baby blue filled with ultra refined prismatic shimmer, in a crème based formula that applies like a dream: even, excellent coverage and glossy at the finish.

Coats: 2 + top coat


Essie First View macro swatch

Essie Gel Couture | First View (detail)


Essie On The List swatch

On The List | (Fashion Show) A unique soft/hot coral hue in a crème-jelly hybrid formula that is pushing all the right buttons for me. Self-levelling, non-patchy, major colour saturation AND non-staining; this is DEFINITELY the epitome of what a Summer shade should be. Not to mention so much easier (and classier) to wear than neon. LOVE.

Coats: 2 + top coat


Essie Beauty Marked swatch

Beauty Marked | (Fashion Show) A blue-based (cool-leaning) deep cerise red hue in a crème-jelly hybrid formula that has insane colour saturation, flow and coverage even with the very first coat. Self-levelling and über-glossy, it’s also relatively non-staining (for such an intense red), although I’d still suggest a base coat for those with porous nails.

Coats: 2 + top coat


Essie Gala-Vanting swatch

Gala-Canting | (After Party) A deep berry/maroon hue in a crème formula that has hints of a jelly finish, making it not only self-levelling in application, but coming to a glossy finish as well. Beautiful flow & coverage, as well as non-staining upon removal, this shade makes nails look so elegant. BONUS: cloud reflections seen on my nails…proves how crazy glossy these shades are.

Coats: 2 + top coat


Essie Surrounded by Studs swatch

Surrounded By Studs | (After Party) A deep navy that’s chock-full of ultra fine blue & teal shimmer, giving this shade depth and a unique new vibrancy. Self-levelling and with a perfect density-flow-to-coverage ratio, you also have the added bonus of it being non-staining upon removal. Pretty stunning, wouldn’t you agree? Plus it’s edgy without coming off as just plain old black….so much love.

Coats: 2 + top coat


Essie Surrounded by Studs macro swatch

Essie Gel Couture | Surrounded By Studs (detail)


Summed up: every single one of the shades I’ve tried thus far (I have several more in the works to show you) are nothing short of amazing. Essie has absolutely killed it with this new Gel Couture range and I have nothing but the best things to say about these lacquers.

Essie Gel Couture (CAN $13.99) is available now at beauty destinations across Canada


Essie Gel Couture closer



Nail polish loveliness kindly provided/As always, all opinions are my own

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