Essie ‘Luxe Effects Collection’ for Holiday 2011 (swatches & review)
*Final Birthday Giveaway ‘a-england’ ends soon! Full details here
Essie, you’re spoiling us….but in the best way possible! Hot on the heels of their spectacular Winter Collection, ‘Cocktail Bling’ (previously reviewed here), the brand is set to launch ‘Luxe Effects’, five multi-dimensional top coats, that can either be worn on their own for a hint of glamour, or layered over your favourite lacquer for all-out luxury. The following swatches are all with Deborah Lippmann’s 2-Second Nail Primer, as well as Essie’s All In One Base Coat. In order to showcase these fabulous varnishes to their fullest potential, the first set are all swatched alone with only one coat of the effect polish, with each subsequent set consisting of one coat of the effects polish over two coats each of ‘Brooch The Subject’ (middle & pinkie fingers), and ‘Bobbing for Baubles’ (index & ring fingers) respectively. No additional top coat was applied.
‘Pure Pearlfection’ is an ethereal looking, silvery white pearlescent shimmer lacquer, in a medium viscosity suspension-like formula. Giving the look of a delicate gossamer veil draping your nails, this will add a sophisticated tone to any lacquer you choose, as though imbued with a layer of crushed pearl powder on top.
In sunlight, only the barest touch of sparkle can be seen, shyly peeking through and giving you a hint of gleam within.
Indirect light allows ‘Pure Pearlfection’ to cast a silvery aura, shimmering cooly along the nails.
It is in shaded lighting that the true pearl-like glow of this varnish comes into play, almost appearing to simmer on the surface.
A final view taken with flash catches the diamond like sparks given off by the ultra fine shimmer within this shade.
Sunlight appears to cast the very lightest dusting of sugar crystals atop the nails’ surface, giving them a rich gleam.
I love how indirect light looks like a sprinkling of stars spread across each shade, as regally cool as an wintry night.
When seen in shaded light, the two shades now seem to be gilded with the barest hint of frost, giving off a pearlescent vibe.
A final view taken with flash reflects off the myriad little prisms of light found swirling within ‘Pure Pearlfection’s’ core.
‘Shine Of The Times’….a FLAKIE!!!! Need I say more?! Having only recently discovered how mesmerizing this type of top coat can be, I am thrilled that Essie created this beauty. A rather thick, suspension-like formula, but paradoxically one that spreads very easily along the nails, it is filled with irregularly shaped iridescent, almost transparent flakes of colour, that almost magically transform everything they touch…simply HYPNOTIC!!
In sunlight, only slight flashes of a golden orange hue betray anything of what lies behind this unique lacquer.
Indirect light brings out every mysteriously glinting facet of ‘Shine Of The Times’, displaying several prismatic colours at once.
Shaded light appears to emphasize this lacquer’s ruddier tones, yet gives it the look of eerily glowing embers across your nails.
A final view taken with flash, couches the true effect of this lacquer in a subtle silence, although the glimmering surface displays hints of its fire.
Seen in sunlight, you would be forgiven in believing that swirls of sunfire were dancing upon the surface of your nails!
Indirect light appears to throw a milky veil over these shades, and yet the many shifting colours of ‘Shine Of The Times’ seem flaringly alive.
Shaded light takes the fiery glow of embers and strews them across your nails, all in vivid multi-coloured detail.
A final view taken with flash, highlights the more orange/pink tones that the flake particles emit
‘As Gold As It Gets’ is something so unique as far as top coats go; consisting of delicate golden ultra-fine glitter and irregularly shaped gold leaf flakes, the formula, while on the thick side, was of a medium viscosity that nevertheless applied easily, and was surprisingly smooth to the touch when dry.
Sunlight gives the most delicate gilded gleam across the nails, as though gently kissed by the sun.
Indirect light appears to pick out the subtle golden shards found swirling throughout ‘As Gold As It Gets’ and vividly highlights them.
Like sunspots that dance before your closed eyelids, shaded light meshes and unites all the intricate parts of this golden top coat.
A final view taken with flash takes the brilliance of the gold and drives it deeper into shadow, although enough hints of gleam still shine along the edges.
Sunlight not only casts a warm simmering glow about these hues, but dons a delicate golden wash over the nails’ surface.
While indirect light takes the base shades into a cooler realm, the golden gleam of ‘As Gold As It Gets’ adds a beautiful warmth overall.
Shaded light makes the brilliance of this top coat positively seethe with light, and spotlights each individual golden flake…stunning!
A final view taken with flash, now appears to tamp everything down and coats the nails with an urban, yet sophisticated gleam.
‘Set In Stones’ is a multi-levelled silver glitter top coat, in a thicker type formula, which somehow manages to flow rather smoothly along your nails. Densely packed with fine silver glitter and larger hexagonal sequins, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy removal was. While the surface was not glass smooth at the finish, neither was it too gritty – another bonus!
Seen in sunlight, each individual silvery speck seem to shine with its own little halo of light.
Indirect light gives ‘Set In Stones’ the semblance of the first twinkling stars of evening, before the light fades away.
Shaded light spotlights the glitter particles in sharp relief, while still managing to maintain an almost delicate demeanor.
A final view taken with flash focuses solely on the glitter of this top coat, but never comes off as gaudy.
Sunlight not only reflects beautifully off the silvery pieces, but appears to compliment both base hues equally well.
When seen in indirect light, the overall effect is one of a deeper, cooler look, with each sequin beautifully framed within the base colours.
Shaded light gives ‘Set In Stones’ its most stellar countenance, rivalling the heavenly constellations in their patterns!
A final view taken with flash, not only lightens the overall base hues, but displays the silvery pattern of the glitter to its most brilliant effect.
‘A Cut Above’, a clear base that holds small glitter pieces and larger hexagonal sequins in a deep ballet-slipper pink hue, bears a similar formula to the rest of this collection and appears as densely packed as that of ‘Set In Stones’. Note by the ring finger, how much fuller a thicker coat makes the glitter look, while a thinner coat (index finger) yields a more delicate appearance. The surface seemed to be slightly more raised at the finish, and yet the particles all appeared to lay flat enough overall. Another bonus: fairly painless removal!
Sunlight casts a rosy hue across the nails’ surface and sets the pink glitter particles to gleaming brightly in the light.
Indirect light casts a dustier appearance to the pale rose colour of the glitter, and takes its shine down by several notches.
Shaded light sheds a new warmth to ‘A Cut Above’, and focuses your eye on each individual rosy glitter sequin.
A final view taken with flash gives the nails a blush of colour, delicately stained and brightly glimmering.
Sunlight reflects subtly off the slight hint of colour in this top coat, yet does not detract from the saturated hues of the base shades.
Indirect light takes the glitter particles and brings them to the fore, while the base hues now take on a lesser role.
Shaded light not only displays the pale pink wash of colour that ‘A Cut Above’ gives to the base hues, but shows off each sequin in exquisite detail.
A final view taken with flash interestingly enough gives just the right amount of dustiness and glimmer to keep all the colours unique and interesting.
Final thoughts: In my opinion, Essie’s foray in the effects top coat category, has been a huge success with this ‘Luxe Effects Collection’. Each lacquer offers something new and different, and stays just this side of being too “blingy”, so that every look you create will be sure to look festive and/or urban cool. What I like most about these lacquers, is their versatility and how easy it is to change up any of your mani looks, in a sense multiplying your present nail polish stash. Available soon, this collection holds an “effect” for everyone looking to add a little “luxe” for the holidays…and beyond!
*Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration