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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Essie Pink Parka

By on April 22, 2011
in 365 of Untrieds, Essie, Fall 2009, Pink
essie-pink-parka-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.

Last week we talked about the J.Crew ad featuring Jenna Lyons painting her son’s toe nails bright pink.  It caused quite a stir with some conservatives out there and to show support of Jenna, someone of Facebook created an event asking members to paint their nails pink on April 22nd.

Like I said in my original post about this, most people I know were more curious about the nail polish color than what Jenna was doing to her son’s toes.  The color used in the ad is called “Peep Show,” a shade made exclusively for J.Crew which has now sold out (not surprising). Essie Pink Parka from the Fall 2009 collection is said to be a dupe for Peep Show so I polished my nails with it today as a sign of support. ***Edited to add – Apparently I was misinformed when told that Pink Parka was a dupe for Peep Show.  Cute As A Button is a better match.***

Formula & Application:Essie nail polishes are 3-Free. 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.

Neons are notoriously a pain to deal with and Pink Parka is no exception. Neons actually trump yellows in the level of frustration they give me.  They tend to be thick and streaky, needing several coats.  Because the neon pigment causes the polish to dry matte, I use the same rules I apply to mattes; wait for the base coat dry completely before applying.  I ended up using three coats of Pink Parka though in spite of waiting for the base coat to dry I still ended up with some dragging on my ring finger so that got a fourth coat.

Essie Pink Parka was released as part of the Fall 2009 collection which is very un-Essie. Neons for Fall? How unexpected. When I saw Essie during Fall 2009 Fashion Week she mentioned being inspired by the Michael Kors runway that included neon pink, orange and yellow (see below). That inspiration come to life in the form or Pink Parka and Bright Tights. Of course those two shades were kind of overshadowed by the major hits of the collection; Mink Muffs and Chinchilly.


Essie Pink Parka is about as neon pink as you can imagine.  Of course, neons photograph terribly and never appear true-to-life on screen, unless some serious Photoshop magic is involved, so you have to trust that Pink Parka is eye searing.  It verges on glow-in-the-dark territory.

essie pink parka swatch from the essie fall 2009 nail polish collection

Bottom Line: As fun as neons can be in the summer, I personally opt for brights.  Simply because they are easier to apply and not as in-your-face.  I do keep a few neons on hand but I gravitate more towards oranges than pinks so Pink Parka just isn’t my cup of tea.  Considering that most neons tend to apply the same as Pink Parka and this shade is discontinued, I would look for a more accessible option if you want a polish like this.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: SHARE

Essie Pink Parka is discontinued but can still be found online from various vendors.  Being that none of them are e-tailers I’ve purchased from before, I’m hesitant to link to them but a quick Google search will connect you with them.  Remember, order at your own risk.  If anyone has a reputable e-tailer to recommend that has Pink Parka in stock, please leave a link in the comments.

So who else joined me in wearing pink polish today?  Thoughts on Pink Parka?  Are you a fan of neon nail polish?  Do you have any special application tricks to share?

Disclosure: A sample was provided by Essie.  For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 41 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Appu says:

    I can never carry neons :) I’m wearing Zoya’s Meadow today…gorgeous pink with a gold sheen!

  2. I’ve been craving bright pink polishes lately. Right now I’m wearing Zoya’s Lola and I love it! Although its neon I didn’t have any problems with application.

  3. Jen says:

    This was an absolute pain. I hated it.

  4. Michelle says:

    Sorry, still in the middle of my quest for the perfect orange. Though I support the cause, no pink for me please (after seeing Pink Parka it will be a long while).

  5. NailPolishFan says:

    I’m not a fan of pink polishes, but I do like neons. I tend to lean towards the blue/purple neons. Does anyone know of any really good blue or purple neons for tan to dark skin tones?:)

    • Katy says:

      Color Club’s collection of neons from last summer had some purples and blues. I really like Mrs. Robinson (red-toned purple) and Pucci-licious (blue-purple).

  6. Valerie says:

    the perfect cool-toned neon pink! But about peepshow, i have it and will say that pink parka is not even close to a dupe. pink parka is a neon creme while peepshow is a medium pink, borderline coral, jelly. Colorwise, I would have to say peepshow’s closest sibling is actually cute as a button.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Thanks for the clarification. I was misinformed then when I was told that Pink Parka is a substitute. Of course the official Essie Facebook page said the color in the ad was Forget Me Knots and that’s wrong too. Go figure!

  7. jenny says:

    I just tried to google pix of Essie’s Peep Show, but it seems to be a much more neutral color. (ex.

    Are there any other dupes you can think of for Pink Parka?

  8. Lauren says:

    I have neon blue and purple that are fun once in a while. But the wear isn’t great on neons, so I never wear them more than once a year. I prefer brights too though.

  9. Wow bright pink – what about China Glaze Shocking Pink? Is that comparable?

    • Lauren says:

      Or China Glaze Pool Party? Seems like Pool Party might be a bit warmer in tone than Pink Parka though.

    • ach167 says:

      i own both and i have to say shocking pink is comparable but def not a dupe. in my opinion shocking pink is way better, esp in application.

  10. Iris says:

    My “application trick” is just to use another color as a highlight, so that the pink has something to play off of besides my skin.
    Gotham Polish, the china glaze is darker, and it also dries kind of matte.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I love neons! The brighter and more obnoxious the better! If I wear pink polish, it is only hot pink. I’m going to look for this, and I totally want Peep Show!

  12. alison*elle says:

    I have Pink Parka and get sooo many comments on it every time I wear it. However, it chips so freaking fast – like day of! Even with top coat. Did yours chip or what did you do to prevent it from chipping?

  13. ach167 says:

    I own pink parka and at first i hated it. and it chipped like a mo fo. but after a couple uses i mastered it and now i love it. I also find that it dries less matte than when i first got it. But a top coat does do wonders.

    my ultimate neon pink, though, is from china glaze called shocking pink. its more of a bright creme but gives that neon look and i always get asked about it when i wear it. its an oldie but a goodie but i still see it at ulta.

  14. Katy says:

    I did a bunch of colors today because I couldn’t make up my mind, but pink (China Glaze Sugar High) is on my middle fingers, which, when I think about it, is appropriate.

    Neons are great on toenails. You can get away with some streakiness, and they make your legs look tanner.

  15. sweet! I’ve given away a mini set of essie’s collection that included pink parka. it looks way more neon than I thought it would.

    By chance I happen to have pink nails today too. I’m wearing Warhol by Color Club. I was out as the sun was setting the other day with these on my nails, and I swear it looked like my nails were glowing!

    Also, totally agree on the matte finish of neons. odd.

  16. Mc Huggs says:

    I had wishes I had used that pink color shade your swatching instead of the Zoya Mod Mattes Holly I have on now, for showing support for Jenna and Beckett.

    Maybe J. Crew will make an announcement about their ad and offer to sell this lovely pink polish, it looks super-licious on your nails Michelle. That’s a gorgoeus pink nail polish! Hope you have a great Easter everyone!


    Mc Huggs :)

  17. meme says:

    Not a fan of neon pinks. Am with you on brights = better. Glad you did not ask us if you should keep/share! Pink Parka reminds me of my ski gear in the 80′s – dayglow pink with touches of black – on and coordinating Gargoyle sunglasses (popularized first by a movie Clint Eastwood was in). Mine had quad tone reflect lenses that had some dayglow pink in the lens reflect. And boy did I have a lot of pink in my garments to reflect in them. No loosing me in any slow fall adventure. I was dayglowing in the white snow! I had pink plastic hoops to wear (plastic earrings good for skiing, don’t bend and don’t get cold in your ears as do metal earrings). The ONLY thing I was missing those ski seasons was this polish. None the less, I wore neon pink polish years before in High School – usually only on my toes. Nada now!

  18. meme says:

    Forgot to add, in my fab computer monitor, you DID capture the true neon pink. It’s blinding!

  19. Jaztee says:

    I’m not a huge fan of neons application, but I love love love this colour!

  20. Charlotte says:

    Have any of you neon hunters looked at Jessica Cosmetics? They brought out a neon collection last summer and they are gorgeous. They don’t even dry matte! The polishes are lovely to apply, the formula is excellent. I definitely recommend.

  21. Annie says:

    I don’t really care much about pink polishes but I love Pink Parka! I think it looks amazing :)

  22. Maja says: do have Pink Parka in stock. I’ve ordered from them several times and it has always worked out great.

  23. Cam_a says:

    I ordered Pink Parka last week from an ebay e-tailer after having seen the add, thinking it was a dupe. I already have Cute as a button (YAY) so it doesn’t bother me that PP isn’t a dupe for Peep Show. The e-tailer (on e-bay) I bought it from is someone I haven’t bought from before, and it hasn’t arrived yet, but I’ll be happy to link to the person I bought it from once (if) it arrives, since there were more in stock. :)

  24. Hayley says:

    I didn’t know that neons left a matte finish! I was curious about my China Glaze Purple Panic, and why it turned out matte… I learned something new today, lol thanks!

  25. sonidlo says:

    The application isn

  26. melina bee says:

    I love hot pink nails and am always on the lookout for a good neon, will have to try this one. I think it is esp flattering on olive skins

  27. Carolyn says:

    I think this would be perfect for toes since it seems a bit WHOA for every day. For sure want to try!

  28. Nancy says:

    I love your blog. For the 365 day clean out, I wish you would stick to polishes that are widely available. What’s the point of getting all excited about something I can’t find? Many thanks though for all your great posts and happy spring.

  29. Ashley says:

    @ach167 how did you “master” pink parka?! I’ve used it several times now with a a few different combos of base & top coats, and it still chips like crazy!

  30. I love this color! As a matter of fact i’m rocking it right now on my fingers and toes lol ! I am truly loving this series

  31. allison says:

    it’s one of those neon colors that I would be hesitant to try. I’m even selective with bright colors. I’m all about the greys and grey blues though!

  32. Kelly says:

    I’m with you…Neons are a disapointment. Brights are so much better. I got this polish and the orange too; expecting the typical ‘Essie’ greatness. I hate ‘em. I’m wearing Mink Muffs right now.

  33. I love this color!! It’s perfect for a summer pedi

  34. Mikaela says:

    I have been trying to find pink parka forever but can’t find it anywhere! Has anyone had any success with somewhere online??? Please let me know I looovee this color!

  35. Jessica says:

    I havent found a dupe to it! and it does photogrpah well! the brighter the better when it comes to lighting, dimlighting pics dont show it! this color is eyecatching! i love it!