Nell’s Archives: Essie


Essie Collection September ’13

Since it is a bit of a task to go over all of my over 120 nailpolishes at once I thought I would break them up into their different brands. One of my favorites -despite the fact that I have only six colors- is essie. The brand was founded over 30 years ago (in 1981) by Essie Weingarten. One of her philosophies is that nailpolish is better than any medicine, or in other words nailpolish makes you happy. I couldn’t agree more. The polishes come in square glass bottles with a white screw top. I love the sleek design of the bottles, it is easily my favorite out of all of the brands I own nailpolishes from.

A couple of months ago essie saw a relaunch, reformulating the nailpolishes and redesigning the brush and changing the bottle content from 15 to 13.5ml  but instead of upping the price they almost reduced it by half and moved into German drugstore giant dm, making the brand more widely available.

Interestingly enough I own three polishes of the old formulation and three of the new  formulation so let’s dig in*:

*in the pictures you can see all polishes (except for Shake Your $$ Makers) over one coat of Sally Hansen’s Miracle Cure and with a coat of essence Better Than Gel Nails Top Sealer Fast Dry on top.


Van D’Go (swatches on index and ring finger)

My first ever essie nailpolish was cult color Van D’Go. This color launched with a spring collection in 2010 (I believe) and it soon sold out across the country. I was lucky enough to snatch one up in the tiny Douglas department store of the city where I went to school at the time. Van D’Go is a pretty peachy pink that makes your hands look tanned and it has an eerie way of seeming to glow in the dark. This is the old formula with the slim long brush. It is opaque in two coats, but tends to go streaky if one is not careful. I love this color and tend to dig it out over the summer.


Haute As Hello (swatch on middle finger)

My second essie color was again limited edition, it is a peachy orange and goes by the the name Haute As Hello. It is very streaky, relatively opaque in three coats and dries semi matte. It is a lovely bright pastel but it is a b*tch and a half to apply. Every now and again I take it upon me to apply it because it is so pretty but really it is a nuisance!

Sew Psyched (swatch on middle finger)

Sew Psyched (swatch on middle finger)

Sew Psyched used to count as another cult classic. It was in a Christmas collection but was eventually added to the reformulated range. It is a neutral khaki green with barely visible silver shimmer. Even the original version (which I have here) performs brilliantly: It is very pigmented and opaque in two coats. Sew Psyched was rumored to be a first test drive of the new formulation. I don’t wear it nearly as much as I should, it is so lovely!

Mint Candy Apple (swatches on thumb and pinky)

Mint Candy Apple (swatches on thumb and pinky)

My first dabbling into the new formulation was Mint Candy Apple. I’ve been wanting this color for a very long time and couldn’t find it anywhere because it was another one of those that sold out instantly. Just like Sew Psyched it was added to the new range upon relaunch. It is nicely pigmented, opaque and streak-free in two coates and dries rather quickly into a nicely glossy finish. It has the redesigned wide rounded brush that I love so much. It allows me to paint my nails in two or less sweeps and holds the perfect amount of polish for an even coat. Mint Candy Apple is a clean pastel mint that leans slightly on the blue side (As opposed to Re-Fresh Mint by China Glaze which is decidedly more on the green side)

Fiji (swatches on thumb and pinky)

Fiji (swatches on thumb and pinky)

Fiji I had to have after various beauty youtubers from across the channel and pond raved about it. It came to Germany in a limited edition (sadly). It is a very light almost white baby pink in the new formula. Opaque and streak free in two coats it lasts exceptionally long on my nails and gives them a very clean ‘put together look’ that I quite like sometimes.

Shake Your $$ Makers (swatch over white nailpolish on idex and ring finger)

Shake Your $$ Makers (swatch over white nailpolish on idex and ring finger)

My latest addition is Shake Your $$ Makers that came out with this year’s neon collection DJ Play That Song. It is the first essie nailpolish to give me a headache. essie recommended that that whole collection should be used over a white nailpolish preferably essie’s blanc (I used another one here), but even so Shake Your $$ Makers is very sheer and quite streaky. As much as I love this neon-y grass green I have to remove it after a day or so because I cannot stand the look of the white underneath and the streaky green on top. It is the only essie polish where I wish I hadn’t bought it but on the other hand side it tickles my ambition and makes me want to find a way to make it work. Alas, so far no luck.


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