Essence The Gel Top and Base Coat review

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First off, let’s get things straight – Essence The Gel Top and Base Coat is NOT a gel product. Gel products have small plastic particles called monomers or oligomers, which link together and form a durable coating when a chemical called a photoinitiator is activated by light. There’s a full explanation of the gel polymerisation process here, but in short, it’s like the monomers are chocolate chips spread over a tray, and the photo initiator makes them melt and harden together as a single sheet. Usually the photoinitiator is activated by UV light from a lamp, such as in Shellac or other salon or home gel products.

polymerisation

Recently though, a few gel products have come out which are activated by exposure to normal light – Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is the most successful one. The top coat contains a light-activated gel – in other words, a photoinitiator and some oligomers. Here are the ingredients:

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Essence Australia: Good Girl Bad Girl & Unforgettable Kiss Collections

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More Essence Trend collections are coming! Here’s what’s launching in Australia in the next couple of months…

Good Girl Bad Girl (available March-April 2015 in Priceline)

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Quattro Eyeshadow (bright, dark) ($5.75), Blush ($5.10), Lipstick (dark purple, fuchsia) ($4.70), Effect Top Coats (rose gold, silver) ($4.10), Like a Good Girl Fragrance ($6.95), Like a Bad Girl Fragrance ($6.95), Lipgloss ($4.10), Multi Style Eyeliner Pen ($6.15)

Not pictured: Nail Polish (6 shades) ($4.10)

This collection is half good girl themed (pastel shades) and half bad girl themed (brights and darks), which means there’s something for everyone. The eyeshadow palettes are really lovely – the shadows are prone to a bit of fallout, and the textures aren’t that exciting except for the rose gold which is gorgeous. One quad has pink, peach, rose gold and light purple while the other has fuchsia, rose gold, black and dark purple. I’m a bit partial to the darker quad, and while pigmentation isn’t amazing, the sheerness makes them quite wearable.

The blush is quite similar to the Silky Touch Blush in peach in their standard range. The lipsticks are quite nice – there’s a fuchsia (Caught in the Middle) and a deep plummy purple (It Wasn’t Me!). It Wasn’t Me! is my must-have pick of the collection – it’s a really unusual, gorgeously rich shade, though it wears off quickly with food.

The eyeliner is a three-pronged eyeliner, which is meant for helping you dot eyeliner between your lashes, giving them a fuller look. While I love that Essence have caught onto this trend early, the ink of this eyeliner is not that waterproof and a little sheer.

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Essence Australia: Beach Cruisers & Wave Goddess Collections

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Essence have a bunch of trend editions coming out in Australia over the summer, and I’m giving a sneak peek of them today! As usual, their collections are full of fun, innovative, great value products, and excitingly, Essence are finally bringing their fragrances to Australia. The two summer collections are Beach Cruisers and Wave Goddess.

Beach Cruisers (available January-February 2015 in Priceline)

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Blush ($5.35), Nail Polish (red, coral, gold, aqua) ($3.65), Bronzing Powder ($5.35), Waterproof Mascara Topcoat ($4.25). Body Spray ($5.35), Wet Bikini Bag ($7.35), Lip Gloss ($3.50)

Not pictured: Wet & Dry Eyeshadow (yellow, peach, turquoise) ($4.25), Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (metallic copper and turquoise) ($4.25)

This collection has a few interesting products. My favourite is the┬ábody spray that smells like the Essence fragrance “Like a Day in Paradise”, which smells to me like peach, apple, vanilla and coconut, though it’ll be better as a winter scent in my opinion (it’s a bit heavy). There’s also a waterproof mascara top coat which adds a waterproof layer to any mascara – I don’t think it actually dries, so it’s actually a waxy water-repellent coating.

The nail polishes are the textured sands which were so popular last year. My favourite is Keep Calm and Go to the Beach, a teal creme with green and gold shimmer. The blush has a pretty gradient effect which lets you pick how intense your blush is, based on how much sun you’ve been getting – it’s like the Blush Up blushes, but it’s a more wearable deep coral-to-light peach with subtle shimmer. From other reviews, the eyeliners look gorgeously richly pigmented.

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My Top 8 Beauty Finds of 2014

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It’s the end of 2014 and it’s gone by so quickly! I decided to do a round-up of my favourite products I discovered this year – I tried a LOT of products, so these are the best of the best! La Roche-Posay Cicaplast – This has been amazing for my chapped areas. It’s soothing and protects raw skin until it’s …

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October Favourites

I’ve been trying out a lot of products lately – these are some of the ones I’m really loving that I thought I’d give some mini reviews for. Face of Australia Gentle Make-up Remover* – This make-up remover is everything I want in a make-up remover – gentle, efficient, doesn’t leave an oily residue. Mary Kay Cream Eye Colour in …

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Travel Beauty Hacks (with obligatory travel photos)

My boyfriend loves the outdoors, and while I try to get along with nature, it tries its darnedest to destroy me with pollen and massive welts from mosquitoes. Last time he dragged me camping in Australia (the North Coast, a beautiful place where there’s beach and bush), I had a limited amount I could take with me but there was …

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What’s a CC cream? (and DD, and EE…)

All the way back in April 2012, I wrote a post on BB creams. Fast forward almost two and a half years and the “alphabet cream” market has exploded! What does it all mean? What’s a BB cream again? BB stands for beauty balm, blemish balm or beblesh balm. They’re multipurpose products that provide colour and coverage, as well as …

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Essence blush, lipgloss and eyeshadow review

Essence have a bunch of new products in Australia that you may have seen on the shelves already – if not, go check them out! Let’s start with this gorgeous blush from the Blush Up! range – Heat Wave ($6.45). How pretty is the gradient? It’s a pretty coral shade. Despite looking very fluoro in the pan, it’s surprisingly soft …

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