Essie Enchanted Gel Couture Collection 2018 review


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


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


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


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


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.



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


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


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!


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


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!

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I'm obsessed with Essie nail polish!

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