If you’ve read the blog for any length of time, you know I love salon gel nails and nail art. I wore them for about a year straight and there are a ton of great things about them. The one thing I hate about them though, is the difficulty in getting the gel polish off without a trip to the salon.
For the last couple weeks, I’ve needed to be able to take my polish off with very little notice. Since it is difficult to do a last minute appointment via the salon I prefer, and taking gel polish off a home is a giant PITA, I’ve opted to not have my nails done lately.
I looked for an alternative and thought you might be interested in my experiences. My first try was the Essie Gel Couture system. It’s a two step process, one being the color gel polish and the second being a clear gel top coat type polish. The big selling point for me was that you are able to take the polish off with regular nail polish remover.
Since my nails were pretty beat up after stopping my salon gel, I opted for a pale pink color. The consistency of the polish was pretty streaky for the first coat. I actually had to do 3 coats to get a solid color and it showed every bump in my nails. The brush is a bit larger than I was used to and is rounded, which some feel makes it easier to apply with. I personally found I needed a couple minutes to get used to the brush.
I thought the 2nd step might smooth out the polish a bit and it did to a certain extent. I applied one coat of the clear gel like topcoat. No light is needed to cure the gel.
It dried fairly quickly considering I had to put on 3 coats of color, plus a top coat. I couldn’t wait to see how long it lasted.
I painted my nails on Sunday and this is what they looked like on Wednesday with very little abuse. I am pretty easy on my nails in general and these absolutely did not hold up. By Tuesday, I was noticing wear on my first two fingers on my left (non dominant) hand and as you can see, but Wednesday they were chipping. You could also see every bump or knick in my nail bed through the polish.
I left the polish on til Friday just to see if they got worse. It stayed about the same, but of course, my nails started shredding where the polish had worn off.
The polish did come off really easily with regular non-acetone nail polish remover.
Overall, I wouldn’t spend the almost $25 to buy both steps (each bottle is about $11.50 on average). I had much better results with my Shellac Hack method I explained previously here.
I’d love to hear if you’ve tried Essie Gel Couture and how it worked for you in the comments!