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The best part of a manicure is hands down (sorry, had to) the top coat. It’s the final step. The shiny seal. The one thing that makes everything (including a shaky application) look infinitely better. So while my polish choices may change constantly with the seasons and my mood, my trusty top coat (shout out to Essie’s Gel Setter) will remain exactly the same.

I must admit, the first time I tried Gel Setter I was a bit…hesitant. It’s noticeably thicker in consistency than most others. Like borderline gloopy. But the second I swept it over my nails, I changed my tune because of the way it just smoothed over every streak and bump.

As it dries (rather quickly, I might add), it forms a glossy cover that makes even thin, brittle nails look thicker and stronger. Plus, you get that wonderfully plush quality of a gel manicure—without the UV light or tedious removal process.

All of this would mean nothing, though, if it didn’t do the one thing we rely on top coat for the most: keeping our nails from chipping. This delivers and then some.

A normal manicure would usually last me two or three days—at best—before succumbing to my laptop keyboard, but a coat of Gel Setter easily buys me another week before I need to repaint my nails. I’m already on my third bottle of the stuff, and I pray Essie never discontinues it. 

RELATED: Here’s the Real Reason Your Nails Are Always Chipping

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