Brand vs Budget: Essie vs Collection Nail Polish

 photo b8ef6870-c274-42a3-9d40-d50a5020382d_zps07c99f75.jpg I love writing these Budget vs Brand posts, they really make me think about how much money I could ‘waste’ on a higher end product when there’s something comparable available for a fraction of this price. On the other hand (as in this case) they also make me see how splurging is completely worth it on occasions. After realising I had ended up with two very similar polish shades from two very differently priced brands, I knew I had to do a comparison post.

 photo 2014-03-09103614_zps526084bd.jpg I bought the Collection Vixen Red as I fell in love with the colour, and then bought Essie Shearling Darling on Ebay as it was a good deal, and I was desperate to own an Essie polish. Yep, I’m that fickle! First up, the Collection polish. I was really, really disappointed when I started painting my nails with this – the colour was very brown and not at all like it looked in the bottle. With the second coat it was a true red – nicer, but not exactly what I wanted as I do have a number of red polishes already! Finally after three coats I had something similar to what was in the bottle – a dark burgundy red that virtually matches my satchel!

 photo IMG_20140127_084729_zpshlxf5h4n.jpg As much as I love the fact that it matches my bag, I admit I was a little disappointed in the colour – it was a lot more brown-toned than in the bottle! That said it had a lovely shiny finish and lasted around 3 days within major chipping, which is good for me. The major downside however is the brush. Its very wide, and I know some people love that. I’m not one of those people, and so this just went everywhere and resulted in a very messy manicure.

 photo 2014-03-09103623_zpsf62cdac6.jpg The Essie brush is much better for me, and I also love the colour as its a little more berry-toned, a little softer. It takes two coats to be streak-free and lasts around 5 days (with base and top coat – I always use these!), and just works with my skin toned better. At 99p the miniature I bought is already half the price of the Collection version, but (1) who really uses a whole nail polish anyway, and (2) the bottle looks pretty displayed on my desk. Realistically I prefer the colour of the Essie version, and the brush is leagues ahead of the budget version.

Strangely I always thought buying cheap nail polishes was fine. To be honest if MUA have the shade I want I will always go with them, but I’ve also learnt that there are some things worth splurging on. And I reckon Essie nail polishes are one of those, even just for the nicer, thinner brushes.

What are your favourite brands for nail polish?

  • I never knew you could find minature Essie on eBay so thanks for the heads up!

    Also how did you go about creating your own website? I’m looking into it but don’t know where to start! 😛

    • I’m not sure whether its a regular opportunity to be able to buy these – I’m guessing it was an unwanted shade from the Winter Collection giftset. But its worth keeping an eye out!

      I had a lot of help from my boyfriend on moving my site from to this one – I’ll ask him to reply to this comment, and maybe write a post about it if you’re interested? x

  • I really like the miniature size bottles of Essie polish – like you say who ever uses up a full size bottle of polish, they just last forever! But I find the staying power of Essie really shocking, they all chip so easily on me, 🙁 OPI is quite good, and much more reasonably priced on Fragrance Direct but I still don’t think anything will ever come near the place Barry M holds in my heart haha. 🙂 xxx

    • I prefer mini bottles anyway, simply for the brush shape. I can’t be the only person who hates wide brushes?! I can’t say I’ve found the staying power of this shade to be too bad, but I do re-do my top coat every day which I think helps. I do love Barry M shades, though I find I can quite often peel off a whole ‘nail’ of colour after four days. Their glitter and effect polishes, however, are the best! x

  • Essie’s Shearling Darling is my favorite nail polish! I have been on such a dark color kick and I can’t take this color off of my nails. I’ll be wearing it all through summer.

    • Its fast becoming mine too! Such a lovely colour, it also goes well with so many glitter shades for accent nails! x