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?

January Buys

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After having my birthday (and Christmas of course) in December, I knew I had a little bit of spare money to spend in any sales I saw popping up. I didn’t want to spend all my money as up until last week I was planning on treating myself to a camera as an upgrade from my phone. That plan came to an end when I dropped and smashed my boyfriend’s tablet. That wasn’t insured. Two days after the warranty ran out. Ooops. With the help of my lovely parents I bought a new one and insured both that and my rather more expensive phone (which I dropped at the same time, but managed to catch), but its put an end to my camera lust.

Anyway, I did managed to score quite a few bargains in the sales this year, as well as updating my make-up collection with some full-price but still low-budget items. I also managed to get hold of some excellent bargains, but that’s a separate blog post altogether!

First up – general makeup items…

2014-01-26 09.46.18I picked up another Bodyshop Eyeshadow Blending Brush in one of their 40% off events. I bought a lot of brushes from there a few months ago, and this turned out to be one of my favourites and most-used so I wanted a back up! Funnily enough my new one seems even softer than the first!

The hunt for a concealer pale enough for me seems to have finally ended upon discovering 17 Stay Time in Extra Fair. My first impressions are that is it lightweight and easily blendable, although perhaps not the highest coverage. This doesn’t seem to be online, hence the lack of link!

I gave into Blogger Hype and bought a Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in Standout. I absolutely love this, and its now become one of my favourite lip products. I’ll definitely be picking up more shades!

On the cheaper side of lip products, I picked up an MUA Power Pout in Rendezvous. This shade looks awful in the packing and on the crayon, but on my lips its lovely and neutral, but leaves a slight ‘my-lips-but-better’ stain. For £3 I don’t think you can go wrong!

Moving forward I splashed out on a Bourjois Colour Edition 24H cream eyeshadow – though no idea which shade I got as its not on the tub! Its a pale, neutral, slightly shimmery bronze which just looks really natural, and is the perfect base for my Naked 3 colours.

I then treated myself to something that has been on my list for ages – Bourjois Java Rice Powder. I haven’t tried this yet due to a weird skin reaction, but I will be doing so soon (rather excited by this one!).

Finally I got myself a Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in Taupe. Have to say I’m really impressed by this – I’ve always used Rimmel eyeliners and this is definitely one of the best I’ve tried!

2014-01-26 09.50.32Living with Libby I knew it wouldn’t be long before I started getting into painting my nails, but I wasn’t quite expecting to literally triple my colour collection in the last few months! These are my last buys – including a neutrally-brown, a rose-gold glitter, a navy, a burgundy, and a gold.

2014-01-26 09.51.21This gold glitter polish was only 50p in the clearance section of boots, so I couldn’t resist!

You might also be wondering about the pattern in the background of these pictures – that’s actually a dress I bought in Primark for an amazing £2! Its obviously wrongly sized (1, the two labels claim different sizes, and 2, it is definitely not a 14!) but whatever size it actually is it fits really nicely, and I think it will look great with ballet pumps, belt and cardigan in the spring. I can’r wait until the weather brightens up!

Did you treat yourself to any beauty buys in the sales?