Dior Gel Coat REVIEW

The name "Gel Coat" just sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Like it just has to be great, right?
Well, before I get ahead of myself, this one one of the products that mainly sparked my recent Sephora/Chanel Haul. I knew I HAD to try this stuff because Dior makes some of my absolute, all-time favorite nail polishes (Blue Label, Bikini, and Beige Safari). The formulas are AWESOME- think great coverage and amazing wear. So I knew I had to have this topcoat.
After mentioning it in that video, I knew I needed to start testing it out so I could let you all know my thoughts because I immediately started to get a LOT of questions about it.
Heck, I had questions about it. I was curious.

Dior Gel Coat, $24

Here's the description of the product (from Sephora.com):

"What it is:
A top coat that imparts the look of a gel manicure. 

What it does:
Recreate the look of a gel manicure. Smoothed over with a brilliant lacquered effect, Dior Gel Coat makes nails appear stronger and thicker. While it extends the life of your manicure, it is simple to take off: just use nail polish remover when you’re ready for your next polish change!"

So my first go with this product was with my new Chanel Bel-Argus. You may remember this post about it.

I applied it a little thick as it says you can do in the instructions to get a shinier, more gel-like result. First thoughts? Looked pretty good! It applied and dried exactly like a typical thicker top coat (think Seche Vite). Looked super thick, shiny, and gel-like (similar to any thicker top coat) for a day. By the second day, it looked similar to anything else. Still shiny, but definitely not "gel-like".
After the second day? Chip city. USA. Times ten. So I thought it could be the nail polish. There's NO way it could be this $24 bottle of "gel-like" wonder...

So I went to remove it. TOOK FOREVER. I'm talking I almost gave up.

Being the scientific person that I am (yeah, I'm scientific), I decided to test it with a different nail polish shade, brand, and formula.  Because, hey, it could have totally been the Chanel. Which I was reallllly hoping wasn't true.

So I tried it out with Essie's Funky Limelight. I applied it a bit thinner this time, about the same as you would a typical top coat.

Again, gorgeous application, looked amazing right away. In a few days? Yeah, crazy chip-age. I was convinced it couldn't be this top coat. Again, it was a little difficult to remove. Not as difficult as with the Chanel (because I applied it a little more thin I think). So I decided to give it another go. 
Not because I wanted it to be great, but because I really wanted to give it an accurate review and at this point, I was perplexed.

So I tried it again with a shade I knew was awesome and wore amazingly. The Loreal Pistacio Dream. Long story short, same issue. A lot more chipping than usual by the second day.

One more shot. I used the Sally Hansen X-Treme Wear in Coral Reef. On my my left hand I used the Dior Gel Coat and on the right hand I used the INM Out the Door, which is my current favorite topcoat (I got mine for under $10 at a local supermarket).  The Dior hand started chipping like crazy again by day two like the others. The Out the Door hand? Maybe 2 small chips from normal wear. Same amount of shine on each.

So my verdict? Wanted to love it and for it to be magical, but for me, it wasn't. I just don't really get it. There are tons of topcoats out there that impart a crazy shine, but the Dior really didn't look any more "gel-like" than others I've tried. Honestly, right after applying the last little go-round, I couldn't tell a difference between both hands. Both had the same amount of shine. So initially (before the chipping started for me), it wasn't any different looking than my other favorite top coats.  There just wasn't anything about it that was amazingly different.  DEFINITELY not long-wearing. Definitely not similar to gel, because you can get the same amount of shine with any other quality top coat. 

So this product leaves me perplexed, friends. I love Dior products usually. I'm definitely not a picky-top coat person. If it's shiny and keeps my polish looking fresher for at least 3 days, that's cool. I can deal with chips here and there. I can safely say this product definitely did not work for me, as someone who is used to painting my own nails (I never get professional manicures) and never have serious chipping issues with other things. 
...and I have a TON of nail polish. Just check out my collection here if you don't believe me (warning, it's borderline embarrassing).

What do you guys think of this stuff? Anyone else tried it? What is YOUR favorite topcoat??


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