Collection: Essie 2017 Spring, Monique Lhuillier Bridal
I’ve been sitting on several shades of Essie’s Gel Couture nail polish for a while, now—they were launched last spring!—but somehow I never got around to trying them out. When one of my favorite online nail polish stores, Nail Polish Canada, contacted me about reviewing a couple of the Gel Couture colors, I was happy to oblige, and now I feel quite silly for having waited so long to try these.
I was sent the Gel Couture Top Coat (which I had actually already owned, haha!) and I chose two shades: Sage You Love Me, from Spring 2017’s Monique Lhuillier Bridal collection, and Twill Seeker, from the original Spring 2016 launch.
Today, I am reviewing Sage You Love Me (1044), which I wore all last week with the corresponding top coat. It’s a really lovely, soft and dusty sage green cream—I usually don’t go for sage greens, but this one is nicely balanced and neither too cool nor too warm. I like it a lot on my warm-toned skin, and I think it would work well on a good range of skintones.
We had quite a bit of overcast weather last week, so this muted color turned out to be a perfect choice! I also think Essie often do subtle colors amazingly well—so many of their shades seem less than unique in the bottle, but on the nail you can see that they are nuanced and well-balanced.
The Gel Couture polishes are a bit of a departure for Essie, packaging-wise. Regular Essie bottles are petite, cute, and stack together beautifully in a drawer. (Yes, that’s the nail polish collector in me squee-ing!) The new line takes the old bottle, enlarges it, makes the corners a little sharper, and gives it a big twist—literally. While the bottle is visually striking, it is clearly not as functional. It’s a bit awkward to hold and takes up way too much room for my taste, not to mention it holds the same 13.5 mL as the regular Essie bottles do.
The brush is also different, as it is wider and paddle-shaped. Very nice, though it does make things a tiny bit difficult if you have little pinky nails, as I have.
Also, like Essie parent company L’Oréal’s newer Vernis à l’Huile polishes, of which I am utterly enamored, the brush stem’s design echoes that of the bottle! Look at that sweet little twist:
Now, caveat time: I’m probably a bit unusual in that long-wearing nail polish is not actually a big deal to me. Many nail polishes seem to wear around the same on me: 3–4 days before they start to wear off, and that’s with my favorite base and top coats. I don’t find this to be a real problem, because by 5–6 days, my nails have always grown out enough that there’s a gap of at least another millimeter or two from my cuticle to the polish. So, even if a polish lasts a week without chipping, I’d want to remove it due to the growth gap, anyway.
I’m also fairly hard on my nails, which is why I tend to keep them quite short. I’m heavily right-handed, so that hand also gets more abuse. For that reason, I wore Sage You Love Me with no base coat on my left (swatchin’) hand, and with a Nails Inc. base coat on the right hand. Both hands started to show clear tip wear equally by the fourth day, and I got minor chips on the fifth day. Considering all the typing, diaper-changing, hand-washing, and other duties I get around to, this is really good! I often get tip wear on the 2nd or 3rd days with some other polishes.
Sage You Love Me has a formula that is on the thinner side, I did prefer it with three coats rather than just two. You can certainly get away with two, but I thought it was perfect with three. The smooth consistency and the brush make it very easy to apply a coat of polish in just 2–3 strokes, so an extra coat doesn’t bother me, in this case.
The polish also dries to a lovely, glossy finish.
Overall, this polish wore very well with the matching top coat, and I liked the formula and brush very much. I’ll have to try a few other shades to see how the line stacks up across a variety of shades and finishes, but my first impression is solid. But I do wish the bottle was less of a space-hogger!
Nail Polish Canada did send me this polish for review, and you can find Essie Gel Couture polishes for sale in their store. Apart from that I am not affiliated with them in any way, and I will add that I always love shopping with them (it’s where most of my indie polishes have been purchased!) and shipping is free in Canada on orders over a mere $19. Plus, they usually send along a free lollipop or two! 🍭
Essie Nail Polish currently retails for US$8.50 / CA$9.99–$10.99 and is 0.46 US fl oz / 13.5 mL. It is made in the USA.
Essie Cosmetics, founded in 1981 by Essie Weingarten, is based in Westfield NJ, USA. In 2010, Essie was acquired by the L’Oréal Group.