Essie Gel Setter Top Coat

When it comes to my nails, my holy grail nail polish topcoat is Seche Vite. Seche Vite is the best topcoat I’ve tried as it gives the most incredible shine, it dries super quickly and it keeps my polish from chipping for upto six days. The only downside of Seche Vite is that it starts to go gloopy when you get to the last third of the bottle which isn’t ideal, but I buy mine from Amazon and I can usually get it for only £5 a bottle. I’ve tried so many different topcoats over the years; Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, Orly Glosser, OPI Infinite Shine Gloss Top Coat and many more, but nothing has ever come close to Seche Vite but I was intrigued by the Essie Gel Setter Top Coat after reading my very lovely friend Zoë rave about it and I decided to give it a try as part of a three for two offer Boots were running at the time.

Essie Gel Setter Top Coat

The Essie Gel Setter Top Coat is £9.99 for 13.5ml which I think is quite expensive, especially as I can get Seche Vite for £5 with 14ml but I find that Essie is overpriced as a brand and I only ever buy their polishes from Fragrance Direct where they’re £2.99 as I don’t think they’re worth any more than that as they always chip on my nails within a couple of days so it’s not worth me spending a lot on them.

The top coat is quite thick to begin with; even thicker than a new bottle of Seche Vite, but it does apply nicely over my nail polish. I can’t find any claims that Essie make that this is a fast drying top coat, but I expected it to be one as Seche Vite is, but it’s not fast drying sadly whereas my Seche Vite is touch dry within five minutes even with a generous coat.

Essie Gel Setter Top Coat

In terms of giving a ‘gel-like’ finish, I don’t think any top coat can give a a true gel finish like a proper cured gel manicure. The Essie Gel Setter Top Coat does give my nails a lovely shine which I would say is on par with Seche Vite but I do find that my nails tend to chip much quicker when I use it, with chips appearing within 24 to 48 hours of wear.

The other considerable difference between the two topcoats I’ve experienced is that my bottle of Essie Gel Setter Top Coat has become gloopy and I’m not even a quarter way through, whereas I can use two thirds of a bottle of Seche Vite before the gloopiness starts. I do have Seche Vite Restore which fixes any gloopiness, but it’s poor that the Gel Setter becomes so gloopy so quickly and for that reason I wouldn’t repurchase, and I’ll stick with my beloved Seche Vite.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried the Essie Gel Setter? What’s your favourite nail polish top coat?



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