Rated 3.39 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Positive Review I'm never using gel with a light again!
After over a year of gel manicures, my nails suffered from peeling and breaking. I gave them a month with just repair polish and they finally healed, but I wanted the look and durability of the gel polish.
When I heard about Essie gel.setter, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Essie never disappoints, and I had high hopes for this product. I'm still not disappointed.
I applied Essie Fill the Gap and waited for that to dry. While it dries quickly, it was almost an hour before I applied my color (I was busy cleaning, cooking and caring for my one year old). I put on two coats of color, waiting about five or so minutes between coats. After my polish dried (I did the tapping of my two thumbs together test to see if they stuck together). I applied the gel.setter. A couple things about application.
Use a thin coat. It doesn't need to be super thick in order to work, and actually, thinner is better as it dries faster
When applying gel polish, I learned I had to "cap" my nail which means you have to run the brush along the free edge of your nail to apply the gel product. This creates a nice seal so that the polish doesn't chip as easily. I did the same with this and I think that helped a lot.
If you happen to knick your color coat, when you apply the gel.setter, it actually smooths it out! (bonus!!)
I got almost two weeks out of my manicure which is exactly what I would have gotten from a salon manicure or one I did myself. Here are the pictures- day 1 and day 9. I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures before I took my polish off. There was chipping on my index, middle and thumb, but that didn't happen till day 11. By day 9, the luster had vanished, but I didn't reapply gel.setter at all after the first day, so I'm not too surprised about that.
Overall, I'm thrilled with gel.setter. My nail polish didn't chip till day 11 but even better, my actual nails didn't chip AT ALL which always happens once the polish chips away.
Most Helpful Critical Review Short self life
This top coat allows the polish under it to dry in record speeds and it provides lasting shine. However, after about a month of regular use, the top coat has become a nightmare to work with, and tends to pull strings like drying hot glue and has gotten considerably thicker in consistency...
Reviewed by 335 customers The best top coat
Ashlee from M
No more searching for a tip coat this one right here is the best! I use two coats for extra shine and lasting color
Great nail polish
Jj from 21740
Always love essie!
Especially great as was a FREE gift for buying 2 products
sgymz from Cheyenne, WY
Top coat to polish, helps set and dry, adds a gloss and shine
Rox from Seattle, Wa
This is my favorite top coat! It makes my nail polish last a week plus! I will use it when I do my nails at home or put it on top of a regular polish manicure to make it last longer. I like that it comes off fairly easy with nail polish remover unlike real gel polish.
Best out there!
BB126 from Oakville, MD
Best top coat I have ever used. I love that it gives a true "gel" like look!
Best Top Coat I've Used
Amber from Pennsylvania
I all but gave up doing my nails at home. I was getting gel or dip powder manicures at the salon for a while, but it's so pricey. I also have a gel kit at home, but I hate the removal process for real gel (soaking for 20 minutes, scraping, etc.). I decided to give this top coat a try after removing my last gel manicure.
I used 2 coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails as a base (because my nails are damaged from the salon manicures and were breaking and peeling), 2 layers of an Essie polish, and 1 layer of this as a top coat. I'm on day 3 with only very minor, barely noticeable chips on a few nails. For me, this is great since my job requires a lot of typing, and I take daily (long) hot baths. When I would do my nails with any other top coat, they'd be severely chipped on the first or second full day. So, I'm willing to use this on a weekly basis for great looking nails. It's also super shiny like a gel manicure. Love it!
Stace from Brooklyn, Ny
For the first few days it worked fabulously, but after maybe day 3 or 4 it started chipping at the tips and i wasn't even using my hands heavily just eating and texting. I kind of wish that I would have heeded the reviews. But shine was awesome and it dries literally in seconds. If you only want a short term gel look then this will work. Other than that this isn't ideal.
Dnice43 from Symrna, DE
This is my second bottle of this gel setter. If speeds the drying time and gives me the next best thing to the LED gel polish salon option. Love, love, love it!!
It was the first time i bought this and i love it.
Dyan from Omaha
My nails do not chip as much especially since I type all day.
Makeup addict from Lake elsinore, ca
This top coat makes any polish last! It prevents polish from chipping. Lasts as long as a salon quality manicure.
Don't Waste Your Money
LollyB81 from Noblesville, IN
When I first used this top coat, I loved it! After using it approximately 3 times, I mistakenly stored it in the case with my nail polishes and forgot about it. I found it 1 1/2 months later and attempted to use it. HUGE difference in the outcome! The top coat was thick and cloudy. The product clumped on my nails when I tried to apply it. I've tried everything I can think of to restore the product to its original consistency: shaking the bottle for a long time, placing the bottle under warm tap water... nothing works. I assumed the texture of the product was due to neglect on my part, until I began reading reviews from different bloggers and sites online. It appears this is very common issue. What a shame... my bottle is 3/4 full of product I can't use.
It can't get any worse!
Auntie Gingy from Wisconsin, United States
Bought 2 weeks ago. I used it with Essie base coat, opi base coat and sinful top coat and the co!ors of all those brands. It chipped and peeled after 3 hrs. All I did each time was wash my hands and put dishes away. Zoo very ticked off. None of your products last on my dehydrated or fresh filed nails.
peeled off in 1 day
Brenda from IL
I'm a nurse and wash my hands a lot and use the hand sanitizer frequently. My Sally Hansen works fine but I wanted to give this a try. It started wearing away immediately, starting at my cuticles. Then, it started chipping at the tips on day 2. By day 3-4 it was almost off all by itself. It was a total disappointment!
Eleanor from England, United Kingdom
I've been using this topcoat for the last two years and it's my favourite! It keeps your nails looking glossy, as well as making them last 5-7 days!
its all about the top coat
kathy from ohio
its all about the top coat,you have to have a great top coat for polish to last.
Nail polish peels off after using this!
courtney06 from Kentucky, United States
I bought this and have used it 4 times and am done using it! I'm an Essie loyal customer and the nail polish on whole nails just peels right off from normal activity (i.e., turning a doorknob, opening a cabinet). I wanted to love it but after using it and my manicure looking awful, I'm done. And after reading these comments it looks like it's been a known issue that hasn't been fixed. Deeply disappointed.
Not sold on this
a from Ohio
I love essie polish, and thought the top coat would be the same. Im not impressed though. Went on smooth, but did not shine. The longer I wore it, the more matte it got. It also got thick and chipped off fast. I may give this one more shot, but its doubtful.
Best Top Coat Ever
Tina from Philadelphia, PA
I was skeptical at first but this top coat is truly the best. I gave up painting my own nails because of how often I had to do it to keep them looking fresh. I started getting gel manicures every two weeks for the past 6 months. I was getting tired of how much I was spending on the gel manicures so I decided to try this top coat that was recommended by a friend. I am shocked at how well it works. It lasts a solid 5-7 days before chipping (if you take the time to apply correctly). I use a regular base coat, two coats of any regular polish (I use OPI, Essie, and YSL), then a medium layer of this top coat. I have found that if I make the top coat too thick, it will peel and if it's too thin, it doesn't last long but the in between amount has been perfect. You may need to experiment with this a few times til you get it down. Additionally, it dries and hardens quickly! I was a devout Seche Vite user but this Essie Gel Setter is a million times better. Would highly recommend!
Fine for 24 hours
Atol from United Kingdom
Just had to repaint 8 nails as this top coat peeled off with polish. Probably ok if you don't do any normal activity.
G from Long Island, NY
I do my nails at home once a week and use this top coat. Not only does it add a lustrious shine, it also also "corrects" any imperfections (if you fall asleep doing your nails late and night and wake up the next morning with impressions on your nails, the top coat hides all blemishes). Very professional look and avoicds the use of UV lights.
BrandyV from Atlanta GA
I am in love with this stuff! Whenever I use it I always get compliments on how nice my nails look.
Long-lasting and keeps the shine
kittieb from Portland, OR
I've used another gel-like topcoat (Revlon), that one is an awesome choice as well, but tends to lose it's shine after a few days. The Essie topcoat kept it's shine and kept my nails chip free as well. I've used it with other nail polishes (not just Essie) and gotten the same results.
Good but behaved oddly
Joe schmoe from Ny
While it goes on smoothly and lasts, when applying it on normal nail laquer (I used a Pacifica and a Debrah Lipman) I could see the nail color on the brush. First time I assumed I simply didn't wait enough time. Second time I waited 20 minutes to apply the top coat and got the same results.
My polish lasts twice as long with this!
Mel from Myrtle Beach, SC
My nail polish doesn't chip.
eliz from arlington heights, il
have job that always chips nails.. would do nails every other day. now this product reduces chipping . so happy