Gel nails is the new trend. I can completely understand why more and more people love it: it’s simple and easy, it lasts much longer than any standard nail polish and nowadays there are plenty sets ready for application at home. The disadvantage is that it costs quite expensive in the beginning: you have to buy the whole set with primer, base and top coat and an UV lamp. That’s why I was so excited when I found out that Essence has come out with its own Gel Nails At Home set. Essence is known for the affordable prices so I couldn’t wait to get ahold of it.

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The set consists of 4 different subjects:

  • Essence Gel Nails At Home Cleanser
  • Essence Gel Nails At Home Primer
  • Essence Gel Nails At Home Peel Off Gel Base
  • Essence Gel Nails At Home Top Coat (you can choose from Transparent or French Gel Natural)

There is the description of the system and application method:

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So to sum it up, you have to decide first whether you want to go for a natural french finish or a color. If you want to go for a natural french finish, then do the following (this is what I did):

  1. Remove excess oils from your nails with Cleanser,
  2. Apply Primer to prepare your nails for the application,
  3. Apply Peel It Off nail base and cure it under an UV lamp for 60 seconds,
  4. Apply French Gel Top Coat and cure it under an UV lamp for 60 seconds,
  5. Remove sticky residues with Cleanser.

If you would rather want to go for a color, then do these steps:

  1. Remove excess oils from your nails with Cleanser,
  2. Apply Primer to prepare your nails for the application,
  3. Apply Peel It Off nail base and cure it under an UV lamp for 60 seconds,
  4. Remove sticky residues with Cleanser,
  5. Apply and nail polish (of course they recommend to use Essence nail polishes but I’m sure any nail polish will do),
  6. Apply Transparent Top Coat and cure it under an UV lamp for 60 seconds,
  7. Remove sticky residues with Cleanser.

As I said, I went for the natural french look. Here are my nails before the application:

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First I removed any oils with the Essence Gel Nails At Home Cleanser:

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Then I applied Essence Gel Nails At Home Primer to prepare the nails. It is like water and dries up within seconds after application.

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The next step is to apply the Peel Off Gel Base. I love the Essence Peel Off Base for the ordinary polishes, it works really well. This one works very well, too! And I think this is a huge advantage for Essence: no need to soaken your nails to remove the gel, you can just peel it off. Simple!

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Then I cured it under my UV lamp for 60 seconds.

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This is the result:

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And here is where I saw the first disadvantages: this base crimps! Badly! I can see it very clearly but in case you don’t, I marked the places where you have to pay attention at. Also, you have to apply a really thin coat: the base is very liquid and doesn’t stay in place at all!

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Then I applied the Essence Gel Nails At Home French Gel Top Coat to give my nails a pretty, natural finish.

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And I cured it again for 60 seconds.

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Voilà the result! I applied way too much of the top coat and if you have to apply pretty a lot with standard gels, make sure you apply a really thin coat with Essence Gel Nails At Home.

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On this photo you can see very well that despite the fact that I applied too much product, it still crimped a lot. Look at this:

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I applied close to my cuticles, it crimped a couple of milimmeters! Wow!

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When I did my right hand, I already knew that I had to apply very tiny bit, so the result there looks much better already. But still, you can see that the polish crimped a lot.

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Also, something really weird happened to my thumb. It crimped but in a weird pattern! I have no idea why this happened.

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Essence Gel Nails At Home: My Opinion

I have double feelings about this set. On one hand, if you apply really thin coat every time, it looks pretty cute. It gives a lot of shine, lasts pretty long, is very easy to remove. But you can to be so careful! And the gel crimps a lot, so the tips are exposed, which makes them vulnerable and breakable. Also, because of that, you will not be able to wear your color nail polish long as because it crimps, directly after application there’s a couple of milimmeters distance between the cuticles and the nails, so it looks already like you’ve applied it a week ago. But then again, the price is very affordable…in the end, it could work but it’s not perfect.

Overall Note: C.

Where you can buy it and price:

I bought my set in the Netherlands in a drugstore called Kruidvat. The set of 4 polishes was around 10 euros, the UV lamp costs another 29.99E.

Pros:

  • peel off base: easy te remove
  • price
  • you can wear any color

Cons:

  • the gel crimps a lot
  • you have to be really careful with application.