I was planning a beauty stock up shop this past weekend when I saw that Shoppers Drug Mart was offering 20x Optimum points, but decided to stock up on some Essence when they sent me a weekly coupon for an extra 20x points on Essence nail polishes. Essence nail polishes are already super affordable at $2-3 each but with 40x Optimum points, they are crazy cheap.
If you haven’t tried Essence polishes, do not be put off by the price tag, it does not mean that they are your typical cheap polish that chips quickly. Essence have somehow managed an affordable brand that maintains the quality of higher priced brands.
Essence Sparkle Sand Me & My Lover
I am not the hugest fan of red polish, but Essence’s Me & My Lover is one of my favourites – even over some of the expensive polishes I own. I keep a bottle in my desk at work in case I need a polish change. At only $1.99, it is super affordable and great quality. I can usually wear it for 2-3 days before removing it (which is probably as long as I wear a single colour anyway).
Me & My Lover is a Sparkle Sand textured polish, but is priced the same as their regular polishes. It is a beautiful pink leaning tomato red with a gold sparkle that doesn’t overpower the red. As you can see, the colour varies by lighting. It appears very red in the shade but the pink, as well as gold glitter, shows in brighter light.
While there is no top coat in my pictures to show the texture, this looks absolutely amazing with top coat, and really brings out the gold. The texture is rough but not overly bumpy and a regular top coat will even out the surface if you are one of those people who can’t stand not having smooth nails.
Essence Jean Sugar Blue-Jeaned
Another one of my favourites that I was buying a replacement bottle. Essence’s Jean Sugar in Blue-Jeaned is more of an effect polish than textured but it is not completely smooth. You may want a top coat which I think takes away from the denim like finish so I just deal with the slightly rough finish. This has a dark blue denim base with gold and silver microglitter that while not overly sparkly, gives it that denim look with a girly twist.
The best thing about Essence’s Blue-Jeaned? You can get away with one coat! I typically use two to give it a deeper look, but if you are in a rush, a thick coat dries pretty quickly and looks great.
Blue-Jeaned is one of their effect/texture coats so priced at $2.99 – very affordable compared to other denim like polishes.
Essence Colour & Go Girls Night Out
While the shades above have been around for a while and are twwo of my favourites, I also picked up Girls Night Out, one of their newer Colour & Go shades priced at $1.99. This shade has a pink shimmer included that while obvious in the bottle, is barely noticeable on the nail unless in bright light but gives it a beautiful shine.
This one goes on a little streaky, so aim not to do too many brush strokes. Luckily, it includes their amazing fat little flat brush (seriously $10 polishes could learn a thing or two from Essence’s brushes) so you can cover the nail easily without too many brush strokes. This came out as a fall/winter shade for 2014 but is more of a summer shade in my opinion.
This took three coats for full coverage, unusual for Essence where two is definitely the standard. Even at three, it was not completely opaque as you can tell from the picture taken in brighter light and it appears lighter in colour in bright light too. More Barbie pink compared to the darker jewel tone it looked when I applied it so I wasn’t the biggest fan but then I own very few Barbie type pink polishes anyway.
Essence Polka Dot Effect Laser Beam
I was super excited for this one, I love effect coats and Essence rarely disappoints. Essence Laser Beam has a silver glitter base with a touch of blue/green and a chunky blue-black polka dot.
It looks like there are loads of polka dots in the bottle, so I expected to get lots of dots with a swipe of the brush, but sadly I had to go finishing with a dotter to get enough dots. Applying the polish using the brush gets you maybe three per nail and they are not evenly spaced, plus layering moves them around too much (you can see some spots on the close up where I put polka dots on the nail but they moved when I added another layer).
It does need a top coat, the polka dots are chunky, but it is beautiful if you are willing to add more polka dots manually with a dotter (and they pick up easily). The images are without topcoat to show how much texture is in the bottle and using CND Thistle Thicket as a base coat.
I love the polish as it shows in the bottle, just wish I cold make it look the same on the nail. Without using another polish as a base, the glitter was not enough to wear as a regular polish for me. This one is just $2.99 so worth the extra minute adding extra polka dots. If you don’t have a dotting tool, Essence sells one right beside the effect polishes!
The frugalista in me wants you to know that all four of these polishes came to under $10 before taxes and if I redeem the Optimum points earned on them at a bonus redemption at the highest level, the points are worth over $7!
Essence polishes are sold at Shoppers Drug Mart. See the Essence nail collection here.