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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 Collection
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
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
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
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
Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration
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 Collection
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
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
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 over Virgin Snow (matte)
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)
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.
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 (in direct sunlight)
Essie | Haute Tub (matte)
Essie | Haute Tub with Apres-Chic on tips
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)
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 over Apres-Chic (macro)
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)
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 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
Product samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration
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