A while back, Essence has launched the Gel Nails At Home system which comprises everything you need to have your nails done by yourself and still have that gel finish as in salons. I was intrigued to try the Clear Gel Top Coat as I had been looking for a good gel top coat at the time.
Gel top coats that work with regular nail polish are extremely hard to find but this one does just that! It is designed to work with any Essence nail polish (no gel polish needed) but you do need a UV lamp to cure it. You can also opt to buy the range's own LED lamp. Anyways, back to the Top Coat.
It is supplied in a coated brown glass bottle that holds 7ml of product and it also comes neatly packaged in a small carton box.
The consistency of this top coat is rather thick so always be careful not to overload the brush as if the gel top coat leaks onto the cuticles and nail wall, it results in the polish just peeling off after a couple of days. However, despite the consistency being thick, it easy to work with and doesn't end up thick on the nails. Furthermore, the brush is a good size too even for my narrow nail bed.
This top coat imparts a high shine look to any manicure and it stays like that throughout the time of wear, which on my natural nails is a week. After that, you can opt to peel off the manicure especially if you have used the peelable base coat; I prefer to remove the manicure with a gel polish remover though.
I have tested the top coat with various brands of polish and it still works brilliantly. All you have to do after curing it for 1 minute under the LED lamp (2 minutes under UV), is cleanse your nails with the nail cleaner to remove the tacky layer. Alternatively, you may opt to use alcohol instead.
I highly recommend this top coat and with its price tag of just €4 you won't break the bank for sure!
For a list of outlets stocking the Essence Gel Nails At Home system, check out the Essence Cosmetics Malta Facebook page.