Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Review

Party season is truly over: I never want to look at another Quality Street ever again, I can’t face the thought of any more alcohol, and it’s really flipping cold. After the OTT glamour of the festive season – all gaudy golds, rich luxurious reds and cosy greens –  I feel like I need a bit of a colour palette cleanser before I get into the pretty bright pastels of spring/summer. If you’re the same then you will be as enamoured with the Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes collection as I am.

P.S. There’s a chance to win two of the shades at the bottom of this blog post…!

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes

These polishes are described by Essie as ‘magnificently neutral’, which I love. If you haven’t heard of, or tried, the Essie Gel Couture polishes they are one of the best ‘gel’ formulas I’ve tried. Over the past few years nearly every nail brand has brought out these nail polish/gel hybrids: they apply (and are removed) just like regular nail varnish but boast high shine, a plumper finish and a longevity much better than your common-or-garden polish. Some do this better than others… the Essie ones are a dream to apply, have a lovely fat brush, dry quickly, and last very well so they’re up there with my favourites in this category.

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes

All the manicures below were topped off with the Essie Gel Couture Top Coat which I really like. It’s not as fast drying as my eternal love – Seche Vite – but it’s super shiny, plumps up any uneven bumps in your manicure and does dry very quickly.

All of the Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes polishes are inspired by the pretty colours so often found in the ballet world: elegant pinks, soft greys and dreamy creams.

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes

Enough waffling – let’s crack on with the swatches!

Essie ‘Lace Me Up’ * – The palest of pale pink nudes, described as a ‘misty rose pink’. I had to do three coats to get rid of the streaks, which isn’t uncommon with very light colours. It’s slightly more pink-toned that these photos show and would suit pretty much everyone.

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Lace Me UpEssie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Lace Me Up

Essie ‘Satin Slippers’ * – A peach-white nude that Essie call a ‘silky champagne ivory’. It’s very close in colour to the previous polish but is a little bit more yellow-toned and has that beautiful white/gold shimmer running through it which catches the light. Similarly to ‘Lace Me Up’, this needed three thin coats to get rid of any bald spots.

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Satin SlipperEssie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Satin Slipper

Essie ‘At The Barre’ * – This is a warm nude that Essie describe as ‘soft cinnamon nude’ but I think is the exact colour of coffee ice cream. I love shades like this on everyone else but on me they’re just not as pretty: the dreaded spam hands appear and you all know how I feel about that. You could probably get away with one coat for full coverage, but I think it looked better with two. I love that Essie have brought out a nudes range with colours that will look good on everyone, rather than the typical shades which tend to exclude WoC.

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes At The BarreEssie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes At The Barre

Essie ‘Hold The Position’ * – A very pretty take on the ubiquitous coral-peach that’s everywhere in the summer months. ‘Hold The Position’ is a bit like that summery colour’s lighter-but-more-muted cousin and I’m feeling it! Only two coats were needed for non-streaky perfection.

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Hold The PositionEssie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Hold The Position

Essie ‘Perfect Posture’ *  – I have a tricky relationship with blue nail varnishes. Those of you who’ve been around since the birth of Talonted Lex (on Tumblr ~6 years ago!) know this all too well. But this polish has just enough lavender in it to make me a huge fan. Imagine a grey-toned cornflower blue and you’re pretty much there and it is BEAUTIFUL. This needed three coats, but applied perfectly.

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Perfect PostureEssie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Perfect Posture

Essie ‘Closing Night’ * – And last but not least is the darkest shade in the range: a blue-toned grey with a gorgeous blue shimmer running through it. This only needed two coats and just looks so luxurious. I’m a sucker for a grey polish anyway but this is seriously stunning.

Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Closing NightEssie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes Closing Night

If you have fallen in love with these shades and fancy winning some, I have two polishes from the Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes collection to give away on Twitter – hooray! I chose the ones that I thought would be most popular: ‘Perfect Posture’ and ‘Satin Slipper’. To enter, simply follow this link and the instructions in the tweet. The giveaway will close on the 31st of January and is only available to readers in the UK – good luck!

Which is your favourite shade from the Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes collection? Have you tried the Gel Couture formula? How do you think it compares to other ‘gel’ polish formulas? Let me know in the comments below!


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Essie Gel Couture Ballet Nudes



  1. Kate
    18th January 2017 / 10:02 pm

    I’m a huge Essie fan although I have never tried the gel colours. This range is beautiful – I actually love all these shades! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  2. 19th January 2017 / 6:37 pm

    I love Essie and especially their gel couture polishes, I love hold the position, it’s right up my street xx

    Zoe ♥ MammafulZo

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