Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Oooh Sparkly! - Playing with Essence Polishes
This is more a swatch and review post than a nail art post, which is a good job really because this is not the neatest nail art I've done! I decided to have a play around with some of the Essence products I got at the blogger event.
I started by using Studio Nails Ultra Nail Repair, which is a nail treatment and strengthener with keratin that also acts as a ridge filler and basecoat. This dries very quickly and did a good job of making my damaged, uneven nails look smooth. I'll be continuing to use this as a basecoat every time I do my nails to see whether the condition of my dry, peeling nails improves.
I decided to use two polishes with different finishes from the Colour & Go range. That's What I Mint! is a pale minty seafoam green creme. I am a sucker for polishes in the pastel turquoise/peppermint colour family, and this one just became my new favourite. The brushes in the Colour & Go bottles are perfect. They have a broad, flat shape, similar to the brushes in Rimmel polishes, which means that you can cover the whole nail in one or two strokes. The polish applies very smoothly and doesn't have an unpleasant "cheap polish smell". It only takes two thin coats for full coverage, which is remarkable for a budget priced pastel shade! It dries really quickly, as fast or faster than any of the quick dry polishes I own. The finish is incredibly glossy and smooth, like a gel finish.
Miss Universe is a stunning sparkly polish that is hard to describe and harder to photograph. It has a dark, almost black, base and is crammed with blue microglitter that sparkles green and purple in different lights. It is gorgeous and I can't stop looking at it. It might actually be the prettiest polish I own. Just like the the creme polish, it is opaque in two thin coats, it applies smoothly and dries super fast. It dries to a nice shiny finish but isn't quite as glossy as That's What I Mint!.
I love everything about these Colour & Go polishes! These polishes cost £1.59 for 8ml. The bottles are really cute and the matching caps make it easy to find the shade you want if your polish collection is stored in drawers or boxes.
I decided to paint some triangles using an Essence striping brush and Miss Universe. Unfortunately I didnt work fast enough with the super quick drying polish and made a bit of a blobby mess. I'll know to speed up next time! I tried to disguise my messy edges by adding some white stripes in Sinful Colors Snow Me White. It wasn't a huge success.
I decided to top some of my nails with one of the stunning Special Effect Toppers from Essence, called 23 Million Dollar Baby. It's a clear base with chunky semi-transparent holographic hex glitter. Over a pale polish it looks really pretty and quite subtle, over a dark polish it really stands out and the glitter looks orange and green. I think I prefer it over the pale That's What I Mint! polish. Be careful if you tend to smoosh glitter polishes around to get an even distribution - this polish dries super-duper fast and you could easily end up making a gloopy bubbly mess. My nails began to succumb to that fate!
I topped everything with Essence Gel-Look Top Coat. This top coat applies well and does give a lovely shiny finish, but not quite as shiny as the super glossy finish that That's What I Mint! had to start off with.
I also used this opportunity to try out the Express Dry Spray. I let my first coat of Colour & Go polish dry naturally then used the Express Dry Spray on the second coat. To be honest, the Colour & Go polishes dry so quickly anyway that it's hard to see any difference. I think I need to try it out on one of my slow drying non-Essence polishes to see how well it works.
I also tried the Express Dry Drops which are an oil that come in a dropper bottle. I used them over the Gel-Look Top Coat. Because I am daft, I used the drops on both hands so I have no way of comparing drying time (I'll remember to only do one hand next time). The drops do seem to prevent denting while the polish dries. Because your nails are oiled, things seem to glide over the soft polish without damaging it, particularly clothes. The oil also moisturises your cuticles with almond oil and vitamin E.
Essence products are available from stands in Manchester Arndale and London Westfield, and are coming to a Wilko store near you, and Wilko online, this July!