Essie Gel Setter Top Coat

Essie Gel Setter Top Coat

4.2

79 reviews

81% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$$

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on 10/12/2018 12:34:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

It is a good top coat. It's not too thin, not too thick. It gives my nails a glossy, gel-like finish. The only thing is that the nail brush is BAD. It's so thin and flimsy, I wouldn't repurchase this product solely for this reason. It picks up only a small amount of product, so by the time I'm done applying the coat to my nails, I end up with a streaky mess. If Essie had a thicker, wider brush, it would've been so much better. I've had the same problem with other Essie nail polishes. All of my friends have complained about their brushes. Great formula, but the brush has to change. I purchased this because it was on clearance, but for full-price, I would not purchase.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.



Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Love this topcoat! I feel it's kind of similar to the Sally Hansen Gel topcoat - but a little less thick. So it depends what you're looking for. It does get a little bubbly sometimes but I usually manage to put it on quite nicely. This stuff makes my nailpolish last for about a week without chipping. Depends on how you use your hands of course. My polish does kind of crack under the top coat if that makes sense; but you'll only see that if you look really closely. I love the shiny finish of the product as well!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 6/2/2018 11:33:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Oily, Dark, Warm

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This stuff is terrible. I had my nail tech use it during my appt and my nails peeled within a week. I was not sure what caused it so I used this stuff by itself the following week and within a few hours, it started peeling off into full sheets and was completely gone by the end of the week. It's awful, never again.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on 2/26/2018 10:24:00 AM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Grey

I've read some of the reviews here and obviously my expectations of a nail polish are much lower then many people here. All I want is to be able to get a week out of a manicure with no chips. This Essie gel top coats is great. I've been using it for about 4 weeks and it's even better then the discontinued L'oreal gel lacquer kit. The price is reasonable, good selection of colors and I'm getting a week out of a manicure and on day 6 I still have a fairly good shine. If it gets goopy like others have said when the bottle is 1/2 empty so be it. Any nail color is going to get goopy when the bottle is 1/2 full of air. After L'oreal discontinued their product I've purchased so many brands of nail polish and top coats that I wasn't getting one day without a chip. I like a base coat. Since I wear darker colors I don't want my nails discolored so a base coat is a must. If I'm going to be really critical, I don't love the brush but it's certainly better then those wide brushes in other brands but not as nice or angled as the L'oreal brush. Unless they change the formula or discontinue the product Essie has me as a loyal customer on this product. If you want a nice shiny polish that will give you a week without chips and reasonably priced then this is it.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

Holy Grail. Seriously. I said it's a good value, because it does what it says it will do. I have gotten two weeks of wear out of my home manicures with only slight wear at the tips. Once, I added some polish to the tips and another layer of gel-setter and got a THIRD week out of the manicure.

I get the best results when I polish like the salons do: Base coat (Seche Clear), only wait a couple of minutes, 2 coats of polish (I wait about 5 minutes between coats), then one medium coat of gel-setter. I've used it over Essie, Zoya, Revlon, and Sinful Colors polishes and it works on every one.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This topcoat keeps my manicures in near perfect condition for 5-7 days, easily. Longer if paired with a high quality polish like another Essie, an OPI l, or surprisingly, Wet N Wild Megalast. It goes on thick but dries to the touch in a matter of minutes and thoroughly within the hour. The bottle does dry out easily i have to replace it about half way though if I'm not careful to keep the screw threads on the cap clean and sealed tightly.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on 8/20/2017 6:35:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Great. Only at the end gets a little bit dry and not to easy to put it on


Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I like how this formula is on the thick side and find that it applies a high gloss shine as the top coat to my self-done mani. I don't believe it last any longer than a thinner formula but I do prefer the look of the finish this gives. As other reviewers mentioned, because it is a thicker formula it tends to get goopy about halfway through the bottle but honestly I find any polish gets crappy once you start moving into the lower half of the bottle which is when I start to dispose of them. The polish dries quickly enough but I would still recommend taking care not to dent or smudge nails for a couple of hours to be on the safe side.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Other

Eyes: Brown

This top coat is exactly what I've been looking for and is now my go-to TC. I've been using it for a couple of months, and I do my nails every week. A few answers to questions I had when I was looking at buying this: No, it's not a gel; that's just a marketing gimmick. It comes off very easily with regular NP remover. Yes, you can use it with any brand of NP, not just Essie. On to particulars - it applies very smoothly, and its finish is *very* shiny. It's probably the shiniest TC I've used - shinier than Seche Vite and even nosing out SH Insta-Dri (my previous HG) as well. Gel Setter isn't a QDTC, but it's pretty darn close. The main benefit is no worries about shrinkage whatsoever, which is always a concern with QDTCs. However, dings/dents are more likely in the first 1-2 hours if you're not careful. As with all my manis, if I want it to last a full week, around Day 4 I have to re-wrap the tips and re-apply a TC. (And since this isn't a QDTC, it fits the bill for that purpose as well.) Because this is SOP for me, I don't see this as a negative, just reality. I don't do gel polish because of damage concerns, but I imagine if you're used to a real gel manicure, this will disappoint because the longevity will most certainly not match up. But if your expectations are calibrated to a standard mani, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Edit 9/29/18 - I've fallen a bit out of love with this. I started tracking my nail polish usage and results in a spreadsheet, and I noticed that I get more tip wear and chips when I use this TC. It also requires frequent thinning, which may be affecting its longer-term performance. I think I'd still repurchase, but I don't think it's a holy grail.

10 of 11 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Better than most I've tried.


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