On holiday recently in Spain I discovered Essence cosmetics, a budget range aimed at young women (LOL). To my delight I found it includes UV gel topcoats which work with a peel off base and regular nail polish. Instructions say apply a peel off base (which Essence makes), then any colour, followed by the topcoat which needs 10 second UV cure – yes, just 10 seconds. I reckoned it would complement and add a different dimension to my Striplac shades.
The pricing was a steal – under £5 each – so I treated myself to a pair – Glitterland, a multi colour holographic glitter and Polka Dots, black dots.
I must confess I’ve tried it over blue and red – lovely – but forgot to take any photographs! So the first exposure is from a quick, couldn’t-really-be-bothered-manicure, of just peel off base (Striplac) and the glitter topcoat. I’m thrilled with the outcome – for strength, speed and the demure but on-trend look.
As with most glitter gels, you have to work the brush so that there’s a reasonably even distribution but this budget buy is better than any other glitter topcoat I have tried. Gelish (soak off UV gel), for instance, was very difficult to work.
I applied my Striplac base, cured for one minute, straightaway coated the nails with the Essence product, cured for an unbelievably quick 10 seconds, then cleansed the residue off with non-acetone nail polish remover.
My only gripe is that the product is confusingly called ‘effect’ gel top coat which could be misinterpreted as gel-effect (ie looks like gel but isn’t). Be assured that this IS a gel, which requires a UV cure.
Essence is available worldwide and stocked exclusively in the UK by the Wilko chain. The ‘gel nails at home’ range has everything you need, including a mini led lamp with a usb connection which is fantastic for travelling.
Important updatee 25/11/2014: Read this review in conjunction with the following: https://nailsdiy.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/essence-ially-a-disaster/