Essie and China Glaze must be partying together, for they both used music culture as inspiration for summer collections. Whereas the China Glaze Electric Nights collection pays homage to EDM, the Essie Neon 2015 colors have a music festival theme. And like last year’s neons, these are bright but not truly fluorescent. They really should name them “brights.”
Formula & Application
Essie nail polish is 3-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP). The square bottles are embossed with the Essie logo and the smooth plastic caps include an embossed ‘e’ on top. Bottles at mass retailers have stickers rather than embossing on the bottle. 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 all the polishes have that typical Essie watery, squishy feel during application, the opacity, finish and ease of leveling differed, so I’m going to address that individually below. Note: None of them played well with my swatching base coat, China Glaze Calcium Gel Fortifier. When I applied them to a bare nail or CND Stickey, things went swimmingly.
Essie Neon 2015 Swatches
Essie All Access Pass is a vivid indigo creme. It’s the darkest and most purple of the recent Essie indigo shades (Suite Retreat and Chills & Thrills). It’s a bit sheer so I needed three coats, and leveling was a bit of an issue. It didn’t level out on its own, so even with top coat it’s not perfectly smooth. It’s a lot like Chills & Thrills in that way.
Essie Coacha’bella is a hot pink creme. It leans a bit fuchsia, especially when compared to the warmer-toned Essie Too Taboo. The formula on this one is similar to All Access Pass in that I needed three coats and it didn’t level well. It dries satin, like a traditional neon, which are known to be lumpy. That being said, it looks decent with top coat.
Essie Groove is in the Heart is an electrified baby pink. It’s almost neon, and applies/behaves as such. It doesn’t dry satin, but it’s patchy and challenging to work with. Even after three coats, I could see issues and had to be very careful about not dragging the polish into lumps near my tips. It’s not as peachy as China Glaze Feel the Breeze, but they’re very close in color.
Essie Make Some Noise is a bright cyan creme. To me, it’s like Deborah Lippmann Video Killed The Radio Star got an electric shock. They’re similar in hue but Make Some Noise is so much brighter. The formula on this one is perfect. Glossy, self-leveling and opaque in two coats. It’s like nothing I own. Love! p.s. This color is really hard to photograph. It’s even more saturated in person. Note: This one stains
Essie Melody Maker is a vivid teal green that borders on emerald. Like Make Some Noise, the formula is stellar, requiring only two coats. If Essie Ruffles & Feathers was too warm/yellow for you, try Melody Maker. They have the same depth of color with their undertone as the differentiation. Also, there are more ghosts of Deborah Lippmann’s 80s Rewind collection here, with Melody Maker being a brighter take on DL She Drives Me Crazy.
Essie Vibrant Vibes should be renamed, “You Better Work,” because that’s what you have to do to apply this neon lime green creme. I had problems similar to GiitH, above, in that it was lumpy, streaky, and needed a lot of finesse to look presentable. This is three coats, with the third coat being pretty heavy, and the result of the brush barely touching the surface. It’s considerably lighter than Essie Vices Versa, and more pigmented, and more green than China Glaze Grass is Lime Greener and Be More Pacific.
Bottom Line: Let’s start with the good. Make Some Noise and Melody Maker are phenom with Make Some Noise getting my vote for best of the collection due to its stunning and unique color. Coacha’bella and All Access Pass are pretty, but their less-than-perfect formulas are a downside. Vibrant Vibes and Groove is in the Heart are kind of nightmares to work with. If I never have to apply them again, it will be too soon.
The Essie Neon 2015 collection officially launches in June 2015 at salons and mass retailers nationwide, including Target and ULTA. You can find Essie online at Essie.com, Nordstrom.com, eBay.com, Kohls.com, Beauty.com and ULTA.com. Essie nail polish retails for $8.50/ea.
Are you feeling these new neons/brights? Do you like them better than last year’s Too Taboo collection? Which ones are you planning to pick up?Disclosure: Product samples were provided by reps for Essie. Affiliate links appear in this post. When you purchase through an affiliate link, you help support this site. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.