I wasn’t even planning to buy any of the new Spring 2011 Essie colors, but then I walked into the WalGreens right by my house to buy toothpaste, and there they were! I was so surprised that I wandered over and grabbed the new blue from the collection before really stopping to think about it.
This sparked my interest in the new retail Essies. I had made a special trip to the closest WalMart after reading about the new Essie displays, but couldn’t find anything. So I had put it out of my mind, and I was surprised to see it just show up unannounced at WalGreens! The display in the store by my house is big (the biggest WalGreens display I’ve seen), but it had a lot of empty slots even when I saw it for the first time. Dive Bar was not in stock, along with several other older colors (Bordeaux and almost a whole row of reds, and Angora Cardi, for example, two that I have almost ordered in the past). Four from the Spring 2011 collection are displayed at the top of the display (Coat Azure, Nice is Nice, Sand Tropez and French Affair). I made several additional stops at other WalGreens throughout the week, and ended up with these two from Spring 2011.
First, I want to say that I love the retail packaging! There is a little clear label on the front of each bottle with “essie” in white lettering, and I think it’s really cute. I would be disappointed if the bottle itself had been changed, but the molded “essie” is still there, too, so to me it just feels like a little extra. I hope it stays that way. And, the cap doesn’t have the embossed “e” on top, but it has the name of the polish instead, which I think is way more useful. I like to open my drawer and see the polish names looking back at me. And the name is printed in the color of the polish, which I think is a nice touch. I haven’t seen any positive opinions about the retail packaging, but I like these bottles.
See how cute the labels on the cap are? At another WalGreens I visited, the normal display was smaller than at my store, but they had a little counter display with more colors set out, including the two from Spring 2011 that don’t seem to be in the normal display, Kisses and Bises and Topless and Barefoot. Interesting that Topless and Barefoot is allowed to stay the same, but Demure Vixen becomes Demure Vix, right? But this shows that the whole spring collection can be bought through retail venues; there aren’t any spring polishes that are exclusive to salons/wholesale. It also seems to be random, since I only saw them at a couple of stores. I also visited several WalMarts after reading about the new retail-only shades and falling hard for pictures of Dive Bar. My WalMart still doesn’t have Essie, but I visited a WalMart that’s farther away, and they had a large retail display like the ones WalMart uses for other nailpolish, and also a newer, skinnier display with more white plastic and labeling like the ones at WalGreens, only stuck at the end of the aisle. That store had both Dive Bar and Angora Cardi, so it was a successful trip!
Below are two pictures of Sand Tropez. It’s a light taupe with some grey tones. It took three coats but went on well. At first I was afraid that this color was ugly on me–my hands were slightly red when I put it on, and it did seem to make them look redder since it has a hint of yellow-green in it. But the more I wore it, the more I liked it. I like the way it’s very light and quiet but still contrasts a little with my skin tone, and isn’t pinkish or pretty like many “nude” colors.
Coat Azure is a medium, slightly dusty blue with white shimmer. I bought it partly because I like the white shimmer in Sew Psyched, and this one has similar shimmer. It took only two coats and went on beautifully. My middle finger has some sad bubbles from the Poshe basecoat I’m trying, it’s not the Essie polish. This color is pretty and bright without being harsh. The shimmer also shows up pretty well on the nail.
I like being able to buy Essie at a store that I have to drive past anyway. So far, I think it’s been a kind of exciting, fun thing, not something that cheapens the brand like many people have said. I also like the packaging and new labeling. Coming across these by surprise has caused me to pick up some older colors that I thought about buying but hadn’t (like Demure Vixen and Angora Cardi). I hope that these retail displays continue to get the new collection colors so early, since it’s nice to be able to see them in person and buy them at the same time they become available through etailers. I’ll have more pictures of new Essies from last week coming up!