Essie – The Summer 2012 Collection (swatches & review)

 

Several years ago, my family and I had been invited on a friend’s private yacht (sounds so pretentious, doesn’t it?!) where we cruised the stunning tropical Abacos Islands of the Bahamas for about 8 days – and where I picked up the hand-dyed sarong pictured in the background of the above photo; uncanny how Essie’s new Summer 2012 Collection so perfectly mimics the colourful wrap, isn’t it?!  I have beach on my mind … sigh …


 

Essie’s new Summer 2012 Collection consists of a 6-piece set of jewel-rich colours – 4 crèmes and 2 with ultra-fine shimmer. The formula with each shade flowed quite well, and while you really don’t need more than 2 coats for good coverage, please note that I applied 3 coats simply for swatching purposes.  Even though these are all quite vibrant hues, there still seems to be an understatedly elegant quality to them, toning down some of the lively colour and making them so very wearable. I was also sure that I had duplicates for every one of these shades and when I went rifling through my collection, to my surprise, I literally came up short! Yes, there are a few that may have come close, but exact duplicates? Nope – not a one, I’m happy to say!  All swatches are with base and top coats.


 

‘Cascade Cool’ is a lavender-leaning rose hue, with a slightly thin but easy flowing formula, and with a rather jelly-like quality – even though it’s most definitely a crème. Perfectly self levelling and leaving a nice glossy finish behind, I was surprised at how non-chalky it was, and loved how the colour seems to morph from warm to cool, depending on the lighting … pretty fascinating, actually!


in sunlight


backlit


indoors


indoors/alternate lighting


with flash


 

‘Fear or Desire’ (Umm – I don’t get this name …) is a vivid, yet still paradoxically muted Sunkist-orange shade, with definitive yellowish undertones that add such an interesting warmth to it. An excellently flowing formula, this rich crème hue is so self-levelling that it practically applies itself and leaves behind a superior glassy finish. This shade just screams “summer” to me, that’s for sure!


in sunlight


backlit


indoors


indoors/alternate lighting


with flash


 

‘Off the Shoulder’ is a deep carnation pink shade in a beautiful crème finish, and what I found so interesting here is that is seems to hold a perfect balance between being both warm and cool toned, making it easily wearable for all skintones. With a slight dusky quality, the formula was quite good here as well, self-levelling and with a high shine at the finish.


in sunlight


backlit


indoors


indoors/alternate lighting


with flash


 

‘Mojito Madness’ (now this name, I get!) is certainly the eye-catcher of the bunch, and with just cause; this vibrant yet still somewhat dusty lime-green hue has a simply fabulous formula, flowing like silk across the nails and leaving behind a mirror-like glossy finish. Its mix of both yellow and blue undertones make it very unique amongst my other greens and perfectly suited for basically every skin tone. BONUS: absolutely no staining of the nails upon removal. LOVE!


in sunlight


backlit


indoors


indoors/alternate lighting


with flash



 

‘Bikini so Teeny’ (my favourite kind!) is a powdery baby-blue shade filled with finely ground silver and electric blue glitter, that give it a slight shimmery quality. The sheerest formula of the 6, you need to apply this carefully as it can be prone to some visible brush strokes and/or streaking, but the payoff is worth it. This hue was the only one that really benefitted from 3 thin coats, as that gave the best and smoothest coverage, although I wish that the shimmer you see in the bottle, translated more obviously on the nails. The purple/cornflower blue undertones lend a beautiful tone to the overall colour, making it quite unique in my collection as well. As this dries significantly less glossy, don’t skip the top coat – unless you prefer that look.


in sunlight


backlit


indoors


indoors/alternate lighting


with flash


 

‘All Tied Up’ (not sure, but I’m guessing this refers to strappy sandals?) is the most opaque out of the 6 and with the thickest formula, which nonetheless flowed quite well and very self-levelling. A muted damask rose hue with some brownish undertones, it’s filled with finely crushed gold and copper glitter that are not only visible upon application, but add such a unique cast to this shade. Much like ‘Bikini so Teeny’, this also finishes semi-glossy and definitely needs top coat to really bring out all its nuances. While not as “beachy” as the rest of this collection, something about this shade reminds me of summer sunsets!


in sunlight


backlit


indoors


indoors/alternate lighting


with flash

 

Final thoughts: Essie, as far as themed collections go, you definitely got it right with these 6 shades! The formula on all was easy to work with, and though the colours may not be the most exciting or outrageous available, they all have that quality to them that makes them perfectly wearable no matter the occasion. I’m disappointed that ‘Bikini so Teeny’s’ inner shimmer is hardly visible when worn, but I’m guessing that it adds a rounded depth to what could otherwise be a rather flat pastel hue. ‘Mojito Madness’ has got to be one of my favourite green crèmes and absolutely gorgeous, while ‘Fear or Desire’ is a fabulous pedi shade to show off lightly tanned feet.  Available now wherever Essie products are sold, go ahead and get your summer groove on with these beauties!


 

 

 

*Disclaimer: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration