Until we were introduced to “gel” top coats recently, I rarely wore nail polish. It simply took forever to dry, usually ended up with a smudge, chipped within a day and darker polishes were not even an option. There were very few decent top coats readily available in SA, pretty much across all brands. Fast forward to today where we are spoilt for choice with regards to decent top coats, even in the drugstore department. Two of the “gel” top coats that stands out to me is Revlon Gel Envy Diamond Topcoat and Essence The Gel Top Coat. Please note that even though it is marketed as a “gel”, it does not have to be cured by light and is therefore not a true gel coat. What it actually is: a super hard coating that will change your at-home-nail-polish game forever. As I need to repurchase one of the two soon so I decided to let Revlon and Essence gel top coats battle it out in four categories:
For overall appearances I would say Essence The Gel Top Coat win this round. It has a thicker consistency than the Revlon top coat which results in a gellish-like finish. Even though Revlon is very much shiny, the Essence top coat has a magnificent glossy shine and that adds to the gellish-appearance.
Both the Revlon- and the Essence gel top coats significantly speed up the drying time of your nail polish, minimizing the risk for those dreaded smudges. I would say the Revlon top coat dries a fraction faster than Essence top coat, almost to a point of being instantly dry. Even though Essence dries slightly slower, your nails are completely dry in under five minutes, even with multiple coats.
Wearing time is influenced by die color of the nail polish and also what you do with your hands during the day. With both the Essence- and the Revlon top coats I get 4-5 days chip-free with lighter colors, bearing in mind I am particularly hard on my hands and nails. The Revlon topcoat does perform better with darker polishes with about 3-4 days chip-free whereas Essence topcoat chips within 1-3 days with dark colors.
I consider both these products to be very affordable and readily available. Revlon Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat retails for R110 and Essence The Gel Top Coat for R45. Both are available from Clicks and Dischem.
Which one will I repurchase?
All things taken into consideration I will say that the Revlon Gel Envy Diamond Topcoat wins overall. The wear is definitely better when performance with darker colors are compared.