Filed In: Essie

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

Essie | Winter & Luxe Effects 2015 Collections

Essie Winter & Luxe Effects 2015 opener

 

Back in August, I was privileged to have been given both the Winter 2015 and Luxe Effects 2015 collections but as we were still in the grip of summertime heat, I was in no position to really appreciate the inspiration behind these shades. Fast forward to right now with winter fully upon us, and I’m totally loving these beauties. Yes, I like to be seasonally appropriate that way. Sometimes.

With the bottles of both collections arrayed in front of me, I was inspired to create a combination post, and something about the tones of the Luxe Effects shades made it so easy, helping to make my limited nail art skills appear that much more intricate. As a self-professed colour-purist (and mega glitter-avoider), no one was more surprised than me to find how much FUN I had. It might be time for me to rethink my stance on glitter.

 

Essie Luxe Effects 2015

Essie | Luxe Effects 2015 Collection

 

Essie Peak Show swatch

Peak Show | A white-based icy pink crème hue in a formula that shows good density and flow. Since the first coat will probably be a touch patchy, I suggest 3 thin layers for a perfectly even & opaque finish. Confession: this is my absolutely fave way to wear pink (and yes, I’m somewhat obsessed with any variation of white nail polish).

Coats: 3 (thin) plus top coat

 

Essie Virgin Snow swatch

Virgin Snow | If clouds had a baby with lilacs, this is the colour they’d produce (as weird as that sounds, I stand by it). A similar formula to Peak Show but with better opacity, this is is a blue-leaning baby lilac hue with grey undertones – the entire combination seeming somehow muddied up, and just so.damn.beautiful. It’s really like looking at a twilit sky reflecting on pristine snow (totally waxing poetic here). Love x billion for this shade.

Coats: 2 plus top coat

 

Essie Frilling Me Softly swatch

Frilling Me Softly | (over Virgin Snow) A clear base filled with silver bar and hexagonal glitter pieces (small, medium & large). As each brush stroke pulls out quite a healthy scoop of glitter, there’s no fishing around needed, although you may need to nudge some bar glitter into place if it passes the nail’s free edge. Of course, I just had to mattify things as well – which is in fact my fave way of wearing glitter, as a matte coat makes everything look more modern and makes any glitter pieces stand out uniquely.

Coats: 1 (no top coat)

Essie Frilling Me Softly swatch matte

Essie | Frilling Me Softly over Virgin Snow (matte)

 

Essie Altitude Attitude swatch

Altitude Attitude | A colour-saturated watermelon red hue with magenta undertones in a crème-jelly hybrid formula. Amazing flow & density, making application a breeze and leaves behind an über-glossy finish that really doesn’t even need top coat (see the difference: my ring finger has no top coat added). As there is a stain potential, don’t skip on base coat first.

Coats: 2 plus top coat (except ring finger)

 

Essie Tassel Shaker swatch

Tassel Shaker | (over Altitude Attitude) A clear base filled with copper, gold and bronze fine bar glitter strands. There’s a good amount of glitter per brush stroke to provide good coverage, without any extra fishing needed. Something about these Luxe Effects shades inspire me and I couldn’t help but play; as seen in the above swatch, it’s quite easy to create number of looks with Tassel Shaker, from dots (which wound up looking like stars due to the bar glitter – a happy coincidence), stripes, all over application, or just on the tips for a shimmery touch. If I can do it, anyone can.

 

Essie Haute Tub swatch

Haute Tub | A mid-sheer blackened base hue filled with multi-chrome ultra fine shimmer (predominantly magenta-coloured, but with flashes bronze, green, purple and blue seen at some angles). The hybrid crème-jelly formula leans on the thick side but is still very easy to work with (and has the benefit of not pooling into cuticles or along nail sides), falling in a self-levelling way and finishing up glossy. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. I couldn’t resist adding a matte top coat to see what effect I’d get (so much love for this finish), then even played around with some free-hand nail art via a flashy silver tip using Apres-Chic.

Coats: 2 plus top coat (as well as matte top coat)

Essie Haute Tub swatch 2

Essie | Haute Tub (in direct sunlight)

Essie Haute Tub swatch matte

Essie | Haute Tub (matte)

Essie Haute Tub swatch nail art

Essie | Haute Tub with Apres-Chic on tips

 

Essie Apres-Chic swatch

Apres-Chic | A white-based metallic silver in one of the best formulas to date that I’ve come across for this type of polish. Naturally, a steady hand is needed to avoid any potential visible brush strokes but the formula seems to level things out as it dries, turning it quite even-looking all on its own. Like newly-forged steel (makes me think of sword blades), the brilliance can be blinding in direct light – so gorgeous, and really doesn’t benefit from added top coat (except for protection purposes). There will probably be some shimmer spread upon removal, so be warned (but who cares – the finish makes it worth the effort). Bonus: this makes an excellent nail art shade as well – think: silver gradient tips.

Coats: 2 plus top coat (except ring finger)

 

Essie Fringe Factor swatch

Fringe Factor | (over Apres-Chic) A clear base filled with plum bar glitter. The formula here was the thickest of the four Luxe Effects and while it worked in my favour to create this ombré look, you’ll probably need to go in with a couple of coats for allover coverage. For the above look and working backwards (from the tip up), I applied the first coat, concentrating more along the edge. A second coat of glitter was again added to just the edge and spread out (more like’ shmooshed’ out using the brush), with everything topped off by a layer of top coat which smooths things out and covers any demarcation lines.

Essie Fringe Factor swatch macro

Essie | Fringe Factor over Apres-Chic (macro)

 

Essie Shall We Chalet swatch

Shall We Chalet? | One word: SPECTACULAR. Yes, it’s a red and we all have about a zillion reds in our stash, but this blue-based hue is still amazing regardless. A hybrid crème/jelly formula, this colour-drenched shade applies in a completely self-levelling way and finishes up with a mirror-like glossy shine (once again, ring finger is left bare of top coat to show how intense the gloss truly is). Any staining potential is quite low, but I wouldn’t skip on base coat just the same.

Coats: 2 plus top coat (except ring finger)

 

Essie Fashion Flares swatch

Fashion Flares | (over Shall We Chalet?) A clear base filled with metallic magenta bar glitter as well as black hexagonal glitter (small, medium & large). Let me begin by saying that I was blown away with Fashion Flares on so many levels: application was superb with good coverage by even the first coat, and I became slightly obsessed with the textured & multi-level effect it gives to nails. Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, the matte layer  I added for the last swatch, took things up several notches and really made the glitter pattern stand out in a stylized artistic way. Just, WOW.

Coats: 2 plus top coat, and matte top coat added last.

Essie Fashion Flares swatch matte

Essie | Fashion Flares over Shall We Chalet? (matte)

 

With the spring collections about to make their debut all over counters, there’s thankfully still time to scoop up any (or all) of these shades. Essie’s entire Winter 2015 Collection is a big hit for me, with absolutely zero duds in the bunch. Peak Show and Virgin Snow are absolutely breathtaking and will be still wearable once the warmer weather hits, while both Haute Tub (don’t you just love that name?) and Apres-Chic each have a totally unique appeal. Even the two red shades have their merits, although if forced to pick one, I’d say that Shall We Chalet? is well worth adding to your stash. The bar glitter of Luxe Effects may not be everyone’s cup of tea (I’ve never been a big fan … until now), but there’s no denying how much interest they can add to your existing mani – and you don’t even need to go all out; a simple accent nail will do. See? Fun & easy-peasy.

Essie’s Winter 2015 and Luxe Effects 2015 Collections are available in drugstores, salons, and other beauty destinations and retail for CAN $9.99 each. Find more information via www.essie.ca

 

Essie Winter & Luxe Effects 2015 closer

 

 

Product samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration

Essie | Spring 2015 Collection

 

Essie Spring 2015 opener

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 2

Essie | Spring 2015 Collection

Essie Spring 2015 Collection 3

Essie | Spring 2015 Collection

 

Essie Perennial Chic swatch

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.

 

Essie Picked Perfect swatch

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.

 

Esse Blossom Dandy swatch

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.

 

Essie Petal Pushers swatch

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.

 

Essie Flowerista swatch 2

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.

 

Essie Garden Variety swatch

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.

Essie Spring 2015 closer

 

 

 

Press samples provided for my unbiased consideration