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.
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!
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.
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?