I am pumped to do another edition of Swatch My Stash today. I’m even more pumped because we are heading into a new mainstream brand. I decided to start in on my Essie polishes today. It’s always exciting to close out one brand and start in on another, because it makes me feel like I am making good progress on what has turned out to be a huge project. It’s also exciting because this means I am reaching the end of my mainstream polishes stash. This also makes me feel like I’m making good progress. Also, I’m pretty much always excited to talk about polish. I mean, let’s be real, here.
Today I have part one of my Essie stash. Essie is not a favorite brand for me. When I first started back into polish, a few of my friends were big fans of Essie. I didn’t have much experience with the brand, so I started buying them. I purchased them fairly regularly for a few months, before I realized this brand generally isn’t for me. I have nothing against it at all. But we are all different. What works for one person doesn’t always work for the next. This is where Essie falls for me. Now, I hardly ever buy Essie. I pretty much never buy them at full price. I sometimes impulse-purchase them on clearance. Or, if a collection comes out with a polish that appeals to me on some deep level, I might pick it up.
When I went through and swatched my Essie polishes the first time, I had 21 of them. At that time, I destashed 3. So I have a total of 18 polishes to show now. I’m going to split this into two posts, of 9 polishes each. I don’t have something in every color, so I will only loosely follow my usual ROYGBIV pattern. Today’s post will include red and pink, yellow and gold, and gray.
RED & PINK:
Life of the Party is from the 2016 Retro Revival Collection. I think this polish originally released in 2002. This is a red with shimmer. I would call it a brick-toned red, and I think the shimmer is red, too. This polish has a good formula that is opaque in 2 fairly easy coats.
This is a pretty polish. It is easy to apply on the nail, and it builds up nicely. It has a metallic look once it dries, and I found the color on the nail to be a bit lighter and brighter than it looked in the bottle. My one complaint with this polish is that it tends to bunch up a bit at the free edge of my nail. No matter how carefully I apply it, this happens. You can see it a little bit in my swatch photo on my index finger and on my ring finger. It’s a little hard to tell, though, because there are some reflections in the photo that obscure things. Overall, this isn’t a bad polish. It is a pretty color of red. It reminds me a lot of OPI, I’m Not Really a Waitress because of the shimmery, metallic finish. I think Waitress is richer and more vibrant. This one is a destash for me.
The Lace is On is from the Fall 2013 For the Twill of It Collection. It is a fuchsia or magenta shimmer. This polish has a decent formula. It’s a little thin and streaky, but it levels nicely and builds up on the nail. It was opaque for me in 2 coats.
This is a pretty color, and a nice polish. I originally intended to keep it. But, when I went back to swatch this a second time, I realized it didn’t wow me. My stash has grown so much that I’m not sure I will reach for it much at all — if ever. And I don’t think I will miss having it. To me, that’s a sure sign it needs to go to the destash pile.
Bachelorette Bash is a polish I think of as an “Essie Classic”. It is a vibrant pink with a crelly formula. The formula for this polish is good. It applies smoothly with little streaking, and it is opaque in 2-3 coats. I had a little bit of VNL at 2 coats, and full opacity with no nail line showing at 3.
This is a pretty polish. As I’ve said a gazillion times, I’m not much for pinks in general. But this tone of pink definitely gives me a “Moment”, if you know what I mean. It’s pretty on fingernails, and I like it on my toes, too. But, I have a Zoya polish that is similar to this one. I’ve found I like the Zoya one more, so this one is a destash for me.
Go Ginza is from the Spring 2013 Madison Ave-Hue Collection. It is a pastel lilac or lavender. In some lights, it looks more purple-toned. In others, it looks more pink. The formula for this polish is okay. I found it to be a little troublesome. I’m not sure if this is because of my application technique, because of the polish itself, or because of the skinny Essie brush. Or, maybe, a combination of these things. At any rate, it streaks quite a bit for me on the first coat. It evens out decently on the second. And it is usually opaque for me in 2 coats. If I’m having a bad manicure day, or if I overwork the polish, I end up needing a third coat on some nails.
This is a pretty color. I like the softness of it. But it doesn’t wow me, overall. I compared this one to OPI, I’m Gown for Anything. These were so similar to my eye that I didn’t feel I needed both. Ginza was, perhaps, slightly more purple. Overall, I like Gown for Anything quite a bit. I decided to destash this one.
YELLOW & GOLD:
Aim to Misbehave is Essie’s 1000th shade. I don’t think it was released as part of any collection. I believe it was a special, limited edition release to celebrate Essie having created 1000 shades of polish. This is a bright, sunny yellow with yellow glitter. The formula for this polish is … not great. I found it to be difficult and streaky. To a certain extent, I can forgive this. It is a yellow, after all, and yellows are notorious for being difficult. This polish had quite a bit of streaking for me on the first coat. It evened out okay on the second, so that some nails were good to go in two. Others needed a third coat. So I’m calling this polish a 2-3 coater.
Guys, the little crazy collector that lives in the depths of my brain wants to keep this polish. Because it’s the 1000th shade and everything. Even though I’m not an Essie fangirl, the amazingness of this isn’t lost on me. The polish addict that lives in my brain wants to love this polish. Because … look at it! It’s beautifully sunny and bright. I like this shade of yellow. And the glitters are really pretty. But I need to face reality. I have OPI yellows I love, and they have better formulas than this. I don’t wear yellow that often. So, this pretty polish has to head to the destash pile.
Getting Groovy is from the Winter 2016 Getting Groovy Collection. It is a light gold with a foil finish. The formula for this polish is good. It is opaque in 2 easy coats, and it doesn’t show many brush strokes.
I like this gold. It is bright, almost like the color of unplated white gold jewelry. It’s not brassy or harsh. And I like the finish on the nail. It’s a pretty, easily workable polish. This one reminds me of Zoya, Ziv, which is a polish I adore. I don’t wear gold a lot, which makes me feel I don’t need two bottles of gold that are so similar to each other. I like Ziv better, both for wearing and for stamping. So this one is a destash for me.
Leggy Legend is from the Fall 2015 Leggy Legend Collection. This is a coppery-gold metallic. It has some red tones, but not quite enough to send it into bronze or copper territory for me. The formula for this polish is good. It applies smoothly, and it is opaque in 2 easy coats.
I love this polish. Coppers are a weak spot for me, anyhow. But I love how this is a gold and a copper kind of mixed together. I want to compare it to Sinful Colors Copper Pot, because they might be similar. Even if they are, I would probably want to keep this one. Because I love it so much. So, yeah. This pretty is a keeper for me.
Virgin Snow is from the Winter 2015 Virgin Snow Collection. It is a pastel gray. Or, maybe, a grayed-out periwinkle with shimmer. I found the shimmer to be subtle on the nail — so subtle that I really couldn’t see it once the polish dried. The formula for this polish is okay, particularly for a pastel. I had streaking on the first coat and some low spots after 2 coats. I used 3 coats for full opacity.
This is a pretty polish. It’s a beautiful and soft color, and I like the mix of gray and blue-purple tones in here. But, the formula was difficult for me. This might have been more me than the polish, but it was definitely a factor that lessened my enjoyment of this on my nails. Overall, I felt this polish didn’t wow me when I went back for my second round of swatching. So it is a destash.
Go With the Flowy is from the Winter 2016 Getting Groovy Collection. This is a light gray with teeny silver glitters. The formula for this polish is okay. I guess. It’s not my favorite, but it’s also not horrible. I needed 3 coats for full opacity, although I did go in with fairly thin coats on 1 and 2. If I had used thicker coats, I probably could have gotten it opaque in 2.
I feel like I should love this polish. I feel like I saw lots of reviews talking about how pretty and how great this polish was. But … I just don’t like it. I’m a fan of gray polish. I like wearing it, and I enjoy seeing that color on my nails. But I don’t like the feeling of this polish as I apply it. It feels gritty going onto the nail because of the glitters. At the same time, I don’t feel like I can see much sparkle from the glitters. This is a destash for me.
That was brutal. BRUTAL, I tell ‘ya!! And yet, it feels so darn gooooood. Out of the 9 polishes in this post, I destashed 8 and kept 1. I’m beyond happy with this. Overall, I think it will be easy for me to be brutal with this brand. As I mentioned in the beginning of my post, Essie isn’t a favorite for me. This makes it a lot easier for me to say good-bye to most of these polishes. They deserve to be in homes where they will be loved and worn.
Next week, I will finish up my Essie swatch-a-palooza with the last 9 polishes in my stash. These will be my purples and blues. You know I always have a hard time letting go of blues, so we will see how that goes. EEEK!