Budget beauty: Essence The Gel Nail Polish review

When this Essence Gel Nail Shelfie* turned up on my doorstep the other week, I got so excited I did a little dance. I’m a massive nail polish lover, so the lure of a huge amount of new shades, all presented in their very cool shelf was all a bit much.

Essence are one of those brands that I’ve seen a lot every time I pop into my local Wilko store to stock up on cotton pads and toothpaste, but other than a few random purchases, I’ve never tried much from. They’ve got some seriously low price points, even for a high street brand so completely wrongly, I thought the quality might not be that great.

Essence Gel effect nail polish review
Essence Gel effect nail polish reviewEssence Gel effect nail polish review
Their Gel nail polishes come in at less than £2 per bottle and promise a high shine finish with a plumped up look that mimics a gel manicure. Since the Shelfie arrived, I’ve been trying to test out as many of the shades as I can and put them through their paces to see how well they last on the nails.

My favourite shade so far is 39 Blue Bubble di Blue which is a mid-toned sky blue shade that to me, feels perfect for the summer months. Overall most of the polishes only need two coats of polish, however some of the lighter shades might benefit from a third for that truly ‘gel’ finish. There’s a massive range of shades to choose from and I love the fact they’ve also included a few glittery shades, as these often get overlooked with gel effect ranges.

Wear time is also pretty good. I’ve been sealing each polish in with the Essence Gel top coat, rather than my usual Seche Vite and overall I get about a 3 day wear time before any chips start to happen. This was sped up a little by some serious bathroom scrubbing, so if you’re planning to do your nails for a night out, save the cleaning until another day.

They also seem to dry really quickly which is great – I’ve tried other gel effect polishes in the past which seem to be a bit slower than normal polishes, but I felt quite happy getting on with my life after allowing about 15-20 minutes for them to dry properly.

I’ve been really impressed with these polishes – they definitely out perform a lot more expensive brands that I’ve tried, so if you’re thinking of giving them a try, definitely pick one (or three!) up next time you head into Wilko.

Have you tried anything from Essence before? What are your favourite products from the brand?

*PR samples

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