Filed In: Essie

Essie · Winter 2016 Collection

essie-winter-2016-opener

For the Winter 2016 Collection, Essie’s taking us back to mod London in the swinging 60’s by bottling the free-loving spirit of the time with 6 shades that range from lush crèmes to shifty shimmers. Get your go-go boots on and cue the Austin Powers opening number, because it’s about to get Groovy, Baby.

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Essie · Winter 2016 Collection

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Essie · Winter 2016 Collection

essie-go-with-the-flowy-macro

Go With The Flowy | ‘Cloudlike Dove-Grey’, this is a greyed-out white hue with ultrafine silver shimmer & blue reflects. The formula has an odd thickish consistency (I want to say it reminds me of oatmeal, but without the lumpiness) although it still manages to apply in a self-levelling way and comes to a glossy finish. There will probably be some patchiness with the first coat, but a second layer smooths everything out just fine. Minimal shimmer spread upon removal.

Coats: 2 plus Gel Setter Top Coat

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Essie · Go With The Flowy swatch, Winter 2016 Collection

essoe-oh-behave-macro

Oh Behave!‘Minx Peach Frost’ — close, but I see more of a pink/coral that’s filled with delicate gold & pink shimmery ribbons. The formula leans towards a crème-jelly hybrid and while the first coat might appear semi-sheer, a second layer brings it to pretty decent opacity. Self-levelling and glossy, I love that moiré look of the shimmer, while the colour actually reminds me of well-worn ballet slippers.

Coats: 2, plus Gel Setter Top Coat

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Essie · Oh Behave! swatch, Winter 2016 Collection

essie-getting-groovy-macro

Getting Groovy‘Metallic Palladium Gold’ (apparently palladium is a chemical element that resembles platinum. I looked it up), this is a pale gold with both cool & warm undertones and basically metallic perfection: excellent flow, density, opacity & brilliance. I would even avoid top coat, as that might actually dull its reflective shine. There will be shimmer spread at removal, so take care.

Coats: 2, no top coat

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Essie · Getting Groovy swatch, Winter 2016 Collection

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Ready To Boa‘Glistening Bronzed Mahogany’ — definitely. It’s one of those lit-from-within or fireplace-banked-embers kind of shade, with burgundy & topaz reflects and just so much gorgeousness. In other words, I see this as the perfect Fall shade but it’ll do for Winter as well. The formula can almost be a 1-coat-wonder, laying down in a super pigmented way, fully opaque by the first coat, self-levelling and coming to a hi-shine finish. While thicker than the rest of the group, it still applies quite easily without any pooling at the cuticles or nail sides.

Coats: 2, plus Gel Setter Top Coat

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Essie · Ready To Boa swatch, Winter 2016 Collection

essie-satin-sister-swatch

Satin Sister‘Sleek Ebony Peacock’. What? Um, more like a drop-dead lush teal crème that shows some jelly-like characteristics: a plush cushiony look and a slight spring-back effect upon application. Super creamy and smoothly laying, this baby has excellent colour saturation and — get ready for this — is non staining upon removal. I know, right?

Coats: 2, no top coat. I repeat: NO TOP COAT

essie-party-on-a-platform-swatch

Party On A Platform‘Towering London Garnet Red’, and while I’m not exactly sure what the Tower of London connection is, the colour is spot on: an insanely pigmented & colour drenched garnet/deep carmine crème hue, with some jelly-like tendencies. A true 1-coat-wonder, it’s also self-levelling and über-glossy at the finish. Seriously, this is one red for the books.

Coats: 2, no top coat (I mean, does it look like it needs it? Pfftt)

 

I wasn’t initially sure what to make of the theme for this collection, but the more I played with the shades, the more it seemed to fit. In fact, it should have been name Essie’s London in the Swinging 60s Winter 2016 Collection. Stand-outs for me are Ready To Boa (because it’s just so rich. Ugh), Go With The Flowy (because I cannot resist anything white-ish) and surprisingly (to me), Getting Groovy (because, metallic. And gold.). Truth to tell, you really can’t go wrong with any of these. Powers, out.

Go on over and check out my buddy Manigeek’s swatches of this collection – she ‘nailed’ it! #sorrynotsorry

Available at fine salons & Essie retailers 

essie-winter-2016-closer

 

Press samples/As always, all opinions are my own

Essie | Gel Couture

Essie Gel Couture opener

 

Taking things up a notch in the nail lacquer game, Essie has just launched Gel Couture, a new range of polishes (42 shades in total) that draw inspiration from the fashion industry and are ready to take you from ‘the atelier to the after-party‘. The first thing you’ll notice is the bottle with its unique twisty shape, a feature that is not only visually exciting but created to fit ergonomically in the palm of your hand (honestly, it’s such a ridiculously comfortable fit; makes you wonder how no one had already thought of it). The other innovation is the patent-pending swirl-stem brush, designed so that the polish flows smoothly down to the brush, without any nasty blobs coming down to spoil the party.

This 2-step system (polish + Gel Couture Top Coat) aims to offer up to 14 days of chip-free wear without the need for UV or LED lamps – in turn making these polishes easy to remove, with the shades arranged in four colour families:

  • Atelier – embodied by the neutrals
  • First Look – embodied by the pastels
  • Fashion Show – embodied by the brights
  • After Party – embodied by the deeps

For anyone who’s ever complained about the tiny size of Essie’s brushes, you can now rejoice: joining the ranks of some of my all-time favourite polish brushes (such as Dior, Guerlain and the new L’Oréal Vernis à L’Huile) the brush in this range has been given an upgrade as well. Wider than before and with rounded yet tapered bristles that splay perfectly along the nail, you need very little pressure to apply product evenly and effectively, making the job so much easier than before.

Essie Gel Couture

Essie | Gel Couture

Essie First View

Essie | Gel Couture

Essie Gel Couture brush

Essie | Gel Couture (brush detail)

Essie Sheer Fantasy swatch

Sheer Fantasy | (Atelier) Sheerest baby pink with a hybrid crème-jelly formula that is definitely not meant to be opaque. Glossy, self-levelling and non-patchy, this is the perfect ‘palate cleanser’, and while I actually love the translucent effect at 2 coats, I gave it a third layer here to show the effect.

Coats: 3, thin + top coat

 

Essie Stitch by Stitch swatch

Stitch By Stitch | (Atelier) A soft bubblegum pink crème hue that applies in a buttery smooth way, showing good flow & coverage that leaves behind a glossy finish. Easy-peasy & oh-so-pretty, no?

Coats: 2 + top coat

 

Essie First View swatch

First View | (Atelier) Cool-leaning baby blue filled with ultra refined prismatic shimmer, in a crème based formula that applies like a dream: even, excellent coverage and glossy at the finish.

Coats: 2 + top coat

 

Essie First View macro swatch

Essie Gel Couture | First View (detail)

 

Essie On The List swatch

On The List | (Fashion Show) A unique soft/hot coral hue in a crème-jelly hybrid formula that is pushing all the right buttons for me. Self-levelling, non-patchy, major colour saturation AND non-staining; this is DEFINITELY the epitome of what a Summer shade should be. Not to mention so much easier (and classier) to wear than neon. LOVE.

Coats: 2 + top coat

 

Essie Beauty Marked swatch

Beauty Marked | (Fashion Show) A blue-based (cool-leaning) deep cerise red hue in a crème-jelly hybrid formula that has insane colour saturation, flow and coverage even with the very first coat. Self-levelling and über-glossy, it’s also relatively non-staining (for such an intense red), although I’d still suggest a base coat for those with porous nails.

Coats: 2 + top coat

 

Essie Gala-Vanting swatch

Gala-Canting | (After Party) A deep berry/maroon hue in a crème formula that has hints of a jelly finish, making it not only self-levelling in application, but coming to a glossy finish as well. Beautiful flow & coverage, as well as non-staining upon removal, this shade makes nails look so elegant. BONUS: cloud reflections seen on my nails…proves how crazy glossy these shades are.

Coats: 2 + top coat

 

Essie Surrounded by Studs swatch

Surrounded By Studs | (After Party) A deep navy that’s chock-full of ultra fine blue & teal shimmer, giving this shade depth and a unique new vibrancy. Self-levelling and with a perfect density-flow-to-coverage ratio, you also have the added bonus of it being non-staining upon removal. Pretty stunning, wouldn’t you agree? Plus it’s edgy without coming off as just plain old black….so much love.

Coats: 2 + top coat

 

Essie Surrounded by Studs macro swatch

Essie Gel Couture | Surrounded By Studs (detail)

 

Summed up: every single one of the shades I’ve tried thus far (I have several more in the works to show you) are nothing short of amazing. Essie has absolutely killed it with this new Gel Couture range and I have nothing but the best things to say about these lacquers. From the easy-to-hold bottle to the perfect way the brush fans out across the nail, I’ll agree with my colleague Karen who now calls these “yessie” (PS: check out her amazing swatches of the entire range here – plenty to drool over).

Essie Gel Couture (CAN $13.99) is available now at beauty destinations across Canada

 

Essie Gel Couture closer

 

 

Nail polish loveliness kindly provided/As always, all opinions are my own

Essie | Aim to Misbehave, 1000th Shade Celebration

Essie Aim to Misbehave opener

 

How do you celebrate a milestone? If you’re Essie, you do it with a glorious and uplifting happy yellow shade, give it a naughty name, then dress up the cap for good measure. Introducing … drumroll … Essie’s 1000th shade (1000 – how crazy is that?), Aim to Misbehave, limited edition and launching May 31 at all Essie retailers.

Essie Aim to Misbehave

I don’t own a lot of yellow shades, and off the top of my head I believe I have only one other Essie yellow, although it doesn’t come anywhere near the flecktastic glory of Aim to Misbehave. Created with Essie’s new ‘pearl technology’, this shade is an celebratory mix of sunshine & egg-yolk yellow that’s then crossed with ultra-bright gold — with a ton of incredibly fine pearly shimmer added for depth and just plain old FUN. It even has a happy, confetti-dotted cap (cute, am I right?). In other words, this little lovely has everything right going for it:

  • stellar formula: self-levelling application, excellent opacity, flow & coverage
  • non-streaky, non-patchy
  • unique and complex colour
  • ultra fine shimmer that lays down smoothly upon the nail
  • non-staining upon removal

All swatches: 2 coats + top coat

 

Essie Aim to Misbehave macro

Essie | Aim to Misbehave, 1000th Shade Celebration

Essie Aim to Misbehave cap

Essie | Aim to Misbehave, 1000th Shade Celebration (cap detail)

Essie Aim to Misbehave swatch 1

Essie | Aim to Misbehave, 1000th Shade Celebration

Essie Aim to Misbehave swatch 2

Essie | Aim to Misbehave, 1000th Shade Celebration

Essie Aim to Misbehave swatch 3

Essie | Aim to Misbehave, 1000th Shade Celebration

Essie Aim to Misbehave swatch 4

Essie | Aim to Misbehave, 1000th Shade Celebration

 

I have to hand it to Essie; they sure now how to get the party started and while yellow (whether it’s nail polish, makeup, or even clothing) is not something I wear all that often (as in basically never), once I applied Aim to Misbehave I literally did not want to take it off. Know why? It makes me happy. It’s crazy fun to look at. It’s so unique. All of the above. Even my Manigeek buddy agrees – this is one awesome shade, and so worth joining one’s collection.

So, spill: are we digging the yellow? let me know!

 

Essie Aim to Misbehave closer

 

 

 

Product sample kindly provided for my unbiased consideration

Essie | Bridal 2016 Collection

Essie Bridal 2016 opener

 

What makes the Essie Bridal 2016 Collection so interesting, is not only the fact that this is a colourful group, albeit in a muted & soft kind of way, but that the formula on each shade is really amazing and so easy to work with. Then again, with the way my mind works, the appeal could also be attributed to the rather risqué names; Essie, I didn’t know you had it in you – but I’m totally loving it!

 

Essie Bridal 2016

Essie | Bridal 2016 Collection

Essie Bridal 2016 macro

Essie | Bridal 2016 Collection

Essie Bridal 2016 2

Essie | Bridal 2016 Collection

 

Essie Between the Seats swatch

Between the Seats | A greyed-out lilac (dirty lilac?) that gives excellent coverage without streaking, even with the first coat – highly unusual for a shade in this colour group. Self-levelling, glossy and so totally in my white-loving wheelhouse (I’m going to absolutely wear this to death this Summer. Backup-worthy).

Coats: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Coming Together swatch

Coming Together | A mid-sheer baby pink crème/hybrid jelly with that plush cushiony look, needing either ‘undies’ or three thin coats to reach full opacity (but it also has that ‘sea-glass’ translucency at 2 coats that I love). Super glossy natural finish.

Coats: 3 (thin), no top coat

 

Essie Passport to Happiness swatch

Passport to Happiness | Can you even deal with all of this gorgeousness? A milky seafoam green with ultra fine pearly green shimmer in a formula that can’t be beat. You can easily reach full opacity by loading up your brush – application is that effortless. Self-levelling, glossy and with no visible brush strokes at the finish (never mind what the macro swatch shot might show; this appears even to the naked eye). So much LOVE.

Coats: 2, plus top coat

Essie Passport to Happiness swatch macro

Essie | Passport to Happiness (detail), Bridal 2016 Collection

 

Essie Groom Service swatch

Groom Service | (this name…perfection!) A soft violet/lavender with blueish undertones but it’s a shade that will work on both cool and warm complexions equally. The formula is that crème/jelly hybrid that Essie does so well, with amazing coverage from the first coat (provided your brush is decently loaded up, that is). Glossy, plush, and smoothly applying.

Coats: 2, no top coat

 

Essie Steal His Name swatch

Steal His Name | A sheerish peachy/pink hue in that same lush crème/jelly hybrid formula, that will definitely need either ‘undies’ or at least 3 coats for opacity. I can see this as the perfect flower girl shade, no? I can also see this as a ‘sandwich-ing’ type of shade (where you apply some type of glitter polish in between two layers). Warm leaning, this is the palest peach I have in my collection and I [surprisingly] absolutely love it!

Coats: 3 (thin), no top coat

 

Essie Mrs Always-Right swatch

Mrs Always-Right | Certainly can’t argue with this name, that’s for sure! Described as a ‘terracotta rose’, the formula here is nothing short of pure perfection: colour-saturated and with excellent opacity even with the first coat, self-levelling and glossy at the finish. Theres a vintage vibe to this crème hue that really appeals to me, and the best part? Non-staining upon removal. Sidebar note: my very first lipstick was in this shade – a colour I remember my grandmother describing as ‘rotten apple’, which actually sounds a lot better in Greek!

Coats: 2, plus top coat

 

I’m not always a pastel kind of girl, maybe because past iterations have always left much to be desired application-wise. That being said, Essie has done something to their formula which has basically eliminated that frustrating factor, and I for one couldn’t be happier. This collection surprised me; each and every shade is something I want to wear a lot of. I’m even going to say it here: Passport to Happiness is THE Summer shade and Between the Seats is probably the most unique white I’ve ever worn. Sadly, this is a limited edition collection, so I wouldn’t wait too long to pick up any faves.

The Essie Bridal 2016 Collection is available in salons. Find more info on the brand via www.essie.ca

Essie Bridal 2016 closer

 

 

Product samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration

Essie | Resort 2016 Collection

Essie Resort 2016 opener

 

The Essie Resort 2016 Collection has effectively captured the exotic hues of India in just 4 bottles, and then made all that colour so absolutely wearable. With warmer weather within ‘touching distance’, my usual tendency for all shades moody becomes temporarily shelved and I get the urge to sport more vivid hues (I do love a more colourful pedi, especially for the beach. Now I just need to actually get to said beach). After all, one must give the season its proper welcome, wouldn’t you agree?

Essie Resort 2016

Essie | Resort 2016 Collection

 

Essie Delhi Dance swatch

Delhi Dance | A warm-leaning Barbie/bubblegum pink hue that seems to straddle the border with neon territory, but somehow still manages to stick to a less electric state. There was some patchiness with the first coat but that becomes 100% opaque by the second. Self-Levelling and glossy, this is one of the brighter pinks I’ve ever worn and which I actually love against my skin tone (and I never, EVER wear pink).

Coats: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Going Guru swatch

Going Guru | My love of mint green is so totally vindicated by this beauty; vivid without leaning obnoxious, the yellow undertones in the base make this one of the warmer shades in this colour group that I’ve seen. A slightly thinner formula than the rest but which still applies easily & without any pooling at the cuticles, perfect coverage is reached by the second layer. Self-levelling and glossy at the finish to round things off. PS: one of the best names for nail polish EVER.

Coats: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Taj-Ma-Haul swatch

Taj-Ma-Haul | Quite possibly one of the most perfectly executed apricot shades I’ve ever come across, there’s also a natural warmth to this hue that will make it so wearable by a broad range of skin tones (the yellow undertone in the base somehow manages to not clash with my skin – sorcery, I tell you). The formula is a crème/jelly hybrid and has the typical bouncy effect you see with this genre, but it also leaves behind a plush, cushiony look along with a super glossy finish.

Coats: 2, plus top coat

 

Essie Nama-Stay the Night swatch

Nama-Stay The Night | There’s only one way to describe this: OMG. An intensely colour saturated cerulean blue, this shade is perfection in every way: flow, density, coverage, opacity, glossiness, and self-levelling finish. You can basically get away with 1 coat – it’s THAT pigmented, but 2 give it a more lustrous tone. Bonus: non staining upon removal.

Coats: 2, plus top coat

 

To summarize: Essie has basically killed it with this Resort 2016 Collection. For those looking to wear a bit more colour but who tend to shy away from anything overly-bright, then look no further. My favourites have got to be Going Guru and Nama-Stay The Night, although Taj-Ma-Haul is speaking to me quite strongly as well. I’m even planning on wearing the heck out of Delhi Dance as a pedi choice once sandal season hits. One last thing: this cozy collection has THE BEST NAMES ever!

The Essie Resort 2016 Collection will be available as of March 29th at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix stores, spas and salons across Canada. Find more information on the range via www.essie.ca

Essie Resort 2016 closer

 

 

Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration