Jessica 18 Karat Gold Leaf Topcoat Swatches & Review

Jessica 18 Karat Topcoat

Just in time for the sparkly, glittery holiday season comes a new 18 Karat Gold Leaf Topcoat from Jessica.

Gold Leaf is a gold flake glitter suspended in a clear base. The flakes inside are all various shapes and sizes.

Jessica 18 Karat Topcoat 3

Jessica 18 Karat Topcoat 2

Jessica 18 Karat Topcoat 4

Jessica 18 Karat Topcoat Swatch
Gold Leaf over black

Isn’t she cool? I really love the way this looks over black. It looks super rich and luxurious! The polish can be a bit tricky to apply though because the placement of the flakes can be a problem. With my first coat I didn’t get a lot of gold where I wanted it. So after waiting 2-3 minutes for the first coat to set, I shook up the bottle and got some flakes on the tip of the brush, and kind of set the flakes on the sparse areas of my nail to make it look more evenly applied. Luckily the clear base isn’t too thick or gloopy, so it’s not a big deal. Also it doesn’t feel very chunky on the nail, just a tiny bit. If you want it completely smooth, a clear top coat would help with that.

Jessica 18 Karat Topcoat Swatch 2
Gold Leaf over black

Overall: This is my first experience with a gold leaf topcoat and I like it! I think it’s super festive and cool looking, and would work over all sorts of base colors. The one caveat is the price because it costs quite a bit more than a regular Jessica polish. But think of it as a “special occasion” topcoat, like a dressy holiday jacket. 😉

Availability: Jessica’s website and select drugstores.

Pricing: $29.95 for 0.5 oz.

What do you think about Gold Leaf? Will you be gilding your nails this holiday season?


Note: Jessica is cruelty free.

Disclosure: The product(s) in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR company for consideration. For more information please visit my legal page.

Do you like this product?

23 say yes!
32 say no!


  • October 20, 2012

    OOO this looks really nice over black! Don’t think I can find Jessica here, but some brands have put out similar stuff so I’ll definitely take a look!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny´s last post…Zalando Solved My Little Black Dress Crisis (and it’s Kitty-Approved too)!My Profile

  • October 20, 2012

    This top coat looks amazing, and I like how you can use it over lots of different shades to transform the look and give your manicure a luxe feel.
    Swatch And Learn´s last post…One ‘n Only Argan Oil Oil Treatment Review & PicturesMy Profile

  • October 20, 2012

    yap looks really good especially over a black polish – great Nailart

  • October 20, 2012

    I like the gold leaf look! I might try making my own top coat by mixing a clear water-based nail polish and gold leaf. I think it would look great over red or green for Christmas!
    Heidi´s last post…5 Nail Care Tips for TravelingMy Profile

  • October 20, 2012

    Wearing Zoya’s Gilty right now. LOVING gold leaf!

  • October 20, 2012

    I love this so much! It sure looks so luxurious! It is the perfect topcoat for Christmas, soooo pretty :)!
    Teri´s last post…Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Make UpMy Profile

  • October 20, 2012

    OPI has one out too with Skyfire. Its nice but I dont know if Iwould use it enough plus its spendy.
    Micki´s last post…Riotously Pink ~OPI~ Take TwoMy Profile

  • October 20, 2012

    This looks so pretty, but the price is pretty outrageous!

  • October 20, 2012

    I just bought the OPI 18K top coat ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ and the Zoya Ornate 18K and they’re both gorgeous. I don’t know if my wallet can handle this one. I’ve spent more on those 2 alone than than 2 Chanel polishes combined. But this one does look beautiful over black! Such an amazing holiday combination. I think red would pretty under it as well.

  • October 20, 2012

    I managed to snag the Sephora by OPI one at my Seohora in JC Penny for $8. It’s not gold lead as much as gold flecks, but it’s gorgeous with reds and plums and spreads pretty evenly. I wasn’t sure I’d like this trend, since gold doesn’t usually look so hot on me, but I really like pairing these with colors and other types of glitter.
    Daanielle´s last post…October in Boxes: Julep MavenMy Profile

  • October 20, 2012

    Like the gold leaf look that has hit hard this yr. Glad I held out and did not pop for the icky one OPI for Sephora came out with this summer. It was too much like a gold glitter compared to the OPI Man With A Golden Gun and the 18kt from Zoya. I am not having placement issues with the Man With A Golden Gun at all and very happy I bought 3 bottles of it in advance sales at less than half the retail price (thanks to a friend in the business)…the Zoya one is great too but think I like the OPI MWAGG the best of em all. So not going to pick up this Jessica one. Would like to see Jessica increase their distribution however to make it easier to find in retail vs. mail order only. I have liked a # of their collections.

  • October 20, 2012

    I like it but not LOVE it… while I seem the only one here, right? I think the swatches don’t convince me to pay the price… I would need to see how the mani works in a whole look.
    Anyway, my wallet is happy i don’t like something THAT much (for once).

  • October 20, 2012

    Meh. They are way overcharging for these polishes. You can buy little bags of gold leaf flakes at craft stores for a few dollars. (rose gold and white gold too) Since it’s gold, you don’t have to worry about solvency problems like with glitter.

    • October 22, 2012

      I’ve actually heard that they bleed into the nailpolish and turn it murky or something? I’m not really one to comment, as I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ve heard that a lot elsewhere :)

  • October 20, 2012

    I like it a lot but it’s a bit too pricey for me.

  • October 20, 2012

    I must’ve had a good time in college because this and the OPI version remind me of Goldschlager. Hmm, the cinnamon burn.

    • October 20, 2012

      Haha everytime I paint my nails with the OPI one, it makes me thirsty. Glad I wasn’t the only one who has this thought process!

  • October 20, 2012

    i love the effect and i want it so badly but for $30, i’ll have to pass

  • October 20, 2012

    Love how it looks, but don’t particularly like the price tag. Still totally lemming the OPI, particularly because of that shiny gold bottle… so tempting!
    The Lacquer Tracker´s last post…Pirate Polish – The Pirate With The Golden Gun!My Profile

  • October 20, 2012

    I love how this looks! Though I think this would be one of those I’d buy but then only wear once or twice.

  • October 20, 2012

    With all these gold leaf topcoats around, it makes me want one now.. lol

  • October 21, 2012

    I love gold leaf topcoat! I hope someone will eventually come out with something similar that’s cheaper.
    Emi at Project Swatch´s last post…Makeup Stash & Organization: October 2012My Profile

  • October 21, 2012

    A few years ago I bought the Rococo 24kt Gold Leaf Lacquer after seeing beautiful photos of it on the MUA nail board. It was pricey but it was also something very special and unique so I felt like it was worth the price. Because I already own the Rococo I’ll be skipping all the gold leaf top coats that are being put out this season. I still love the look though! The gold leaf looks so luxurious and it really creates a uniquely beautiful look. 😀

    P.S. LOVE it over black too! 😀 I also loved wearing it with Essie Turquoise and Caicos. So pretty! <3

  • October 21, 2012

    Looks lovely, but definitely too pricey for me. For anyone who’s looking for what could be a dupe, Ninja Polish has made one like this called ‘The Midas Touch’ – I haven’t tried it, but it could be worth checking out.

  • October 22, 2012

    Pretty! Love your new banner!

  • October 22, 2012

    I was a little iffy about it because I’m usually not crazy about chunk glitters that you have to be careful about placement. I have to admit that it really looks spectacular with the black polish! I bet it would be equally spectacular on a deep blue, deep red or deep green.

    I think I might have to break down and pick one up!

  • October 22, 2012

    Gold flake looks gorgeous :) I made some myself with a clear varnish and 24K gold leaf (came to a total of about 14$) and I wear it over Essie shade Sexy Divide (big fan of gold-purple mixes).