After over a year of shellac manicures every two weeks, I decided to give my nails a break. I still try to wear nail polish because my nails have this persnickety problem of cracking right at the bottom near my finger and then ripping to where my nail is raw. It hurts and it’s ugly, so I try to keep at least something on my nails.
My problem is this: I HATE painting my nails. Truthfully, I just do a terrible job. My left hand looks great (as I am right handed) but my right hand looks like I let a five year old do it. Then I inadvertently ALWAYS do something to smudge the polish before it has completely finished drying.
The struggle is real.
I heard about these new “no light” gel polishes and I wanted to try the ones that you can get at a drugstore and thus far I have seen ZERO reviews for this. So, I took it upon myself to try these two out. Both are fantastic because they are easily removed with regular nail polish remover, so no acetone soak.
In case you wanted to know the verdict without reading the rest of the review, the winner is ESSIE.
Color Selection: Winner Essie
The topcoat covers ANY existing Essie polish, so unlike the Sally Hansen set, you only need this topcoat. I also suspect (haven’t tried this yet) but it will probably work on top of ANY brand of normal nail polish. That also means that you have access to a ridiculous amount of color choices, not just the ones that are “gel” specific like the Sally collection.
Lasting Power: Winner Essie
Day One: Shiny top coat, no chips
Day Three: Slight clipping along thumbnail corner
Day Four: Slight corner chipping on 4-6 other nails, but still looks decent.
Day Five: Full chipping. Time to take it off.
This is SO much better than the Sally that started chipping on day 1. I did end up putting it on my toes, and that worked better than normal polish, but ALL nail polish for me last longer on my toes, so there’s always that.
Price: Winner Essie
Essie Gel Setter Top Coat $10. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat $10 AND Base Color $10= $20 for system.
Drying Speed: Winner Sally Hansen
This actually seemed to dry faster than normal polish which was amazing!
Overall Winner: Essie Gel Setter Top Coat
I wish it dried as fast as the Sally Hansen polish, but it’s still pretty fantastic. Also, I wasting dishes without gloves/cleaning etc by the end of the week so I’m sure if you weren’t washing your hands ALL THE TIME like I am, it will last longer.
This is a huge improvement for me, as normal nail polish lasts a day or two before huge chips flake off. I highly suggest trying this top coat from Essie. Now, Essie DOES have a gel with light system in salons, and that is different from this. You can’t get that at Target. 😉 Totally worth the $10! I’ve used the Seche Vite topcoat for years and this is much better.
Go try it! Let me know what you think!