The Day in Beauty Vol. 21: Pancakes and Painting Paws With Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish

Published in: Essie, Just For Fun, Nails

essie gel couture

16 of 42 shades in the Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish Collection ($11.50 each)

Hey, dear friend. Sweet and lovely greetings to you on this summer Saturday.

With sad, unsettling things in the news this week, makeup seems extra frivolous…but we all need a break from real life sometimes. And to be honest, that’s one of the reasons I like makeup and beauty. Right now I’m soothing my spirit sitting by the windows and playing with these bottles of Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish ($11.50 each).


Did you just do a double-take? I did the first time I saw these twisty bottles (inspired by twirling runway dresses). For a second there I thought that Essie went and lost her mind with a bottle redesign, because I love those classic square Essie bottles, but no, these are a completely new, additional collection available now in Essie’s permanent line.

essie gel couture nail polish

There are 42 shades, and they work a lot like gel polishes. You don’t have to use them with a base coat. You just apply however many coats you want, then add a layer of the special topcoat that comes with the collection (it’s supposed to be the one that comes with the collection, so not any old topcoat).

There’s a wide range of colors from semi-sheer pastels, like the pinks and beiges Essie is famous for, along with quite a few fiercer colors like dark blues and fun greens.

essie gel couture nail polish

I like gel nail polishes like these because of how incredibly fast they dry, and these are no joke! When I do two layers and the top coat, they’re completely bone dry — like, I can type, fiddle with my hair, whatever — in 10 minutes. That is SO fast.

essie gel couture nail polish

But what I REALLY like about these polishes is the brush. Essie calls it a “swirl stem brush,” and it’s flat, wide and tapers down from the edges to a rounded point in the center, so that when you press the brush down on the nail, it spreads to evenly cover a wide surface area as you draw the brush from the base of the nail to the tip.

It works.

essie gel couture nail polish

It seems like quite a few gel polishes boast of a super long (almost obscenely long) wear time, some as high as 14 days. This one does too, and I’m like, “Fo’ reals? Is the person wearing this polish also wearing gloves 24/7? Does she never do dishes or button buttons or zip zippers?”

These definitely don’t last 14 days for me, but they do look poi-fect for seven. After that, though, chips start to appear, and pretty soon I look like I’ve been gnawing on my nails.

In other news…

Pancakes. 🙂


Because they remind me of my childhood.

Both of my parents worked out of the house when I was growing up and had to start their commutes early, so during the school week I was responsible for making my breakfast every morning.

I’d always make something easy…like cereal, but then on Saturdays my folks would make something delicious, and when that delicious breakfast included pancakes, it always felt like I’d won the lottery or something, LOL! I felt cared for, loved and protected, and the world felt like a sweet and wonderful place.

I looooove me some pancakes…

This seems like a good day for pancakes.

Take care of yourself, will ya? I hope the sunshine finds you.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 32 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. CrystalCandy says:

    I’m dying to try these, I love large brushes and gel nail polishes! I don’t like the packaging though, I don’t know why but it really bothers me. lol
    CrystalCandy recently posted … L’Oréal Paris Le Vernis à l’Huile by Colour Riche

    • Karen says:

      I freaked out a little when I saw the bottles! I love me some old school Essie bottles. I think this formula is great though.

      Hope you’re having a nice Saturday so far. What are your plans for the weekend?

  2. Chris25 says:

    Whoa, those are some gnarly shaped bottles (sorry for getting all 90s on you)! They may cause some issues when storing them, but they are fun to look at.

    Pancakes! I have been trying to lose weight so i haven’t made them recently, but I LOVE them. They are my favorite breakfast comfort food.
    Chris25 recently posted … Review: Sephora Collection Colorful Face Powder Blush in 11 Hysterical

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chris,

      Have you heard of protein pancakes? They’re made with protein powder instead of flour and are a great way to get your pancake fix if you’re trying to eat healthy.

  3. Tatiana says:

    OMGosh! Pancakes!!! I haven’t had a pancake in ages. Are those blueberry or chocolate chip? Yummy, yummy, yummy.
    Some pretty colors there. I’ll have to find someplace to check them out in person. I’ll be happy if I can make it to five days without chipping. Polish usually doesn’t last longer than two days before I start seeing chipping.
    Going up to San Bruno today to help my daughter get settled in her new apartment. Pretty sure I’ll break a nail or two.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tatiana,

      They’re blueberries! I’ve been meaning to try chocolate chip pancakes for ages but by the time the weekend arrives all the chocolate chips are gone, haha!

      Hope the move went smooth and that your daughter is enjoying her new place. Does she live with roommates or is she on her own now?

  4. kwmechelle says:

    Long week, indeed. I plan to paint my digits tonight with a color that I call “unicorn blood” by Sinful Colors. The official name is Kleopatra. It’s from their Kylie Jenner line but I think unicorn blood sounds much better. And in honor of pancakes, though it’s nearly 3:00 here, I’m headed out to get some pancakes. Nothing says comfort breakfast food like pancakes. Unless of course you toss in a side of grits. Then it becomes Southern breakfast comfort food. I’m a girl raised in the South (G.R.I.T.S.). What can I say?

    • Kate says:

      Sinful gel polish is pretty amazing, I tried it and got almost 2 weeks of wear with no chips only wear on the tips, and the price…..

    • Karen says:

      Hey, pancakes are great any time of the day! Are you all settled into your new place? What’s there left to do?

      Oh, and you’ll think this is crazy, but I’ve only had grits like three times in my life. I know! I do like them, I just don’t seem to get the opportunity to eat them often.

  5. Lulle says:

    I need to try one of these new non-UV gel polishes. I can’t keep a nail lacquer looking perfect for more than 1, 2 days max with most brands, so just a couple days longer would be awesome! Do you need something specific to remove them? I like my dip-in remover from Cutex.
    Lulle recently posted … #FenchFriday – Lancome Glow Subtil Higlighter Review

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lulle,

      They’re great. Almost every single one I’ve tried I’ve loved. For removal, I don’t use anything special, just Essie Naturally Clean Purifying Polish Remover. It’s my fave because it doesn’t smell too stinky and doesn’t dry out my nails.

      Did you ever get any good news for the beauty job you applied for?

  6. Claudia says:

    I love pancakes lately. I started making them again two weeks ago for my baby and me after years(like 5) of not making them. He likes them too with some maple syrup and butter! Do you add anything on the side like sausage, I do and then I pass on the egg but add fresh fruit. Lately I am loving pineapple.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Claudia,

      Your baby has good taste. 🙂 Do you ever put fruit in your pancakes? I really enjoy banana pancakes. Blueberry is my second fave. I’ve been meaning to make chocolate chip pancakes but haven’t gotten around to it because I end up eating all the chocolate chips before the weekend, haha!

      As for sides, I like mine with an egg sunny side up and hash browns. My hubby likes scrambled eggs and bacon.

  7. Rachel says:

    I saw those bottles in the Target ad and I did a double take too! I’m excited to try them out. Those pancakes look delish, wish I had breakfast at your place today! The sun was out for a little bit today but now it looks like it might rain 🙁

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rachel,

      The sun is out my way, but it’s windy and cold! It certainly doesn’t feel like July here.

      What are you up to for the rest of the weekend? Doing anything fun?

      • Rachel says:

        Not a whole lot, just working on my house! Had a busy/fun weekend over the 4th so it’s time to get back to business!

  8. Chelsea says:

    I have Flashed on my toenails right now! The brush is so easy to use! I did my nails last week for an event, and I was able to paint with my non-dominant hand really easily because of how good the brush is. I’ll have to buy more colors.

    I have a new color from China Glaze that I’m dying to use (it’s purple with a gold-bronzy glitter!), but I’m keeping the red on for tomorrow, because it’ll match my costume for a performance we’re doing.

    • Karen says:

      Flashed is such a cheerful color. I’m due for a pedi so I might use it since it’s been age since I’ve worn red on my toes. 🙂

      Break a leg at your performance tomorrow! What does your costume look like?

      • Chelsea says:

        They’re super cute! It’s a group performance, so we’re all wearing the same (or similar depending if you were looking for a more feminine or androgynous look) costumes, sewn by a friend of ours who is a seamstress. It’s like a retro one piece swimsuit with little short bottoms, red and white polka dot for most of it, with black and white striped insets on the side, and a halter top. And some of us are wearing swim caps, with or without attached flowers.

        • Karen says:

          Oh they sound super cute! I kind of wish I could wear one to the beach, LOL! 😀

          • Chelsea says:

            They’re super flattering too! We have a lot of body types in our group, and they look cute on everyone.

          • Karen says:

            I bet they are. I really like those retro cuts! I got all excited when they came back into style a couple years back. I hope they stick around for a while!

  9. Nicole says:

    These polishes are so pretty! I love the pinks! Mmm.. pancakes! Now I’m craving some – haha.
    Nicole recently posted … Top Picks | Nudes, Pinks, Reds, Darks

  10. Stephanie says:

    My dad is a workaholic, but every weekend he’d stop for a bit and make either pancakes or waffles. It definitely is a comfort food, now, and I’m glad you’re using it!

  11. Aaaaand I instantly forgot all about the nail polishes the moment I saw them pancakes. YUMMMMS!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Le Petit Marseillais Gel Douche Soin Marin + Lait Soin Marin

  12. Nivedita says:

    The pancakes made my day brighter! I would like to try my hands at making some!

    What happened to the nail polish bottles? Did someone twist it while trying to open? It’s such an interesting design.
    Nivedita recently posted … Lakme Perfect Radiance Night Cream

  13. Fran says:

    LOL, my son made blueberry pancakes for us for dinner one day last week, and they were awesome! Love me some breakfast for dinner once in a while…

    I really like the color ‘labels only’ and the reds in this line. I put Deborah Lippman’s ‘gel lab’ polish in ‘get lucky’ on my fingernails and toenails yesterday, and was shocked at how quickly it dried! Most polish takes literally hours to fully dry on my nails, and then it only lasts a day or two on my fingernails (longer on toenails) It was really easy to apply, opaque in one coat (two seemed completely unnecessary, I skipped the second coat), and I like the color. Hopefully it will also last longer than a couple of days… and now I’ve got to try the Essie formula, too — should be fun!

  14. Erin says:

    Now I’m craving pancakes…
    Erin recently posted … Rodney Strong 2014 Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc

  15. Mr. Loca makes pancakes whenever he doesn’t have to work the weekend.

  16. Adia says:

    I love “Take a Walk” and all the light pinky ones. I haven’t been painting my nails lately because they just look so raggedy and dry but these colors make me want to try!
    Adia recently posted … Black Lives Matter: Thoughts and Resources

  17. yelena says:

    so sad to report that I tried this line in the color touch up along with the top coat and I got chips on day 3, but worse than that I got dents and smudges on day 2. I did a lot of homework before I bought this and everyone raved about this formula so I am surprised it didn’t go better.

    the application was lovely but I’m bummed that it didn’t go as planned. I will try again with ultra thin coats maybe that was a factor. did u find that some colors dried better than others?
    maybe the light colors vs the dark or the creams over the shimmers?

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