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Oh, Essie – you had me at Spring, and then these shades come into my life and just like that, it’s amore. The new Spring 2015 Collection from Essie (launching in March), draws inspiration from an abundantly flowering garden, filled with a profusion of colour to reawaken our senses – all of which have probably been in hibernation from this miserably cold Winter. This jolt of colour is so welcome right now, and ∗almost∗ makes the cold weather bearable. At least this collection makes Spring seem that much closer.
It must be said, that Essie listens to their fans/devotees/groupies/addicts (take your pick. Pick, get it? Couldn’t resist including a garden/flower references. Shamelessly cheesy, but cute, no?) and continues to improve the formula. All six crème shades of this collection (not one drop of shimmer in sight) are a total joy to work with, applying in an effortless and self-levelling way, with several that don’t even need more than 1 coat for full opacity. All the swatches below are with 2 coats of lacquer each, as well as added top coat.
Essie | Spring 2015 Collection
Essie | Spring 2015 Collection
Perennial Chic | Described as “tawny tulip”, I say it’s more of a dollskin pink (or even Band-Aid pink), a neutral hue that is nowhere near what I consider tawny. The formula is semi-sheer and there’s a touch of patchiness seen with application of the first coat – normal for this type of shade – although Perennial Chic definitely becomes fully opaque with a second layer. This is a warmer leaning nude (I detect hints of peach in the base) and a colour that should be fairly easy for most skin tones to pull off, although I’m personally on the fence with the way it looks on me.
Picked Perfect | Described as “antique almond peony”, the antique almond part is about right, although I’m not feeling peony – more milk chocolate latte, instead. The formula here is thicker than that of Perennial Chic, but that works in its favour as it stays exactly where placed without any migration into surrounding skin. Picked Perfect applies in an über-creamy way and can almost be opaque at 1 coat if you load up your brush just right – totally surprising & so welcome. An absolutely perfect nude.
Blossom Dandy | Essie sure has the baby blue/mint category down pat, and Blossom Dandy is poised to be one of the biggest hits of this collection. This shade is incredibly difficult to properly capture in pictures; described as “mint crème hydrangea”, I say it’s closer to baby aqua that leans more blue than green, but again, that depends on the light and angle you’re coming from. I found the formula to be excellent and had no patchy issues to deal with whatsoever (unlike Essie’s Mint Candy Apple which always seems to apply rather chalky on me). All I know, is that I’m bsolutely loving Blossom Dandy and its mix of cool and warm tones should make it a winner for all skin tones across the board.
Petal Pushers | Lord, I do love me a good grey and Petal Pushers is pushing ALL my buttons. The formula here has a jelly-esque feel; slightly springy, ridiculously glossy, and leaving that plush look behind. Described as a “smoky stone rose” (how utterly romantic – I love the imagery of that description), I detect hints of blue and some mauve-y purple in the base, which lend this colour depth and keep it from appearing flat and one-dimensional. Perfection, I tell you.
Flowerista | Described as a “passionate plum dahlia”, I would have to agree – except I’d also add magenta in there as well. The formula is beyond amazing and can literally be a one coat wonder (especially if you load your brush up right), with a perfect flow, density and coverage – as well as a high-gloss shine at the finish (you don’t even need top coat, it’s THAT shiny). Once again, capturing all the colour nuances here proved difficult, as Flowerista can appear more purplish at some angles/lighting, or more pink-tinted at others. Either way, it’s gorgeous. Best part? Non-staining upon removal.
Garden Variety | Let’s just take a collective moment to absorb the gorgeousness of this colour, shall we? Sigh. Described as an “exotic teal blue orchid”, Garden Variety is all that — and more. An intense turquoise hue in a hybrid crème-jelly formula, there is a perfect density, opacity, and flow seen upon application, while the glossy finish is nothing less than spectacular. I detect more blue tints in the base, although there are small hints of green that peek through at certain angles (and yes, you would not believe how hard it was to accurately capture the colour in photos here as well – my camera just would.not.cooperate), all of which make this shade universally wearable by all skin tones. While relatively non-staining upon removal (relative to something so pigment-saturated in this colour group), I would not recommend skipping base coat just the same. Love, love, love this shade. Love.
A floral-inspired collection for Spring – how original, right? And yet, somehow Essie has managed to take this ubiquitous theme, shake it up, and then inject some new life into it. It doesn’t hurt that each and every formula of each and every shade is just perfect and make application fun, instead of a chore. With the exception of Perennial Chic (although I am oddly attracted to it, even if I’m not that thrilled with how it looks on me. So weird, that), I adore them all, with a 3-way tie between Blossom Dandy, Petal Pushers, and Garden Variety vying for top spot while both Flowerista and Picked Perfect are not that far behind. Final verdict: this entire collection is 100% win and well worth investing in.
Available March 2015 across Canada. Visit Essie.ca for more information on the brand.
Press samples provided for my unbiased consideration
Press samples provided for my unbiased consideration
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.
Black vinyl quilted Caboodles case & oodles of grey cashmere
Like finding a pearl in an oyster: new Essies!
Essie | Cashmere Matte 2015 Collection
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.
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
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
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
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 (top coat added)
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 (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
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 Collection
Essie | Winter 2014 Collection
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
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
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
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
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
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
The above nail wheel has the shades of Essie’s Winter 2014 Collection broken down with comparisons:
- Tuck It In My Tux
- Minimalistic – extremely close both in colour and in texture, a couple of degrees dustier-looking
- Blanc – opaque, crème format, whitest
- Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo
- Hors D’Oeuvres – similar underlying base, glitter larger and more olive-hued
- Back In The Limo
- Resort Fling – similar texture, several degrees deeper & peachier
- Tart Deco – opaque, crème format, darkest in the range
- Bump Up The Pumps
- Cute As A Button – sheerest, jelly hybrid formula, more pink based
- Sunday Funday – base hue is similar, sheerer, holds a fine silver shimmer
- Double Breasted Jacket
- Watermelon – almost identical, a degree or two lighter, a touch less blue based
- Style Hunter – slightly more sheer, similar blue base tone
- Wife Goes On – sheerer, dustier tone, less blue based
- Jump In My Jumpsuit
- Head Mistress – a few degrees brighter
- 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.
*Disclosure: Press samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration
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!
Champagne just totally goes with Essie, no?
Essie Winter 2014 Collection
Essie Winter 2014 Colletion
Essie Luxe Effects: Summit of Style (bronze) & Rock At The Top (gold)
Essie Luxe Effects: Summit of Style (bronze) & Rock At The Top (gold)
Essie exclusive hand treatments, available through salons/spas
Getting the royal treatment from Rita Remark
Cameo appearance of my customized Sapphô cuff by Kim Smiley
My ‘icicle mani’ – love, love, love!
the sweet table (with a double dose of yours truly)
Triple threat: Champagne, cookie pops, & Essie
Seriously, how gorgeous is Rita?
Manadatory ‘mani’ shot ….
We all apparently got the memo to wear white: Claudia, Katie, myself & Rita
Visit Essie for more information on their complete range of products
In honour of wedding season, Essie has once again released a small and beautifully curated little collection, Bridal 2014. Consisting of 4 delicate hues, this soft grouping may not be outrageous colour-wise, but is absolutely spot-on for those who want understated elegance.
Essie Bridal 2014 Collection
Essie Bridal 2014 Collection
She Said Yes – A semi sheer off-white hue with ultra fine silver shimmer, that somehow manages to stay visible even in low lighting. This shade may need 3 coats to reach full opacity, but it’s absolutely worth it for the gorgeous and super glossy finish it provides. One of few white colours that will NOT look stark upon the nails – LOVE! Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat
Essie Bridal 2014 – She Said Yes
Got Engaged – A dusty ballet-slipper pink with what looks like finely ground silver and baby pink shimmer. The formula is semi-sheer upon first application, but manages to offer slightly more opacity that She Said Yes. Self-levelling and ending with a high-gloss shine, this particular shade of pink will suit both warm and cool skin tones equally. Coats applied: 3 (thin), plus top coat
Essie Bridal 2014 – Got Engaged
Meet the Parents – (All I can think of with this name, is Ben Stiller/Robert DeNiro …!) A muted baby blue with greyish undertones, in a jellyesque formula. Application is ridiculously easy – self-levelling, a plush cushiony look, and ending with a super-high glossy shine. I so totally love this! Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
Essie Bridal 2014 – Meet the Parents
Love Every Minute – A true (but slightly warm-leaning) pink hue in a similar jelly-like formula as that of Meet the Parents. For those with pale skin tones, this will definitely appear to have coralish undertones and thus look much darker worn, but still wearable just the same. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat
Essie Bridal 2014 – Love Every Minute
The word to best describe this collection, is: demure. Interestingly enough, I am quite drawn to all 4 of these shades – perhaps because it’s nice to see classic hues for the occasion (or maybe I’m just old-fashioned that way *shrugs*). None of these shades scream original, but then again, sometimes understated speaks much louder. What works for me personally, is that these are some of the easiest to apply pastels I’ve come across – and all so very wearable. My favourites here, are without a doubt She Said Yes (absolutely perfect for a white-lover such as myself) and Meet the Parents for being so blue & squishy … a gorgeous and fun shade!
Available now, find more information via:
*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration