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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Essie Little Brown Dress

By on April 11, 2011
in 365 of Untrieds, Brown, Creme, Essie
essie little brown dress nail polish bottle 365 untrieds 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.

Today made me realize why the Bangles sang a song called “Manic Monday.” This was one CLUSTER (as my friend Nancy would say) of a day.  I spent my morning aiming a hair dryer at the wall of ice in our beer fridge so I could save the two kegs inside from spoiling.  The rest of my afternoon included getting prices on garage door openers since mine decided to die over the weekend while the boyfriend was away at a hockey tournament, of course.

By the time I got around to removing my Inglot 646 manicure, I should have expected to find that it STAINED my nails Smurfy blue.  After all everything comes in threes, right?  Even though my precious Orly Cutique removed most of the staining I was so not in the mood to even think about applying a light colored polish.  Instead I decided to itch the brown nail polish scratch that Estee Lauder Chocolate Crave started.   I went hunting for an untried brown and stumbled upon Essie Little Brown Dress.

Formula & Application: Essie is a 3-Free brand. The square bottles are embossed with the essie logo and the smooth plastic caps include an embossed e on top.  The brushes are thin, round and shorter than most. The bristles are very flexible, allowing you to easily fan out the brush to cover your nail width.

While Little Brown Dress has the somewhat squishy texture I’ve come to expect from Essie, the polish was heavily pigmented giving flawless, opaque coverage in two coats.  Normally squishy, watery or jelly indicates a low level of opacity so I was pleasantly surprised to see this color go on so well.  The finish was so glossy that I really didn’t need a top coat but I applied one anyone just to make sure it dried quickly.

Essie Little Brown Dress is a muddy coffee bean creme.  It’s as if you made a paste with cocoa powder.  It’s not deep enough to be considered a dark chocolate yet it’s nowhere near milk chocolate either.  It has a bit of black in its base so it’s not an overly warm brown and I think that’s what drew me in.  I love a true brown creme but this one has a bit of edge to it.

essie little brown dress swatch nail polish 365 untrieds

Bottom Line: It may be Spring but I’m all about non-traditional colors this season, especially browns.  Given its perfect formula and pigmentation and the fact that I can’t find a dupe for it in my collection, I consider Little Brown Dress a win.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: STASH it!

Essie Little Brown Dress was released as part of the Fall 2010 collection but it’s still available on and  Essie nail polishes retail for $8/ea for a .46oz bottle.

Who’s in on my current brown polish obsession?  Thoughts on Little Brown Dress?  If you own it, have you discovered a dupe?  If you don’t, will it make your shopping list?

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There Are 33 Brilliant Comments

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  1. T says:

    I had high hopes for Inglot, too bad it stained!

  2. aelie says:

    How funny, I’m wearing Little Brown Dress today! It’s autumn in Australia so it’s the perfect cool-weather colour. I looove it, thanks for your swatch! x

  3. I like that this one doesn’t look reddish. Most of the browns I’ve tried do that and it just isn’t flattering. I’ll have to pick this one up next time I’m at Ulta. I also want to slap a coat of gold glitter on top because I love brown and gold together.

  4. Monique says:

    All I can think about is BROWNIE .. Yumm! lol

  5. Jaztee says:

    OPI Espresso Your Style got me hooked, then Holiday Glow, then I faded for a bit, but I’m back to liking it again and need more!

  6. Molly says:

    This is a pretty brown. I like brown for summer…but I am slightly torn since I’m kind of over the black nail polish trend. Funny thing is I haven’t worn black at all over the years just dark berry colors or black with glitter in it.

    I am going back to the mint green trend and I like the lilac creme for spring.
    I’ve got only one brown from Revlon (espresso? ’02) so this Essie color maybe one I should buy.

  7. Katy says:

    Do you truly have enough untrieds to do one for every day of the year? I wouldn’t be surprised.

  8. Melinda says:

    I love brown nail polish!
    I think darker colours and nudes are perfect for Winter.
    A very nice polish from Essie – I actually love all of the polishes in the Essie Fall 2010 Collection

  9. I really like when Essie does colors other than pinks :D

  10. Lyolya says:

    A very pretty colour. I think “espresso” is all-the-year-round shade, and I would definitely put this one on my toes this summer. Thanks for the review.

  11. Pam R says:

    @Molly – I’ve got Little Brown Dress, and it’s really, really brown. I had a hard time capturing it accurately because my pics always looked darker than it really is. Michelle’s pic is pretty true to life.

    I love LBD and am not fashion-forward enough to care about the season and which colors I should wear. If I like it and am in the mood, it goes on! :)

  12. love4lacquer says:

    Ouuu, hmm this isn’t good for my wallet. I figured since I had a few other browns I didnt need this one. but seeing this i definitely do!

  13. Sonja says:

    I like. I want. I’m gonna buy ;)

  14. grace says:

    This is one of the four colors I picked up from this collection and I love it! A perfect not too light or dark, not too warm or cool brown creme.

  15. Lauren says:

    This is also in my untrieds, but I liked it enough to buy it when it came out. I always loved browns, because they are so much more flattering on me than black. I’ve been trying to get my hands on Chanel Haute Chocolat for years. I can’t find anything that even comes close to a dupe.

  16. meag says:

    i loooooooove browns. maybe it has something to do with going back to my roots? i love matching my makeup/nail polish with my hair. i had actually been eyeing this one, but i can’t bring myself to buy essie. (i only own one!) have you tried sally hansen nail growth miracle in forbidden fudge? /swoon. a shimmer, not a creme, but i

  17. Jessica says:

    I like this “cool” brown…my go-to brown has been American Apparel Raccoon, which is definitely warmer toned.

    I’m impressed you have a beer fridge, btw. Hope there wasn’t too much damage there!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      We were able to salvage the beer. The boyfriend went out and bought ice to keep it cool while we worked on the fridge. We used an old fridge my dad gave us and installed the tap equipment ourselves as a Christmas present to each other. We are both craft beer fans so we wanted to always have a couple on tap. Losing the chocolate stout would have been very sad.

      • Jessica says:

        Glad to hear it was all salvaged! and Essie Little Brown Dress would certainly be an apropos color to wear while enjoying that chocolate stout!

  18. Andrea says:

    I heart LBD.

  19. megan says:

    it’s funny. this saturday my NP loving friend came over and she brought Essie Lady Godiva and bam! A lemming for a brown polish was born. I’m thinking of getting OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys. It’s so weird how that happens! A few days ago I would’ve scanned this entry and went “meh no brown for me” and now I’m just NEEDING it!!

  20. tamara says:

    hmm i didn’t think i would like this colour at all….i’m not a huge fan of brown polishes, but i actually really like this one…i’ll probably have to pick up a bottle :)

  21. Danielle says:

    Fun alternative to black when you’re looking for a sexy, edgy nail! Thanks for sharing!

  22. DC says:

    I’m not ready to completely shed my love of dark, murky winter colors. Something like this deep chocolatey brown goes very well with spring greens and lavenders, as well as robin’s egg blue.

    And speaking of blue…I just dug up an old ad from the beginning season of Urban Decay (the real UB!) and felt pangs of nostalgia for UV-B nail polish. Can anyone PLEASE suggest a dupe for this lovely cloudy blue?

  23. Melanie says:

    I have this polish and received many compliments when I wore it. I like the idea of gold glitter on top…that sounds interesting!

  24. Nita says:

    I haven’t bought any browns because I just didn’t think they would look that good. I was so wrong! ? it!

  25. Jessica says:

    Check out OPI’s Susie Says Da. Very similar – I love this color, and also Susie Says Da (which is the one I own)

  26. Adeline says:

    I love the formula and color and I also found that this is one of the longest lasting polishes I have!

  27. Mica says:

    Being that dark brown is my absolutely most favorite color, there is really nothing wrong with dark brown nail polish for spring! I think it’s quite spring-like – it looks like fields that have just been tilled:)

  28. Meg Ree says:

    I just picked this up tonight at Target for a little under $8! Woot! I am seriously excited to try it. :)

  29. Niner says:

    LBD is the only brown I own, and it’s gorgeous- I find it looks like I have little glossy brown M&M candies on my fingertips :)
    Also! I love Suzie Says Da!, as mentioned above, but wanted to comment that it has a very raisin/reddish undertone & LBD does not.

  30. Elvira Carpino says:

    I am relatively new to this blog site and I was wondering if we are able to purchase colors that we see and what would the price be- esp., the untried polishes. Thank you, Elvira