Essie Autumn/Fall Collection 2016 - Nail Swatches

When you first see this Japanese inspired Collection, autumn is not the first thing that comes to mind (except for Playing Koi...that one screams autumn leaves); but I don't hate it! Yes, there are a few more pastels than you would traditionally expect when going into the "dark nail polish" season that is autumn/winter, especially compared to last year's Essie Autumn Collection. But surprisingly, Go Go Geisha (the dusky pastel pink) has barely left my nails.

Purchasing this Collection, I forewent the purple Kimono-Over a) because it's a bit too dark for me and b) I still adore the purple that is Shades On from the Essie Spring Collection. Nor did I pick up Now And Zen (I'm not a big fan of greys on my nails) or Maki Me Happy (too many reds/berries in my collection to justify another one).

So I only really have three polishes to show you, but I still think you get the "waking up in Tokyo" vibe that Rebecca Minkoff (Essie's Global Colour Designer) was initially going for...anyone else now have that Hilary Duff song Wake Up stuck in their head? Just me? Okay, moving right along...

Essie - Udon Know Me (Autumn 2016)

First up is this "mysterious stony blue", a.k.a. a light blue with a bit of grey to it. In the bottle it looks similar to Maximillian Strasse Her, but when swatched next to each other (comparison swatches below) you can see that the latter has a lot more grey to it (and a bit of sage) hence why it appears way more muted than Udon Know Me. Furthermore, Who Is The Boss, a lighter version still of Maximillian Strasse Her also has a bit too much of a green quality to be comparable in hue to Udon Know Me.

P.S. Fan origami tutorial here.


- 2 coats on top of Essie's Grow Stronger basecoat

This applies like a dream, smooth and almost a 1 coater. I personally applied 2 coats just to be on the safe side and cover any patchiness/nail length since I had long nails at the time.


Impeccable wear time, I wasn't expecting much as I had applied it as a full manicure on long nails (had it been an OPI polish that would have meant chipping by the next day cough...cough...The I's Have It) but 4 days later and I was still CHIP FREE!!! Now I know some of it has to do with body chemistry and blah...blah...blah but this polish managed to last 4 days on my nails and need I remind you how heavy handed I am? Plus, my nails tend to peel, so this is quite a feat!


I was essentially removing a near perfect polish on day 5 (maximum I can last before I get bored of the colour). As with any creme polish, super easy removal too!

An all-rounder polish really (smooth application, long wear time and easy removal), highly recommended!

Essie - Go Go Geisha (Autumn 2016)

This is described as an "antiqued blossom pink", it's basically the pink version of Udon Know Me, i.e. a light pink with a bit of grey to it. This dusky pink is certainly quite the chameleon, in some lights it can look very pink, in others slightly mauve and still in some lights it appears like a nude (giving the mannequin hand effect). But swatched next to an actual mauve polish like Essie's Lady Like and a more nude brown polish like L'Oréal's Rose Bagatelle you can see just what a unique shade of pink Go Go Geisha is.

My personal favourite of the Collection (although Playing Koi is a close second), and no...not because I instantly knew how I wanted to photograph it (hello origami umbrellas and my first ever watercolour #proud) but because much like the polish above, it's another #spoileralert all-rounder polish.

P.S. Umbrella origami tutorial here and original photo by Dade Freeman of the Geisha that I copied here (amazing photography, check it out!).


- 2 coats on top of Essie's Grow Stronger basecoat

Again almost a 1 coater. I've applied this polish twice as a full manicure; the first time I had patchiness on only my ring finger so I applied 2 coats to all. The second time I had patchiness/streaks on almost every nail (I think I must have done a lighter coat) so again 2 coats were necessary. But otherwise super smooth and easy application.


Yap you guessed it, another great wear time! Again I had long nails (was growing them out for this post) and I had one minor chip on day 3 (because my thumb nail unfortunately peeled) but otherwise it was pretty perfect manicure until removal time.


It's an all-rounder polish so as you can imagine, removal of this light dusky pink creme was super easy too.

Essie - Playing Koi (Autumn 2016)

Labelled as a "flirtatious orange rust" this very brown tinged orange is the perfect colour for autumn. One of the hardest colours to photograph/correct (reds are notoriously difficult) in some lightings it can look quite orange and others quite brown. If you only apply 1 coat of this polish (too patchy for me to recommend this) then it really is a much brighter orange, but with each coat the colour deepens quite a bit towards a darker browner hue.

I've compared it to the only brown nail polish I own, which is L'Oréal's So Chic Fox (disregarding the ones that look almost black like Essie's Chocolate Cake), and you can see just how orange it is in comparison (see below).

I really love the name of this one (I just had to paint some koi carp to go in the photo, although after re-reading the art I copied here...these fishies might in fact be goldfish #facepalm...oh well we can just pretend I didn't have a blonde moment (nothing against all the blondies out there) and say they are koi...Nods innocently. ;)

Luckily for me my Dad loves Japanese porcelain, and when I saw this plate I knew it would be a match made in Heaven, as you can see it's basically the colour scheme of this entire Autumn Collection.

P.S. If you thought eating with chopsticks was hard, trying to photograph your nails "prettily" while keeping them balanced and uncrossed is a whole different ball game.


- 2 coats on top of Essie's Grow Stronger basecoat

As I mentioned above you could go for 1 coat but it would give you a very patchy/streaky effect (it's a look though). The first time I applied it I think I did quite thin coats and needed 3 for total opacity. The second time I applied it (for the swatch photos) I did slightly thicker coats and only needed 2. Nonetheless creamy and effortless application.


Ugh...I don't know what happened with this polish, but I put this on as a full manicure before my bath (big mistake...HUGE!!!), and the polish had peeled off at the tips after it. I'm assuming this is just a fluke down to user error though (but I did wait a couple of hours before having said bath).

This is why I usually wait till before bed before applying any kind of polish...that will teach me for deviating from plan. The second time I wore it, was just for the swatch photos so I have no idea how long this polish actually lasts in "normal conditions". Hopefully like the other ones it's another long wearer; fingers crossed!


Relatively easy removal, it does act like a red creme though so be careful for skin/cuticle staining when removing. My technique of pressing a tissue soaked in remover on the nails for a good 15 seconds before swiping off usually prevents any of that fussing though (and a cotton bud to remove any leftover on the cuticles).

There you have it, this year's pretty unique Essie Autumn Collection.

What was your favourite colour from this Collection?

Where you expecting such an untraditional Collection this autumn?

Have you been lucky enough to travel/experience Japan, what were some of your favourite things?

If Essie was to do a collection based on where you live, what colours would you like to see represented?

さようなら (Sayonara!)