Is there anything more annoying (in the beauty world at least) than falling in love with something and then it getting discontinued? The essie Retro Revival collection* is here to try to rectify that. Essie have brought back 6 of their most lamented discontinuations for a limited time only. Last summer, essie asked their customers to vote on which polishes to bring back, so these are all cult favourites. I was sent the whole collection so prepare yourself for a very photo-heavy post…
essie Retro Revival Collection – Limited Edition
I saw the essie Retro Revival collection online when it first launched in the US and have to admit that I didn’t feel like I needed any. None of them jumped out at me from the bottle pictures… but let this be a lesson to me not to judge a book by its cover. Some of these polishes are seriously stunning. I know you’re here for the pictures, so let’s go…
essie Starry Starry Night (from waayyy back in 1997) – I love a good glitter and this is is a beauty. On the first layer it’s sheer and a bit wish-washy, but as soon as that second coat goes on it is transformed into this gorgeous, deep twilight blue and the silver glitter peeks through in a really pretty way. I hope you wear a base coat with all manicures but just in case you don’t, I think this one will stain because of the colour so best make sure you protect your nails. You can buy it HERE (also, all essie polishes are currently on buy 1 get 1 half price at Boots. BARGAIN)
SSN was a cult essie polish (apparently bottles of the original formula go for £100 and even £200+ on eBay…!) and from looking at swatches online, this isn’t an identical match as the original had much finer glitter – the famous ‘Diamond Dust’ that is now no longer in production anywhere in the world. But the colour and the jelly-effect of the glitter is pretty close, and it’s a bloody gorgeous polish in its own right.
essie Life Of The Party (from 2002) – I am a huge red nail varnish fan and this one has a lovely burgundy, brick-red aspect to it that makes it a bit more subtle than a true red polish. It has a lovely subtle shimmer to it, like flecked glass. It’s almost metallic and I love it. essie describe it as ‘pinot noir pearl’ which is just brilliant. This is shown with 2 coats, although 1 thick layer many have been enough. Buy it HERE.
essie Sequin Sash (From 2005) – A sparkly shade that has a shimmery, pearly gold base with tiny gold flecks of glitter throughout. This polish looked super pretty in the bottle but on the nails it just made them look quite yellow due to the gold tinge. I think I might try it over some other colours to bring out that glow and shimmer without the yellow undertone. These photos show 2 coats of polish, but just 1 coat would look very subtle and soft. Buy it HERE.
essie Cabana Boy (from 2005) – Another polish that I wasn’t overly excited by that has totally won me over. This is a pearly lilac-grey-silver that looks very modern but classic. This needed 3 coats for full opacity as it was a little streaky otherwise, but it layered really well. Buy it HERE.
essie Bikini With A Martini (from 2006) – Another sheer, pearly based polish: this one has a bright, eye-catching iridescent pink tone that seems to glow in the light. Similarly to Sequin Sash, I think I need to try this nail varnish over another colour (maybe Birthday Suit), as it is it just completely the wrong colour for my skin tone – it gives me what I affectionately refer to as ‘spam hands’. This needed 3 coats for the nail line to be less pronounced, although if you prefer a subtle pinky sheen on the nails, you would achieve a lovely sheer tint. I can remember wearing a polish just like this when I was a teenager so it felt a bit like a walk down memory lane, which I suppose is the point of the collection. Get it HERE.
essie Birthday Suit – This was one of the 12 original polishes that essie released in 1981 and is probably my favourite shade of the whole collection, which I did not expect as it’s actually quite a plain polish. It’s a pale nude that is very sheer on first application, but builds up very well and looks almost squishy, similar to a jelly polish. This was the first polish I swatched and as soon as I finished with the last in the collection, I put this one straight back on. It just looks so chic and clean, I have had it on for a week without getting bored of it. Buy it HERE.
So what do you think to the essie Retro Revival collection? Even though some of the colours aren’t great for me, the whole collection makes me really happy, just because it is a great flashback to nail trends from 10, 20, even 30 years ago. The sheer, pearly finishes will probably be overlooked by some of the younger essie fans as they are just not popular finishes these days, but if you’re like me you will definitely have worn polishes very similar to these back in the day. These are available for purchase until April 4th (although I’m hoping some will be brought back into the core collection).
Do you think you’ll pick up any of these polishes? What layering would you like to see? I’ll try to put some combinations on instagram so you can see how some of these polishes can be modernised a little.
*These polishes were provided as a PR sample. Links may be affiliate. For more information please see my disclaimer page in the top menu bar.