REVIEW: Essie Gel Setter Top Coat

I  am a very busy lady and to be honest, most times I really don’t have the time to sit and get my nails done… so what do I do? A quick polish in the comfort of my home of course!

As a dentist, I wash my hands ever so often and usually a regular salon manicure would not last me even a full week as the excessive hand washing would cause the nail polish to strip right off my fingernails.

I have been using Essie products for a very long time and I was really excited when I discovered they had a gel top coat that did not require the UV (ultra-violent) light. I am extremely meticulous about my exposure to UV light in general. Read about the possible dangers of UV light gel manicures HERE

So I applied as the instructions stated and my nails dried in about 20-30 minutes.

Instructions on the Essie Gel Setter Top Coat Bottle:

“Apply essie base coat. Follow with 2 coats of essie polish. Top it off with essie’s new gel setter top coat”

Additionally, before any at home self- manicure I recommend that you wash your hands thoroughly before and then wiped off any traces of soap with a rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Here are the steps I take to apply my polish at home:

1. I buff my nails then wipe with nail polish remover. This actually makes a huge difference as this step helps to prevent tiny bubbles on the polish.

2. So after I did that, I applied my Essie Base coat — waited two minutes

3. Then I picked my colour nail polish (I am almost always wearing a nude, light brown or red). I recommend starting a little below the cuticles and paint to the top to prevent extra thickness and eliminate the eventuality of peeling that we all HATE! — wait two minutes. Apply a second coat of the nail polish again — wait two minutes.

4. Finally the Essie Gel Setter Top Coat. I applied this making sure I got all the edges of my finger nails. 

This top coat changed my life! I did a two week run. Here are my nails after two weeks…wish I took the before picture to show you guys!!!


Not only is the product really great, it is DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free! I think is truly a great beauty store buy at 10USD (approx. 1200 JMD) especially if you want to avoid UV exposure, the cost of gel manicures, or the salon dependence, it’s a pretty decent alternative.

Product Description

It encases traditional polish in a crystalline top coat with all the glass-like quality of a gel – no LED or UVB light required and extremely easy to remove; Just polish, dry and go, go, go.


  • UV exposure free
  • No LED light required
  • Last longer than a regular manicure
  • Keeps nails shiny 
  • Doesn’t chip easily, once applied correctly 
  • Inexpensive 
  • Can be done at home
  • Can be removed at home easily with pure acetone 


  • Application requires patience and can be time consuming.

Would I buy this again?


Have you tried this product? Let me know what you think of it! 

lots of love,


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