After over a year of gel manicures, my nails suffered from peeling and breaking. I gave them a month with just repair polish and they finally healed, but I wanted the look and durability of the gel polish.
When I heard about Essie gel.setter, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Essie never disappoints, and I had high hopes for this product. I'm still not disappointed.
I applied Essie Fill the Gap and waited for that to dry. While it dries quickly, it was almost an hour before I applied my color (I was busy cleaning, cooking and caring for my one year old). I put on two coats of color, waiting about five or so minutes between coats. After my polish dried (I did the tapping of my two thumbs together test to see if they stuck together). I applied the gel.setter. A couple things about application.
Use a thin coat. It doesn't need to be super thick in order to work, and actually, thinner is better as it dries faster
When applying gel polish, I learned I had to "cap" my nail which means you have to run the brush along the free edge of your nail to apply the gel product. This creates a nice seal so that the polish doesn't chip as easily. I did the same with this and I think that helped a lot.
If you happen to knick your color coat, when you apply the gel.setter, it actually smooths it out! (bonus!!)
I got almost two weeks out of my manicure which is exactly what I would have gotten from a salon manicure or one I did myself. Here are the pictures- day 1 and day 9. I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures before I took my polish off. There was chipping on my index, middle and thumb, but that didn't happen till day 11. By day 9, the luster had vanished, but I didn't reapply gel.setter at all after the first day, so I'm not too surprised about that.
Overall, I'm thrilled with gel.setter. My nail polish didn't chip till day 11 but even better, my actual nails didn't chip AT ALL which always happens once the polish chips away.