Essie First View Swatches & Review

Essie Gel Couture First View Swatches Review

Essie First View is a calm, muted blue that will still make you look twice!

Available in the new Gel Couture line, it has the base coat built into the colour, so you can jump right into the colour as your initial step. This will help you shave a bit of time off the manicure process, which is always a bonus.

Essie First View Pictures

Essie Gel Couture First View Review Swatch

Artificial Light

Essie First View Gel Couture Swatches

Natural Light

Essie Gel Couture First View Review

Artificial Light

Essie First View Gel Couture Review

Natural Light

Essie Gel Couture First View

Essie First View Swatches

All swatches have:

    • No base coat
    • 3 coats of Essie First View
    • Essie Gel Couture Top Coat

Artificial Light Photos

Essie Gel Couture First View Swatches Review

Essie Gel Couture First View Swatch

Essie Gel Couture First View Swatch Review

Natural Light Photos

Essie First View Swatch Review Gel Couture

Essie First View Swatches Reivew Gel Couture

Essie First View Gel Couture Swatch


  • Light blue (Yes)
  • Gel-like shine (Yes)

Key Notes 

  • Name: Essie First View
  • Collection: Essie Gel Couture Collection
  • Launch Recap: Click here to read my Essie Gel Couture Collection Launch Event Recap!
  • Amount: 13.5 mL (0.46 fl. oz.)
  • Retail Price: $13.99 CAD
  • Disclosure: This post contains a press sample provided by PR.
  • Where to Buy: Select Shoppers Drug Marts & beauty destinations across Canada

Essie First View Review


Keep calm and polish on with First View by Essie, a demure blue that’s not too wild, but that still adds a fun colour to your fingertips. It’s great for those who want a pop of blue without diving straight into something that’s too loud. Think of it like training wheels to get you more comfortable with wearing bolder hues.


There’s micro-shimmer, however, it’s so subtle that, most times, Essie First View looks like a creme. Only when the light hits your nails at certain angles and when you get up close and personal with your nails will you see the shimmer. It’s almost like a hidden surprise for the wearer because other people won’t be able to see the shimmer, unless they grab your hand and stare at your nails inches away from their face!

Application & Formula

The wide brush made it easy for me to cover a lot of area of my nails at once. I have small fingers and nails, so that’s usually not a concern for me. However, if you have wide nail beds, you will find the brush particularly handy because it’ll speed up the manicure process.

Additionally, the base coat is built right into the colour, so you can forego your usual first step and dive right into laying down the blue.

The formula was smooth and glossy, and it was easy to control with the brush during application. However, I noticed that I got some bubbling.

When I applied the Essie Gel Couture Top Coat, it helped to remove most of the bubbles, but just a few remained.

To reduce or eliminate the number of bubbles you get, I think you can try applying thinner layers. (For this manicure, I used medium coats, which I find doesn’t work well with the Essie Gel Couture nail polishes that I’ve tried so far.)

Not only will thinner coats reduce the bubbling, but they’ll also dry faster.

Another possible reason for the bubbling is that I painted my nails without my air conditioning on. When the weather has some humidity to it, that can contribute to bubbling.

I used three coats to get full coverage, but you could probably get away with using two coats.


Essie First View doesn’t contain Formaldehyde, DBP, or Toluene.


At $13.99 CAD, the Essie Gel Couture nail polishes are pricier than regular Essie lacquers, as they’re billed as the luxury line.

Is it worth the higher tag? Yes, if you have your eye on a specific colour. The Gel Couture line features new shades that Essie says you won’t find in the regular series.

While you won’t find an exact dupe, for many of the colours, you might find something close, so that’s a personal choice if you’d be happy with something that’s ‘close enough’ or not.

The formula itself also has a built-in base coat, which the regular Essie nail polishes don’t have. This may be an advantage to you, especially if you’re always on-the-go and want to shorten your manicure-painting time. However, even if you use a regular Essie and apply a fast-drying top coat, that alone will save you lots of time, too.


  • Calm blue (Easy to wear, even for those who don’t typically wear blues)
  • Built-in base coat
  • 2-3 coats for full coverage
  • Wide brush
  • Subtle shimmer (Can be a Con for some)
  • Smooth, easy-to-apply formula
  • No Formaldehyde, DBP, or Toluene


  • Subtle shimmer (Can be a Pro for some)
  • Bubbling can occur (Use thin coats & apply a top coat to eliminate or reduce bubbling)
  • More expensive than regular Essie nail polishes

Final Verdict: 7/10

This pretty blue looks ethereal and may be a great entry point for someone who tends to wear soft neutrals, but who is looking to experiment with more colours.

Do you prefer the Gel Couture line or the regular Essie series? What do you think of the unique, twisted bottle design? What are your tips for reducing bubbling?


6 thoughts on “Essie First View Swatches & Review

  1. Melissa

    While this is a pretty color, I’m not a big fan of paying that much for a polish to get bubbling and 3 coats to reach full opacity. I think I have a couple of polishes that are very similar to this one. It looks great on you. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to seeing more of your reviews of this collection.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      I totally get that. For a high price tag, you definitely have every right to expect top quality.

      Perhaps using thinner coats and a different top coat may yield better results!

      Thanks for consistently leaving me comments. I look forward to reading what you have to say. 🙂 Loyal readers always make me feel great.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Sandie!

      With this one, you might be able to get away with using two coats, but I used three because some of my nails needed a bit more coverage.

      Of the Essie Gel Couture nail polishes that I have tried, they have all come off very easily. No staining, and no struggling.

      The biggest concern for me is that, so far, they have all bubbled on me. I will need to experiment more to see if using much-thinner coats and waiting longer in between them, and/or using a different top coat will help achieve better results.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Linda!

      I wore it for about a day, and despite typing on the computer a lot, it held up well – no chips. Then again, it’s very rare for nail polish to chip on me that soon anyway. I would’ve gotten a better idea of the longevity if I wore it for several days.


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