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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Essie Coat Azure from the French Affair Spring 2011 Collection

essie coat azure nail polish from the french affair spring 2011 collection 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.

I’ve briefly mentioned in past blog posts that I was in a sorority in college, Alpha Delta Pi. If you aren’t familiar with the sorority system, like a US state, there are a lot of official symbols for sororities. Official flower (woodland violet), mascot (lion), symbol (diamond), open motto (We live for each other), philanthropy (Ronald McDonald House) and colors (azure blue and white).

Now for the past couple years I have found myself yawning over the spring collections from Essie. Soft shades just aren’t my bag and sheers make my nails look terrible. So when I stumbled across Essie Coat Azure from the French Affair collection, I was pleasantly surprised. While I haven’t been actively seeking out a nail polish version of my sorority’s color, finding one has always been on my wish list.


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.

Coat Azure is not your typical Essie in terms of formula. The usual squishy texture has been replaced with a creamy, uber pigmented lacquer that is opaque in two coats. It is a little on the thick side but smooth, reminiscent of the RBL Tudors polishes.

Essie Coat Azure is just as the name implies, an azure blue packed with the tiniest hint of micro-shimmer. I would say it’s a step above the Chanel subtle shimmer as it’s pretty noticeable in most lighting yet it doesn’t give a full-on shimmery sheen. Again I go back to the RBL Tudors as the finish reminds me of RBL Jane. This type of hue is a mix of traditional color wheel blue and cyan and I’m completely smitten with it regardless of the sorority connection and I can’t believe there aren’t more polishes this color. I went Helmer diving for dupes and came up empty.

essie coat azure nail polish swatch from the essie french affair spring 2011 collection

Bottom Line: There’s nothing about this polish I don’t love. The color, the formula, the finish. It’s all nothing short of perfection. This is the shade I chose to wear on my weekend away and I can’t stop staring at my nails. For some odd reason it makes me think of frosting and Cookie Monster and now I want an iced sugar cookie this color. If you are even the slightest blue nail polish fan I suggest you run, run now, run fast and pick this polish up.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: As if you don’t already know. STASH!

Essie Coat Azure is available at professional salons and spas and also in the retail version at drugstores and grocers nationwide. Online shoppers can head to Essie.com, Head2ToeBeauty.com, and TransDesign.com. Essie nail polishes retail for $8/ea for a .5oz bottle.

Are you as into Coat Azure as I am? Have you picked up a bottle yet? If not, has my review swayed you? Do I have any fellow ADPi nail polish fanatics out there?

Disclosure: I purchased this nail polish. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 57 Brilliant Comments

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  1. kaydikat says:

    Coat Azure is in my untrieds, but I think I’m gonna put it on my toes next. I was in a sorority too, and I bought MAC Love & Friendship because that’s our creed. Our colors are purple and white; the L&F polish is lavender :) Cool how that worked out!

  2. Melissa says:

    I LOVE Coat Azure. This past week I put OPI’s Silver Shatter over it and it looked so great. And the best part is I got Coat Azure 50% off at CVS since they were trying to get the French Collection off the shelves to bring in the next one.

  3. Anna says:

    UGH, it’s so gorgeous on you! A vast majority of the photos I’ve seen make it look slightly frosty or lean towards Zoya Jo(which looked awful on me). I’m an Essie fan girl…I might have to pick this one up!

  4. Shimmer says:

    Pretttttty! I feel like I am just noticing Essie a lot more lately….the last 2 collections have had some great colors!

  5. Chris says:

    This is the only color from the French Affair collection I bought. I love it! Any self respecting blue lover needs to get this. :)

  6. Carrie says:

    I picked this up when the collection came out, and I love it too! It’s a pastel blue that I can actually wear! I’m a smitten kitten :D

  7. Melany says:

    I have Coat Azure & after looking at your fantatsic swatch, no doubt I’m wearing it this week!

  8. Rachel Kurtz says:

    I got this polish last week and wore it right away. I love it!

  9. Deb says:

    I wish I hadn’t seen your swatch. My local Walgreen’s has the French Affair polish on clearance, and I was already a little tempted. Your swatch is really tempting me more. I am supposed to be on a “no-buy”.

  10. brandy says:

    I was searching your site for this color yesterday! So strange. I like the color and it felt slightly pearly with the shimmer. I put it on and got so many compliments on it.

  11. I love their brazilliant orange shade. i wanna try that but essies nail paints are not being shipped to india. Does essie read your blog…:(

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I purchased it 4 days ago……wore it that same day….still have it on and I’m in love with it!!!

  13. fliopflopgal says:

    You are killing me! You keep showing me polishes I need to have! AAARRRGGGHHH…it’s a sickness, really, I think. Seriously, though, your swatches are so beautiful, I’ve found myself admiring colors I would never in a million years wear & in my head I’m like “well, actually, it’s not soooo bad….” You are bad for me, but I keep coming back for more. Oh well, who am I really hurting (besides my wallet) and eating PB&J sandwiches for dinner for a while won’t kill me, right? :)

    PS Hope you are enjoying your birthday trip!!

    • Jen says:

      I know, right? We need an intervention. Who am I kidding? Pb&J sammies it is! (maybe Ramen on those really tight days) :)

  14. meme says:

    I ended up liking all of the Essie French Affair Spring collection this year. Odd as I don’t usually like many of the lighter shades – they end up too chalky. This one is certainly not chalky, nor is it a light shade. The only one that did not do it for me in that collection was Barefoot and Topless – just too not there nude – really do like Sand Tropez however – liking it with Deb. Lippman Up Into the Air sheer coat over it when I saw the Naked DL with that same sheer hex/multi size glitter polish over it. The density of coverage in some in this collection I found to be really good for light shades – cover to opaque in 2 coats. I could have passed on Nice is Nice because I have 2 other Essie lilac shades. But I do like this Coat Azure (as well as I LOVE the blue/gray in the summer “Resort” collection from Essie called Fair Game (it’s a mini 4 bottle summer set only sold a few places.

  15. MerRhosyn says:

    I was able to snag a bottle of this at CVS for 50% off last week. It looked fabulous on toes :-)

  16. Rachel says:

    I have and dearly love this color, the wear is great, and just as you described a unique color that stands out.

  17. Leann says:

    This too is in my untrieds. I was afraid that because of the thick pigmentation it might come out clumpy or something. I will have to try it now!

  18. Lauren says:

    I *LOVE* essie’s coat azure! I’ve worn it several times this season – it seems to have found a permanent place in my purse in case I decide to stop for an impromptu mani or pedi. I’m thinking I need to go get a backup (I’ve only done this with one other color: Sally hansens opulent cloud)

  19. kate says:

    I’ll definitely have to pick this up soon! I’m an ADPi girl as well, sister!

  20. Karen says:

    Such a beautiful colour I too was looking for this particular blue so thanks for posting it.

    The reason for the thicker formulation with Essie polishes of late is that they were bought out by L’Oreal and L’Oreal are setting out to make all the new shades thicker formulations, they are also changing the bottles to have instead of a glass embossed Essie it’ll be a white lettered logo.

    I don’t know if I’m happy about L’Oreal taking over Essie because I found out they test makeup on animals and I’m against that (if its true). I’m pretty careful when I buy new makeup brands and animal testing is totally against what I believe in and recently I’ve gone on a paraben free product search.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      The white lettered bottles are for retail only. The bottles carried at professional salons will still be embossed. I did a post on the differences between the consumer retail line, which is L’oreal’s influence, and the salon line. I haven’t heard anything about L’oreal tinkering with the formula

  21. Beautiful colour! Apart from Matte About You I have yet to try som Essie nail polishes!
    How many days into 365 are you now?
    I once tried doing a 365 photography challenge. It’s HARD! so I must say im very impressed! :)

  22. Melly says:

    Gorgeous swatch. My Walgreens had this on clearance. Since I had just seen your swatch, I took it as a sign from God that I needed to have it!

  23. rosarita says:

    I bought this about a month ago and wore it over Memorial Day. I have very few Essies in my collection and this polish definitely makes we want more! I think it’s beautiful and I love the brush. It will get lots of wear this summer.

  24. Lauren says:

    Crap, I need this.

  25. Cam says:

    I’m wearing it at the moment too … love this colour!

  26. Pam says:

    I snatched up Coat Azure the second I saw it a few months ago and have worn it so often I bought a back-up bottle last week. This is one of THE best blues I have!

  27. Jill says:

    LOVE this one! I’ve been really impressed with the recent blues Essie offers. This one and Smooth Sailing are just beautiful, and the finish is among the smoothest I’ve ever seen. :)

  28. CupK8 says:

    I absolutely agree with you. I bought this last week during said CVS clearance sale, and I was as taken with it on my nails as in the bottle. I kept staring at it, AND I got compliments from a gentleman friend, which I almost never do for nail polish.

    • Lauren says:

      Same! He gave me props for my “electric blue” nail polish :). Coat azure is everything that I had hoped lapis of luxury would be (but wasn’t)

  29. sb_sweetie says:

    Love this color! It was my first official “summer” pedi polish.

  30. maya says:

    It’s still sitting in my untrieds. Soon, my dear Coat Azure, soon.

  31. paz says:

    I am normally not a blue fan but I love this!! It very much reminds me of the Tudors collection just a slightly brighter, spring-er version! Will need to see if they have this in at my local store!

  32. Jasmine says:

    Love the color! Thanks for posting all these fabulous NOTD colors, Michelle! You’ve influenced me to buy a few more that I had overlooked.

    P.S. I also heard that the Toms promotional Essie One Day Without Blues polish is actually Coat Azure…they just released it with the special edition name.

  33. Jackie says:

    LOVE the color and hello to a fellow adpi!

  34. Rachel says:

    I say this every time anyone posts a pretty blue– I’m not very much into blue, but I may just have to make an exception with this one, ahhh! But this one is absolutely gorgeous, and I do wonder why we don’t see more of this type of blue. So so SO pretty.

  35. Lillian says:

    Love this color…I’ve got to get it soon!

    By the way, will you be swatching the Essie summer collection (the one with Braziliant)? Thanks for all your hard work!

  36. Heather says:

    Love it! I am a blue fan, and Walmart has started carrying Essie!

  37. Kristin says:

    LOVE this color, and it applies beautifully too! Did my toes in this and they were beautiful — then layered it with Sally Hansen HiDef DVD and it looked SO good. Thinking about picking up another bottle to stash, I love it that much.

  38. Katie says:

    I don’t like buying Essie because of the price (I’m a broke addict lol), but I LOVE this color and have to talk myself out of it every time I walk by it…

  39. JACQUELYN says:

    I saw CA last night @ target, picked it up, put it back and went with Absolutely Shore based on color chart only. Your CA nails look marvelous tho.

  40. Cathy says:

    I have this and it is an “untried” of mine too! It’s such a great summer blue though, reminds me alot of water. I think it will be a popular pedi color of my clients very soon, glad to know the formulation is good. : )

  41. Carrie says:

    I was debating what to put on tonight and remembered this et voila! Now I’ve got it on and I’m still loving it. :D

  42. Cat says:

    This is really pretty. Agree that it’s very similar (but definitely not the same) as RBL’s Catherine H.

  43. Topaz says:

    Got this last week, my first blue polish. Wearing it on my toes since. Loved it so much I got a few more blues. Butter London Artful Dodger is a dupe, a creme no shimmer, and Victoriana is a sparkly, tho more tealish, close color.

  44. Jackie S. says:

    It’s on clearance at CVS now, 75% off, I think I’ll go and grab 2 bottles now, thanks :)

  45. Cat says:

    I clicked on a link from a baking blog that led me to your site and Alpha Delta Pi jumped at me from the page! I love this color and so will my die hard sisters. Pi love!

  46. Bree says:

    Love this polish! A few weeks ago, I wore it on my toes, and like Melissa, on my fingers topped with OPI’s Silver Shatter. An amazing combination! Definitely one of my favorite polishes this year. Currently wearing Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like on fingers and toes — also falls into the category of 2011 faves. Both I haven’t wanted to take off for an entire week!

  47. Topaz says:

    Was in the drug store and saw display for new Essie Summer 2011 colors. They only have 2 of each new color, there was one left of Smooth Sailing, I had to have it. It’s a grayer blue than Coat Azure, which is brighter and lighter. SS reminds me of Lippman I Know What Boys Like, which I passed on, too bright and purplish. So many beautiful blues.

  48. Gem says:

    I bought this polish as soon as it came out, but I didn’t wear it for a while because I was too into that expensive bottle of Le Violet I felt I needed to get the most out of this spring. When I did finally wear it, wowza. I got so many compliments on it. I was mesmerized by my nails every time I went outside.

    I don’t love it quite as much as Essie’s Smooth Sailing. All that glitter was very entertaining during jury duty.

  49. Puffnstuff says:

    Ur greek! Cool i am too and one of my friends from high school is ur sister

  50. Cecilia says:

    I just picked up this nail polish after reading your review! Thanks its beautiful

  51. janelle says:

    i’m in adpi too, in california! :)
    i’ve been reading your blog for a year now, and only from reading this post i found out you’re a pi! (i’m still a delta)

    this color would be soo good for fall rush! gonna let the girls know ;) thanks!!

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