Filed In: Essie

Essie | Cashmere Matte 2015 Collection

 

Press samples provided for my unbiased consideration

 

 

Essie Cashmere Mattes opener

 

A few weeks ago, a rather large box was delivered to me that contained a black vinyl quilted product case from Caboodles. But what was this? Opening it up, I was greeted with 6 new Essie shades – the Cashmere Matte 2015 Collection, accompanied by a gorgeous and insanely cozy-looking grey cashmere travel-sized blanket, matching satin-lined eye shade, as well as a grey cashmere pouch to store it all in & which turns the entire ensemble into a pillow (pretty neat, huh?). I almost didn’t know what to drool over first: the cashmere goodies, or the fab new shades?

I chose the shades, naturally. What stands the Cashmere Matte 2015 Collection apart, is the finish: satiny matte – never flat – and bearing a buttery-soft suede touch at the finish. Three of the shades hold a bluish micro-iridescence that you can clearly see (definitely not the type that sinks into the colour), one has the tiniest shimmery flecks that hold their own whether applied as is or glossed up with top coat, and the other 2 have the most unique pearlized gleam.

In order to make the final look as smooth as possible, I find it best to work with a ridge filling base coat first (I used Essie’s Fill The Gap Treatment) – this way, it creates a super-smooth surface for the polish and helps the matte finish look level. Any top coating was done using Essie’s Good To Go.

As a huge fan of matte anything (forget nail art; a matte finish is my gold standard when I want to jazz up my nails), the beauty of this collection is that you can avoid the extra step of applying a separate matte top coat, as this finish is built in. Couldn’t be easier.

 

Essie Cashmere Mattes closed case

Black vinyl quilted Caboodles case & oodles of grey cashmere

 

Essie Cashmere Mattes open case

Like finding a pearl in an oyster: new Essies!

 

Essie Cashmere Mattes

Essie | Cashmere Matte 2015 Collection

 

Essie Wrap Me Up swatch

Wrap Me Up | I’ve said often enough that I love my darkling brooding shades, but for the past few years, anything white has been my Kryptonite. Taking this colour to a whole new level, Wrap Me Up is a soft white with pink/mauve/grey undertones (or what I see, depending on the angle) in a formula that leans a bit on the thick side and needs a touch of patience to get it right – but just.so.worth.it. I am absolutely obsessed with this shade. Coats applied: 3, as thin as you can get them for the most even finish.

 

Essie All Eyes on Nudes swatch

All Eyes on Nudes | Creamy nude (coffee latte) with rose undertones to warm things up, in a thinner formula than Wrap Me Up – making it much easier to apply, but which may still require more than 2 coats for full opacity (especially on longer nails). The resulting finish is actually eerily close to my skin tone, turning All Eyes On Nudes into a Where’s Waldo? kind of colour on me, but I find that refreshing, actually – a very different look for me. Coats applied: 3, thin

 

Essie Cozy in Cashmere swatch

Cozy In Cashmere | *I’m a little confused as to this shade’s true name; my bottle says ‘Comfy In Cashmere‘ but the press release calls it ‘Cozy in Cashmere‘, and since I like the word cozy, I’m going with that. Ok…how to describe this colour? Hands down the most unique mauve/taupe hue and filled with a blue micro-iridescence, which flashes a soft but definitely visible blue at all angles. The formula couldn’t be easier to work with either: self-levelling, excellent opacity and perfect flow. Coats applied: 2

 

Essie Just Stitched swatch

Just Stitched | I’m generally not a fan of pink nail shades, but this is just too pretty to not like. A pale petal pink (and therefore more cool-leaning) hue, filled with blueish micro-iridescence that may not be as obvious as that seen in Cozy In Cashmere, but still present just the same – it just seems more of an overall pearlized finish here. Whatever – it’s really, really pretty. And easy to work with, in fact probably the easiest application of the six. And did I mention how pretty it is? Coats applied: 3, super thin

 

Essie Coat Couture swatch

Coat Couture | A true show-stopper. Go ahead and take a moment to stare — I’ll wait. Coat Couture is a smokey purple with a strong blue micro-iridescent flash, in a formula that is in a word: superb. I seriously do not have enough superlatives for this shade, just a whole lotta love. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2

Something about Coat Couture begged me to add top coat, just to see what would happen. The results speak for themselves. And now I’m torn over which way I like it better.

 

Essie Coat Couture swatch glossy

Essie | Coat Couture (top coat added)

 

Essie Spun in Luxe swatch

Spun in Luxe | Good GOD! Can there be a more intensely beautiful navy? This is a blackened navy filled with the tiniest brighter blue micro-shimmer bits that flash up at you from all angles, and as though they’re swimming just at the surface level. For real. Application is ridiculously easy – smoothly falling and in a free-flowing formula, levelling off perfectly at the finish. Bonus: non-staining upon removal (you heard me). Coats applied: 2

And glossed up – you know I absolutely had to. The night sky, am I right?

 

Essie Spun in Luxe swatch glossy

Essie | Spun in Luxe (top coat added)

 

It’s not often that an entire collection jumps up & grabs me like this, but Essie’s Cashmere Matte 2015 Collection does all that … and more. Inspired by the luxe yet totally wearable appearance of the softest cashmere, each shade makes an impact without needing to yell (I detest noisy polishes), and since you have the option of adding a top coat, it’s like you’re getting double the lacquers (sort of). For those who avoid wearing mattes because of their 1-dimensionality, you don’t need to worry here, as the finish is not a true matte, but more semi or satin matte, plus you get that micro-iridescence thrown in for even more visual appeal and BOOM. It’s on.

Available as of January 2015 at all Essie beauty destinations worldwide, Find more information on the brand at www.essie.ca

 

Essie Cashmere Mattes closer

 

Essie | Winter 2014 Collection

Essie Winter 2014 opener

 

At first glance, the colour selection of Essie’s Winter 2014 Collection might seem counterintuitive, but if we separate ‘Winter’ from ‘Holiday’, it starts to make sense. There’s white to represent snow and silver for all things tinsel – even a berry red that’s just so seasonally appropriate, but the other three? Well, let’s just say that when Winter has us in a major chokehold, those 3 warm-leaning hues will act as a getaway, as far as my nails are concerned.

 

Essie Winter 2014

Essie | Winter 2014 Collection

 

Essie Winter 2014 macro

Essie | Winter 2014 Collection

 

Essie Tuck It In My Tux swatch

Tuck It In My Tux | A semi-sheer ivory hue in a hybrid crème/jelly formula that applies relatively easy and leaves a glossy finish behind. Two coats provides a translucent effect, but you do need to load up your brush to ensure it falls patch-free. Beautiful on its own, Tuck It In My Tux will also work well as a sandwich shade (i.e.: added as a last layer over a glitter polish for a frosted-glass effect). Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat

 

Essie Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo swatch

Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo | A brilliant pewter foil/metallic hue with ultra fine bronze flecks that give off a slightly oxidized tone. Highly pigmented, this is basically a 1-coater, with the added advantage of applying in a self-levelling way as well as brush stroke-free. Bear in mind that Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo (get it? Jiggle Lo-gigolo. Right) dries fairly quickly, so I recommend you work fast and and with as steady a hand as you can. Coats applied: 2, no top coat

 

Essie Back In The Limo swatch

Back In The Limo | A semi-sheer blush/apricot hue in a hybrid crème/jelly formula. Application is self-levelling and comes to an über-glossy finish, to compliment its plush cushiony tone (looks so squishy/juicy). Two thick-ish coats gives decent coverage, although still somewhat translucent. Even the addition of a 3rd coat doesn’t turn Back In The Limo fully opaque, but provides pretty solid coverage. Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat

 

Essie Bump Up The Pumps swatch

Bump Up The Pumps | A highly colour saturated & ridiculously pigmented pink-based coral crème hue. Self-levelling and glossy at the finish, Bump Up The Pumps is definitely a 1-coat wonder, although I would advise you to not skip applying base coat first, to eliminate any possible staining issues. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Double Breasted Jacket swatch

Double Breasted Jacket | Another exceptionally colour saturated shade, this is an intense fuchsia hue in a crème format, with blue undertones in the base for a cooler-leaning touch. The formula on Double Breasted Jacket falls a little thick but does not interfere with its application, and as with the previous shade, I advise not skipping base coat here either, to ensure your nails stay stain-free. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Jump In My Jumpsuit swatch

Jump In My Jumpsuit | A rich berry red crème hue with blue undertones in the base, in a superbly flowing and easy to apply formula. Super pigmented and highly colour saturated, Jump In My Jumpsuit applies in a self-levelling way and leaves a brilliant finish behind. Note: Do not avoid base coat first, to avoid any potential staining. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Winter 2014 Collection nail wheel

The above nail wheel has the shades of Essie’s Winter 2014 Collection broken down with comparisons:

  1. Tuck It In My Tux
  2. Minimalistic – extremely close both in colour and in texture, a couple of degrees dustier-looking
  3. Blanc – opaque, crème format, whitest
  4. Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo
  5. Hors D’Oeuvres – similar underlying base, glitter larger and more olive-hued
  6. Back In The Limo
  7. Resort Fling – similar texture, several degrees deeper & peachier
  8. Tart Deco – opaque, crème format, darkest in the range
  9. Bump Up The Pumps
  10. Cute As A Button – sheerest, jelly hybrid formula, more pink based
  11. Sunday Funday – base hue is similar, sheerer, holds a fine silver shimmer
  12. Double Breasted Jacket
  13. Watermelon – almost identical, a degree or two lighter, a touch less blue based
  14. Style Hunter – slightly more sheer, similar blue base tone
  15. Wife Goes On – sheerer, dustier tone, less blue based
  16. Jump In My Jumpsuit
  17. Head Mistress – a few degrees brighter
  18. Size Matters – deepest and more red-leaning

 

Surprising, is the best way to describe this collection. Far from the traditional hues associated with Winter, Essie’s take on the season is one that’s full of vigorous colour – a festive collection, in fact, with nary a brooding shade in sight. I adore Tuck It In My Tux – despite its slightly finicky nature, and I’m weirdly drawn to the almost searing tone of Double Breasted Jacket. Metallic nails are so on point this year, and Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo bears a fab application to go with the provocative name. Back In The Limo scores major points for being unique, especially in my collection of polishes – something that doesn’t happen often. As I said at the start: surprising … just like all proper gifts should be.

The Winter 2014 Collection will be available starting November. Visit Essie for all information on the brand.

 

Essie Winter 2014 closer

*Disclosure: Press samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Runway Beauty Bar event | Essie’s first Canadian Flagship Store

Runway Beauty Bar opener

 

This past August, I was privileged to be one of the select few media to be invited to a very special event held at Essie’s first flagship store, Runway Beauty Bar, located here in my hometown of Montréal. Apart from being in my element (as in: surrounded by endless rows of nail polish), we were treated to previews of Essie’s Winter 2014 Collection as well as the 2 latest lacquers to join the Essie Luxe Effects Collection – all of which will launch in stores this November (reviews will be up soon). The highlight of the evening for me, was in meeting up with my girl, Rita Remark, lead nail artist for Essie Canada and a woman who is not only a drop-dead stunning beauty, but one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

With my baby champagne bottle by my side (how fabulous are those blue POP bottles?) and piles of sweet treats to choose from – including personalized Essie Cookie pops from Sweet Isabelle, I selected ‘Tuck it in my Tux‘ – an ivory jelly-like crème hue for my mani, and Rita put in her trademark magic touch by using ‘Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo‘ (get it? LOL) – an antiqued silver ultra fine shimmer, and ran it slightly up the nails from the tips, creating a unique icicle effect. I loved it so much, that I kept the look on for days!

Located at Complexe Les Ailes, Runway Beauty Bar offers amazing mani/pedi sessions that you can basically customize, depending on how much time you have to indulge, with the full range of Essie lacquers to choose from including the gel polishes – as well as several other treatments, including threading, waxing, lash extensions & lash perms/tinting.

A special mention goes out to both Katie and Claudia – thank you so incredibly much for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful event!

 

Runway Beauty Bar 1

Champagne just totally goes with Essie, no?

 

Runway Beauty Bar 2

Essie Winter 2014 Collection

 

Runway Beauty Bar 3

Essie Winter 2014 Colletion

 

Runway Beauty Bar 4

Essie Luxe Effects: Summit of Style (bronze) & Rock At The Top (gold)

 

Runway Beauty Bar 5

Essie Luxe Effects: Summit of Style (bronze) & Rock At The Top (gold)

 

Runway Beauty Bar 6

Essie exclusive hand treatments, available through salons/spas

 

Runway Beauty Bar 7

Getting the royal treatment from Rita Remark

 

Runway Beauty Bar 8

 

 

Runway Beauty Bar mani 1

 Cameo appearance of my customized Sapphô cuff by Kim Smiley

 

Runway Beauty Bar mani 2

My ‘icicle mani’ – love, love, love!

 

Runway Beauty Bar mani 3

 

 

Runway Beauty Bar 9

the sweet table (with a double dose of yours truly)

 

Runway Beauty Bar 10

 

 

Runway Beauty Bar 11

 

 

Runway Beauty Bar 12

 

 

Runway Beauty Bar 13

Triple threat: Champagne, cookie pops, & Essie

 

Runway Beauty Bar Rita

Seriously, how gorgeous is Rita?

 

Runway Beauty Bar Rita 2

Manadatory ‘mani’ shot ….

 

Runway Beauty Bar group

We all apparently got the memo to wear white: Claudia, Katie, myself & Rita

 

Visit Essie for more information on their complete range of products

 

Runway Beauty Bar closer