SHOWDOWN: Seche Vite vs. Essie Gel Setter Topcoat

Hello everyone! Gel-like topcoats have been popping up from every brand over the last year and Essie has decided to throw their hat into the ring as well. I’ve tried the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel and Revlon Gel Envy topcoats and neither one outperformed my beloved Seche Vite in terms of longevity or shine. When I found out that Essie was releasing its Gel Setter topcoat, I knew I had to try it out! Read on for my comparison and review! Formula
Both Seche Vite and Essie have a bit of a thicker consistency compared to regular topcoats, however it is not significant. I think the biggest difference is that Essie’s Gel Setter is Big 3-free (no DBP, formaldehyde, or toluene) whereas Seche Vite is only free of DBP and formaldehyde. Gel Setter also has a more subtle scent than Seche Vite, which at first can seem strong (however not too offensive.)

Both topcoats are equally impressive in terms of shine when dry. They both lasted about 5-6 days before losing that extreme glossy look. Longevity (chipping, etc)
Both topcoats were very impressive in terms of tip-wear and chipping. I wore them both with my new Chanel polish in Lovely Beige (a gift from a good friend!) and after about 4 days there was only very minor tip-wear and only actually chipped on day 6. Chanel is not known for longevity, so I’m interested to see how Essie fares with Formula X or Sally Hansen Tripe Shine polishes (which are my longest wearing polishes for sure!)

Drying Time
To be fair, Gel Setter is not advertised as a quick-drying topcoat so obviously Seche Vite takes it for this aspect. When I apply Seche Vite on my thumb, by the time I get to my pinky on the same hand, my thumb nail is already dry.

FINAL VERDICT: If you’re looking for a 3-free gel-like topcoat that performs on the same level in terms of longevity as Seche Vite, then Essie’s Gel Setter is a great choice. If, however, you are impatient like I am, then go for the Seche Vite.

Have you tried either or both of these topcoats? What’s your topcoat of choice? Let me know! Thanks so much for stopping by!


9 thoughts on “SHOWDOWN: Seche Vite vs. Essie Gel Setter Topcoat

  1. chicandpolishedbeauty says:

    Gel Setter >>> Seche Vite for me! 😛 I haven’t touched my Seche Vite since I bought the Gel Setter back in early July? I even considered throwing away my Seche Vite :O Seche Vite’s toxic smell is something I find appalling personally speaking haha

  2. Dien says:

    I use both! I tend to apply multiple, thick layers of base coat and polish, so Seche Vite is my go-to for drying it all down. Gel Setter stays shiny for longer and dries on my nails just as quickly as Seche Vite, so I reapply with that in between manicures.

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