l-r: Leading Lady, Mint Candy Apple, First Timer, Bangle Jangle
Essie Leading Lady
I have an entire post dedicated to this stunner, so there isn't too much to add here. What I love most about Leading Lady is its glass fleck quality. It has this jelly-like translucence and shine, but is still entirely opaque. The red shimmer looks suspended in the polish, rather than just sitting on top of the nail or disappearing underneath.
Essie Mint Candy Apple
An Essie classic, Mint Candy Apple was always sold out at Woolworths or Priceline when Essie first launched in those stores. I had to resort to an online shop to purchase mine. In the end, I have to say this shade was a bit of a letdown for me. I was hoping for mint green perfection, but for whatever reason, this applies extremely blue on my nails. I already have way too many similar pale blues (Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda, Sportsgirl Nail It! in Iceberg) so I didn't need another one.
Essie First Timer
Ingrid of missglamorazzi kept talking about this polish and I'm glad she did, because it's turned out to be a surprising favourite. Greens are a bit unusual and mainly associated with Saint Patrick's Day or Christmas, but I find myself frequently drawn to them. First Timer is more medium-toned with a slight pastel edge, which makes it quite unique in my collection, as most greens I have are either very light and minty or much darker.
Essie Bangle Jangle
I bought this one blind, not having seen the bottle in person and basing my decision purely off swatches online, and it didn't turn out to be exactly what I was hoping. I've featured this previously with a copper/rose gold glitter which I thought paired well together, but the polish on its own is a little underwhelming. I'm not sure what it is precisely, but perhaps I was hoping for something paler and a touch more grey? More of an airy, delicate dove grey, than the medium dusty purple that it is.
l-r: Fiji, As Gold As It Gets, Chinchilly, Bikini So Teeny
Tanya Burr convinced me I needed Fiji in my life, but for the longest time I resisted buying it because I felt I could find similar alternatives for much cheaper. It was somewhat amusing in the end when I caved and bought this, because I compared it against all the "cheaper alternatives" I'd purchased that I thought would be nearly identical, and they were completely off. From swatches I'd seen of Fiji, I always assumed it was such a pale pink that it photographed nearly white. Turns out it really isn't that light. Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel in Pale Cashmere and Sinful Colors Easy Going are much, much lighter.
Essie As Gold As It Gets
This definitely isn't as gold as it gets — see OPI GoldenEye for that. But it's a very pretty gold flakie topper regardless. The flakes are distinctly yellowish as opposed to a metallic gold and the density is good. I have on two coats in the picture. Because of the opacity of the flakes and the predominately yellow colour, it might not suit every single base colour that it's painted over. This one requires some experimentation to achieve the most flattering base and top coat combination, but it's nifty to have in your nail art arsenal.
Along with Mint Candy Apple, this is another one of those iconic Essie shades that you always hear about. For me, it's just too similar to Sally Hansen Commander in Chic to justify having both. An excellent "drugstore"/budget dupe for Chinchilly is Essence Colour & Go Quick Drying Nail Polish in Walk of Fame. Still, a very sophisticated, medium-to-dark mushroom shade that remains timeless.
Essie Bikini So Teeny
I first heard about this polish from Allison of amarixe in her Drugstore Makeup Haul all the way back in June 2012, so when I saw Bikini So Teeny at Priceline in November last year, I was mainly surprised that Australia had begun selling it more than a year after it launched in the States. This "sparkling, cornflower blue" (light, bright periwinkle with slight silver shimmer) is one of my favourite blue polishes because it's not a shade that I see very often. A must if you're partial to blue polishes.
l-r: Van D'Go, Funny Face, Absolutely Shore, A Cut Above
Essie Van D'Go
My very first Essie polish which I ordered from BeautyBay back when you could still order nail polish from there and have it shipped to Australia. This is a creamy pastel pinky-peach that looks quite Barbie-ish on my nails, but I love it anyway. The definition of a "spring colour".
Essie Funny Face
A medium fuchsia/hot pink that I was fortunate to win in Sue's giveaway. The formulation on this one is impeccable, it applied so smoothly and evenly, and was opaque in one coat. For whatever reason, I don't find myself naturally drawn to fuchsia shades in nail polish, though I can't seem to stay away from them in the lip department. I should really give more love to Funny Face because it's fun and girly (and I can totally go matchy-matchy with my lipstick).
Essie Absolutely Shore
My favourite Essie polish ... and one of my favourite polishes, period. Now this, not Mint Candy Apple, is mint green perfection, though it's more of a pale, airy, slightly dusty, seafoamy green. For a light colour, it applies completely opaque with not a bald patch to be seen in just two coats. Absolutely Shore paired with Revlon Whimsical is my ultimate go-to combination.
Essie A Cut Above
Major pink bling bling. This is incredibly dense for a glitter polish which means you can easily wear it on its own for ultra jazzed up nails. It only has one colour of glitter in varying sizes, so it's not the most complex of glitter concoctions, and there are similar polishes that are more affordable (Maybelline Color Show Sequins in Rose Bling comes to mind), but when this is on the nails, it demands your attention.