Thursday, August 23, 2012

Essence Gel-Look Topcoat - Bubble horrors!

I just want to express my disappointment here. For a while I have been trying out the Essence Gel-Look Topcoat because it was promised to be fast drying and leave a gel-like look on the nails.

 At first I was pretty happy with this topcoat. It does leave a glossy shine on your nails. But it has to be the slowest drying topcoat I have ever tried. I had to be very careful even hours after doing my nails, and still I'd end up with dents and scratches all over my manicure. Okay fine, I thought. I can work around that by doing my nails during a TV show or a movie so I can sit and do absolutely nothing. That worked fine enough for a while, because I ran out of my other topcoat and since there aren't many stores near me I didn't have a chance to pick up a new one.

After a week or so the topcoat started becoming really gloopy and thick. It was very hard to control and I'd end up with a thick layer of topcoat which took even longer to dry than it did before. I don't have any type of thinner though, so this was quite a disappointment. At least it still applied smoothly, or so I thought.

But now, with my past few manicures, it has gotten even worse. Apart from being gloopy and thick, it didn't even apply smooth anymore. Also, I now get bubbles. A lot of them. All over my nails, over every manicure, no matter what I do. I'm not always the brightest person, so when I did my first successful attempt at gradient and saran wrap nails I put this topcoat over it to smoothen things out. After a few minutes I wanted to kick myself in the head for making that horrible, horrible decision.

Bubbles. Sad bubbles.

This picture is cringe worthy, I'm not sure why I even watermarked it, because no one in the world would want to steal this picture, lol! Just ook at all those bubbles and how bumpy it is. It even made my gradient look a lot worse. Topcoat... Y U DO THIS? :(

Honestly I'm not sure if every bottle is like this or if I happened to get a bad one, but I do know that this one is going in the trash and I'm picking up at least one new top coat tomorrow! Have you tried this topcoat? Did you like it or was your experience with it as horrendous as mine? Do you have any topcoats to suggest to me? I'd love to hear them.


  1. Such a pity about the mani getting ruined :( I've never tried the Essence Gel-Look top coat but I have seen it in stores.

    I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat. I absolutely love it! I also use Sally Hansen Insta-Grip fast dry base coat. It dries so quick and is so nice to use. They're definitely worth the price!

  2. @Christina Alexia I have seen those lying around in the drug stores around here. Almost picked up the topcoat a while ago but since this post I have been using Essence Better Than Gel Nails Top Sealer and it's amazing and ridiculously cheap for such a good topcoat. So, for now, I'm good. :D

  3. Tried it, and at first wan't very happy about it. Had to wait for 3 hours until it was completely dry. But I still wanted to give it second chance before I throw it away, so I bought Essence nail art express dry drops and voila, it dried within seconds. Still, I think they should have put some king of warning that you need to use the drops to make the top coat dry, or maybe make a polish that wouldn't have problem with drying. There is another similar nail polish, also by Essence which is really great: Studio nails better than gel nails, it comes as base coat and top sealer. Dries very fast, no bubbles and it really looks like gel.

  4. @Anonymous Never thought about those Express Dry Drops. I haven't tried them out yet. But yes, I use the Better Than Gel Nails top sealer now and I'm in love, definitely the best topcoat I've used so far! :D

  5. Where do you find the Better than Gel Nails???
    I can't find it any where. But also live in small town ~ Po~Dunk Alabama

  6. I've had both the gel-look topcoat and the quick dry top coat and they always give me bubbles on my nails! eugh so frustrating! I've also been using the Sally Hansen tough as nails topcoat and that works wonders :)