114. Essie Nail Polish

It’s hard to find a brand of nail polish that has both pretty colors and doesn’t chip easily. I’ve found that in Essie.

The perfect red. The perfect neutral. The perfect, fun, seasonal colors. Essie has them all. Let me feature some here.

1. The Perfect Nude – “Ballet Slippers”


According to Essie, this is an “award winning, classic pale pink with a sheer finish.”

Any classy lady knows that a nude nail makes her hands look polished and clean, like she’s never done a dish in her life. Since I aspire to that level of lady-hood, I went on the search for the perfect nude color. Ballet Slippers is appropriately opaque, providing good coverage, and it is pale enough to not be far off from my lily-white redhead complexion. It’s less harsh than white, and less boring than beige.

2. The Perfect Red – “Apertif”


“An appetizing creamy red.”

I can only spend so much time sitting calmly at my grandparents’ dinner table, after the pastrami is gone. One time, I decided that I wanted to paint my nails while the grown-ups talked about serious things. Grandma Phyl offered me a selection of colors to choose from, insisting that she “didn’t use any of them” and I could keep them for good. I picked a bright, vibrant red. Lo and behold, it was the perfect shade for my skin tone! Bright, rich, and saturated, this color is my dream red. It’s also blue-based, which means it’s not too orangey for my delicate complexion. Oh, Essie, you’ve done it again!

3. The Perfect Trendy Grey – “Chinchilly”


“A sleek granite gray.”

About two years ago, I decided that I needed some grey nail polish. It just seemed really important at the time. But grey nail polish, friends, is a matter of utmost subtlety. Chinchilly is not too dark, so it won’t be confused with black. It’s sort of a browny-grey hybrid, with emphasis on the “grey.”

4. The Perfect Boundary-Pushing Lavender – “Play Date”


“A flirtatious soft purple.”

Everyone needs a few bright, happy colors in their nail polish collection. This summer, I was really feeling lavender. It turned out to be a bit more of a search than I had expected – many lavenders were sheer, or had sparkles in them (ugh, so gaudy). Then I found Play Date at the CVS – miracle of miracles! It’s perfect. I’m wearing it right now, in fact.

5. An Impulse Buy – “Navigate Her.”


“A light, bright green.”

This is my one Essie polish that I’m not so thrilled with. I was intrigued by the spring green color as soon as it came out in Essie’s Spring 2012 collection, but it turned out to be somewhat washed out and boring. It seemed so tempting on the shelf! But it just doesn’t look that great on me. Oh well. Can’t win ’em all.

I’m still on the lookout for a turquoisey pool blue. I have one by China Glaze, called For Audrey, that is the perfect color, but it just chips off so immediately. Any advice would be strongly appreciated.

August 27, 2012. Beauty, Fashion, Rectangles.


  1. MegansBeadedDesigns replied:

    The only problem I’ve found with Essie is that if I paint on multiple layers, the polish is soft and impressed easily, so it basically won’t ever really dry. Is there a specific topcoat you recommend to avoid this problem?

  2. Eliza H replied:

    I always use Seche Vite. It’s available at CVS, and it’s amazing. It dries really fast. Pretty solid protection, too.

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