Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Essence The Gel polish: Brand review and swatches (plus bonus new clean up brush review!)

Hey guys! Sorry for the absence! I was doing so good sticking to my schedule...and then life happens! I woke up Easter weekend with my neck out of whack (again) but in a different spot this time, just to keep things interesting. It so frustrating having this happen every few months! I've spent the past couple weeks babying my neck and going to my chiropractor and getting trigger point massages on my neck (which are NO FUN if you've never had one) BUT I think I'm finally on the mend. I swatched these weeks ago and they got lost in the  mayhem! I picked up these new-to-me Essence brand polishes on a recent trip to Ulta. I have no experience with this brand so I thought I'd grab a couple! I saw the angled eye-liner brush and grabbed that too since I'm always looking for new brushes to clean up polish around my cuticles with. I would say the color selection was pretty good, there was about 15 maybe? I just started with these 2...no shocker on the colors I picked, yes? ;)

Essence "the gel"

First up, a comment on the size and price. These were $1.99 for each of the polishes and the brush. Essence is known to be a budget brand but I've heard good things about many Essence products so I figured it was a safe bet.  The bottles are 0.27ml, which is larger than a mini but less than a "full size" polish which would be around 0.5ml.

brush comparison

Here is how the new angled brush compares to some of the other ones in my rotation. Currently I'm mostly using the Sonia Kashuk brush from Target ($10). It has held up the best so far against the constant use of acetone. I used to use the Elf small angled brush ($2-3) but have been getting frustrated with it lately. The ELF concealer brush ($1) is just ok for me, I use it most for heavy glitters and stuff I don't want getting into my good brush. I'm always on the look out for recommendations of *good* clean up brushes!

Here's a look at the brush and wand. Flat brush similar to the Sally Hansen Insta-dri line. Wide flat brush, a little janky on the end....not entirely straight but at least the edge is even.

You can see how wide the wand is getting it in and out of the bottle, but it's no wear near as tight of a fit as the Insta-Dri line. (grr, hate those)

All in all, the formula was FANTASTIC on the 2 I picked up! Hooray! I had no problems with the brush, it was workable.

"Play With My Mint" here is shown with 2 coats plus topcoat.  The formula was great, thick but leveled out, dried fast! Excellent!

Play with my Mint

"#lucky" is a hot pink with a great formula again. This is 2 coats plus topcoat. I am definitely keeping an eye out for a sale on this brand so I can pick up some more!

Last word on the brush...mmmmm it was a no go. Bummer! It worked ok at first but at the end of swatching these 2 polishes it was totally ratchet. The bristles were, like, dissolving and shrinking.  Dang! Ah well! 


  1. I love Essence! I get a ton of them from my German nail swap friend.

  2. I love to print my nails with different colors and shades. I quite like the "play with my mint" gel nail polish.


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