My friend Lorraine tipped me off that Wilko's is currently stocking Essence polishes, so today I toddled off to check them out. I've seen Essence on blogs, but not tried any, as I'd never seen them in actual shops.
This is what I got! They were on 3-for-2, and they're all dirt cheap (£1.75 or £1.80, that sort of price). What I don't understand is WHY the bottles are all different shapes! That's already 4 different sorts of bottle, and possibly 5 if you look closely.
The first one I tried is the red one, Me and My Lover. This is a "sparkle sand effect" which I suppose is the equivalent of the Zoya Pixie Dusts, the Barry M Textured Glitters, and the OPI Liquid Sands. The brush is really nice - it's a flat handle and a wide, flat brush with a rounded end. It's not so wide that it's like a paddle (like some Sally Hansen brushes!) but was just the right size for my nails.
Me and My Lover is a glittery red textured polish. This is two coats.
I'm not thrilled with the texture to be honest. It's a pretty colour, and applies really evenly and easily with no pooling or need for cleanup. However, I think it's a bit ordinary as texture goes. It's not really textured enough in my opinion - if it wants to be textured it needs to be much more so, like the Zoyas or the OPIs. It's neither one thing or the other at the moment, I feel. It's a nice colour though.
Then I used the XXL shine gel-look topcoat to see what it looked like glossy. Nice! I like this a lot more with a glossy finish. It's much sparklier and brighter.
I've heard a lot about this topcoat, so I was pretty excited to try it. However, it was just an ordinary topcoat in my opinion. It was nice and glossy, but not more than many other topcoats. And I can't see much of a gel effect, it's just a glossy topcoat. And I have to say - these nails did take quite a long time to dry, and with only three coats, I think that's not great.
I'd say it's definitely worth checking out the Essence polishes in Wilko. They're cheap, and it's nice to see a different range to the usual high street polishes. But I'm not blown away by excellence. And I suppose at that price, it's fair enough.
Oh, I meant to add! My camera broke! I'm having to take photos on my phone for now til I can either get my very beloved camera fixed, or buy a new one.