Saturday, 15 September 2012

Product vs. Product - cheap nail polish

I'm back!!!! sorry I haven't posted all week, I  had 4 assignments and essays to write these past two weeks and have been swamped. But now all I have to do is study for exams, hahaha!

Ok so if you read my blog you will know that every week (usually every thursday) I put two products in battle against each other. This week it is ulta3 polish vs. essence polish. Both retail for between $2-$3 and are found at places like Target, Big W, Priceline....I have even seen ulta3 at Woolworths!

 To try and make sure it was a fair battle I have used two similar colours/finishes from each brand.

From Ulta3 we have:
Mermaid green - a creme
Orchid - a chromey purple

From Essence we have:
Meet Me Now! - a creme
Where Is The Party? - a duochrome

Please ignore the terrible photos. I know, I DID NOT clean-up but that was because I was taking photos after every coat of polish and was in a hurry.

After applying a first coat of each this is what I noticed:

Mermaid Green - did not apply opaque in first coat and was streaky but dried very quickly.
Meet Me Now - didn't apply opaque in the first coat (but was more opaque than Mermaid Green) and was not streaky. Dried quickly.
Orchid - applied opaque in first coat, easily and without any streaks.A dream to work with.
Where Is The Party? - was very sheer.

You can see that other one coat Mermaid green an d where is the party is are still sheer.

First coat of Meet Me Now!

Second coat notes:
Orchid - didn't apply a second coat and it was not needed.
Mermaid Green - second coat applied very easily with no streaks. Fully opaque. A dream to work with.
Meet Me Now - technically it was opaque but I went back for a third coat. Applied easily with no streaks.
Where Is The Party?- second coat still not opaque. Photographs fail to show this but you could still see my nail line.

Two coats

Two coats

Two coats - Where Is The Party? Is still sheer although it is hard to see in this photo!

After two coats it is kind of opaque. 

Third coat notes -
Mermaid green & Orchid - no third coat required.
Meet Me Now - third coat was the final coat applied.
Where Is The Party- polish now opaque - yay!

Yay it is opaque and beautiful with its duochrome.

The results are not exactly clear cut here and I'm trying really hard not to be biased, so I am going to break it into categories.

Ulta3 - $2 for 13ml
Essence - $2.55 (not sure if this is correct) for 5ml
Winner in the price category: Ulta3

Ulta3- brushes are a good size and polish applies easily
Essence - brushes are fine and the polish applies easily
BUT the winner is Ulta3 in the application based on my experience only!

Product availability
Ulta3- polishes are sold in large bins and from what I have noted stock-turnover is low, but this is just my opinion and other shops that I don't go to might get more stock more frequently.
Essence - Target and just recently, Priceline, stock essence make-up and both have a reliable stock of the normal range however differ in their availability of the 'limited edition trends'. Some Targets put them out onto the shelf super quickly whereas at other Targets they still have not appeared. It would be awesome if we actually got the products a) when they were released in Europe b) we got all the ranges c)the individual Target and Priceline stores put them out onto the shelves ASAP.
The winner - essence  because they have a neatly organised shelf and easy to find price tags!

Ulta3- have a large range of different polishes however it's more pot luck in regards to what catches your eye in the bin display.
Essence - always so many pretty polishes on display from their "normal" range and the limited edition polishes are usually swoon worthy, although the application of the limited edition polishes are not as good as the non-limited-edition polishes.
The winner for this category: Essence

Overall I prefer essence polishes but there is no winner for this battle because essence polishes can be difficult to apply whereas my experience of applying ulta3 is that they have a great formula. Essence is a very fun brand to buy. Both brands are great quality and a great price!

Result of battle: No winner, both great polishes


  1. Really lovely colors youve picked up :)
    Cheap polishes can be a huge hit or a horrible miss.. I think these ones are really pretty... wish we had essence over here in Finland :)

    1. Thanks for commenting on my blog!!! I was surprised by the quality of these polishes too....usually when you buy cheap polishes they are horrible :(
      Hope you had a lovely weekend,


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