Essie, as some of you may know, is my all time favourite nail polish brand. Their polishes are just so perfect! However, £8 a pop does feel a little steep, and not everyone has access to Essie, so I've come up with a few alternatives.
Barry M Gelly Hi Shine in Pomegranate (£3.99) is verrrry close to Essie Exotic Liras. They're both raspberry pinks with a smudge of red, and they both work all year round. I have to admit, though, Pomgranate can be a little thick and the brush isn't great compared to Exotic Liras. However, they're
both really nice polishes, and I lovelovelove the Barry M Gelly range in general.
Another Barry M Gelly is Rose Hip (£3.99), a gorgeous pastel pink very similar to Essie Fiji. Fiji is more of a pink tinted white than a pale pink, which I would look over if it wasn't for the fact that Rose Hip has a terrible formula. It's so streaky, and needs at least four coats, which is really unusual for the Barry m Glly polishes which are generally creamy and opaque. It's not as glossy as Rose Hip, but Fiji only needs two coats so I'd pick it over the cheaper option any day.
Essie Sole Mate is my favourite deep berry polish, it's a one coat wonder with a super glossy finish. There are loads of alternatives out there at 1/4 of the price, but nothing came close until I found Bourjois' 1 Seconde in Rouge Obscur (£5.99). It has the same opaque, shiny formula, and deep vampy colour. My one issue with it is that the brush on mine seems to have been cut unevenly, and there are some bristles longer than they should be, meaning it's quite hard to apply neatly. I haven't heard of other people experiencing this before, so I think I'd recommend the Bourjois over the Essie here, in the hope that you get a good brush.
Oh, Mint Candy Apple. It's been 'duped' so many times, but I actually think I prefer the alternative I found in the form of Maybelline Mint For Life (£4.09). Mint For Life has the same perfect balance of blue and green, but the difference is it contains more white, which in my opinion makes it more wearable and flattering. It's also got an incredibly long lasting formula (I'll admit Essie chips quickly on my without Seche Vite) and perfect brush. I can't believe I haven't yet tried more from the range!
Finally, another one that's less of a dupe and more of a better alternative. Essie's Sand Tropez, meet Barry M Gelly Hi Shine in Lychee (£3.99). Lychee is the perfect nude for my kind of skin tone, it's as light and airy and fresh as beige gets. Sand Tropez does come close, but Lychee also has a glossier, more opaque formula that totally works in it's favour. If you're looking for a nude, skip Sand Tropez and head right over to the Barry M stand.
Would you go for the dupes, here, or the real thing?