Having not yet ventured into the world of neons, this is as bright as I go!
While I know it's no longer Summer for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, some parts of the world have yet to rise and shine to the occasion... who am I kidding, I'm really late on this one! However as I'm still seeing the polishes in store (I'm mainly talking about Essie's Summer Collection here), I thought I might as well talk about them, plus Southern Hemisphere peeps...I got you! So without further ado, here we go:
Maybelline's Forever Strong Super - Hot Salsa
What is Summer without the Classic Red? Well my friends, this one ain't it! This is such a unique take on the Classic Red, you'll be doing repeat manicures before you know it (in Summer 2014, this was all you could see on my nails)! Lo and behold, Essie came out with a very similar colour (some might say identical) in this year's Summer Collection, called Sunset Sneaks. Now although I love the colour, I could not justify spending more money on a colour I already own. As a nail polish addict, this is my one Golden Rule; "Thou shalt not buy repeat colours...unless thou really hates the formula" :P
So let's talk about this beauty shall we? It's a very hard colour to photograph as the camera definitely picks up more red than there is (certain lights do that too when on the nail). I would personally describe it as (and bear with me here) a milky neon, dark coral-ly red. The thumb nail, I think is the most accurate here (as is the picture of the bottle in the thumbnail of this post). Haha, thumb nail, thumbnail... moving on :D
- I used no base (because swatching), and did 3 coats, mind you I could have made it in 2 if I wasn't so fussy. It has a lovely shiny plastic-y finish... some might also call that a gel finish (but it's not a gel, so it doesn't need any UV lights) :P
The formula of this range from Maybelline is fantastic, for me it survives my hair washing experience (which some might describe as heavy-handed). However, I don't think I've done the full 7-day test on this formula yet, simply because my manicures only ever stay on my nails for 4-5 days (so many colours and so little time!). But I do recall, whenever I take this off, I'm taking off a perfect manicure, with no chips, every time!
The only thing I dislike about this polish (there's always something) is the brush. It's MAHOOSIVE!!! Now I know some people like a bigger brush - I'm just not one of them. The idea is that you only need one or two strokes per nail, but if you're like me, and you like your entire nails covered (yes I flood my cuticles... naughty, naughty) it can become a big mess, very quickly! But as I always paint my nails before bed, by the time I've washed my face, in warm water, in the morning, the excess on the skin generally comes off pretty easily. The end result is what you can see in the photo above.
Maybelline Forever Strong Super Stay - Pink In The Park
This is the "palette cleanser" of the bunch and not I'm not talking sorbets here (well I am kinda...same idea). When you've been wearing a lot of bright/over the top colours, which is generally what Summer entails, it's nice to have a more neutral "palette cleanser" in the bunch. Now I know for most this would be Essie's Fiji, but it's just too pale for me (yes nice and opaque) but I'm someone who really doesn't like white on my nails (nor black for that matter). I know that might be slightly controversial to some, since for so many nail polish addicts, white is an "essential" for Summer. However this is not to say I don't love Fiji, I just love wearing it more come January. My Summer neutral just has to pack a bit more of a punch (I love colour even when I want a cleanser) and for me Pink In The Park is the perfect in-between; not too plain, but still a nice touch of calming colour.
- Again no base, but this took 4 coats for full opacity, unfortunately it's quite sheer/streaky, that effect you get when it doesn't apply evenly (opacity-wise) on the whole nail. But again lovely plastic-y finish (let's just go with it) and chip-resistant.
I would also highly recommend Essie's Muchi Muchi (ok by now you can probably tell I'm a big Essie fan) it's a smaller brush...thank you Nail Polish Gods!!! Mind you, they could make it a bit thinner, I really would not be against it :P
Some of the more eagle-eyed among you may have realised that I've broken my Golden Rule. Yes, Muchi Muchi is a very similar colour to Pink In The Park. BUT, and here is why I added the "formula" clause to my Golden Rule, I much prefer the Essie one; smaller brush (i.e. less mess) and opaque in 3 coats, if I remember correctly. However, it also suffers from the sheerness/streaky problem, just not as much.
Essie - Chilato (Summer 2015)
Speaking of "palette cleansers" and sorbets, let me present Chilato! This was the stand out shade of the Collection for me (not formula-wise, just colour-wise). It's a gorgeous milky, pale yellow lime. I would not describe it as just a pale yellow, because it doesn't have enough warmth to it (red) to be in that category. You really get a sense of cold from the colour (like a gelato...get it? Get it? OK everyone got it!) and I think this is due to the slight tinge of lime (green) in there.
- This one I did wear with a base (Essie's Grow Stronger), because I was just too excited to paint my nails with it, even with the many warnings about the formula from fellow nail polish addicts. It took 4 coats for full opacity (same sheerness/streaky problem again), and I suffered from major bubbling (which yay for photoshop! because it looked like I had sand on there). I hope that was just due to the heat (we had a surprisingly hot couple of weeks here in Belgium), or my lack of patience when it comes to letting polish fully dry between layers; by the time I've painted all 10 nails, I start at the beginning again with the next layer. Mind you, I am quite meticulous/slow so it's not like it has only been drying for 5 seconds. The brush was weird on this one too, rather thicker or wider than the normal Essie brushes (it fanned out weird), and it did become quite messy, quite quickly.
But I had been warned before purchase about the difficulty of the formula, so I really didn't mind as much. It's such a unique colour and so refreshing (get it?... OK I'm leaving it alone now) I would say don't be put off by the bad formula reviews (even mine), the colour alone is worth it!
Essie - Saltwater Happy (Summer 2015)
I was distraught (OK that might by a sliiiight exaggeration...let's say mildly unhappy) in the beginning of the Summer because one of my favourite blues, Maybelline Forever Strong in Ceramic Blue, had dried up and gone all gloopy. This is not something that tends to happen to my polishes as I keep them out of the sunlight in a cool dark place (i.e. in the drawer), which I highly recommend for storing polishes.
Now, I could have gone out and bought a thinner, but as this never happens to me and the polish was quite old and barely had anything left (yes, I loved it that much!) I just was going to buy a new one.
So there I was, innocently browsing the Boots International website...and...it's not there. I REPEAT, it was not there! Now instead of going into full Mayday! mode and looking for old stock online, I had seen Lily Pebbles talk about Topshop's polish in Blue Rinse, which looked like it could be a dupe. But while patiently waiting for my travels to the UK (where I could go to Topshop) which at the time was still a month away, the Essie Summer Collection 2015 came out, and "Miracles Happen" (once in a while, when you believe! You now probably have that song stuck in your head... you're welcome!) because Saltwater Happy was the exact blue I was looking for. Basically, take from this very long-winded story that: Maybelline's Ceramic Blue, Topshop's Blue Rinse and Essie's Saltwater Happy are dupes.
- In this photo, I was wearing a base, with 2 coats, could be a one-coater (depending on how fussy you are). Plus, I was already three days into the manicure, so a very chip-resistant formula. And wait for it...yes, you guessed it, a lovely plastic-y finish.
But, I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice, so I bought a back-up! Because I know I wasn't going to get that lucky twice! Brush-wise, like Chilato, I feel that it was slightly thicker or wider. But unlike Chilato, the formula is a breeze so the width of the brush isn't such a problem; plus it's no where near as wide as the Maybelline brushes, so basically a win, win for me, YAY!
Revlon's Top Speed formula - Jaded
I'm not sure if you can still find this colour in the range, but Bourjois have this exact shade in their So Laque Glossy range ("yes" to plastic-y finishes) in 04 Amande Défilé. Now, although my love for Essie polishes should be undisputed by now, my introduction to them was less than stellar. My first ever polish from them, 4 long years ago, was Mint Candy Apple; and any nail polish addict knows the fuss around this colour. So I was expecting to be wowed, but sadly it was not the case (formula was good, not as excellent as some of the ones I have today, like Splash of Grenadine). What I didn't realise at the time, was that the European Mint Candy Apple had already been reformulated from the US version (which was the one everyone raved about), and with that came a slight change of colour. On my nails I find that Mint Candy Apple just pulls too blue for me, and that's not what I expect from a mint, same with Blossom Dandy - too blue. This is very odd because when you put the bottles side-by-side to Revlon's Jaded, they look very similar. However, Jaded pulls way more green and is slightly lighter in colour, which is exactly what I expect a mint to be.
Before Jaded however, I had found this exact shade in the Marks and Spencer's own nail polish line (before they repackaged to their current awkward round bottle, they had a similar shape to the Maybelline bottle, which was way easier to put in a drawer). Sadly, after I worked my way through two bottles (I was obsessed with the colour and they were the only ones producing such a colour at the time, plus they had the amazing plastic-y/gel finish before it flooded the market), they repackaged and discontinued the colour. They really did have an amazing range of colours and formulae, I want to say 2009-2011'ish, and I couldn't understand why more people weren't talking about them. But all good things must come to an end I guess. But back to Jaded:
- 4 coats in the photo, unfortunately it was rather gloopy because it's rather old. Nothing a thinner couldn't solve, I'm sure. But in the meantime, I still have my Bourjois Amande Défilé to work my way through. Oh and I love the brush; thin and perfect! Revlon have some of my favourite brushes on the nail polish market. Also plastic-y finish, can you tell that's my favourite?
Well there you have it, my top 5 nail polishes and colours of the Summer season. Hope you enjoyed and it wasn't too long-winded for you guys.
Let me know what your favourites were?
And if you're in the Southern Hemisphere, what you're looking forward to wearing the most?