Review: Seche Vite vs Essie Gel Setter Top Coat


You’ve probably heard or read nail-addicts rave about the top coat from Seche Vite. I have even raved about it – you can read my inital review here.

But now, Seche Vite has gotten some competition for the spot as the best top coat on the market. Essie has released a top coat that they call Gel Setter.

According to Essie, the gel setter top coat is supposed to give your manicure a gel-like finish; glossy, hardened and long-lasting.

It’s time for a comparison!

Prize (that I paid):

  • Seche Vite: 99 DKK / $15 / £10 / €14
  • Essie Gel Setter Top Coat: 115 DKK / $17 / £12 / €16

Dry time:

Both top coats dry very quickly – Seche Vite hardens a little faster, which makes it seem like it dries quicker.

Lasting time:

  • Seche Vite: Like I said in my original Seche Vite review, I get about three days out of it.
  • Essie Gel Setter Top Coat: I also get about three days out of this one
  • Common for both top coats is that the longer my nails are, the faster they chip

Advantages and disadvantages of Essie Gel Setter Top Coat:

  • Advantages
    • DNP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free
    • Even coverage – no shrinking of the polish
    • Very glossy finish
    • Wide brush
  • Disadvantages
    • Higher Prize

Advantages and disadvantages of Seche Vite:

  • Advantages
    • Hardens quickly and lets you continue with your day
    • Very glossy finish
    • Not easily dented once dry
    • Cheaper prize
  • Disadvantages
    • Strong smell
    • Shrinks polish around the edges
    • Narrow, round brush


Now, has Seche Vite lost its spot in my opinion? Not necessarily. Seche Vite is still my go-to top coat if I’m putting tape on my nails for nail art because it dries the surface quicker. However, when it comes to the finishing top coat, and for everyday use, I’m more fan of Essie’s. I like the brush better, I like that it doesn’t smell or shrink the polish.

Now it’s just up to you to decide if you agree with me.