Essie Winter 2018 review

Hear Me Aurora

Hear Me Aurora is a warm mellow red with a cream formula. Red is always a must-have for any time of year, but especially for the holidays. This is a serviceable shade for Christmastime, but if you have another red, this can probably be a miss.

Glow with the Flow

Glow with the Flow is a lovely shimmery blue. It is very close to Blue-tiful Horizon, but more of a “true blue” and has less pink/purple shimmer. A nice one for the holidays. I kept wanting to call this “Glow Your Own Way”, though!

Sights on Nightlights

Sights on Nightlights is a gorgeous deep, dark purple that’s almost black. Very smooth application and minimal staining when cleaning up around the edges!

Just the Way You Arctic

Just the Way You Arctic is a gorgeous pale and creamy lilac, with just a hint of grey to give it that icy sheen. Absolutely gorgeous!

Polar-izing

Polar-izing is a pale, frosty pink. Initially, I was quite apathetic to this color but it really grew on me and I did enjoy having it on my nails. A really fun icy color for the winter months!

Million Mile Hues

Million Mile Hues is a warm yellow-gold metallic that’s perfect for the holiday season. While Essie has released quite a few in the last couple years, their improvement on the metallic formula makes this one a winner. I really liked it wearing it with a red sweater dress for my work’s Christmas party.

Just the Way You Arctic is probably my favorite of the collection, but Polar-izing and Million Mile Hues really sneaked up on me and I enjoyed them a lot more than I thought I would. An excellent wintry collection from Essie, although I would love a more Christmassy collection with some green and silver shades for Winter 2019.

Did you pick up any from this collection and wear any for your holiday mani? Let me know in the comments!

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Essie Fall 2018 review

Top Row (L to R): Fall for NYC, It Takes a West Village, Stop, Drop & Shop
Bottom Row (L to R): Booties on Broadway, Empire Shade of Mind, Say It Ain’t Soho

Fall is my favorite season and this year it was very special, as Essie kindly sent me 5 out of the 6 polishes for free! It was an exciting moment for me for sure. Opinions on these polishes remain my own and independent of any PR-promotional influence.

Fall for NYC

Fall for NYC is a bright, pumpkin-y orange that has a smooth, creamy formula and applies beautifully. Less pumpkin spice and more pumpkin itself, this orange is nonetheless an excellent fall color.

It Takes a West Village

It Takes a West Village is a lovely dusty mauve/lilac shade for a bit more color in your fall palette. I really enjoyed wearing this one! Two coats for perfect coverage.

Stop, Drop & Shop

Stop, Drop & Shop is a bright mulberry shade with gorgeous crimson tones. I love these types of warm red shades for fall and this fits the bill perfectly. Two coats. 🙂

Booties on Broadway

Booties on Broadway is an amazing navy shade with a bolder blue tone than your average navy. A bright cousin to Afterschool Boy Blazer. Absolutely love this one and the shine on it!

Empire Shade of Mind

Empire Shade of Mind is a smooth, gunmetal metallic with nary a brushstroke in sight! Amazing for a metallic. I thought this was a strange inclusion for a fall collection, but this shade does look amazing with fall colors such as olive, mustard, and burgundy.

Say It Ain’t Soho

Say It Ain’t Soho is a fantastic orange metallic with jewel-like tones. An absolute stunner and the embodiment of that PSL life!

This collection has some stunners, with Booties on Broadway, Stop, Drop & Shop, and Say It Ain’t Soho as my personal favorites. I’m looking forward to wearing them again next year!

Did you pick up any from this collection? What were some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Essie Summer 2018 collection

All Daisy Long

All Daisy Long is a pearly white with an iridescent shimmer. Slightly sheer, so I used three coats on this one to build up the opacity. A nice white if you’re looking for one with something a little extra.

Making Harmony

Making Harmony is a gorgeous, deep & dusty purple. Not as dark as other purples of its ilk, this shade has an interesting tint to it that makes it a bit more unique than your average purple. Its dustiness allows it to be a tad neutral, which is nice.

Young, Wild & Me

Young, Wild & Me is the perfect, creamy pink that’s not too pale and not too bubblegum. A gorgeous shade to wear on a hot summer day!

Empower-mint

Empower-mint is a bright minty shade that’s creamy and the perfect blend of blue and green. A beautiful color to wear in the summer while eating mint chocolate chip ice cream!

Sunny Daze

Sunny Daze is a dusty orange with a copper shimmer. It applied beautiful and looks quite striking on the nail. There’s something very ’60s-ish about this, so depending on how you feel, that could be a good or a bad thing!

The Fuchsia is Bright

The Fuchsia is Bright is bright indeed! A fantastic pop of color with its vibrant hot pink, this shade also has some purple tones that gives it a perfect fuchsia tone.

For me, the four cream-formula shades definitely have it in this collection and are my favorites. I can definitely appreciate the two unique shimmers in this collection, but they aren’t personally for me.

Which ones did you pick up from this collection? Any favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Essie Desert Mirage 2018 review

Top Row (L to R): Blue-tiful Horizon, Lighten the Mood, Less is Aura
Bottom row (L to R): Let It Glow, Hazy Daze, Seeing Stars

Blue-tiful Horizon

Blue-tiful Horizon is a gorgeous blue shimmer, shot with pale pink and purple. This goes on smoothly, reaching opacity at just two coats. The shift in colors is lovely on this one.

Lighten the Mood

Lighten the Mood is a pale blush creamy nude. The formula can be a bit thick, so patience in loading the brush and a steady hand on application is needed. However, it’s a beautiful, simple neutral that’s well worth it!

Less is Aura

Less is Aura is a pale, nutty brown. Very similar to Picked Perfect or At the Barre, this shade is a lovely neutral. Two easy coats for this one.

Let It Glow

This bottle of Let It Glow was an exclusive from the UK retailer Superdrug. This beautiful coral has a slight shimmer to it, making it a little bit more exciting than your average coral. Two coats to a glowing mani!

Hazy Daze

Hazy Daze is a gorgeous, deep purple that covers brilliantly in two coats. It’s so dark and mysterious, but bold enough to be absolutely bewitching.

Seeing Stars

Seeing Stars is a beautiful shimmery brown with a copper shift. A more brownish/orangey to the darker and more red Ready to Boa from the Winter 2016 collection. Two coats and we’re ready to stargaze!

This collection is very special to me because a) I’m from the desert (Arizona) and 2) with the exception of Let It Glow, the other 5 polishes were purchased by my husband when he was on a business trip to Germany.

My favorites were definitely Blue-tiful Horizon and Hazy Daze, although they are all lovely colors! Did you pick up any? Let me know in the comments!

Essie Bridal Gel Couture 2018 review

The Bridal Collection from Essie for 2018 was once again a Gel Couture line and this time created in part with wedding gown designer Reem Acra. This collection had a mix of formulas, ranging from sheer to metallic to cream, and a range of colors to suit a variety of brides and bridesmaids.

Moments to Mrs.

Moments to Mrs is a light, sheer pink with a wash of palest fuchsia and also contains small holographic specks. I think it’s absolutely gorgeous and would be perfect for a spring or summer wedding.

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect is a sheer ivory with subtle glitter. Pale and perfectly dreamy, this can be built up to opacity in three coats, but is ideally left at just two. This would be gorgeous for a winter wedding, and also good for spring/summer.

Getting Intricate

Getting Intricate is the only cream in this collection, but it’s a beaut. A pale blue that’s almost robin’s egg blue, it would be perfect for that “something blue” on fingers or toes.

You’re Golden

You’re Golden is a metallic gold polish with a wash of champagne, muting the yellow-gold aspect of this shade. With careful strokes, you can avoid the ridging that most metallics are prone to. This polish is perfect for a subtle accent of gold for weddings of any season.

Handmade of Honor

Handmade of Honor is a rose gold metallic that leans very pink, which would be perfect for a spring or summer wedding. Minimal brushstrokes on this one, which is a win for metallics!

Forever Family

Forever Family is a gorgeous jewel-toned ruby red with a wash of purpley-pink that makes for an absolutely stunning and unique polish. I could see this being worn at a fall or winter wedding by the bride or bridal party, or even the Mother of the Bride or Groom.

My favorites of this collection were Forever Family, Getting Intricate, and Moments to Mrs, although as a whole, I think it’s a great bridal collection. Did you get any in this collection? Are you planning on wearing any for your future wedding, or, if you could go back in time and choose a different polish for your wedding, which one would it be? Let me know in the comments!

Essie Spring 2018 review

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Top Row (L to R): Stripes & Sails, Passport to Sail, Bon Boy-age

Bottom Row (L to R): Perfect Mate, At the Helm, Anchor Down

As a whole, I really loved this collection. The color palette is perfect for spring, with something for everyone – whether it’s a sheer, dusty, deep, or bright shade.

Stripes & Sails

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Stripes & Sails is a gorgeous teal that leans a bit more green than blue. It has a smooth formula and even coverage, but does stain the nails a bit – be careful with removal on this one! I really enjoyed wearing this one as a bold pop of color in the spring. This is two coats, although you *may* be able to get away with one.

Passport to Sail

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Passport to Sail is a light, sheer, creamy shade that is really lovely and delicate. This is three coats here, I think, although I wish I had stuck to two! I think if I applied this one better I would have liked it more. Not a bad shade and a perfect palate cleanser after dark hues and sparkly nails from Christmas and New Year’s. I think I will be giving this one another try next year.

Bon Boy-age

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Bon Boy-age is a dusty, lovely minty sage green. Whereas most mint polishes tend to be brighter and sage colors tend to be muted, this shade straddles the line between the two quite successfully. This is two coats, and one of my personal favorites from the collection.

Perfect Mate

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Perfect Mate is a fantastic peachy-coral. It has a bit of dustiness to it, which tones it down to this gorgeous color you see here. I think it’s the perfect combination of orange and pink and a quintessential coral for sure. Two lovely coats!

At the Helm

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At the Helm is a bright orange with a subtle red wash. I love how bright and joyful it is for spring! It might work for a good fall color, but its boldness really works for spring. Two coats here as well.

Anchor Down

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Anchor Down is a beautiful dusty blue, with hints of purple and grey. I feel it’s a really unique blue and one I’d love to wear again in any season. Two coats as per usual.

I thought this was a really lovely collection for spring and I can’t wait to see what Essie comes up for Spring 2019! What shades did you like the most? Did you pick any up? Let me know in the comments!

Essie Enchanted Gel Couture Collection 2018 review

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Top Row (L to R): Good Knight, Matter of Fiction, Once Upon a Time

Bottom Row (L to R): Spellbound, Princess Charming, Daring Damsel

 

I adored this enchanting collection of fairy tale-inspired shades from Essie that was released earlier this year. These shades are from their Gel Couture range, which doesn’t need a base coat and can last for two weeks, apparently! Although since I change my nail polish so often, I don’t get to really do a wear test on them.

Besides thinking of the Taylor Swift song, “Enchanted”, I also couldn’t help but think of my favorite fairy tale-inspired books. I love reading fantasy novels, particularly fairy tale retellings, so I thought this was a good opportunity to do something fun and a little different and along with my reviews of the individual shades, I’m going to make a book recommendation!

So, without further ado…the books…and the shades!

 

Good Knight

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First up, Good Knight! I love this dark vampy shade that has tones of burgundy and dark purple. Application was smooth, but be careful of your cuticles as this one is a stainer! I really enjoy wearing darker polishes and I could’ve worn this for the full 14 days of wear time as promised by Essie.

Book recommendation: The Squire’s Tale, by Gerald Morris

The Squire's Tale

The Squire’s Tale is the first in a series of books that are Arthurian legend retellings. I know this isn’t strictly a “fairy tale”, but there’s enough magic in these legends for this book to qualify as an “enchanting” recommendation. The protagonist of the The Squire’s Tale is Terence, who becomes squire to Sir Gawain and is swept along to Camelot and the world of the Knights of the Round Table. The protagonists are different in subsequent books, which are at turn, heartwarming, hilarious, and epically dramatic. Highly, highly recommend for fans of King Arthur, distressing damsels, and characters full of mystery and humor.

Matter of Fiction

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Next up we have Matter of Fiction! This creamy pale pink is gorgeous and oh-so-delicately chic! A good alternative to Fiji, if you struggle with the formula of that shade. Formula can be slightly thick, so just be careful of doing thin coats. This is 3 coats for full opacity.

Book recommendation: Beauty by Robin McKinley

Beauty

Robin McKinley is one of my favorite fantasy authors and Beauty was one of the first fairy tale retellings I ever read. The world she builds for Beauty is enchanting, mysterious, and beguiling and I loved how it hews a bit more towards a Brothers Grimm feel than Disney.

Once Upon a Time

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This lovely shade is meant to be a blue grey, I think, but it came out very purple for me. However, that means that this shade is super fun and unique because it is a color changer depending on the lighting.

Book recommendation: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Sun and Moon Ice and Snow

Jessica Day George is also the author of the enjoyable “The Princesses of Westfalin” series, of which Princess of the Midnight Ball is the first one and based on the fairy tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is based off a Scandinavian fairy tale and is very similar to Beauty and the Beast. I love its snowy setting and was utterly under the spell of this beautiful story.

Spellbound

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This gorgeous grey-green shade with subtle gold glitter makes this a very intriguing color. I loved wearing this unique and interesting shade, which also had a great formula. And the shimmer definitely shows up on the nail, not just in the bottle!

Book recommendation: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted

In all honesty, this book was one I picked up because of its gorgeous cover and then bought because it’s inspired by Brothers Grimm and Eastern European folktales. I loved, loved, loved this book and all the mysterious magic and enchantments at the heart of this story. The heroine is smart & clever and the world is lushly detailed. Truly excellent.

Princess Charming

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Princess Charming is a lovely, lovely shade of rose and mauve mixed together. Formula is fantastic and the color is gorgeously elegant. A classic shade that you can’t go wrong with!

Also, this color matches my pink wool coat!

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Book recommendation: Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

Spindle's End

Yes, another one from Robin McKinley but she is seriously one of the queens of fairy tale retellings! Spindle’s End is a retelling of yes, you guessed it…Sleeping Beauty! Robin McKinley does a great job of expanding upon the admittedly bare-bones original into a lush, extravagantly detailed and thrilling story all its own. Also, the first time I read this as a young girl, I was so scared of the wicked fairy/Maleficent character that I couldn’t read it at night!

Daring Damsel

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Daring Damsel is a lovely champagne gold, so even though it’s a yellow gold shade, it’s not overly warm with the champagne tones cooling it down. And, while metallics are often victim to overly visible brushstrokes, this nail polish hides them fairly well for a smoother finish – win!

Book recommendation: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted is a pretty iconic book, IMO, and while I enjoyed the movie with Anne Hathaway quite a bit, this is definitely a case of “The Book Was Better”. Ella Enchanted is a retelling of Cinderella and Cinderella, or “Ella”, is fierce and feisty despite being cursed with having to obey every command given to her. I absolutely loved this book growing up and the gorgeous world that Gail Carson Levine built around her charming and daring heroine.

 

So there you have it! A beautiful collection of enchanting colors and some books to read while you’re wearing them!

It’s really hard to pick a favorite with these, as they are all gorgeous in their own right, but I think I enjoyed wearing Good Knight, Matter of Fiction, and Princess Charming the most! Which ones are your faves? Did you pick any of these up?

And…did any of the books pique your interests? What fairy tale retellings have you enjoyed reading? If you recommend anything I haven’t read, I’ll add it to my list!