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Essie Madison Ave-Hue Spring 2013 Collection Swatches & Review

By on March 27, 2013
in Blue, Essie, Gray, Green, Lilac, Pink, Red

Essie founder, Essie Weingarten, is the quintessential uptown lady and while she may throw us a color curve ball from time to time, hello Luxeffects, she creates nail polish with the typical Essie woman in mind. Classic, fashionable, effortlessly chic, they are the type who tend to play it a bit safe with nail color on their hands but can rock a turquoise pedicure with the best of them.


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This season Essie takes us on a trip to the greatest shopping destinations in the world. Paris, London, Tokyo, etc. And while, at first glance, this collection may look a bit ordinary, there are definitely a couple shades worth a second look.

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.

The Essie formula is a bit watery in texture but well pigmented. It glides on the nail allowing for precise application. With the exception of the two lightest shades (Go Ginza and Bond With Whomever) I can get away with two coats for full coverage. The other two require three coats and even then I experienced a bit of pulling at the cuticle, which you’ll see below.

Essie Avenue Maintain is a bright, French blue creme. As I mentioned in my CoverGirl post, this type of blue is popping up a lot for spring and the more I see of it, the more I can’t get it out of my head. Avenue Maintain a lighter version of CoverGirl Out of the Blue and it makes China Glaze Sunday Funday look blue-green in comparison. Orly Snowcone is as close as I can come to finding a match.


Essie Bond with Whomever is a pastel lilac creme. As I’ve stated many times before, the pink-purples don’t work on me so I don’t keep many on hand for comparisons. Think of this as a pinked-up version Essie Lilacism. Same depth of color, except Lilacism has more blue in its base.


Essie Ginza is a pale, whisper of a pink. Essie describes it as a cherry blossom pink which is quite fitting. Again, this is not my color family so I don’t have a ton to compare it to but it’s cooler than OPI Panda-monium Pink.


Essie Hip-anema is a bright, tomato red creme. It has some warmth to it but not in a way that would be unflattering to cooler skintones. I wore it yesterday, in support of Marriage Equality, and even though I have a lot of pink in my skin, it didn’t clash. To my eye, I can barely tell the difference between Hip-anema and Essie Fifth Avenue. And that’s a big BARELY. Hip-anema is a “bit” brighter but not enough to matter.


Essie Madison Ave-hue is a punk-y hot pink with fine silver flecks. It’s the silver flecks that drew me in and you guys know how I feel about wearing pink. It’s the way Brandon Walsh felt about dancing. I just don’t do it. Sorry, I’m not sorry, the 90210 re-runs on SoapNet are my crack. Anyway, this is not a color I ever would pick out on a shelf yet I love it on my nails. Will wonders never cease, you guys? In search of dupes, I came up empty handed. An old ass bottle of CND Scorched had a somewhat similar base color but that’s about it.


Essie Maximillian Strasse is a mouthful AND a super greyed-out green creme. It’s got a sand-washed look that keeps it from becoming pastel. I’m seriously over the moon with this color. It’s really unique to my collection and a new take on the greyed greens of the past, ie Essie Sew Psyched. The only color I have the comes close is Sally Hansen Green Tea but that is too green in comparison.


I’m beyond smitten with Maximillian Strasse so I felt it only appropriate to add the nail polish equivalent of “Spirit Fingers”, by incorporating Essie Beyond Cozy. And just like, Spirit Fingers, this combination is “GOLD!”  I’ve been involved with Beyond Cozy ever since I wore it to a friend’s wedding last fall. So much so, that I’m moments away from pulling the trigger on the Bauble Bar Beyond Cozy set. A, because I love the art deco feel of the bangle. B, because I want a backup of Beyond Cozy. I’m that kind of obsessed, people.


Bottom Line: Maximillian Strasse is so full of win that I can’t stand it. Madison Ave-Hue has blown my pink-hating mind and Avenue Maintain is the perfect French blue though with other similar shades on the market, you have to find the one that suits you best. The rest of the shades are pretty standard fare, nothing to write home about, but Hip-anema is a great staple if you’re building your nail wardrobe and missing a poppy, orange-red creme.

Essie Madison Ave-Hue is available now at retailers nationwide. Visit to find a store near you. Essie nail polish retails for $8/ea for a .46oz bottle.

Thoughts on Essie’s spring collection? Which shade is your favorite? Do you feel me on the Beyond Cozy love? What would you love to see Essie do that she hasn’t already?

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by reps for Essie. Affiliate links may appear from a third party link service. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 41 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Emily says:

    I’m so excited to see more swatches of this collection. I was at home a few weeks ago to visit my mom after she’d had surgery, and she wanted to get pedicures together

  2. Grace says:

    I’ve been on a pale lavender kick lately – any idea how Bond With Whomever compares to Essie Nice is Nice, from the 2011 Spring collection? (I usually think of Nice is Nice as the pinked up version of Lilacism.)

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I looked in my stash and I no longer have Nice is Nice. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help

  3. Erin Ortiz says:

    Great swatches. There are some really pretty soft colors in this collection.

  4. janna says:

    I am not a green polish person at all, but I love Maximillian Strasse! I will definitely be looking for it.

  5. Cindi says:

    I love these colors! I am glad to hear that Fifth Avenue is a near dupe for Hip-anemia since I didn’t get that one. I can’t wait to wear Maximillian Strauss-her after seeing how it looks in your swatch!

  6. Cori says:

    My favorite one is Avenue Maintain, I saw it on some days ago and I loved it instantly. My second favorite of this collection is Bond with Whomever. Must be spring, but I’m in a pastel color mood lately! :P Thanks for your swatches!

  7. Natalie says:

    Maximillian Strauss is my favorite.I especially love it with Beyond Cozy.

  8. TikiBarbie says:

    Madison Ave-hue is my favorite – love the shimmer!

  9. Ashley0107 says:

    I love the Madison Ave-hue so much! It’s such a great shade, and the silver flecks make it so interesting.
    And the Maiximillian Strasse is gorgeous! I don’t have anything like it myself, and I don’t think I’ve seen anything so lovely.

  10. Victoria S Andrews says:

    A few colors looked a little streaky. Are they? Love them lots!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      The two lightest colors, Go Ginza and Bond With Whomever were a bit streaky which is why I used three coats. I also got a bit of dragging at the cuticle but that’s also due, in part, to me not waiting long enough between coats.

  11. Miyacore says:

    This colors look amazing!
    I can’t wait until we get them here in Germany *-*

  12. Lesa says:

    I am so glad that you mention “Beyond Cozy” because I LOVE the color but HATE the fact that it chips more than any polish I have ever used:-(. I was so disappointed with it!!! What so you use to keep it from chipping? I have found it totally unwearable!!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi Lesa! I havne’t had any chipping problems. I usually use Gelous and Out The Door or just OTD on its own. Maybe, to avoid the texture, you’re applying too much top coat or using a thick one, like Seche. Thicker polish chips faster.

  13. sara says:

    I love that blue. I bought it a couple of weeks ago. I hate the Essie brush, though, so I’m on the hunt for the Cover Girl blue that is so very close to that shade. Even if it were exactly the same, it would be worth it for a better brush. :)

  14. Kendra says:

    Essie should thank you… because of your post and rave reviews for Maximillian Strasse, I will probably go out and buy it. It looks gorgeous!!

  15. Jade says:

    You always have such great swatches! I always want every collection I see you review :P. Love what you did with Maximillian Strasse and Beyond Cozy- it’s beautiful.

  16. NailPolishFan says:

    I’m loving the blue, purple, and gray colors.Can
    Essie’s Avenue Maintain be a dupe for Lapis of Luxury? I know many people have compared Orly’s Snowcone to Lapis of Luxury.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Snowcone is darker, more blue and way more pigmented that Lapis, to my eye. In relation to Avenue Maintain, Snowcone is more muted. They’re in no way twins. I was giving the Snowcone reference to give you an idea of what kind of blue it is. Avenue Maintain is more vivid and a bit darker.

  17. Jamie says:

    I thought the very same of Fifth Avenue vs. Hip-Anema. They look very very close in the bottle, and I didn’t want to risk having two that were that close so I stuck with Hip-Anema.

  18. Elina says:

    Bond with Whomever is color what I want. I don’t know what is happening with me in this spring but this kind of colors are my favourite. :)

  19. deerstop says:

    I LOVED Hip-anema colour.

  20. Barbara says:

    Just bought Maximillian Strasse- what a gorgeous, neutral color. Goes with just about everything. Love it!

  21. Gretchen says:

    I bought Avenue Maintain when it first came out. I loved it so much (or so I thought) I didn’t think about getting any others from the collection. Buuuut, I changed my mind a few days ago-I’m so glad I did because Maximillian Strass-her is so freaking amazing! I can’t stop staring at my hands. I haven’t loved a color this much in months!

  22. sabrina says:

    How did you get the glitter effect on the nails? Any tips? Love the idea and the site! Thanks!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Because I was impatient, I just did it freehand. If you want more accuracy and straighter lines, use blue painters tape. Wait for the base color to completely dry and then just use the tape to section off the parts you don’t want glitter on. Polish over the nail and pull up the tape while the polish is still wet. Super easy.

  23. Crissy says:

    Could anyone give me some advice on picking a color that will compliment my skin tone? I have fair skin with what I believe is a warm skin tone. I now have four bottles of Essie polish, only one of which I half way like on myself. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Crissy! I’m happy to make suggestions but it’s really hard to recommend something without seeing your skin tone or knowing what type of colors you like. In general, warm skin tones tend to look better with warm toned shades; orange based reds, corals, oranges, red grape purples, olive greens, peachy tans, etc. but it really comes down to preference. I would suggest going to a department store or Sephora with bare nails and trying some of the sample polishes. Wear them for a day, even if that means having mismatched multi-color nails, and see what you like best. Then try and find similar colors in other brands. Also, stores like ULTA usually have sample nail wheels painted with seasonal colors that you can hold over your nail to see how it will look with your skin.

      • Crissy says:

        Thanks for the advice, Michelle. I didn’t realize that there were stores that had sample nail polish to actually apply to your nails. I will check those out. As far as color preference, I know that I don’t like anything real dark or bright, so I will look for some lighter shades in the warm tones you suggested. Thanks again!

  24. sparkle says:

    Which do you prefer, fifth avenue or hip-anema?

  25. Karina says:

    I am drawn to Madison Ave-hue

  26. Leslie says:

    I love Maximillian Strasse as much as you do! So sleek.

  27. JACQUELYN says:

    Not crazy about these colors so I am not entering 4 giveaway. Good luck to someone who loves them all!
    I can clearly see the Madison Ave-hue on my toes tho..

  28. Amanda says:

    Loving Maximillian Strasse. And I love the nail art you did with it!

  29. Erika Nagode says:

    Lilacism was my first Essie nail polish :).

  30. MUAMaja says:

    Amazing colours, especially Madison Ave-hue! :-)