Essie – Bridal Collection 2011 (swatches & review)


Essie’s Bridal Collection for 2011 seems to speak to today’s bride, and expertly straddles the line between traditional and edgy.  On the one hand, there are the ubiquitous neutral shades in the form of ‘Made To Honor’ and ‘Better Together’ – although they both bear a unique twist to them, and then there’s the unexpected pops of colour via ‘Borrowed & Blue’ and ‘First Dance’ – even though both seem outrageous and fitting at the same time.  The finishes are quite different one from the other, which makes for a very varied capsule collection.  All swatches are with a-england’s ‘The Knight’ base coat (reviewed here) and Essie Good To Go top coat.


The pièce de résistance of this collection, ‘Borrowed & Blue’ is an ephemeral and delicate looking icy baby blue.  The colour of the arctic sky, this has a definite white base but there’s just enough blue tint in it to add a spark of excitement without coming across as too “school-girl”.  As pale pastels are notoriously streaky, I was quite surprised by the ease with which this applied, leaving no brush strokes or bald spots behind.  The glossy finish at the end was…the icing on the cake! (I couldn’t resist!).  This was fully opaque at two coats of lacquer.


Essie has become synonymous with delicate pink shades, and ‘Maid To Honor’ perfectly meshes with that image.  The most neutral shade of the collection, even at three coats which I applied here, it is nowhere near opaque, but it’s not meant to be either. Somewhere between a crème and jelly finish, this gives your nails a beautiful “clean” look, while adding a delicate blush of colour.  Perfect for a princess bride!


Once the ceremony has been performed and the reception is in full swing, ‘First Dance’ comes out to play!  A true carmine red shade, there seems to be very little blue in its base, which means it will easily suit not only warm but cool skin tones as well.  The middle photo taken with flash, shows you the intense “red” of this polish and even though with two coats applied here, it doesn’t reach an opaque stage, I just love how utterly sexy this hue is…let the honeymoon begin!


‘Better Together’ is a luscious baby pink jelly/crème, with a delicate-looking cushy feel to it. Had I left it at two coats, it would have had a lighter translucency, but I opted for three to gain not only more opacity, but to give it that “squishy” look.  There seems to be quite a bit of white in its base, and even though there is no shimmer in it whatsoever, it still seems to bear an almost pearly glow. Applied easily, levelled perfectly and super glossy finish!


Final thoughts:  Although Essie has become known for being the range with the most “bride-friendly” shades, the line still manages to stir things up a bit in this collection with the inclusion of both ‘Borrowed & Blue’ as well as ‘First Dance’. The formula on all was easy and goof-proof, and all four shades seemed to have a ridiculously high glossy finish…you barely need a top coat.  I am a huge fan of the Essie brush, as I find it just narrow enough to be able to reach your nail’s edge with perfect precision and flexible enough to help the lacquer glide on with ease.  While the neutral shades of this collection are not screamingly unique, their formula is actually much better than other similar past shades, making them a worthwhile purchase.  This collection is  limited edition and available now wherever Essie products are sold.





*Disclaimer:  Product samples were provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

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