Essie Retro Revival 2016 & 2017 - Nail Swatches

As promised in my previous post, I'll be showing you how the Essie Spring Collection pinks compare to the Retro Revival 2017 ones. Forewarning though, I think only Europe received the latter (I could be wrong), and since I was unable to look up my usual nail polish sources (shout out to EssieEnvy of course!) for comparisons swatches beforehand, I was super curious to see how they would compare! However, since last year's Retro Revival Collection came out so sporadically for it to still be relevant at the time, I've decided to include the two I picked up then in this post instead; i.e. making my own little mini "all stars collection"! :P


Essie - Starry Starry Night (Retro Revival 2016)

This is a gorgeous navy blue jelly polish (i.e. see through-ish) with silver hexagonal flecks of glitter. Now while this updated version for the Retro Revival Collection 2016 doesn't contain the original diamond dust from the mid-90s formula, which made it so unique and eye-catching, I still think it's rather beautiful. Plus, you know me, the Art Historian inside couldn't resist the name! :P


- 2 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat for easy swatch removal.

While you could get away with 1 coat with no streaking or patches, as it's a jelly formula you really only get the full opacity and dazzling effect from this polish at 2 coats. Plus, the second coat means that some of the silver glitters from the original coat get covered a bit with some of the blue jelly and hence turn blue. Therefore, at two coats, you get a lovely combination of a dark navy base with blue and silver glitters.

Unfortunately, I don't own the original polish for comparison swatches (I was only six when it was born in 1997 #dilemma), but I have found two blog posts here and here that have made excellent (and detailed!) write ups respectively. As for me, I could only compare this polish (see below) to pretty much all the navy blues that I own (as I said before, not a colour I'm usually drawn to). And while I still have to give it to OPI's Cosmo with a Twist (from their Starlight Collection) as my favourite representation of a night sky in a polish (what can I say it's a dark aubergine base with a duo-chrome micro-shimmer in blue and pink), Starry Starry Night is officially a close second!

Essie - Life Of The Party (Retro Revival 2016)

This is a gorgeous deep red pearlescent nail polish. And where OPI beat Essie in the night sky department, Essie gets one up with Life Of The Party compared to Let Your Love Shine (see comparison swatch below). Not because of the colour, since Let Your Love Shine contains a micro-shimmer that makes it more "glittery" than pearlescent, but in terms of formula! Let Your Love Shine has repeatedly chipped very quickly on me; check out my blog post on OPI's Starlight Collection for more info.


- 2 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat for easy swatch removal.

Again, like Starry Starry Night, you could get away with 1 coat if you really wanted, since there is no streakiness or patchiness upon first application. But I would recommend 2 coats just because the colour deepens to that of the bottle, and is way prettier in that hue in my opinion.


Essie - Chastity (Retro Revival 2017)

A gorgeous buble-gum pink creme polish, near identical to OPI's Look at My Bow! from the Hello Kitty Collection albeit a bit darker (see comparison swatch below), but once again with a way-better formula.

I wore Chastity on my trip to Madrid, it lasted 5 days including a hair wash day (I'm rough with my nails on that day) and when I took it off on day 6, it was still a near perfect manicure (one minor chip)! Way better than Look at My Bow! which chipped on day 1 and which requires an extra coat to begin with (3 coats). Once again Essie has a superior formula.


- 2 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat for easy swatch removal.

This polish is a tiny bit streaky on its first coat, but opaqueness is brilliant! Obviously, I'm photographing my nails which makes any streaking way more noticeable so I did two coats to be safe.

Essie - Flawless (Retro Revival 2017)

This has got to be my favourite pink creme polish of the lot (yes including the two from the Spring Collection). It's a baby pink with a slight duskiness/peachiness to it, stunning! Looking at the comparison swatches below you would be forgiven for thinking that it looks very similar to Groove Is In The Heart and hence Backseat Besties (the version I got anyway), but you can just about see it's a bit more dusky.


- 2 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat for easy swatch removal.

Flawless is a bit more watery than Chastity and hence really wants to pool in the cuticles on the 1st coat. It's also streaky on the 1st coat so it definitely needs that 2nd coat to achieve full opacity and smooth finish.

There you have it my top picks from this year and last year's Retro Revival Collection.

Which was your favourite?

Are you a big fan of pinks like me and hence loving Essie's collections at the moment?

Are you one of the few lucky ones to still own an original Starry Starry Night? And how to you think it compares with the new one?