Essie’s Summer 2011 Collection still says “available soon” on the Essie website, but I found that it’s already displayed at WalGreen’s. It was on a little cardboard display near the front of the store, not the main Essie display. There were only two bottles of each color, and I had to visit two different stores to find all three of the colors that I wanted-the coral-red Too Too Hot was already gone from the store closest to me. Swatches coming up!
Essie polishes come in short, square bottles and have a very thin and flexible brush, so they’re good for those with small nails. The Summer 2011 colors are really pretty-the collection is heavy on brights, with two oranges that looked kind of similar to me. I chose three colors, and the first one I tried was Absolutely Shore. This color is a light celadon green. It’s very clean looking and has a lot of white in it, so it’s different from two other light greens we’ve seen this spring, OPI’s Stranger Tides and Essie’s Da Bush. I was worried after the first coat, which was runny and very streaky. The thin Essie brush was helpful here to maneuver around my cuticles without it running everywhere. But after the third coat it evened out and seemed fine. This color is so delicate and pretty. It has some grey in it as well, so it’s not too bright or pastel.
In the shade, the green is more apparent. I almost passed it up because I thought it might be too close to Stranger Tides, but I think Absolutely Shore is pretty different. It also reminded me a bit of Sally Hansen’s Gentle Blossom in this picture, but when I put the bottles next to each other Gentle Blossom had less white and was a much deeper and more pastel green. I can’t wait to put OPI’s Silver Shatter over Absolutely Shore-I’m thinking that Absolutely Shore has enough white in it to create a really nice contrast.
Next up is Too Too Hot. This is a very bright red-coral color. The formula on this one was wonderful-it’s a bit squishy and jelly-like, but in a dry and easy to control way. It covered so well that it only took two coats to be opaque and dried very quickly. This one is a bit more orange than it looks in my pictures, so it’s definitely a summery bright. I like how vibrant and deep the color is while still having a slightly translucent, juicy shine. Essie does such a nice job with this slightly squishy finish.
I pulled out a couple of other brights that I thought might be similar. In this picture, Too Too Hot is on my index and middle finger, Essie’s Tangerine is on my ring finger, and Fingerpaints Give Pink a Chance is on my pinky finger. The deep red tones in Too Too Hot set it apart from the other two; Tangerine is more orange and Give Pink a Chance is similar but more muted, and has more pink in it (which I guess shouldn’t be a surprise). Too Too Hot seems the freshest of these colors to me-I can see it being a go-to summer red.
The last color I chose is Smooth Sailing. In the bottle this looks like a mix of grey, purple and blue, and it has heavy silvery shimmers with little blue and pink pieces. It dried much more blue on my nails than it appears in the bottle, and the shimmer doesn’t fully translate. But it’s still a pretty and summery blue, and the shimmer is nice. It also went on well, and although the formula seemed a bit runny it only took two coats for this opacity. It also dried smoothly despite being heavy on shimmer pieces.
(Update: I just put up a separate post showing Essie Smooth Sailing with Dior Rock Coat. Check it out!)
Since I have the WalGreen’s versions of these, they have the name on the cap in color-coordinating print, which I like. I’m happy that the retail versions turned up so quickly-they weren’t at Ulta last week when I found my Silver Shatter and I haven’t seen them anywhere online yet. It’s fun to be able to check out the colors early, and it’s nice that for this collection all six of the colors were in the retail display. For the Spring 2011 French Affair collection, only four out of the six colors seemed to be widely distributed in retail displays. I also like how these colors go together-somehow when they’re all lined up, the colors seem perfectly summery, even more so than when each one is by itself.