A review: Essie Nail Polish

18 Mar

I promised a friend of mine that I would write a post specifically about Essie nail polishes. It’s not actually a common thing for me to review something that’s not skincare related, so this should be a nice change.

Essie came onto my radar a couple of years ago, but it’s not been readily available in Australia until fairly recently. I remember I bought my first two bottles of Essie nail polish from Beauty Bay before they put the shipping restrictions on International delivery. Sigh, Australia. However, these days, anyone can pop into a Priceline store and find a display full of the wonderful array of shades that Essie has to offer.


As you can see by my photo, I’ve really got an outrageous selection of colours in my 4-bottle collection… Not really. I’m one of those people who never veers out of the pink/red range of shades. I love looking at all those other amazing colours and even admire them on other peoples’ nails but I am not game enough to wear them myself. I am even weirder in that I don’t actually often paint my fingernails, but I always have a pretty colour on my toenails. If I paint my fingernails, it will be one of the less “out there” shades and I will only keep it on for a couple of days as it starts to bother me. That’s completely normal, right?

Anyway, onto talking about the actual polishes. There is a very wide selection of shades ranging from the demure nudes to blues, greens, black, and all the colours in between. I find these polishes are very long wearing, although a good top coat never goes astray. I tested the lighter pinks on my fingernails last week and they lasted for about three days with no top coat and only then started to show the teeniest sign of chipping on the tips of my nails. That’s pretty impressive. The brush is also quite thin so, if you’re a bit clumsy or shaky, you have less risk of painting all the skin around your nails as well. The formulas dry quickly and I tend to paint two thin coats and get really good results.

Left to right: Ole Caliente, Camera, Vanity Fairest, Sugar Daddy

Left to right: Ole Caliente, Camera, Vanity Fairest, Sugar Daddy

In my collection I have an almost fluorescent pink called Camera, a pinky/coral red called Ole Caliente, a sheer milky pink called Sugar Daddy and a lighter, more opaque pink with subtle shimmer called Vanity Fairest. My favourites are Ole Caliente and Vanity Fairest.

Camera has a more sheer formula than the red, but I can get a consistent and smooth finish with just two coats. If I was in a hurry, I could get away with one coat of Ole Caliente, but I always go for two. I’ve had the two vibrant (or happy as I like to call them) colours for well over a year and I tend to alternate these on my toenails, especially in the Summer. And, depending on the opacity that I’m after, I could paint one or two coats of the lighter pinks and get a nice, even finish. I think the pink shades are very elegant on the fingernails.

Now, about the cost. These are pricey at $16.95 a bottle in Priceline stores. Ouch… I believe these are less expensive overseas, but we lucky Australians get to pay more for cosmetics here. I could argue that the quality of the Essie polishes nearly justifies the price, but I know that there are other, cheaper brands out there that make polishes that are great quality. So, I guess it depends on whether you’re willing to fork out a few more dollars for a more high end brand. I only own eleven bottles of nail polish in total, so I don’t mind that I’ve splurged a bit on four Essie polishes. However, if I wanted to expand my collection, that’s going to get quite expensive. Maybe I’ll just keep my small collection for now and replace them as they dry out.

What’s your favourite brand of nail polish?


2 Responses to “A review: Essie Nail Polish”

  1. CMoore 16/04/2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Hey, I’m that friend you promised!

  2. quya 04/05/2014 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi there!Lovely blog you get here. I’m keen on purchasing the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads as I have sensitive skin. Currently trying out the Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads and I’m loving it. Just did a review of it on my blog if you are interested – http://www.coffeeandraisins.blogspot.com

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