- Love & Beauty $2.80 at Forever 21 stores and forever21.com.
- Essie $8 at drugstores, retailers, groceries, Ulta, Head2Toe Beauty & Amazon
- Love & Beauty bottles are nice and sturdy-feeling. They are wide on top and taper down at the bottom, and are flatter instead of round (pic, they are a bit hard for me to describe!) The bottom is thick & weighty in a good way: it stands solidly while doing my nails. The medium-sized round cap is matte-finish black plastic, and it's tapered, kind of like Zoya caps are, which provides a comfortable grip for fingers while polishing. The stem is on the shorter side, and the brush is reminiscent of $OPI/old OPI brushes, but it is slightly floppier and probably has more bristles. The formula of Periwinkle was not perfect as lighter cremes are wont to be, but it was quite easy to apply in 3 thin coats provided I was patient between coats. With patience application was pretty easy. If I didn't wait between coats, the brush dragged up polish near the cutcicle and created gross bald spots. Though 3 coats were neccessary eliminate streaks, Periwinkle is very much a cream polish with a creamy finish. I found that Periwinkle self-leveled just fine for me as it dried, too (dry time was on the slower side without topcoat.) (Big 3 Free)
- Essie bottles are just the cutest. They are square glass, with "essie" embossed on 2 sides. They store well in Helmer drawers, and they don't feel flimsy. The cap is shiny-finish white plastic, pretty short, with a medium stem (Zoya-length) and a small brush. I personally love the Essie brush, as I have small nail beds--I find it makes the lacquer easy to place & control, and I rarely need cleanup when I use Essie. The cap can be a little slippery, though. Lapis of Luxury has the jelly-creme formula that I have come to expect from all of Essie's pre-2011 cremes: on the translucent side, meaning it requires 3 coats for opacity for sure but because of its gel-like texture streaks are much easier to avoid. Thin coats again are best, and patience between coats is important, because this polish too will drag at the cuticle without sufficient time between coats. The formula of Lapis gives it a cool, milky type of finish. Lapis of Luxury has a great formula for a light creme. (Big 3 Free)
- Love & Beauty polishes are made by a cruelty free company!
- Essie themselves do not test on animals; however, their parent company L'Oreal (the guys who own them) does test on animals. This is what I consider a gray area in terms of how to vote no-cruelty with polish dollars.
- These 2 are quite close as for color, not dupes, but close enough. The formula of Lapis of Luxury is rather nicer, but personally as someone frugal I'd buy the Love & Beauty if I didn't have the Essie to have a gorgeous spring pastel. I am happy to own Lapis, though, don't get me wrong, but I don't know that I would have bought it if I'd have gotten Love & Beauty Periwinkle first.