Essie Lots of Lux

I think I’ve worn this color at least a couple times before, but a quick search in my nail journal here says I’ve apparently never posted a swatch! This is Essie Lots of Lux, from the Encrusted Treasures collection from the 2013 holiday season.

Lots of Lux is a royal-blue textured polish that Essie describes as a “shimmering lapis lazuli blue nail lacquer with a super fine matte finish.” It looks a bit brighter and less purplish than the blue I associate with lapis, but it’s definitely multifaceted and jewel-like, with what looks to me like a bright metallic blue base and a touch of both silver and turquoise shimmer, and maybe a pinch of silver micro glitter with the blue texture particles. There’s a lot going on when you take a closer look.

At two coats, the polish was pretty opaque, but it didn’t really dry matte for me and had more of a muted metallic finish. The photo above is on day 2 and without top coat. Application was easy. It dried relatively quickly but chipped pretty quickly, too. I think this lasted all of 3-4 days. Beautiful while it lasted, though! Also, textured polishes touch up easily, so there’s that to make up for the below-average durability.

Removal was easy compared to a hardcore glitter, but it’s tougher than a creme, as can be expected of this type of polish.

…I’ve got naked nails now. What color to wear next?

Essie Sable Collar

Trying out a different way of pulling my images from Instagram.

Swatched Essie Sable Collar for this week’s nails. It’s from Essie’s winter 2013 collection, and I’ve had it for a long time but just somehow never felt like wearing it.

 

It didn’t photograph especially well for me, unfortunately, and I didn’t have a chance to take another photo before it chipped (oops), but it’s kind of a metallic puce. Essie calls it a “luxurious pearlescent cocoa plum.” I suppose that’s a fancier way of saying that it’s puce (purplish brown) with a bit of subtle pinkish shimmer. It’s so subtle that I can hardly see it in some light. Not a bad color, though. When the shimmer actually shows, it gives Sable Collar a nice lit-from-within look.

 

 

The formula was fine, easy enough to apply, though I was sloppy. It’s a bit on the watery side, as Essies tend to be. Dry time was average for me. Durability was not so good, at least with Julep Nail Therapy as my base coat, and chipped on the second day. Ah, well.

By the way, FYI, Wikipedia says: “Puce is the French word for flea. The color is said to be the color of the bloodstains remaining on linen or bedsheets, even after being laundered, from a flea’s droppings or after a flea has been crushed.”

Lovely, huh?

Julep Amity

Two coats of Julep Amity, plus a coat of Essie Shine of the Times making a cameo appearance on the ring finger, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor natural light. Direct sunlight on top and shade on bottom:

Amity, described by Julep as a white-gold metallic signifying friendship, is a sparkly semi-sheer silver-white metallic shimmer, part of Julep’s limited edition Champagne Trio (along with Clio for celebration and Reiko for gratitude) celebrating their Maven program’s second anniversary in 2014. It’d probably build up to opacity with another coat or so, but I was fine with the semi-sheer look. It’s a bit frosty/pearly/brush-stroke-y, but the streaks aren’t that visible except under direct light, as you can see from the top set. The lighting also determines how sheer the polish looks:

Formula is generally good, though it’s hard to get the brush strokes not to show and is probably meant to be semi-sheer. Otherwise, I had no issues with this polish, and it dried on the fast side of average for me. Durability was good. I put these nails on in a rush for a wedding last weekend, and they’re still going strong with hardly a chip five days later.

As I mentioned, I brushed on Essie’s iridescent flakie topper Shine of the Times on the ring finger in an attempt to match my opal jewelry, but it’s hardly noticeable. You can see it if you look really carefully at these photos, but it’s basically invisible. Ah, well. I’ll put it to better use next time!

Face-off: LynBDesigns Time and Relative Dimension in Space (TARDIS) vs. Essie Starry Starry Night (Retro Revival version)

Been too busy to post for a while now, so I’m playing catch up today. 🙂 Going to try to make it quick!

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Quickie comparison between LynBDesigns Time and Relative Dimension in Space (TARDIS) and Essie Starry Starry Night (SSN), this year’s Retro Revival (RR) collection version, not the original. Index and ring are TARDIS, while middle and pinky are SSN, and both are topped with Essie Good to Go top coat. (Kind of sloppy application, but I was in a hurry packing to get on a plane!) In outdoor natural light:

 

I’ve previously written up a post about LynBDesigns TARDIS, so you can read all my earlier impressions it there. It could be from the pigments settling a bit, but I found the formula thinner than the last time I applied it last July, even after shaking up the bottle. Maybe it needed more shaking. In any case, these photos show four thin coats.

 

Essie SSN (RR) is not the same as the original SSN that so many nail polish collectors are crazy for and which I do not own. Michelle at All Lacquered Up did a really great swatch post comparing the two, as well as a few other polishes. Frankly, I almost didn’t pick it up because I already have Zoya Dream, which I love to death, and the finer sparkle in Dream captures more of what I love about the original SSN. After a lot of hemming and hawing, though, I gave in and purchased a bottle anyway. I wanted to give it a shot.

The new SSN’s got a deep sapphire-blue jelly base and small silver hex glitter (a bit smaller than the silver and turquoise square glitters of TARDIS) and is a much brighter blue than TARDIS and slightly brighter than the original SSN. These photos show two coats. Formula was fine and dry time was about average.

Here’s a shot after only one coat of each:

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Durability-wise, I didn’t have much luck with either polish; both chipped pretty significantly after only maybe two days, despite my usual base and top coats.

Bottom line: Obviously, these two polishes are not dupes, and neither looks that close to the original SSN, but they’re both pretty in their own way. (Ultimately, though, I think I still prefer Zoya Dream over both of them.)

Face-off: Essie Leggy Legend vs. Julep Luz

Quick comparison post! I mentioned earlier that I thought Essie Leggy Legend and Julep Luz might be fraternal twins. On a closer look, though, I think they’re probably more like cousins – not too alike, but maybe with some general similar features.

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Here they are in outdoor natural light, two coats each (Leggy Legend on the index and ring, Luz on the middle and pinky), topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, on the third day:

They’re both bronzy and metallic, somewhat coppery and somewhat golden, but that’s about where the similarities end. As you can see, Leggy Legend is definitely redder-toned and has a much finer texture than Luz. The shimmer particles are smaller and have way less scatter when the light hits them.

It’s a bit easier to see the difference in the overall hue in this next photo, also taken in outdoor natural light on the same day and around the same time, but with the sun coming in at a different angle:

I’ve already talked about Leggy Legend in a previous post and am still in love with this polish.

Luz is also a good one, though it’s got a different personality – less slick, more flamboyant. There’s a bit of a rosy, coppery undertone to it, as with Leggy, but in brighter or more direct light, the predominant color seems to be a metallic, less saturated yellow gold. Its loud sparkle makes me think foil – though I guess terms describing finishes are kind of arbitrary, anyway. Formula is great and dries pretty fast, and so far, durability is good. I’m now on my fifth day with these nails, and it’s just showing some expected tip wear. Not bad.

Here it is in indoor white LED light (again demonstrating how Luz’s paler gold sparkle tends to take over):

Not all that similar, but they play well together. 🙂

Leggy strikes me as the stand-out of the two polishes, mostly because its intense, glowy copper-gold is truly one-of-a-kind in my collection, whereas Luz’s predominant gold is more similar to other gold polishes I own. Both are lovely and apply wonderfully, though. Maybe I’ll do side-by-side comparisons of my other gold polishes someday.

Essie On A Silver Platter

Time to play catch up with my swatch posts. Here’s Essie On A Silver Platter, which I wore over Christmas – a long time ago, I know!

This is two coats, in outdoor natural light, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat (and a bit hastily and sloppily applied, I’m afraid):

On A Silver Platter is a clear base densely packed with silver-gold shimmer and various sized holographic sapphire-blue/indigo glitters. It’s on the sheer side at two coats, as you can see, but it builds up pretty well. The formula is on the watery side, like many Essies, but it’s workable if you know what to expect (and if you’re not in a huge rush like I was). Just gotta be careful not to flood the cuticle (like I did). 🙂

It’s got a bit of a lacy sheer effect, like Julep Love, Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Kiss/Mermaid’s Dream/etc., or Revlon Parfumerie Wintermint. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be a textured polish, as it’s from Essie’s Encrusted Treasures collection from winter 2013. It’s not particularly textured, though, at least not more than you’d expect from a glitter polish. I liked it better topped with a shiny top coat, anyway.

In different outdoor natural light (different time of day):

Ugh, please excuse my horribly dry, winter-ravaged skin. It’s easier to see the rainbows from the holo glitters in these shots, so I threw them in here.

Durability on this polish wasn’t great for me – it chipped after maybe a couple days, at best, using base and top coat. Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite polish, but I like the idea of the indigo holo glitters mixed in with the gold shimmer. I may need to try this one again with better application technique and see if I can get it to look better. Blue and gold deserves a second chance!

Essie Retro Revival pre-sale (Starry Starry Night!)

I usually don’t do posts like this, but I’m so excited about it myself that I thought I should, just in case someone dropping by my blog is as excited about it as much as I am.

Essie’s Starry Starry Night is back!

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Image from Essie.com

As of the time of this posting, it looks like it’s already sold out…but maybe Essie might make more available to meet demand? Please?

(The other colors in the Retro Revival are Life of the Party, Bikini with a Martini, Sequin Sash, Birthday Suit, and Cabana Boy. They’re all still available, as far as I’ve seen!)