Inspired by all the sparkly, pretty pastel desserts of Paris, Essie’s summer collection fits right into that description and are some of the sweetest shades I’ve seen for hot weather. We received three of the six shades to try and while I still need to get my hands on S’il Vous Play, I do love these shades for summer. They’re so different from the typical neon polishes we get around this time of year. Unfortunately, Toronto is in the middle of a crazy humid heatwave and not all the shades cooperated.
Normally this ‘pastel Parisian blue’ would be my favourite of the bunch. I don’t know if it was the formula, my specific bottle or a combination that caused me to have major settling issues. I had to redo my ring finger three times before I could get it presentable enough for a photo. I’m betting on humidity being the culprit, so I’m hanging onto this bottle to try again later. Because it’s so, so pretty.
Fondant Of You
Lately, when I’m presented with an orange nail polish, my initial reaction is ‘another one?’ But this ‘shimmery apricot marmalade is so much nicer than I expected. Two thin coats were all I needed and while I saw more of the gold shimmer in the bottle than on my nails, I really like this for summer.
Baguette Me Not
This was the biggest surprise for me. This ‘pastel lilac macaron’ actually makes me think of french macarons and summertime. Two thin coats were perfect and it was a tiny bit patchy but settled down well. I’ve worn it out once and got a ton of comments about how pretty it is. Sold.
I wish I had the other half of the collection to try out but I’m really happy with the three I tried. Well, I will be if I can get Blue-la-la to cooperate.
The polish shade choices this summer have been kind of odd to me. I’m not seeing a ton of neon and there have been some very unexpected releases but OPI’s Retro Summer collection has us definitely in a summer kind of mood. Almost all the shades took a couple minutes to settle properly and some didn’t quite get there but there are some really pretty colours in here.
What’s The Double Scoop?
Rumor has it this summer-fun pink is taken…by me!
This super pretty pink was perfect in two coats. And while this one didn’t have settling issues, it pooled a lot, so be careful around your cuticles. Luckily, it doesn’t stain.
Flip Flops & Crop Tops
The perfect bright pink to go with all your summer
I’m kind of obsessed with this bright pink shade. I mean, I’ve seen it before, but I still love it. This one was perfect in one coat and it did take a minute to settle properly. I’m going to be using this one a lot.
Towel Me About It
This flirty, sunny yellow speaks volumes on style.
At first glance, this polish really reminds me of that banana penicillin I had as a kid, and I kind of can’t get past that. But this is actually a really good yellow polish. Or it would’ve been if I could’ve gotten it to settle and dry properly. I’d might try this one again when it’s less humid because it’s the first yellow I haven’t instantly hated in a long time.
I’m Getting A Tan-gerine
Warm up to this a-peeling, citrusy orange.
It’s too bad this shade is a tad too yellow for me because the formula was pretty good. It was patchy on the first coat but that evened out on the second. Definitely not for me.
An orange-red so hot, it’s off the charts.
I would just like to say, I’m so sick of orange nail polish I’d be happy to never see one again. That said SPF XXX went on in two coats like a dream. Zero issues, it settled perfectly and it’s actually a great shade.
Sailing & Nailing
A light, breezy blue to charm your first mate.
And here we have love at first sight in a nail polish. This is everything I want in a summer polish. It’s bright and pretty and two coats went on flawlessly.
We’re mostly used to seeing neon polishes for summer and this year Essie has turned our expectations around. With no neons in sight, this Antigua inspired collection is strangely perfect for summer. I used Essie All In One base coat and Seche Vite top coat for all the swatches.
Sweet Cream White
I almost got away with one coat for this one. A WHITE. But it was a touch patchy so I went with two. Essie’s Blanc has been my go to white for years but Coconut Cove might actually replace it for me. It’s not a true white, but the formula is flawless and it looks so great on.
Bright Ruby Berry
This bright pink was one perfect coat. I don’t really have much more to say about it, other than I wish it was just a tiny bit more pink and less red. Other than that, gorgeous.
Scorching Hot Lava Red
This red has a ton of orange in it, making it perfect for summer. This formula was kind of interesting. It went on really well but opacity kind of hovered somewhere between two and three coats depending on the thickness of the coat and each nail was somewhere between the two. I loved this one way more than I expected to.
Iridescent crystalline turquoise
Lately I feel like there’s always a shade in each collection that I want to love but something goes very wrong. With this collection it’s Viva Antigua!. It’s gorgeous, it’s a one-coater and it has a nice, thin formula. But something went a little crazy when a couple of my nails were drying. Some were perfect (top two) but the bottom two, well…they never really settled. Maybe it was the humidity, but something just didn’t go right. I love this mermaid-y shade enough that I’ll definitely be trying again.
Loot The Booty
Blue sapphire pavé
One medium-thick coat of this blue was enough for full opacity and a lot of depth. And it’s stunning in the sunlight. I don’t generally expect a shade like this for summer but I’m completely in love with it.
Black gold and crushed onyx
I can’t get over how gorgeous this shade is. Black gold and crushed onyx is a perfect description and it just sparkles like you have actual jewels on your nails. So great for a summer night out. One coat is fine for this one but you’ll be amazed at what you get if you do two.
I feel like just yesterday I was swatching fall nail polish and now I’m in the thick of summer shades. Where has the time gone? I’m a huge fan of Ceramic Glaze and they have some of my favourite summer shades. This summer’s Botanical Gardens isn’t my favourite of Ceramic Glaze’s collections but there are definitely some pretty garden inspired shades. You can only buy Ceramic Glaze at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, so grab these while you can.
This peachy nude was the first shade I tried and right out of the gate I got a one-coater. Urbane is pretty but not my favourite kind of colour. It’s a great alternative to a beige-y nude though.
Heavenly is a sheer opalescent shade and even with two coats, you’re not getting a ton of opacity. I’m totally fine with that because the huge amount of pink pearl is really gorgeous and this would make a great french manicure.
I really wanted to love this dark berry shade. Impulsive has a ton of blue shimmer in it to give it dimension and two coats were perfect. Unfortunately while I love the shade, the texture seemed kind of weird to me and I couldn’t get it completely smooth with top coat.
Petal Pusher is a gorgeous periwinkle that almost could’ve gotten away with one coat. This one chipped really fast though. I’m definitely going to try wearing it again though because I live this colour so much.
Seize The Day
Seize The Day is one of those two coats to perfect shades. This hot pink is a great pedicure shade.
Perfect Peony is another great pink summer shade, only it hints a little more coral than Seize The Day. Two coats were perfect but the tip wear started almost immediately.
Surf’s Up is my kind of minty turquoise that’s so perfect for summer. Two coats were perfect and I’ve already reached for this one again.
I’m completely in love with this bright cerulean blue and it was a one-coater. And it didn’t stain and I completely expected staining. I honestly can’t get over how gorgeous this shade is and it looks even better in person.
Quo By Orly has really been impressing me lately and as good as their neon summer collection was last year, this year’s is even better. When two of four polishes are one-coaters, you know you have a winning collection. Get your sunglasses on, these polishes are bright.
Purple Sunset is almost a neon radiant orchid and it’s so pretty but bright at the same time. Two coats went on perfectly and I didn’t have any issues at all.
Coastal Cruisin’ is a blindingly bright orange and while I’m not a fan of the sudden influx of orange polishes lately (when did that become a thing?), this one is great for summer. This was a one-coater but you can do two if you want even more opacity.
This is quite possibly the bright neon yellow I’ve ever worn but the formula was pretty lumpy. It dried down well enough but it took a little work. If you wear this one, prepare for people grabbing your hands.
This one-coat wonder is my favourite of the bunch. It’s neon, it’s pretty and it has great wear time. I had zero issues with this one and I’ll definitely be wearing it again.
Considering neon polishes are notoriously hard to work with, I’m so impressed with this collection and if you want seriously neon nails this summer, you need to pick up this collection before it’s gone.
Quo By Orly is available at Shopper’s Drug Marts across Canada
I always look forward to opening up a package of new Trust Fund Beauty shades and when I got the first part of their new spring/summer collection, I was basically thrilled with the shades. There are nudes and brights and shimmers and basically everything you could want in a collection. As usual the formulas were amazing but the brushes weren’t consistent. Some were long, thin and round and some had more of a paddle shape. But I didn’t have any issues with either one.
Why You Mad Tho?
According to the website, this used to be called Daddy Issues. Whatever its name, this pale lilac is gorgeous (and sold out right now) with a ton of blue shimmer. Three thin coats was perfect but I couldn’t get a photo to show off how pretty it really is in sunlight.
Going Commando is basically what you’d expect from that name, an almost white nude. Two coats was pretty sheer but if your nails are long enough, it’s almost a fake french manicure. Three coats took me to opaque. My index finger in the photo is three coats, the rest are two.
Game Changer is a really bright coral orange and it’s a great pedicure shade (I’m wearing it right now). Two coats was perfect.
Adult Content is a pretty light pink that reminds me of silk. Two thin coats were great but you’re definitely going to have brushstrokes.
I don’t generally love microglitter polishes but man do I love Dirty Thoughts. There’s gold and green and hints of purple and lots of other things and it’s not a pain to take off. Again, two coats was perfect but you could use one as a topper on another shade if you wanted.
Vodka With A Twist
Two coats of this lime green neon and you’re going to want a margarita instead of a vodka. But this shade is insane, it’s so perfect for summer and it’s actually more flattering than I expected it to be. This is not a shade I’d ever pick on my own but I ended up really liking it.
What’s A Budget?
Trust Fund calls What’s A Budget? a sea-foam blue but it definitely veers into turquoise territory for me. Two thin coats and I was sold. I’m going to be using this one a ton this summer.
Trust Fund does great blue polish and this bright cobalt fits right into that. It looked good with one coat but had a lot more depth with two. Added bonus, no staining!
I’m obsessed with Trust Fund’s spring/summer collection so far and I can’t wait to try the rest.
I’ve gotten so used to neon nail polishes for summer that receiving anything else is kind of refreshing and CND Vinylux’s Flirtation summer collection this year is definitely not neon. While some of the shades are bright, there are definitely some pastel leaning colours. It makes for a really nice, if unexpected, summer polish collection.
Skin Tease is a nude shimmer that’s a little too close to my actual skin tone. That said, it looked a lot better than I expected it to but I’m probably not going to be grabbing it a lot.
My experience with Honey Darlin’ was completely influenced by the fact that my brush had frayed edges. This pastel yellow creme had a good formula that managed to make itself go on really nicely even though the brush was awful. I’m not a fan of the colour but this is one of the best yellow formulas I’ve ever used.
I love the colour of Pink Pursuit but I was really expecting it to be darker than it was on my nail. The light rose creme is really pretty though and I’d wear this one again.
I don’t think I have a shade quite like this lavender shimmer. The Vinylux shimmers aren’t my favourite thing to take off and I don’t love this shade enough to do the work but it’s a really nice light purple.
I’m in love with this baby pink creme and I’ve worn it quite a bit of the past couple months. It’s just so pretty without being completely dainty.
Desert Poppy is an orange creme with a little shimmer but it’s so sheer that I couldn’t get the opacity I wanted. Sometimes that doesn’t bother me but I don’t really like the shade either, so this one’s a pass for me.
Date Night is the first shade I tried from the collection and it’s a beautiful bright blue creme. This one does stain a bit but I was expecting that. I love that it’s not a typical summer sky blue. You’ll be able to wear this one in any season.
Teal and turquoise are actually my favourite nail polishes, when they’re done right. Aqua-intance is a perfect teal for summer. Actually, everything about this one was perfect for me; the shade, the formula, the wear time. This is definitely a contender for favourite polish of the summer.
I thought I had gone through all the summer nail polish I was going to get until I had a surprise package arrive from Ceramic Glaze. I love Ceramic Glaze so I’m always happy to get more but we’d already gone through Stunning Soiree (spring) and Summer Bloom (summer) but I had no idea Tahitian Sunset, a summer neon collection, was even a thing. This late summer collection has four new polishes (we received two) and four older polishes. Of the older polishes we already reviewed Watermelon Cooler, I’m On Island Time and Exotic Dragon Fruit in last summer’s Island Paradise collection. Here are two of the new shades and one that’s new to me.
This neon lime green is one of the brightest shades I’ve tried all summer. It’s almost blinding but very cool at the same time. Two coats got me full coverage but the formula is a little on the chalky side.
One of the things I’ve come to expect from Ceramic Glaze is a flawless formula. It’s Electric is one of the exceptions. It was really difficult to work with. There was patchiness and uneven spots but two careful coats later, I got a decent looking result. This neon coral really grew on me and after wearing it for almost a week, not only did I love it but there was zero tip wear.
How long has this neon turquoise been in stores and how have I never tried it before? This is one of my favourite shades of the whole season. It’s very sheer so you have to build up to the opacity you want (swatch is three coats) but it’s a satin finish so it dries extremely fast and you don’t have to worry about it getting clumpy.
I love a surprise collection and since this one included Mermaid’s Tale that made me even happier. Ceramic Glaze can surprise me whenever they want.
When summer hits my nail polish choices definitely change and I tend to pick blues, greens and whites. Luckily Essie seems to be along the page because their summer collection has two blues and a white. And while this is the last of our Essie reviews until fall; like the other recent collections, this one doesn’t disappoint.
To be honest, my favourite while nail polish is Essie’s Blanc and nothing has ever lived up to it. The formula of Private Weekend was really good for a white and was almost a one coater but the shimmer that you can see in the bottle only looked like dirty white on my nails. I actually prefer the photo to how it looked in person.
Essie calls Chillato a ‘frozen cream pistachio,’ I call it a pastel yellow with some green in it. The formula was a little chalky but two coats were perfect. It’s not a shade that looks good on me but it’s a great summer colour.
Peach Side Babe
If you’re looking for a peach nail polish, I haven’t found one better than Peach Side Babe. it’s the truest peach I’ve tried so far with just enough pink in it.
Sunset Sneaks is one of my favourite shades from the summer collection. Essie calls it a ‘bright cushy crimson’ but I found it had a lot of coral to it which gives it a much more summery feel than red does.
Saltwater Happy is what I think of when I think of summer nail polish. This light blue creme was a one coater and I love that it didn’t have any shimmer to it.
Another one coater, Pret-A-Surfer was my other favourite shade of the collection. This marine blue had a touch of violet in it and just stands out from all my pastels and neons. This will definitely carry me into fall.
I automatically associate neon nail polish with summer and pretty much don’t wear it at all any other time of the year, so I couldn’t wait to try Essie’s Neon’s collection. Here’s how it went.
Make Some Noise
This electric blue isn’t quite neon on it’s own but definitely pops. It also stains but I fully expected that. Two coats of Make Some Noise was perfect and next time I’m trying it over a white to see if I can brighten it up a little more.
I love a teal and Melody Maker is the definition of what I love about it. From the colour to the fact that it only needs one coat. It may not be a true neon but this is my definition of summer.
Since this collection is based on summer music festivals, I love this magenta’s play on Coachella. Two coats gave me great coverage. If you’re looking for a bright hot pink, give this one a try.
All Access Pass
I wanted All Access Pass to be my favourite and the violet indigo shade is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately this one was a complete pain to deal with. It was jelly-like and clumpy and took way too much time and effort to manipulate into making it somewhat presentable. I’ve tried multiple base coats and top coats, all with the same results. As much as it kills me, this might be the Essie shade that breaks me and ends up in the garbage.
Groove Is In The Heart
Groove Is In The Heart is a pastel peachy pink neon and it’s stunning in person. I swatched it twice because I just couldn’t get a photo showing how pretty it actually is. Two coats and a top coat and I was set.
This neon lime shade was really the only true neon in the collection but I love it so much that it pretty much makes up for that. The formulation was basically the same as Groove Is In The Heart and considering how much white is in both of them I was amazed at how easy they were to work with.
With the expection of All Access Pass, which is still breaking my heart, all of these shades were a dream to work with and wear time was pretty fabulous. I only really had tip wear on Coacha’Bella and that was after two days. We have one more Essie collection coming up so stay tuned.