New Drugstore Nails – Essence Nail Products


Since my first experiment with Catrice Nail Products, I was more excited than ever to try some more budget polish, and this week I have New Drugstore Nails – Essence Nail Products.

I am really enjoying trying less expensive items, it’s quite liberating and a guilt free experience. So last week I headed down to my nearest Penney’s (Primark to everyone else in Europe) and picked up a few Essence items from their display. This was a difficult task on a Saturday afternoon! I was struggling with the amount of teenage girls browsing the stand, it was very popular!





With both Catrice and Essence owned by the same parent company Cosnova, I expected reasonable results. I have heard mixed reviews about Essence nail products online, however for the price they are definitely worth a try.

I have one nail care and one polish item to try, so I decided to use the products together for an Essence manicure.

For my base product, I decided to opt for a strengthening product, to see what Essence brings in terms of nail care. I picked up Essence Studio Nails Ultra Strong Nail Hardener as my nails had been slightly bendy recently, so I thought this product might do the trick.

For colour, I decided to choose a polish from The Gel Nail Polish range, to get a sense of how their long wear gel colour formulas work. My shade choice was 04 My Sweetest Day, a pale pink shimmer polish, perfect for everyday wear. I was amazed at the price of this gel nail polish at only €1.79, an absolute steal! I was intrigued what I would get polish wise for the price of a coffee.

I decided to not use their Gel Nail Polish Base Coat and Top Coat which is advised to use with the Gel Nail Polish range. I generally prefer to use a normal or strengthening base product underneath my colours and a gel type top coat which I already have a similar product I could use in my stash. Although with the price of these products at €3.09 each, you could pick them up quite cheaply if you were in the market for a gel manicure polish set.


The Strengthener test – Essence Studio Nails Ultra Strong Nail Hardener



My first impressions of the hardener was it was clear polish and it came with a standard polish brush, so it took a few more swipes to apply onto the nail. It dried fairly quickly and left my nails fairly glossy, ideal if you chose to use it by itself, for a more nude nail look.

I decided to use just one coat under my colour, with this strengthener being a hardener, it may cause brittleness with over use.
After leaving the polish dry, I felt the strengthener left my nails feeling stronger straight away. With this product you can really feel the difference between this and a standard base product.

However one point to note is this polish does contain Formaldehyde, so that would be something to consider if you chose to use this product. The ingredient is common in strengtheners but is also a Nail Polish Nasty and can cause allergic reactions also.


The Gel Colour test – Essence The Gel Nail Polish in 04 My Sweetest Day



My first impressions was looking at the polish it had a thick formula and had a wide brush, which will hopefully make application a breeze. Looking in the bottle, 04 Our Sweetest Day is a very sheer milkshake pink shade shot through with white sparkle. It looked a very glittery, gritty textured polish, so I would need to bare that in mind with application and with my choice of topcoat.
It applied well, self levelled with no streaking but was very sheer with one coat. You could also see the texture of polish slightly on the nail plate.

I found the polish built up on the nail looks really lovely. It’s pearlescent and iridescence I love, a really wearable shade.
I applied two coats of the polish and even with the polish being of a thicker formula, I was still able to see my natural nail underneath and nail line. So this really is a sheer polish!




I think 3 coats overall would make it opaque, I was only trialling this so I did 2 coats as standard. I added my normal top coat as usual and this removed the slight gritty texture from my nail and left the nails looking really lovely.



Manicure Results


Overall in my Essence manicure, I found my polish lasted a good 3 days without signs of tip wear, slight chipping by day 4 and full chipping by day 5. I felt this shade was quite good at camouflaging chipping as it was such a sheer and light shade, so I was really scrupulous at checking for any wear on nail, for this reason.

For a polish at this price range I really thought the polish was excellent as I have had similar results from more expensive gel type polishes products. I will definitely try and pick up some more of these. Any shade suggestions?

For the strengthener, I imagine this product used extensively would really harden the nails, you would have to be careful not to make them brittle with overuse. I must admit my nails did feel harder even with just one use.

I think this product needs an extended trial to really test it’s hardening capabilities. I may try this out at some point.

But based on one use of one Essence nail care polish product, I can really see myself testing more products in future to see if they worked as well as this strengthener. Any suggestions of products from their nail care lines?

My Opinion


To sum up, Essence have really surprised me! I am glad I have took the risk to try a small selection. This has given me the confidence to look at the Essence polish range, as it is full of affordable options when shopping for polish.

Of all the ranges I was planning on trying this month, Essence came in at the cheapest, the price for a strengthening base and colour polish for less than €5! A polish bargain/steal and a reasonable formula for the price point!

I am even considering picking up a few polishes at the weekend, I am that impressed.




What was your experience of Essence nail products? Any lines within the range I should try? What are your favourite shades? Let me know down in the Comments below.