Archive for the ‘Essie’ Category

Random Cremes From Essie & My Newest Obsession

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Recently, I discovered the glory that is audiobooks from the library. I can download them on my iPhone and listen while I get ready in the morning, garden, do my nails, cook, clean, drive, walk the dogs, and pretty much any normally quiet daily activity.  As a result of all this “reading” that I can now do, I’ve been expanding my book choices into the unprecedented. As an unreasonable book snob, I vowed never to read anything that could be considered YA. But after several friends convinced me to give The Hunger Games a try and the possibility of listening instead of reading, I decided,  ”meh I guess I can listen to it – what’s the big deal?”

Well, the big deal is that it totally triggered my fandom like whoa. I. am. obsessed. The angst, the cheesy love triangle, the dystopian future, the battle against an oppressive government, the action and actually competent, badass female lead. Yes, YES!! I can’t believe my book snobbery would have kept me from checking this series out sooner. I listened to all three books in 3 days and then walked around in a daze afterwards, depressed that the series was over and missing the characters. I cannot wait for the Catching Fire movie to come out in November (and I really hope that they take the time in the movie to represent the nail art that Katniss wears throughout the books.) I’m slowly collecting the China Glaze Capitol Colors Collection as an extension of my fandom too. *squee*

In any case, I present you with some random Essie swatches. These are some colors that had been on my lemming list for a while and they did not disappoint.

Essie Case Study

Essie Case Study is a taupe-ish dark clay brown, with a touch of green, it’s sort of a chameleon. Definitely work appropriate with a twist – I wore this one to my first homicide trial. This is 3 coats but it would have been fine at 2 coats.

Essie Glamour Purse

Essie Glamour Purse is a mushroomy muted brown leaning taupe. GP had excellent application, another 3 coater that would have been fine at 2. In addition to being work apropos, it was very flattering to my skintone.

Essie Going Incognito

*cat calls* Essie Going Incognito. Gorgeous, just a freaking unbelievably gorgeous deep dark blue toned emerald green. I would classify this one as more of a crelly than a creme – the application is somewhat thin because it’s buildable. The shine is eye-popping. I LOVE this one and it’s a contender for the top twenty, possibly even to knock-out a different green.

Essie Lilacism

Essie Lilacism is a delicate lilac creme. I suppose I will stop calling lilac one of my white whales because at this point I’ve encountered a few that I consider flattering, including Lilacism. I started lemming it after I saw it on a friend from work. While I loved the color, I was disappointed with the application. It’s a PITA, very thick while also thin causing it to apply unevenly. It required 4 coats to even out on the surface of the nail. Despite the application woes, it did wear well. With Seche Vite and Sally Nail Quencher I got a full 5 days of wear with no chips and minimal tip wear.

Essie Plumberry

And finally, Essie Plumberry. This color could not be more aptly named because it is without-a-doubt a plum toned berry creme. My photo, sadly, does not capture this color very well. In real life it’s a little deeper, darker and moodier. The photo captures more of the berry tone and not as much of the plum. Wonderful application – 3 coats but would have been good at 2. While I don’t usually wear colors like this often, I lemminged it after seeing swatches on another blog. I can see why berry, like red and pink, tends to be more popular. My love for more unique colors aside, this sure is pretty and it does flatter my skin-tone (and probably would flatter most).

Did you lemming any of these colors too? And now that I’m taking a foray into YA, any other books I should check out?

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Disclaimer: These colors were sent to me for review by Beauty Stop Online. BSO is a new-to-me e-tailer that carries several of the biggie brands. Essie retails on their site for $5.99 a pop. 

 

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Experiments in Layering: Hits Phenomena Moonbow + Essie Grape Crush

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I started writing this post during that week that my site went on the fritz. I gave up after I banged my head against my computer and had to go outside to burn a WordPress effigy. Last week, I finally figured out what caused the issue in the first place. As it turns out my website does not like the WordPress Jetpack Plug-in. I deactivated it, along with everything else, when I was trying to fix the problem originally. It didn’t help instantly, but after being deactivated for a couple of days, I logged back in to find that everything was working perfectly. Fast forward to a few days ago, I tried to check my stats and I realized that that function is dependent on Jetpack so I reactivated the plug-in. Instantly, the site stopped working again and it took about 24 hours after deactivation for the site to function normally. At the very least, I finally know what happened but I’m flying completely blind in terms of site stats. Haha.

In any case, back to the post, I got an email recently from a newly minted nail polish collector who was interested in layering techniques. I don’t layer often because my nail polish OCD compels me to wear a color in its unaltered form the first time I wear it. But when I do layer, I love it. And some colors scream “layer me!” despite my obsessive tendencies.

Hits Moonbow

Hits Moonbow, from the Phenomena collection, is precisely that type of color. This polish is ridiculous. Just ridiculous. It’s a color-shifting multichrone glitter suspended in a cloudy base.  The glitter shifts from green and fuchsia to purple and occasionally it flashes gold. When I first saw photos of this color I was instantly obsessed, I had to have it, stat! However, from the swatches I saw, it didn’t look like a glitter polish, it looked like… well… magic. So I was a little disappointed when I received it and discovered that while it was still quite magical, it didn’t really look the way it looked online. (This is the second time this has happened recently *makes Mikayla is not impressed face*). My next hope was that it would be a buildable glitter, meaning the whole surface of the nail would be completely covered within a few coats. It is buildable, sort of. The glitter will cover the surface of your nail but it takes about 4 coats. That would be fine, except that, for whatever reason, the glitter does not coat the tip of the nail very well. The end result looks a bit like tip pull. You can definitely see what I’m talking about in the photo above – needless to say, it’s not very flattering.

Hits Moonbow Top View

Because of that issue, I don’t recommend wearing this color on its own. It is gorgeous for sure and it definitely has a crash-inducing-stare-at-my-nails-while-driving quality to it but it looks infinitely better layered over another color.

Hits Moonbow over Essie Grape Crush

Case in point, Hits Moonbow over oldschool Essie Grape Crush. Looks much better, right? Grape Crush, a sheer purple glaze, is from an older Essie collection that consisted of all sheer glazes (as opposed to more modern jellies). For reference and comparison Essie Cherry Pop, which is still widely available, is from the same collection and has the same look and consistency. The beloved Essie Night Cap is also from that collection. I somehow neglected to photograph Grape Crush on its own – bad nail blogger, bad. I’ll make that up to you, I do plan to post the whole collection soon. I’m only missing one more polish, Essie Apricot Fizz, to complete the set of 6 from the original collection! In any case, this NOTD is 3 coats of GC and 3 coats of Moonbow. I know, I know that’s too many coats. But I liked the end result and I didn’t have any drying issues after a coat of Seche.

Hits is a new brand to me. I’m a little biased because it hails from the mother country, Brazil. The Phenomena collection is my first experience with this brand and I was pretty wowed by it even though it wasn’t what I expected. There are a few more Hits polishes on my lemming list, including pretty much ALL OF THE HOLOS. My one gripe is that the bottle is pretty small so you end up with that noticeable, and uber distressing, dip in the bottle after just one mani. It gave me some serious angst, another aspect of my nail polish OCD, so I do plan to get a back up bottle.  These bad boys retail for approximately $6.50 to $7.00.

When I was on the hunt for Moonbow and company, all the e-tailers had it listed as out of stock. That day, I placed orders with both Llarowe and Ninja Polish for several other colors. I included a note in the comments section of my order for both e-tailers that I really needed this color and asked that if they happened to have a bottle laying around in the stock room to please add it to my order and charge me for it. Ninja Polish did just that (excellent customer service on their part), meanwhile Llarowe very kindly included a bottle of it in my order without charging me. Even though I do want a back up bottle of this color and I was very grateful, I felt badly because I like to support small nail polish related businesses whenever I can. I figured that the best way to repay that kindness was to gift the bottle that I bought to another blogger and keep the gifted bottle. I did that in hopes of spreading the awesome around because more swatches = a better world, right? In any case, I don’t say this often but I highly recommend both e-tailers. They are both great so you can’t go wrong with either one. 

 Thoughts on Hits or Moonbow? What about nail polish OCD? Do you have it? If yes, how does it manifest for you?

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Essie Yogaga Collection Fall 2012 Swatches

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Back in September I reviewed Essie Yogaga and noted that there weren’t very many swatches of the Yogaga collection online. Sure, it’s not the most exciting Essie collection to date, but the lack of coverage still seemed odd. My theory is that a lot of bloggers passed on this collection because it didn’t seem Earth-shattering. Well, on the surface that is true – nothing here is likely blow your mind. Even so, this collection is like a sleeper cell - the seemingly run-of-the-mill colors are all surprisingly flattering and a few are definitely worth owning. (Yes, yes, I know a collection of all crèmes appeals to me, more so than to everyone else). In any case, here are the swatches albeit a bit late.

Essie Boxer Shorts is a light muted periwinkle creme. This photo isn’t accurate – in real life the shade is much less vibrant. These blue/purple shades are just impossible to photograph accurately. The application was good, this is 3 coats. I liked this color more than I expected to – it complimented my skintone nicely.

Essie Spinning Again is a dark brick red crème – also very flattering. The application was smooth like butter. This is 3 coats. I wore Spinning Again during the work week. I think most reds will fly at all but the most conservative offices but Spinning Again, being a red terracota-like shade, is particularly work safe.

Essie Pilates Hottie is a mushroomy lilac. If you’ve read through my archives, then you probably know that lilac is one of my white whales – I *love* lilacs but they all look HORRENDOUS on me. Pilates Hottie, which leans pink, did not look terrible… dare I say, it even looked good. The application however, left something to be desired. The formula was chalky which caused the polish to apply unevenly. I smoothed everything out with a thick slathering of Seche Vite. I’ve found that a self-leveling quick drying top coat like Seche will fix most polishes with problematic application.

Essie Marathin is medium dusky, grayed-out rose-pink. I believe this is what is often referred to as a “grandma” color - still though, it’s professional and flattering. While I get, and appreciate, the gym motif of this collection, but my inner-feminist is not a fan of the name. It would have been much cooler to name this classic shade Marathon instead of Marathin. The formula was a bit thick and it took 3 coats to even everything out.

Essie Gym Dandy is a grey-toned putty with a touch of brown and army green. From this set of colors, I was most excited about Gym Dandy, love it. This color is ”professional, but edgy” personified. It’s slightly darker on the nail than in the bottle. Applied well, would have been good at 2 coats but this is 3 coats.

And finally – this one you’ve already seen but to keep the collection together, I’m reposting the photo.

Essie Yogaga is definitely my favorite from this set. You can read my original post here. Last time I posted Yogaga, people wondered how it stacked up against OPI Did You ‘Ear About Van Gogh and Chanel Frenzy. I still don’t have DYEAVG (Sorry! I’m working backwards so I’m still picking up La Collecion De Espana!) but Frenzy is slightly darker and much more pink toned – not dupish at all.

I’m behind the game since Essie’s Winter collection is already out – my friend recently wore Essie Beyond Cozy and it was ridiculously gorgeous. I hope to have swatches up soon.

So what’s the verdict? Love it, hate it? Is an all crème finish collection the kiss of death?

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Disclaimer: This collection was sent for review by Essie’s PR representative.

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NOTD: Essie Yogaga

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

This collection seems to be shrouded in a bit mystery – it doesn’t seem to be widely available yet, even though its release date was slated to be August, 2012. Swatches are strangely absent from the interwebs – I only saw two or so sites with full collection reviews.

In any case, I was pretty excited for a few shades from this collection when I saw the promotional photos – particularly Yogaga, Gym Dandy, Boxer Shorts, and Pilates Hottie. Sadly, I only have Yogaga to show you for the time being.

I *really* love this color and I think it fits pretty well into the category of edgy, but work appropriate. This one is definitely safe even for the strictest working environments. Essie’s site describes it as a ”peachful sandy beige.” I’m not sure peachful is a word and this polish doesn’t seem peach-toned at all, so I wonder whether it is a typo on their site. I think it’s actually meant to be “peaceful.” Get it… zen, peaceful, yoga is relaxing and peaceful… yoga… yogaga… Bueller? Bueller? I would describe it as a dusty, putty greige creme. It reminds me of the color of throwing clay. (Which makes me smile because my one and only attempt at pottery ended about 15 minutes in when I realized the clay was going to make my nails peel, womp womp). The base color is similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Jane, but one full shade lighter and, obviously, minus the shimmer. Definitely not a dupe, but would be a suitable lemming quencher should you be disinclined to drop the big bucks.  As usual with these shades, the overall look was really elegant and sophisticated. Additionally, this shade really seemed to compliment my skin-tone which is warm and olive-toned.

This NOTD was three coats. I believe I used Nubar Foundation (currently undergoing a trial period for a possible spot as my new HG basecoat) and Seche Vite as a top coat. I did have application issues – the consistency of my bottle was very thick. It applied well after 10 or so drops of polish thinner and some hardy shaking. I’m not sure whether the thickness was unique to my bottle – the other reviews I’ve read online didn’t discuss application. I can’t give you an accurate wear time assessment because I’m having some wear issues resulting from the use of Foundation (I’m still trouble-shooting this).

I really wish I had the whole collection to show you – I am so sorry that I don’t. Right now, the collection seems to be available on Essie’s website, but I have yet to see it at any of my usual haunts. When I’m finally able to pick these up, I will definitely buy Gym Dandy, which I will promptly swatch for you. I’m undecided on purchasing the rest of the collection – I’ll probably hold out until I see swatches from Scrangie (yup – I usually wait for her swatches before deciding what to purchase myself, haha).

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Disclosure: This polish was sent to me for review by Essie’s PR representative.

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The Polish Addict: Wedding Edition!!

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

My husband and I got engaged last year. So, obviously, the most important decision I made after that was deciding what to do with my nails for the wedding (totally not kidding). This was an arduous process – the stash was thoroughly examined, scrutinized, and analyzed. When I first set out to plan my wedding mani, I wanted to do something different. Soft shades are obvious, I wanted something more unique. I stumbled upon Oscar De La Renta’s Spring 2013 Bridal Collection and fell in love with this concept.

(Photo Credit: Society Bride)

A subtle, light watery blue mani accented with opal-like blue toned jewelry. I wouldn’t have to do much searching as there were a few options in my stash that could mimic that look, China Glaze Moody Blue and Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom immediately came to mind. Unfortunately, and probably not surprisingly, my Mom was less than thrilled with my blue nails idea.  So, in the end, to minimize stress, I decided to compromise and go with more typical wedding fare. Some of you are going to be disappointed, haha, that I decided to do a standard french, using Essie Mademoiselle and Essie Marshmallow. But I did spice it up a bit with two coats of Orly Twilight.

Orly Twilight is a gorgeous sheer layering polish – it consists of very fine iridescent silver toned shimmer suspended in somewhat cloudy clear polish. Mostly, I’ve seen Twilight layered over darker shades, but it’s very pretty over lighter shades. In my case, it added the perfect amount of glam to my potentially boring standard french. I did consider a holographic topcoat – but after several swatching attempts, I thought it look a little too ‘young’ for the style I was trying to achieve. I, sadly, did go to a salon to have my nails done. It’s been years since I’ve entered a nail salon for anything other than a mini dusty hunt. Ultimately, I regretted it a little – the nail tech did a good job, but I’m pretty particular about my nails and I think I would have been happier doing them on my own.

(Yes! I do have thumbs!) None of the wedding photos of my nails show the beautiful shimmer of Orly Twilight, so I’ll have to post a swatch in the future. Although, I would say that this photo is a pretty accurate depiction of the overall look – Twilight is really subtle over Mademoiselle so my nails weren’t blinging all over the place.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “how was this a compromise, you totally sold out!”  Well, I hope my sellout status is mitigated by my pedicure. I decided to do Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom both as a pedi and as my “something blue.” Originally, to mimic the Oscar De La Renta nails, I was planning to layer Bikini Bottom over a jelly light color like OPI Don’t Touch My Tutu or OPI Barre My Soul. That layering combination would have created a more watery, cloudy, more subtle light blue. On my toes, I didn’t think I needed to be more subtle so it’s just 3 coats of unadulterated Bikini Bottom. I think the light blue nails with the ivory shoes made a really chic combination. And, finally, the dress:

This is us! Our wedding was a really small dinner party in the middle of hot, hot, hot July (yes! we’re very newly wed!), so I decided on a short dress. My wonderful Mother-in-Law pretty much did all the planning and decorating – she’s so amazing! My dress is Sasha from the Little White Dress Collection by Amsale. The shoes are Nina in the style Neva. My Mom, a very talented seasmstress, altered it extensively and added a panel of lace to the skirt. The whole wedding was DIY for the most part, my Mom and M0m-in-Law even made my bouquet by hand! I was so happy with how everything turned out! It was a really happy day for us and we’ve been silly-happy ever since. : )

What about you all – what nail polish did you wear to your wedding?

 

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Disclosure: Bikini Bottom was sent to me for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

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A Compromise? + Essie Summer 2009

Friday, November 27th, 2009

I’m sure everyone is getting really sick of me going on and off hiatus, then apologizing, then disappearing again. Believe me, I know it’s annoying and I feel awful about it. Unfortunately, I’ve had very little free time since I started my new job and things don’t look like they are going to get better any time soon. So, I would like to propose a compromise? I’m still taking photographs of my nails when I do them… even though I haven’t been able to do them as often as I did before. Also, I still have a massive back log of photos that I’ve taken over the past few months. Until my schedule clears up – I’m going to post the photos without or with very little commentary. I know some of you may be thinking, “what’s the point?” Well, I think most people visit the site to see the photos anyway. I’ll try to be diligent about answering questions from the comments section that way I’m not just throwing the pictures out there in a vacuum. It’s temporary, I shouldn’t be insanely busy forever… right? (Oh man, I hope not.)

I really loved the light pinks from this collection, delicate and work appropriate. My favorite from this collection is Cubby Cheeks – it reminds me lobsters. : )

Essie - Funny Face

Essie - Luscious Lips

Essie - Chubby Cheeks

Essie - Not Just A Pretty Face

Essie - Cute As a Button

(WTH is that… ectoplasm?)

Essie - Lovie Dovie

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Essie.

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