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??


  1. Thanks so much for doing this review. I have been curious how the gel topcoats will work. I've wanted to try to Deborah Lippman base and top coat combo (her new gel version) but it's %45 for the two. If you have the money to review it, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

    My favorite topcoat is Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Anti-Chip topcoat. Leaves your nails super shiny but also protected for about 4-5 days (I usually chip within 1-2 with every other brand). I'll have to try the Out The Door formula!


  2. What a bummer! For $24 I assumed it would work miracles. At least you gave it a fair shot. I still can't find anything to beat Seche Vite but I'm looking to try Out The Door soon.

  3. oh! no! I was really anxious to try this topcoat!
    thanks for the review Tifanny! you rock!

  4. Favorite top coat is a tie between the basic Orly one (new fav, cheaper than Seche Vite) and the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in the red bottle. Sally Hansen is awesome! Also it depends on what kind of polish. Great review, love the 'science' haha

  5. I've had similar results! I like how hard it makes my nails feel...how shiny it can be...but alas, for the money, it's not worth it. It chips fairly easily. Much more so than my Seche Vite. I've tried it with Chanel, Zoya, and Essie. Best results so far with Essie. I will not repurchase.

  6. Thanks Tiffany! I have been using Julep Freedom top coat. It is pretty awesome! :)

  7. I have yet to find a great topcoat. I usually use Sally Hansen Double Duty. It works but I work with my hands and I am really rough on my nails. I have had some success with this topcoat used with Essie and OPI polish. Not so much with cheaper products.

  8. Ah such a shame it didn't work for you, especially at that price :/ great helpful review though :) xx


  9. Thats sad, so sad, but maybe with another one, Ive tried a lot of top coats and the one that I like the most is the one of china glaze I think it works fine.

  10. Thanks for sharing! Im sad it didn't work out for you I also love most of Diors polishes that I've tried! I think my fav would have to be Seche Vit. Sounds like Julep has a great top coat so I will have to check that one out!

  11. I love Essie's good to go!!! Amazing shine, chip resistant, and I always get asked if I am wearing a gel manicure!



  12. Thank god that you did a review on it, i was going to get it but i'll stick with my go to top coat from Essie "Good To Go" fast dry and no shrinking when it dries (well for me anyway) thanks again !!!!

  13. Essie 3 way glaze has been doing the job for me! It's now normal for polish to last 4-5 days with just a little chipping at the tips.

  14. I have had similar results and always chips in the same spot. Must be the way I use my hands for work and just daily life.


    Like you, I wanted to love this. I use Seche Vite but it does seem to shrink the polish away a little too much to the point where my polish application really looks flawed.

    Jane D.

  15. Hi Tiffany, I have to say I enjoyed your review however I have had good luck with the Dior gel topcoat. I have only used it twice, once with butter London nail polish and the other with a dior nail polish. My nails typically lasted 5 days. The shine disappeared after about 1-2 days but my nail polish definitely lasted longer. Overall I am happy with it but I am not sure that I am 24 dollars happy!!!

  16. I am perplexed Tiffany as I thought you were going to give an excellent review. After seeing your haul, I ran to Sephora and picked it up. I have used it 3 times and I am very impressed. I used it over Essie and some cheapo polish in a neon from Rite Aid. The Rite Aid polish was not a good formula but after working with it and 3 coats it looked good. I also used it on my toes after my pedicure. One week in an absolutely no chipping on fingers or toes. I am also on a computer over 8 hours a day. I usually have to have my polish re-done weekly due to the wear on the tips. Now I can really go two weeks. I have natural nails with a thin acrylic coating and nothing on my toes. I would suggest trying it again but letting your polish completely dry before applying the topcoat and also make sure that you apply to the tips. I read that this is the key several times when reading the reviews. It worked for me. You should give it a try because I am really loving it better than Seche Vite, OTD, Sally Hansen, Essie, Orly and any other that I have tried and I have pretty much tried them all. Good luck!

  17. I was curious about this one but no way would I spend $24 on a bottle of top coat.
    I don't even really want to tell people about my fav, long lasting gel coat I use. It does not require uv light or special remover. Fearing it will sell faster than it already does.

    Sallys carries it base coat gelous. Used as bottom and top makes my nails super strong, thick like fake nails and no chips.

  18. The 'Out the Door' is definitely my favorite and I've tried many a top coats! I used to use OPI's top coat but after a short while it started getting gross and difficult to work with. I've also tried Seche Vite and it wasn't anything special that I could tell. However, 'Out the Door' is great because it really does dry quickly, stays shiny and I don't have much chipping! With other top coats my nails woul immediately chip the next day. All I had to do was just look at my nails and they'd chip. Too bad this one didn't work out for you though! I know how it is to WANT to like something but it just doesn't do it for ya!

  19. Great and very useful review! Definitely my favorite top coat is the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (red bottle); it is really awesome! You should try it ;)

  20. I like the 4-in-1 top coat from Orly.

  21. I've been doing a specific nail routine that consistently results in long lasting manicures: Creative Nails Sticky base coat, two coats of polish, Revlon Color Stay top coat and finally Sally Hansen Insta Dri too coat. I wait two minutes and then hold my nails under running cold water to "cure" them. I do this right before bed and can go to bed immediately and u wake with perfect nails that last for at least 4 days chip-free! :)

  22. Thank you for sharing your opnion... so sad I thought that this was a great one.... :/

  23. It's a shame that you're disappointed by it :( especially because the pricetag is kind of huge. I really like the neon colour though!
    Great post!

    X Valérie

  24. I found this review really helpful. It saves me money when I know what doesn't work. It might sound funny, but in my Friday Favourites today I have dish gloves. Wearing them every single time I stack the dishwasher, wipe the benches etc. is the only way I can keep my mani longer than three days. Ditch the topcoat and put on the dishgloves, it really works! Susannah sparkle2day.com

  25. Thank you so much for this comprehensive review. I am not even tempted to check it out, saves me a lot of money to invest in other products you recommend.

    Like the Sally Hansen Diamond Shine in the silver bottle that you recommended and I like it very much. The finish is shinier than the Seche Vite, the product does not dry out like the Seche Vite does and it also doubles as a base coat, which is pretty cool.

    I will try the INM Out The Door soon. You never steer me wrong.


  26. Hey tifanny!! great idea to start comparing top coats and see if the nailpolishes made a difference!! Could you start doing more like this? but comparing make up primers or setting sprays/powders? or with eye primers? it could be very interesting and fun! Xxx

  27. This is actually really helpful. From the preview of the post in my feed I thought this was going to be a winner. Bit of a bummer as its $24.


  28. really pretty

  29. The Sally Hansen Quick Dry topcoat is def the best (and much cheaper!) I am obsessive compulsive about washing my hands and also am a hairdresser working with chemicals/color and this holds up really well. The shine is about the best you can get too. People always ask me if I have gel polish on, but it's just regular.

  30. Essie and Cult Nails fast dry top coats. I have Out the Door but I haven't tried it yet.

  31. Thank you for your HONEST opinion! Now I dont have to waste money!! :) I need to find the top coat you use!

  32. Too bad it wasn't working for you. I just love Poshé top coat. It's shiny and thick and last a long time. Dries really quick and it's cheap. What's not to like.... :-)

  33. I don't even bother with a top coat .. as I like to change my nail polish often :-)


  34. Thank you this post I watched your haul post and this looked really good but I won't get it now xx


  35. Sorry that your Top Coat didn't work out! My all time favourite top coat has to be Sally Hansen InstaDry. Dries your polish instantly and it doesn't actually chip that bad. And the shine is AMAZING.

  36. thanks for share..

  37. I've used the gel top coat a couple of times and I got the best results when I applied it to the top of my nail as well as along the front edge of my nail. It seems to lock it in better that way. I still get some odd cracking in my polish after a week or so, but it still doesn't chip much!

  38. Hey Tiffany,
    Its a shame when nail polish doesn't work out after you pay a good amount for it. I love OPI base and top coat and never had any problem with it.
    I am finding out fast that I wont buy polish from a brand if I have had bad luck in the past with it. I bought the whole range of Snow White from Essence last week. I painted my nails on Thursday and it only started chipping today and not on every nail either!!

    Try Essence its a brand from Germany and very cheap here in Australia and everything I have bought has been good quality!!

  39. The Dior gel coat for me is by far the best top coat that I've ever used. I always get at least one chip free week sometimes week and a half and I have 2 kids so my hands are always busy and I use a computer all day at the office. I've only used it on top of Chanel and Illamasqua nail polishes so far. Sorry this didn't work for you! I love it!

  40. Have you tried this topcoat with other Dior nail polishes? Perhaps they are formulated to work together ( hence making you spend more) and be adverse to other formulas which is why you get the separation/chipping. You know there are some products that work best or only when paired with products from the same line. Try it. It may get some of your moneys worth out of it. I would have returned it ASAP. But, thats how I roll.

  41. Just a quick hint of Dior heritage on nail make-up:
    They claim that Nails are part of your daily make-up and at the end of each day it needs to be removed just like your facial make-up. That's why all Dior Vernis are perfect for first day and second day start to come off...

    I know these from the roots ;) (marketing manager of Dior)
    Hope it helps for your concerns x

  42. I haven't tried it yet but I was told it works great with Dior Polishes.

  43. Love your reviews on products, but I have to say the Dior Gel top coat is AWESOME!!! i have had it on top of my sephora nail polish for 6 days and it is still super shiny and chip free and I am not easy on my nails, I 'm a typist 8 hours a day with two boys and a house to clean and can't believe how this top coat has withstood the pounding I put on my nails. Sorry it didn't work for you that's a bummer. Did you let your nailpolish completely dry between all coats, maybe that is what the diffrence is? p.s. love your home decor!!