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Red cremes are one type of polish I’d wear year-round. I can’t believe I haven’t worn one since winter, so I’m remedying that with Essie Russian Roulette, a cherry red jelly:

Russian Roulette

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, and since it’s a jelly, the formula is slightly sheer. This builds nicely, and it looked pretty good at two coats, but I used three to get a higher degree of opacity. Though I applied this to make it look as opaque as a creme, it’s still obvious that the finish is a jelly. It’s very glossy, even without topcoat, and it has that recognizable squishy look. I feel like it’s very summer-appropriate, due to the translucency of the finish, and because it’s a fairly bright shade of red. This is another that could fall into the category of “pin-up reds;” I never tire of wearing those. 🙂 I paired this with China Glaze Sea Spray on my toes.


I’ve worn a lot of Essie this month, and this is the last new one I have to try before getting into the Wimbledon manis I’m looking forward to. Essie Naughty Nautical (Summer 2013) is a bright greenish teal creme with subtle, tiny silver flake shimmer:

Naughty Nautical

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well, though it was a little cuticle draggy. I used three coats for full, even coverage, thought the third coat was just barely needed. As in Rock the Boat (these are the only two polishes I bought from this collection), the shimmer is subtle, but still fairly noticeable. The irregular, tiny silver flakes look very delicate and pretty. While Rock the Boat’s powder blue shade looked light and airy, this greenish teal looks bright and bold. I can’t resist a teal, so I probably would’ve been drawn to this even if it were a plain creme; I appreciate the way the shimmer sets it apart from other teals I own. I don’t normally associate teals, especially green-toned ones, with nautical themes, but this one looks so crisp and fresh that it actually does make me think of sailing. I paired this with China Glaze Ahoy! on my toes.


This is a polish that I’ve sidetracked myself from trying several times, so I’m glad to finally have it on my nails, because it’s lovely. Essie She’s Picture Perfect (Resort Collection, 2012) is a lavender with a subtle fuchsia shimmer:

She's Picture Perfect

Picture taken in sunlight. (Click to really see the shimmer.) This applied well, needing three coats for full, even coverage. This is definitely one of my favorite lavenders! The shade is light and summery, but it isn’t pale and washed out. I love the finish, and have only seen something similar in Rescue Beauty Lounge Insouciant. While that has purple and green shimmer, this one has fuchsia, and it gives the lavender base a pretty flash. It may not be obvious in all lighting conditions, but even when you can’t really see the shimmer particles, I don’t think you would mistake this for a creme, since the shimmer gives the finish a nice glow. It’s both gorgeous and interesting to look at as well. Since it’s so similar in concept to the RBL polish, “insouciant” is a good descriptor for this polish as well. I paired this with RGB Cosmetics Minty on my toes.


This month has turned into quite an Essie-fest for me; but I just love all the blues, greens, turquoises and teals they’ve released in the past few collections. My latest is Essie Rock the Boat (Summer 2013), a light powder blue creme with subtle, tiny silver flake shimmer:

Rock the Boat

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied sheer and a little streaky; for full coverage I needed three coats, plus touchups. It self-levels though, so the formula wasn’t so problematic anyway. The shimmer is subtle, so in very low light this would look like a plain creme, but it’s not so subtle that you can’t notice it at all. I really like this kind of flaky, irregular shimmer. It’s quite visible even in only some light. This shade of blue is so pretty; it has such a light, airy quality to it. Something about it seems so relaxing, calming, soothing. I love the name as well; it has me feeling nostalgic. When I hear “Rock the Boat,” I automatically think of Aaliyah; I love her music and still listen to it today! I paired this with China Glaze Pelican Gray on my toes.


I’ve been trying lots of blues and turquoises, but now I have on something that’s solely green. Essie First Timer (Resort Collection, 2013) is a bright spring green creme:

First Timer

Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was thick yet runny. It didn’t apply very smoothly but was quite pigmented, so I only needed two coats for full coverage, with some touchups in between to make sure there would be no uneven spots. The formula wasn’t perfect, but I love this color. In terms of blue vs. yellow toned, I think this sits right in the middle; it doesn’t seem to lean either way (which I appreciate, because I feel like I don’t see that so often.) This green is light and springy, but it also has a great, almost neon-like vibrancy. It has a bold, stark quality on the nail, which I  love to see in any season, but especially around summertime (I imagine this would look amazing against a tan.) I paired this with Sephora by OPI Alley Cat on my toes.


I tried one half of this collection in May, and this month I’ll wear the second half, starting with Essie In the Cab-ana (Resort Collection, 2013), a bright, aqua-turquoise creme:

In the Cab-ana

Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was nicely thick and pigmented, and I got full coverage in two coats, with some touchups in between. When I bought this I thought the color would be really similar to Where’s My Chauffeur?. They are, in the sense that they’re both in the same broad color family, but they’re not as close as I thought. Where’s My Chauffeur? leans on the green side of turquoise, while In the Cab-ana leans more on the blue side. There are also differences in formula; In the Cab-ana has a thicker, more solidly opaque consistency. Both are bold and really pretty; this one makes me think of lovely turquoise seas as well. I paired it with Illamasqua Purity on my toes.


I’m finally finished trying this collection with Essie Where’s My Chauffeur (Winter 2012), a bright, greenish turquoise creme:

Where's My Chauffeur

Picture taken in sunlight. (This looks just a little greener in real life.) This applied smoothly, though the formula didn’t quite have that really solid pigmentation. I needed three coats for full, streak-free coverage. It did turn out  to have a pretty strong presence on the nail, even without that creamy, solid, pigmented type of formula. It’s kind of strange to think of this as part of a winter release, since this color seems so summery. I can’t resist a turquoise! This one leans a little on the green side. Turquoise shades are typically light, but I like that this one is actually pretty bold and bright, and not washed-out and pale. I feel more at home trying it at this time of year. It’s so pretty and makes me think of a gorgeous turquoise sea. I paired this with Sephora by OPI It’s My Pink on my toes.


I thought it’d be perfect to wear a polish named after Avenue Montaigne during Roland Garros. Essie Avenue Maintain (Spring 2013) is a French blue creme:

Avenue Maintain

Picture taken in weak sunlight. This was well pigmented and applied smoothly; I got solid, opaque coverage in two coats. I am probably more inclined to call this polish a French blue because of its name, but this really does seem to match the shade you see when you look up “Bleu de France.” When I first looked at this indoors, I thought it was dusty, but seeing this outdoors, I see that it’s actually pretty bright. It’s not that sort of vibrant-bright, but it is very fresh and springy. A crisp, clean, clear blue. I paired this with OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes on my toes.


Following my own little personal tradition, I have a slew of shades in the blue/green family to try this month, starting with Essie Butler Please (Winter 2012), a bright cobalt blue creme:

Butler Please

Picture taken in sunlight. The formula was not as smooth as I hoped it’d be; it was nicely pigmented, but it was on the thick side and a little cuticle draggy. I got full coverage in two coats plus touchups, and topcoat helped level everything out. I think this must have neon pigment in it, because it dries satiny and its consistency kind of reminded me of a neon polish. Formula issues aside, I do love the color! It’s really bold and vibrant, and it does have that electric feel (hehe) to it, though not quite as much as Nails Inc. Baker Street, which is my favorite of this type of blue. I almost forgot that this is actually part of a winter collection, but it’s great for summer, too. I paired this with Sephora by OPI Pushing Your Luck on my toes.


Although this NOTD is in the same broad family as my previous one, I thought it was different enough to try right after. Essie Come Here! (Resort Collection, 2013) is a bright coral creme:

Come Here!

Picture taken in natural light. (I wish the weather hadn’t been so gloomy, this really looks its best in the sun). This applied well, though I needed three coats for even coverage. My apartment is pretty dimly lit, with yellow light, so when I looked at this indoors it seemed like an orangey coral. When I went outside, I saw that it was actually closer to a true coral. It seems to have almost an even balance of orange and pink, though I’d say it leans towards the orange side, ever so slightly. Seen in natural light or sunlight, there’s no mistaking this for anything but a coral, though, and I like it so much more than I was expecting to! It’s perfect for a resort collection, since coral is one of those quintessential summery, warm-weather colors. I paired this with China Glaze Blue Island Iced Tea on my toes.




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