Essence Gel Look Top Coat Review

 Essence Gel Look Top Coat claims to give your nails the "hip gel look for wonderfully well manicured nails in high gloss". This fast drying top coat gives shine so intense it's XXXL..apparently. I wasn't aware shininess came in sizes. Essence is a German drugstore brand now available worldwide. I bought my bottle of top coat at Target in Parramatta Westfield for $3.55AUD. I believe this polish retails for about $1.50 in America. This faux-gel top coat contains .27fl oz (8ml). Essence is a cruelty free brand. This polish was made in France.
 Essence's Top Coats are packaged slightly better than their Colour&Go polishes. The clear glass bottle is short and round, topped off with a white plastic cap that, amazingly enough, doesn't detach from the top of the brush. The name of the product can be found on the front of the bottle written in fuchsia. A short product description and some company info grace the back of the bottle, written in three languages This top coat's brush is long in proportion to the bottle, rounded, and unsplayed. Its completely saturated in product.
 Essence's Gel Look Top Coat is quite thick and gel like in consistency. Obviously it's clear, so I can't really get descriptive with the color, so let's jump right into functionality. This polish goes on in a thick, very shiny coat, seems promising, no? However, as the top coat dries it's thickness and shininess diminishes greatly. Gel look? Hardly. By the time it's fully dry (about 5 minutes), it's barely shiny anymore. Fail. Not only does this product fail at having a gel look, it fails as a top coat. It does the complete opposite of what it should. This lacquer suffers from shrinkage, pulling up the polish beneath it, causing it to peel straight back off.  Despite it's lack of prowess as a top coat, it makes a passable base coat and looks ok as a clear coat on bare nails.
[they're stained from henna, sorry]
Essence's Gel Look Top Coat fails at everything it claims to be. It's a poor top coat that's only marginally shiny. It sucks, because it seems really promising right after application. I probably won't continue to use this top coat, but I might pop it on when I want my nails to look put together without actually painting them. While I wholeheartedly think that drugstore brands can and do make excellent polishes, I think salon quality and higher end top coats are good to spend a bit more money on. 

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