Essie Gel Couture Collection & Launch Event Recap

Essie Gel Couture Collection Swatch And Learn

Officially launching on June 14th, the Essie Gel Couture line boasts 42 new colours with a luxurious bottle design with a twist – literally! It mimics the swirl of a perfectly tailored gown.

The wand is also twisted to help the polish collect onto the brush for superior results, and the bristles are much wider than those of a regular Essie brush. Additionally, the bristles have a tapered cut, which helps makes application a breeze. (You can cover your whole nail in a single swipe, if you want.)

The formula is designed to help manicures last for up to 14 days with a gel-like shine, and you don’t need a UV or LED lamp to use Essie Gel Couture nail polishes, as they are applied like regular lacquers.

The base coat is built into the colours, which is convenient and time-saving. After painting on the colour of your choice, you just need to apply a shiny top coat to seal everything in. (They have released a new top coat specifically for this line.)

Back in May 2016, I attended an exclusive reveal of the Essie Gel Couture line, which was held in Toronto.

The luxurious treatment began even before I arrived, as I was encouraged to arrive with Uber, complementary of PR!

There were drinks and appetizers offered by friendly servers. Also, the setup displaying the new nail polishes and the ‘atelier to after party’ theme was everywhere you looked.

Rita Remark (Essie’s Global Lead Educator) introduced Essie Gel Couture during a short presentation, there were opportunities to get your nails painted by nail technicians, and you could win the paintings that the talented Margaret Lipsey worked on live! (She is the woman behind PIstache and Rose.) More on all this later in the post!

Keep reading to see more photos that I snapped during the event. Also, I show you close-up bottle shots of some of the colours, as well as the official press release for further details.

Edit: I’ve updated the bottom of this post to include images of all 42 shades in the Essie Gel Couture Collection, which is broken up into four sections: Atelier, First Look, Runway Show, and After Party.

Essie GelCouture Collection 2016Essie Gel Couture Collection 2016

Photos from the Essie Gel Couture Launch I Attended

Gorgeous tower display that was punctuated by nail polishes and sewing pins.

GelCouture by Essie

A closer look!

Essie Luxury Nail Polish Gel Couture

Driving home the concept of the artisan world of craftsmanship, there was a sewing-machine area on display featuring colourful threads with corresponding Essie Gel Couture nail polishes. (This was a favourite photo op for Instagram by many of the guests!)

Essie Gel Couture Inspiration Media Launch

Zoomed out, you can get a better idea of how well the area was setup to give the feeling of a designer at work. The details were everything, right down to the chair they chose!

Essie 2016 Gel Couture Collection

On one of the tables were the materials that you might find on a designer’s table: buttons, a measuring tape, pins, sewing needles, lace trims, sketches, coloured pencils, and zippers. But, of course, a couple of the Essie Gel Couture nail polishes were added for good measure!

Essie Gel Couture Collection Inspiration

I feasted my eyes on the fabrics, the ribbons, and the trims that complemented the polishes. This setup encouraged guests to not just look at, but also to rearrange the items to take original shots to share on social media.

Essie Gel Couture Collection for 2016

Look at those cute scissors!

Essie GelCouture Collection Inspiration

I was inspired by some of the artwork on the tables, so I snapped a photo with two nail polishes:

Essie GelCouture Nail Polish

There were multiple dress forms in the room that were decorated to look like haute-couture gowns, which was a creative and fun element!

Here’s one of my favourites. As a former (recreational) child ballerina, I loved the oceanic tulle!

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish Inspiration Dress

Propped up against a windowsill were schematics for the unique, twisted, Essie Gel Couture nail-polish bottle:

Essie Gel Couture Bottle Design

As mentioned earlier, Rita Remark (Essie’s Lead Global Educator) was on-site to talk about the Gel Couture luxury line.

Rita Remark Essie Gel Couture

Here’s Margaret Lipsey, the artist who I spoke with a bit and who was painting live during the event!

I was mesmerized by her technique, which made the art come to life seamlessly and quickly. While watching her blend together colours and add texture and movement, I was inspired to crack open my oil paints again later that week.

She used several tools and oil paints to create gorgeous gowns on her many canvases.

I watched her paint different gowns in a variety of colours, but I chose to share the mint-green one on the blog…hehe, for obvious reasons. (You know that I’m a green lover!)

Artist Essie Gel Couture Event

I rarely have my nails professionally painted by a nail technician, but since I had the opportunity to try out the new Essie Gel Couture line, I jumped at the chance.

You can call her “L”…Hehe, as the nail technician whose handiwork I enjoyed is “Call Me L” or @imjustll on Instagram!

I picked out the gorgeous polish, Essie Gel Couture Twill Seeker, which is predominantly a purple, but there’s green shimmer that comes to life in the sunlight!

(P.S. Check out L’s awesome nail art!)

Essie Nail Technician

A closer look:

Essie GelCouture Nail Technician

Here’s a quick photo showing when the sunlight hits it just right.

See how magical it is?

Essie Gel Couture Twill Seeker Swatch

A huge thank you to PR and everyone who made it possible for me to enjoy the whole Essie Gel Couture experience! 🙂 I had a lovely time!

Essie Gel Couture Collection Pictures

Essie Gel Couture Nail Lacquer

Essie Gel Couture Twisted Bottle Design

The following nail polishes are only a small handful of the 42 new shades that will be offered in the Gel Couture line!

Essie Nail Polish Gel Couture

Essie Gel Couture Collection 2016

Gel Couture by Essie Nail Polish

Essie Gel Couture Collection

Essie GelCouture

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish

Note the modern twist of the bottle!

Essie Gel Couture Bottle

Essie Gel Couture Caviar Bar

Essie Gel Couture Caviar Bar

Essie Gel Couture Caviar Bar

Essie Gel Couture Fairy Tailor

Essie Gel Couture Fairy Tailor

Essie Gel Couture Fairy Tailor

Essie Gel Couture Fairy Tailor

Essie Gel Couture Fairy Tailor – This is 4 coats.

Essie Gel Couture First View

Essie Gel Couture First View

Essie Gel Couture First View

Essie Gel Couture Gel Gala-vanting

Essie Gel Couture Gala-vanting

Essie Gel Couture Gala-vanting

Essie Gel Couture Looks to Thrill

Essie Gel Couture Looks to Thrill

Essie Gel Couture Look to Thrill

Essie Gel Couture Make the Cut

Essie Gel Couture Make the Cut

Essie Gel Couture Make the Cut

Essie Gel Couture Stitch by Stitch

Essie Gel Couture Stitch by Stitch

Essie Gel Couture Stitch by Stitch

The New Essie Gel Couture Line Promises to:

  • Wear for up to 14 days with impeccable gel-like shine
  • 2-Step system that anyone can master, 2 coats of colour & 1 coat of top coat with no need for a UV/LED lamp
  • 42 lust-worthy couture shades
  • A new bottle design to mimic the twist & swirl of a perfectly tailored gown
  • Revolutionary, patent-pending swirl stem brush with a tapered cut that ensures flawless colour application
  • Easy removal (no soaking required)

Essie Gel Couture Collection Press Release

 High Fashion with Staying Power

Introducing Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish

From the house of essie comes gel couture nail polish, an extravagantly sophisticated collection, crafted to perfection and fashioned to last. Designed with the haute vision of couture, the line presents 42 brand new colours with staying power that introduce luxury to your fingertips.

Inspired by fashion masterpieces and the runway creations of the finest maisons de couture, gel couture offers a rare ‘glimpse’ into the world of quality craftsmanship and artistry – from the atelier to the after party.

With up to fourteen days of wear, it’s the connoisseur’s sought-after collection that seamlessly blends technical innovation with incomparable style.

essie gel couture unveils a stunning, luxury polish bottle inspired by covetable, twirling dresses of the runway. Its beauty is guaranteed to be the envy of front row fashionistas everywhere.

The revolutionary patent-pending swirl stem brush with a tapered cut ensures perfect colour application. Its meticulous design hugs the curvature of the nail. Now you can master the runway with instant gel-like shine and avant essie colour.

Slip into luxury at home or in the salon and commit to a longer relationship with your new, favourite colour. These tres chic, jaw-droping shades are precisely tailored for a true luxury experience with everlasting essie style.

essie gel couture collection will retail for $13.99 CAD and will be available in beauty destinations across Canada beginning June 14, 2016.

To appreciate the Essie Gel Couture Collection, let’s break it down into 4 sections:

  • Atelier
  • First Look
  • Fashion Show
  • After Party

Essie Gel Couture Atelier, First Look, Fashion Show & After Party


Embodied by the neutrals

Make a powerful statement in whisper soft Essie neutrals. Inspired by the atelier’s go-to palette of tulle, fishnet and lace. These shades seamlessly fuse delicacy with quiet strength. From lustrous pearls and sheer veils to creamy silks, there’s a shade of luxe for every heart’s desire.

Essie Gel Couture Atelier Collection

Essie Gel Couture Atelier

Essie Gel Couture Atelier Collection 2

Essie Gel Couture Atelier

First Look

Embodied by the pastels

Win hearts with graceful charm in Essie pastels. Fashion comes out from backstage to first look and pulls out all the stops in these alluring, ultra-feminine pastels. This cotton-candy rainbow of creams is all about how you style it: with taste, wit and cutting-edgey style.

Essie Gel Couture First Look Collection

Essie Gel Couture First Look

Essie Gel Couture First Look Collection 2

Essie Gel Couture First Look

Fashion Show

Embodied by the brights

Turn heads on the runway in Essie brights. These entrance makers are brilliantly boundary-pushing and flawlessly fashion-forward. From red-hot crimson to acid chartreuse, each shade vividly proclaims your place on couture’s fabulous throne.

Essie Gel Couture Fashion Show Collection

Essie Gel Couture Fashion Show

Essie Gel Couture Fashion Show Collection 2

Essie Gel Couture Fashion Show

After Party

Embodied by the deeps

Soar to new fashion heights in decadent Essie deeps. Bask in the glamourous celebrations and come dressed to the nines. From an ebony kiss to midnight plum, this stylish after party is more mysterious under the cover of darkness.

Essie Gel Couture After Party Collection

Essie Gel Couture After Party

Essie Gel Couture After Party Collection 2

Essie Gel Couture After Party

Disclosure: This post contains press samples provided by PR.

Are you excited about the Essie Gel Couture nail polishes? What do you think of the twist in the bottle design? Which Essie Gel Couture category is your favourite: Atelier, First Look, Fashion Show, or After Party?


14 thoughts on “Essie Gel Couture Collection & Launch Event Recap

  1. Melissa

    It looks and sounds like you had a great time. I love how they started with the bottle shape and built their entire launch presentation off of that, with the dresses, sketches, sewing machine, etc. Very cool concept. You nails looked great. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      Yes, I had a great time! It was the first Essie event that I ever attended, and it was so luxurious! 🙂

      Thanks for checking out my post and taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Marissa!

      I love the modern ‘twist’ on the bottles. The design really distinguishes themselves from their standard bottles. 🙂

  2. Sandra

    Wow, what an exciting event! Love the new bottles but wonder, with that shape, how easily they store? Really loved the colour you chose for your mani as well.

      1. Mary S. Post author

        Hey Steffy!

        With 42 new colours, of course there are colours that interest you. 😉 I was drooling over so many, but Twill Seeker was my favourite. Love the shimmer! 🙂

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Sandra!

      They are pretty easy to store because the base is square-shaped. Hehe, they’re just tricky to hold for swatch photos! 😉 Blogger first world problems, right?

  3. Cat

    Hi Mary, I am so, so, so excited for this line!! So many of us North American nailistas have been waiting for a brush change from Essie (in Europe, I hear they already had a flatter brush for years). Those tiny, soft, round bristles are nearly impossible to use, and I’m guessing that storing these bottles won’t be an issue. It looks as though the bottom is basically square, which is essentially easier than round bottles to store. And the new shades are gorgeous!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Cat!

      Yes the bottle is square, so it’s easy to store. The biggest change for me is the brush. It’s much wider, so if you like the OPI Pro-Wide Brush, you’ll love this! (Personally, I had no problem using the smaller brush, as my nails are narrow, but for those with wide nail beds, you’ll love this!)

  4. Kyla

    HI! I love the new collection. Do you know if we can wear the gel top coat with regular polish and get the same effect? I just already have so many fav colors from Essie! Thanks!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Kyla!

      Yes, you can totally wear the top coat with regular polish to get the same effect. I tried it on a few swatches a while ago, and it looked fine. 🙂 Go for it!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Amanda!

      The Essie Gel Couture Top Coat dries very quickly. I’ve never timed it, as I usually paint my nails before I go to bed. I’ve never woken up with sheet marks in the morning.

      When I went to this launch event, the nail technician painted my nails quickly, and I’d say that in about 15 minutes, it was rock hard. I felt confident enough to run my fingers through my hair at that point. However, I think it also depends on the thickness of the layer. The thinner it is, the faster it will dry, but the formula itself is quite fast-drying.


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