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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Essie Smooth Sailing from the Braziliant Summer 2011 Collection

essie smooth sailing nail polish from the essie summer 2011 collection braziliant 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.

This past weekend I have been at my favorite Ohio destination, Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. Every year my friends from my Cedar Point days rent a house for a long weekend to reminisce about the good old days (wow do I sound old) and create new memories. This is our tenth year taking this trip and it just keeps getting better.

Choosing a nail polish to wear for a whole weekend is a challenge as I’m not used to committing to a color for an extended period of time. However, I’ve been tempted by Essie Smooth Sailing from the summer Braziliant collection ever since it arrived. After fawning over Coat Azure, I was curious to see if this new blue hue could live up to the same standard.


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.

After being so impressed with Coat Azure’s texture I was hoping to find the same formula in Smooth Sailing. While the polish is definitely more creamy than squishy, I would say it’s a blend of the two. It ended but being the perfect combo as the lacquer was easy to control and gave great coverage. It was fully opaque after two coats.

Essie Smooth Sailing is what I would call a cornflower blue. It’s not quite purple enough to be deemed periwinkle and definitely darker and not as blue as Coat Azure. The tiny pink and light blue flecks really elevate it to stand-out status. I have never seen or owned a color quite like this and considering the size of my collection, that’s saying something.

The only bummer is I’m testing a new UV top coat and I either did something wrong in applying it or it doesn’t play well with others because I ended up with a giant chip the very next day. What a joy having a chipped nail all weekend. Though considering that I’ve never experienced chipping issues with Essie in the past, I’m not placing blame on the polish.

essie smooth sailing nail polish swatch from the essie brazilliant collection for summer 2011

Bottom Line: While I have admittedly not been the biggest fan of Essie’s color palette in the past, everything I’ve tried from her 2011 collections have impressed me. In the past her collections have just, in whole, not been my style but she is killing it this year. Color me won over. Smooth Sailing is unique, well pigmented and in an excellent formulation. How could you go wrong with that?

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: Oh it’s definitely staying in my STASH.

Essie Smooth Sailing is available now as part of the Essie Braziliant collection for Summer 2011. Essie nail polish is available at professional salons and spas and also in the retail version at drugstores and grocers nationwide. Online shoppers can head to Essie.comHead2ToeBeauty.com, and TransDesign.com. Essie nail polishes retail for $8/ea for a .5oz bottle.

Thoughts on Smooth Sailing? What is your favorite color from Essie this year? If you had to choose between Coat Azure and Smooth Sailing, which one would you pick?

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

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There Are 60 Brilliant Comments

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  1. I am so hoping these go on clearance at Walgreens like the last collection did. These blues are aweeeeeeesome :)

    • meme says:

      Your Walgreens even has any of these left? Gads, the Rite Aid by me and the Walgreens closest to me (about 50 miles) both had these shades cleaned out in less than a week and never restocked.

  2. Iris says:

    there’s something really odd going on with this article. every time i click on the link to see the pics and read the rest of the story, i just get taken right to the ‘leave a comment’ page. gah!

  3. Allyson says:

    I have been eying this polish for a while and have picked it up a few times but always wind up putting it back down. After seeing your swatches, I may just have to get it now! So pretty!

  4. Andrea says:

    Stunning like the shade is kind of blue candy and that mini glitter make it very chic.I love allot of ur untrieds

  5. for some reason everytime i click on the smoothsailing manicure post it sends me to this??? weird… it won’t even let me see your post :(

  6. Claire says:

    I love that I already have this polish, and now you’re reviewing it! I found the texture really hard to work with actually. It was kind of goopy, I thought, but maybe I need to shake it up a little better next time. I agree it is a very fun color, though!

    • Ashtyn says:

      I had the same problem! I feel that I have been noticing that issue with a few of my last Essie purchases :(

  7. Marina says:

    I just bought this polish today!:)

  8. Katy says:

    It’s too similar to Zoya Jo for me to justify purchasing. Another blogger had some swatches that shows Jo is basically halfway between Smooth Sailing and Coat Azure.

  9. This is such a gorgeous blue. This whole collection by Essie that has really called to me in a long time.

  10. Mimi says:

    Gorgeousness looks like I’m going lacquer shopping soo soon lol ;) need to have this in my collection like yesterday

  11. Jr says:

    I have been debating since blues don’t usually flatter me but I love smooth sailing. Your blog is fantastic!

  12. Tessa says:

    I’m not sure if the chipping was due to your topcoat, because I had major chipping problems with this color and I had Seche Vite on top. It’s a shame, because it’s a gorgeous color. I was surprised when I noticed that the shimmer is multicolored, and not silver like I first thought.

  13. Melissa says:

    This color is gorgeous! I’ve been wanting it ever since it came out.

  14. kathyb says:

    i keep picking this bottle up at my local target. i’ve picked it up and admired it about 10 times. i think you just pushed me into buying, it hope it’s still there!

  15. Jaztee says:

    I just bought this one, after seeing your swatches I’m so glad I did!

  16. Rea says:

    Wow! That blue sure looks great, I love how the shimmer is not in-your-face-style. I’d stash it, too!

  17. Kelly says:

    ohmygosh this color is gorgeous!

  18. NailPolishFan says:

    I love this color. Some say it’s similar to RBL Catharine H, but it’s lighter. But since I couldn’t find Catharine H; I brought this color and I am loving it for the summer.

  19. Wanda says:

    I just purchased this color yesterday. I bought the mini-pack with Meet Me At Sunset, Smooth Sailing, Braziliant and Super Bossa Nova. I swatched them on my nails last night and really loved Smooth Sailing. I was surprised by how much I liked it. I really purchased it for Meet Me at sunset and Super Bossa Nova. I really like most of the Braziliant collection, I also want and need the Too Too Hot color.

  20. Rita says:

    This polish is soooo amazing! Essie’s collections this summer are so successful. Ordered this one with some other essies polishes. Can’t wait to try them all.

  21. Bunny says:

    I layered OPI I Juggle Men over this and it really made the shimmer pop. I love this polish, it’s a lighter, slightly more purple version of RBL Katherine H, perfect for late August and early September.

  22. M. Franca says:

    The essie nail polishes are awesome. The texture and the colors. Unfortunately I can’t buy to much of them in my place. They dry fast too. I love them!

  23. Aimee P says:

    I think I’m going to have to add this Essie to my wishlist! Good to hear that the formula of this polish is better than absolutely shore (complete nightmare!!)

    Hope you had a great weekend at Put-in-Bay! I love the Sandusky/Marblehead area – always a great time :)

  24. Emmy says:

    Oooh, must have this one!

  25. Brooke says:

    omg I love this! It looks so much more amazing on the nail than in the bottle!

  26. Lauren says:

    Pretty! It reminds me of a summer version of RBL Catherine H. Totally different color, but the shimmer is similar and it’s blue. :)

  27. allison says:

    OMG – I need to get myself a bottle of that. love the shimmer in it.

  28. Chris says:

    What a great color! Now I sort of wish I had gotten this instead of Coat Azure.

  29. Jen Monopoli says:

    That shade is beautiful and fits right in with the blue/teal/aqua color palette I’m into right now. I only own one Essie, this may well be my 2nd!

  30. Maddie says:

    I was so close to buying this recently, but I put in back down…what a mistake! This is GORGEOUS. Reminds me of Lapis of Luxury from Essie’s Resort Collection last year, but with shimmer…love that shade and love this one.

  31. Jackie S. says:

    It was definitely the top coat, b/c my mani with this color lasted 4 days, no chips! Its a great color, great post!

  32. Deborah says:

    Is it the OPI UV Top Coat? I used that on a mani (Katy Perry, Teenage Dream) back when Teenage Dream first came out & while I was thrilled with the drying time I was pissed as could be when my polish just flaked right off within 4 hours…and this was a professional mani, not a do it myself job.

    I called my nail girl, text her a picture & I’ve never used it since. So, as you can imagine, I’m gonna blame the UV top coat for your chip.

    I LOVE this color…I must go get it!

  33. Christine says:

    I had a chipping problem the next day, too! I used Gelous base coat and SV on top. Very surprising for Essie.

  34. meme says:

    I was the same as you with regard to this one as it seemed a ‘like’ Coat Azure. I don’t like to dup too many blues/greens in a similar range and I find I don’t end up wearing them but a few times. I passed on this one and now am kicking myself once I saw it 3 places and discovered it had that interesting pink micro glitter look in it. It’s really beautiful. Perfect polish to commit to for your adventure trip coming up.

  35. Fel says:

    super cute! i love it! :)

  36. Nicole says:

    i love this color!

  37. Ari says:

    If you didn’t Stash it I would have to go there and ask for a donation LOL

  38. Yumi says:

    I also bought this polish, and I can attest that at least for me the polish wore *extremely* well…I wore it for a whole week and it held up until I went to the beach and gave it a salt-water bath and then used my hands to bury my friend in sand. And even then, only my index finger nail chipped, and the others had nearly nonexistent tipwear. I was amazed.

  39. Trachelle says:

    I have tried the seche uv top coat and had the same chipping issues. It also seemed to make my nails a bit dry. Not a fan of uv top coats, this color however is very pretty!

  40. ReaderRita says:

    Oh, isn’t that gorgeous? I saw it and grabbed it right away- but I had giant chipping problems with it, too- I thought I was doing something wrong! So even though I feel bad that others have had that problem also, at least I know I’m not alone…
    Say- those of you who have used Smooth Sailing and had no chipping- (and YAY! for you!) could you please tell us what top and base coats you’re using? That would be very, very awesome of you!
    Pretty please?!

  41. Fran says:

    Ever since Essie was sold I have not been a fan of the quality of Essie. The dark colors chipped FAST, dry poorly. The brush was not good. This was even when I was even using Essie base and top coats. I used to love the light soft shades, but I am afraid to buy new bottles since the dark colors performed so poorly. I found the same thing with OPI once the line was sold. I keep to RBL (my favorite), Lippman and Chanel. I have learned with Lippmann, application and using her products correctly will create a long polish life 5 to 6 days. I have had luck with Chanel using RBL’s treatment system. I just bought Chanels base andtop coat (major splurge) so I am curious if I can eake more days of a mani.

  42. Kim Teague says:

    I just started buying Essie polishes this year and Coat Azure was my first Essie polish :) But I’m a purple person so it took a back seat. But Smooth Sailing is a color I removed my favorite purple for to put this on.

  43. lauren says:

    I love this color, it’s so beautiful in the sunlight. You should try Braziliant too, it looks different on your nails than it does in the bottle, and it’s this really gorgeous red orange.

  44. Ellen CA says:

    It’s on my toes right now!

  45. Reena says:

    Smooth Sailing is definitely a pretty blue color, but I prefer Absolutely Shore though…

  46. JACQUELYN says:

    I have owned SS for a while and used it once for a 2 wk pedi. It looked great, but it did chip a few days in, which usually doesn’t happen with my pedis. Lustrous color.

  47. meg says:

    I got this one as a gift, and while I love blues, in the bottle it just kind of looked “meh” to me. I’m not normally a fan of shimmers (I like flat colors, and full on glitters, but not shimmers). But I have to say, after trying this one out, I was totally sold. It’s a nice thick coat and just looks spectacular on fingers or toes. So summery, so fresh and lovely. One of my current faves, and a total surprise for sure.

  48. Megan says:

    I LOVE this color. I saw it out of the corner of my eye as I passed it in Target and literally had to stop everyone I was with so I could go back and investigate.

  49. Jennifer says:

    I totally agree that Essie’s blues add a whole new spectrum of nail polish for summer! Usually, I just wear blue in the winter… but I love how that color looks.

  50. stephanie says:

    $4 clearance at Rite Aid today!

  51. Z says:

    I’ve never been a big Essie fan (I have 1 dark brown creme) but I love this color. I’m wearing it for the first time today. Thanks for the great review!

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