Say what you will, no brand understands feminine and dainty better than essie, and this latest Ballet Nudes Collection (CAN $13.99/each) certainly backs up what I’m saying. Of course, the fact that these lacquers come in essie’s new gel couture™ formula doesn’t hurt either; created to be long-wearing, it’s also the revolutionary brush that makes all the difference in the world between a mediocre and totally flawless application. So basically, the nail polish aficionado + ballerina wannabe in me have just come together in perfect harmony.
Inspired by the elegance of the ballet — from the costumes (think: pastel, shimmery tutus) to the choreography (embodied by the uniquely twisted bottle and brush wand design), these shades are meant to be applied to your bare nails, then finished with the specially formulated top coat … no base coat or curing lamp needed.
Note that none of the swatches shown have top coat added — I wanted to show how glossy they are even on their own.
Luxury inspo? CHANEL Fall/Winter 2016-17 Haute Couture Collection
Lace Me Up | A white based baby pink hue that applies relatively streak-free, with any patchiness seen by the first coat easily smoothing out with a second layer. You’ll need at least three thin coats to reach the opacity seen here.
Perfect Posture | Pale lavender/periwinkle hue with white undertones in the base, in a formula that’s was easy-peasy to apply: self levelling, non-patchy & coming to a glossy finish. Two coats seen here.
Satin Slipper | A light nude/beige with ultrafine pearly shimmer that may be a bit difficult to see unless direct light hits the nails, although it does add depth. As this formula has some translucency, you’ll need three thin coats to reach the opacity seen here.
At The Barre | A soft flesh toned nude with pink undertones in the base, thus making it universally wearable by a broad range of skin tones, with a formula that’s quite effortless to apply. Two coats seen here.
Hold The Position | A warm rose hue that’s surprisingly non-streaky in application (for something in this colour family, that is), falling in a self-levelling way and with good opacity as well. Two coats seen here.
Closing Night | A unique mix of light blue & soft-wash grey that’s filled with undercurrents of metallic blue shimmer which provides a slight shift seen in certain lighting. The formula here is a touch runnier than the rest, but still very easy to work with and apply. Any translucency seen with the first coat becomes totally opaque by a second layer. Two coats shown here.
You know that Spring is near when brands start busting out all the pastels (with neons & brights not far behind for Summer), and essie certainly managed to capture the essence of the ballet with this collection. My favourites are hands down Closing Night (I mean, just look at it), and Satin Slipper (even if it does take a bit more effort in application), although Lace Me Up falls totally in my white-loving wheelhouse and At The Barre is one of the easiest nudes you’ll wear. I was actually surprised by how much I liked Hold The Position, but as someone who’s not that big a fan of pink, well …. let’s just leave it here.
Available at salons & retailers nationwide
PR samples/All opinions my own