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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Essie Dive Bar

By on April 2, 2011
in 365 of Untrieds, Essie, Teal with 66 Comments
essie dive bar nail polish bottle 365 untried 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

In December we talked about Essie entering the mass retail market with an edited selection of their core collection colors and new retail exclusives.  “Retail exclusives” made my ears perk up so I was curious to see what kind of colors the mass consumer would get versus what Essie offers to salons.

To be honest when the L’oreal buyout of Essie became public I was skeptical of how this type of change would be received.  Unlike a lot of salon brands that have ended up filtering into mass retailers via the gray market, Essie was one that I rarely came across.  At least in my tiny piece of the universe.  But I have yet to hear a big uproar from the salon community about L’oreal bringing Essie to the mass crowd.

Anywho, as soon as I spotted my first Essie retail display I zeroed in on the blues and greens and came home with Dive Bar and Trophy Wife.  Of course I rush to buy these colors and where do they end up?  Good question.  This past weekend I was cleaning out a drawer looking for receipts (oh joyous tax season) when I found the polishes still in the drugstore bag.  I must have hid them in a fit of de-cluttering before they made their way to the polish room.  I decided to give Essie Dive Bar a whirl first.


Formula & Application: Essie nail polishes (including the retail line) are 3-Free.  The formula hasn’t changed even though the packaging has.  The bottle still includes the Essie molded logo on two sides but there is now a clear sticker with white lettering on one of the smooth sides.  Also, the cap doesn’t include the embossed “e” on top.  Everything else seems the same with the exception of the volume of polish.  Salon Essie bottles list the volume as .5oz and the Retail Essie bottles say .46oz.  Even though the bottles look the same size there a difference of 1.5mL.  Hmm…

***UPDATE: I was informed by a representative for Essie that there is no difference in the fill amount between Retail and Salon packaging. Due to a change in regulations brands are now required to list fill levels using 2-digits instead of rounding to a single digit. Essie bottles have always contained .46oz of polish and the bottles stating .5oz are being phased out.

Dive Bar had that somewhat watery feel that I’ve come to expect from Essie.  It kind of slides on the nail and feels a bit squishy but, not to worry, the pigmentation is all there.  It’s an easy two coater.

Essie Dive Bar has an oil spill-esque look to it in the bottle.  The tinge of purple on the edge of the bottle is a great indicator that there’s more going on in this party than one would expect.  At its core, Dive Bar is a blackened teal with metallic shimmer.  It teeters on “almost black” territory but I’d say it’s just light enough to avoid that moniker. I love that it can lean either blue or green depending on the light.  And that hint of purple, you can see it hovering around the edges of the nail like a frame.

essie dive bar swatch nail polish 365 untrieds

essie dive bar nail polish swatch 365 untried

Bottom Line: I’m a bit puzzled by the polish volume discrepancy between the salon and retail bottles but that’s not enough to turn me off.  I rarely go through a bottle of polish so the 1.5mL isn’t a deal breaker but I think there should be consistency in size if the price is the same at both the retail and salon level.  Outside of that, I’m loving that there are some shades, like Dive Bar, in the Retail Exclusives that appeal to my more adventurous sense of color.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: Oh it’s already filed away in my Helmers.  STASH!

Essie Dive Bar is part of the Essie Retail Exclusives that can be found at mass retailers nationwide. Essie nail polishes retail for $8/ea for a .46 oz bottle.

Are you loving or hating Dive Bar?  Who else picked up a bottle?  Which of the other Retail Exclusive shades have you tried?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on them and the whole Essie Retail concept.

Disclosure: I purchased Essie Dive Bar at my local grocery store.  For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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  1. Monday/Tuesday: Dive Bar & Freja « Beauty with Books | June 21, 2011
  1. Angela says:

    I bought dive bar last weekend and couldn’t wait to paint my nails yesterday when I got home from work. I am wearing it right now…LOVE.

  2. Tracy says:

    I picked this one up in a Wal-mart (of all places!) when I had to make an emergency trip while on vacation: best decision ever! Dive Bar is an incredible color – purple, green, and blue all in one. Just try to resist looking at your hands when driving…amazing to watch the polish change in different light!
    Also, I think the 365 polishes idea is a tremendous one and you should be commended for doing it. Your writing style is accessible and enjoyable to read. I for one look forward to seeing what comes next! Thank you, Michelle!

  3. Interesting, are the salon bottles still .5 oz. or will they all now be .46 oz.?

  4. Jo says:

    This colour is gorgeous! I don’t think these are available in the UK, will have to hunt it down!

  5. Katie says:

    wow, this polish is beautiful! Love the 365 series :-)

  6. Ooo, so pretty. I’ve been seeing Essie EVERYWHERE lately. Even at my local grocery store. I’m a very visual person so it helps me to be able to look at the bottles in person (I used to just buy Essie online).

    I love this polish. It is very glowy and pretty!

  7. Jo says:

    I think this is really pretty! I love it :)

  8. Stephanie says:

    I’m glad you’re back :)

  9. vik says:

    Wow! Such a gorgeous color!

  10. Ling says:

    gorgeous color :) and very much loving the 365 challenge – don’t let the comment trolls get to you! they are just that. trolls.

  11. Amy says:

    Love the color. And I love that you’re doing this 365 project!

  12. grace says:

    I love this color! It was one of the first to sell out in stores by me, so it took a while for me to find it. It is pretty similar to one of those Gossip Girl polishes that Nicole OPI did, but the purple flash in this one makes it unique in my stash.

  13. Stephanie C says:

    I’m wearing it right now! Love the color! I keep looking at my nails – it’s a keeper!

  14. Nancy says:

    Woah this is a pretty complex color! So nice!

  15. nicole says:

    Very interesting shade, looks great on you!

  16. Andrea says:

    This is pretty. Still not a fan of the big, white lettering on the bottle, though. I guess I should get over that already.

  17. Chris says:

    Dive Bar is lovely, but it looks an awful lot like Sinful See You Soon.

  18. Apriltini says:

    This was my first Essie, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was very unhappy with how thin and watery it was, but I gave it another try a couple weeks later, and liked it better then.

    Because of the price, Essie’s not my first choice in polish. I can get cool colors for less money with other brands.

  19. firefly says:

    That is a gorgeous color! Do they sell Essie at Target now?

  20. Lauren says:

    I love it. really gorgeous!

  21. Courtney says:

    Love Dive Bar! Someone on MUA posted a picture about a slight shape difference in the Essie bottles. The salon Essies have an ever so slightly bowed out shape to them. Not completely square. I think to make them easier to store on the retail shelves, they made the retail Essies a bit more square. It’s not a huge difference, but it may account for that 1.5 ml!

  22. Nicole says:

    hilarious, I bought dive bar and trophy wife last week too, while I was at Target! I guess great polish-aholic minds think alike! I haven’t tried either of mine, yet though, I still have Rescue Beauty’s Insouciant on, and can’t bear to take it off yet!

  23. KatieM says:

    I got dive bar in a swap, I haven’t tried it but I’m thinking, with opi’s silver shatter it could be quite something.

  24. Kate & Zena says:

    Isn’t it only a .04oz difference? .5oz-.46oz is .04oz so I’m really confused!

    It’s a gorgeous color though!

  25. Katherine says:

    Wow, that’s a great color. I haven’t seen the new retail displays yet, but I hear Target has them now so I’ll go take a look. I love your 365 untrieds concept and am looking forward to seeing more. Perhaps you could number the posts 1-365?

  26. Amy says:

    I am excited to hear you will be posting more often, even if it is less-than-cutting edge polishes! You write the best nail reviews on the web and I want more!!

  27. I bought it a little bit back, but I haven’t tried it yet…it sure does look sexy though. When I’m done with my new Zoyas, I’m going to try it.
    But you know, I hate the packaging. I tore that stupid sticker off it when I got home, but I can’t move the label to the bottom of the bottle without messing it up. Bleh. -___-

    Ahh this 365 polish thing is so fun! I’m so excited to see what comes tomorrow. :3

    • kirsten says:

      LOL! I did the exact same thing with the 3 shades I picked up too! Those stickers bugged me from the second I saw them!

  28. Renee says:

    How close is this to Chanel Black Pearl? Love to see a side-by-side comparison.

  29. beata says:

    I bought dive bar along with master plan online. I love both colors. Interesting that the “retail” (at $7.99) version is 1.5mL less than the salon (which is at $8.50)…hmmmm

  30. I really loved this one too. I was hoping that it *might* signal some more adventuresome polishes from Essie. Look at the oldies but goodies like SSN, Viva la Vespa and VIP. But alas.. not so much. Still with the slightly boring (though well pigmented?) collections.

  31. Lizzi says:

    OO! I’m loving this one. I’ve been following your blog since I was a junior in HS, I’m in my soph of college now. I used to paint my nail a different color almost every other day but now that I’m in culinary college to become a chef I can’t have my nails long or painted, for sanitary reasons in the kitchen. Looking forward to wearing this color this summer!! I really appreciate all that you do for us fellow nail polish crazies.

  32. Lizzi says:

    Oh, I wanted to note that I can keep my toes painted and I’ve become addicted to using Essie’s Aruba Blue. I love that one and it was a trill to find it at my CVS!

  33. Kaoyee says:

    OOOHHHH how weird is this?! I was just at Target looking at both Dive Bar and Trophy Wife. I came with neither (buh?) but will definitely go back and get Dive Bar because it looks gorgeous. I bought Coat Azure and It’s Genius. I really like the Essie brush. It easier to manuever than OPI or SH. Thanks for the swatch!! I

  34. Helena says:

    Reminds me of Bleach Black’s Dick Weed (blue/green with elusive purple), but with more depth.

  35. Jaztee says:

    Love how deep this polish is! Adding it to the wishlist.

  36. Emily says:

    This looks like a darkened version of your St. Paddy’s mani!

  37. Lisa says:

    Want! That is all :)

  38. TygerKitty says:

    I bought dive bar recently – it looks FABULOUS with flakies over it; I used sinful colors – green ocean but any flakie polish with blue/green would work. Total keeper!

  39. Matthew says:

    dive bar is unbelievable. i highly recommend layering with cnd sparkle effects in silver!

  40. Silva says:

    It’s a very nice color! I haven’t tried any of these Essies yet.

  41. Kitty says:

    Ah, so this is the shade everyone keeps talking about!

  42. Nicole says:

    that’s an absolutely gorgeous color!

  43. Shaina says:

    Dive Bar is amazing! Reminds me of a color I already have!

  44. Melissa says:

    I saw this color for the first time today when I went to Target and I almost considered buying it. I wasn’t too sure of it because it looked black in the bottle and it reminded me of a polish that I already have, but now from the swatch I can see that it’s a lot different. It’s really beautiful and now it’s going on my wish list. Trophy Wife is another that I’ve been wanting for a couple of weeks now. I’ve never tried Essie before, but I really like some of the colors that they have.

  45. riss says:

    Dive bar is on my list of the retail Essies that I want to pick up. It seems they’re very slow about making it around here. So far I’ve only found them in one store and most of the slots were empty. After seeing this I’ll definitely pick this one up when I find it :)

  46. katie says:

    Cool color but I feel like it is a dupe for one of the OPI switzerland colors, can’t recall the name. Anyway, not very unique but still cool.

  47. Lillian says:

    I love this color! Hope I can find it somewhere. :) I actually like this bottle design better than the salon one.

  48. MikeyNotPeter says:

    Can we get a list of the retail exclusives. It was too hard to cross check the list to narrow it down :( lol

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I listed the retail exclusives separately in my original post but here’s the list for you

      Trophy Wife, Beach Bum Blue, Sweet Talker, Dive Bar, Jamaica Me Crazy, Devil

  49. meme says:

    What a GREAT color! And being about 4 mos new here, I missed in my back log of reading that Essie had been bought by L’Oreal and also about it having a retail vs. salon line. I gotta get out more and look in places I usually never look at polishes because I am trying not to over buy when I hit a place like Walmart, Target or a major drugstore chain. Fortunately the latter is not too hard for me since I have to drive over 70 miles to hit the nearest Target or Walmart! Life in a semi-rural area that seems very filled with population and other shops now…but not major chains. I LOVE this shade! I will be looking for Essie on line as to where to find it possibly within 100 miles radius of me!

  50. MarciaF says:

    That’s gorgeous. I can’t really pull off shades like this but I’d love to try. I bet you sell a lot of this polish!

  51. Guarionex says:

    Dive Bar by ESIE. Love at first sight!

  52. Heidi Herrmann says:

    Just bought this color and I love it, especially after I put a top clear coat on!

  53. Rachel says:

    I went out and bought this color at my local Walmart,and I love it! I love the formula, the color depth, and the wear. I’ve had it on for 7 days, and except for some very minor tip wear it looks perfect. I’m a gymnastics coach and trash my hands, and it’s still looking luv-uh-lee!

  54. Mallory says:

    Oooooh my god, I love this color!!!

  55. althea says:

    I bought the color and must not have applied it properly,because I HATED the application. Watery and full of brush strokes. I actually returned it! But it looks good on you!

  56. LaurenLovesLacquer says:

    I just bought this color 2 days ago. And when I saw it, I IMMEDIATELY thought of you Michelle. I knew you’d like it. I have it on my toes now, while wearing Ulta Envy on my tips. I didn’t find any issues with the application. It is lovely and isn’t wearing at all on my toes. I did pick it up and put it down several times, when I finally said WTH? Glad I got it.

  57. Christy says:

    This is terribly petty of me, but the difference (if there had been one) would actually only have been .04 oz, not 1.5oz as you stated. Yay math!

    • Amanda says:

      She stated it was a difference of 1.5mL (milliliters) not 1.5 oz. 0.04oz is approximately 1.5mL because there are approximately 30mL/oz. I know… that metric system is tricky :{

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