Reviews and Other Stuff

essie angora cardi

Favorite Essie Gel Couture Nail Colors

favorite essie gel couture nail polish


Hello! Happy Holidays to each and everyone! I hope you guys are having a great time this holiday season. Me? I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family and friends. In fact, I’ve reunited with some friends I haven’t seen in years! I miss them a lot and there hasn’t been a day where I stopped thinking about them, yet for some reason, life has its uncanny ways of drawing distance and when you finally see each other, it’s like you’ve never really been apart for so long. OMG! I just love reunions and I wish it won’t take me a very long time to see these friends again.


Anyhow, even though I’ve been busy with all the events for the holidays, I managed to finally sort out my top favorite shades of the Essie Gel Couture nail polish. In my previous Essie nail color roundup review (seen HERE), I posted my favorite Essie colors in Enamel and Gel formulation. However, in that post, I was just starting to try out some of the Essie Gel colors, but I haven’t really made up my mind when it comes to my top fave shades until recently. So, finally, in this post, I’ll be talking about my personal favorite colors in the Essie Gel Couture line. Now, keep in mind that this particular Essie Nail Color line still doesn’t have a lot of color varieties. As much as I love the lasting power and overall formula of this gel lacquer, I find that the shade range is still quite basic – reds, pinks, some blues, greens, and purples.


I’m a big red nail polish lover because that’s what looks good on me, so you’re still gonna be seeing a lot of reds here, but I also have a few nudes, a dark violet/purple hue, as well as a few bright pinks, along with my opinion of the Essie Top Coat and how it compares to some other top coats in the market.





essie gala-vanting


Paint The Gown Red – ruby red

Spiked With Style – wine red

Bubbles Only – cream burgundy

Gala-Vanting – deep maroon red




Take Me To Thread – plush taupe, looks greige with a nude mauve undertone, reminds me a lot of Chanel Particuliere (HERE)

Pinned Up – nude pink rose

Sew Me – cream caramel

All Dressed Up – swatched HERE, medium rose pink


essie signature smile




Signature Smile – bright coral pink

Stitch By Stitch – light nude pink




essie turn 'n' pose, essie model clicks


Turn ‘N’ Pose – deep plum/purple

Model Clicks – wine purplish red


essie top coat


Top Coat – I’m really amazed at how good this top coat is. It sets not only the gel nail polishes but also the enamel ones, at least in my experience, and it does set fast. It keeps the nails hard as a rock, chip-free, and without any tip wear for at least two weeks and a bit more. It also has a flat wide brush just like the Essie Gel Couture nail colors. When compared to the other Top Coats out there, I find this particular Top Coat to be way better than Seche Vite, and it’s neck and neck with Chanel Le Gel Top Coat as well as the Smith & Cult Above It All Top Coat. Speaking of brushes, I am definitely in love with the Essie Gel Couture line because the brush itself is just so easy and quick to use. See the comparison of the original Essie Enamel brush versus the new Gel Couture brush HERE.


essie gel couture nail polish review


Bottom line, these Essie Gel Couture nail colors are as good as the high-end brands. I noticed that there’s barely any chipping on my nails after almost two weeks of wear, and the colors remained vivid. I hope that Essie will play with some trendy shades to add on this Gel Couture line soon.


Are you an Essie fan? What’s your fave nail polish brand? Do you also prefer the Gel formulas over the Enamel ones?


The Essie Gel Couture Nail Colors are currently available at most drugstores and grocery stores nationwide and at Amazon, Ulta, Target, Walgreens, and Macy’s


Merry Christmas Again and Have a Prosperous New Year!



Favorite Essie Nail Colors

essie nail polish favorites

Essie is one of my favorite go-to nail polish brands of all time. Apart from loving their range of gorgeous eye-popping nail colors, I also like the fact that their products are pretty much easy to find. Whenever I’m at my local drugstore or grocery store, I always make it a point to drop by at the nail polish aisle and look for what’s new in Essie nail colors. I must have collected a ton of Essie nail polishes already, but I do have some colors that I tend to reach more often and I’ll be showing their swatches in this review.


best essie nail colors


As you can see, I’m a fan of reds and pinks when it comes to nail colors, that’s because these shades tend to always look great on me, and I guess it also applies to most of us, but I still have some favorites in blues, nudes, and even a green. Lately, with the introduction of the newest Essie Gel-Couture nail polishes, I kinda stopped collecting the original Enamel shades as I find the Gel ones to be a lot more long lasting and less prone to chipping, although the Enamel ones have really good longevity as well. I’m still at my early stage of collecting the Gel-Couture shades, as of now, I only have some reds and mostly nudes, but I plan to expand my collection to some shades of blues, violets, and some other colors hopefully soon, and I’ll do a separate post for my favorite shades of the Essie Gel-Coutures only.


Here are my favorite Essie Nail Colors

essie nail polish review

Enamel ($9) – Original, lots of beautiful shades to choose from. Lasts about two weeks on me with some chipping. The brush applicator is a miss for me because it’s so thin and it takes a careful maneuvering to apply the shades.

essie wicked, aruba blue, big spender, splash of grenadine, a list, angora cardi, stylenomics, mrs. always right, dress to kilt, hide & go chic, scarlett o'hara swatches


Hide & Go Chic – teal

Big Spender – plum

Wicked – vamp

Mrs. Always-Right – terracotta rose

A List – classic red

Aruba Blue – metallic sapphire

Dress To Kilt – deep red

Splash of Grenadine – pink magenta

Angora Cardi – deep dusty rose

Scarlett O’Hara – shimmery ruby red

Stylenomics – rich dark green


essie nail polish brush

essie gel couture nail polish


Gel-Couture ($11.50) – Very long wearing, lasts about three weeks on me with very minimal chipping and I love the brush applicator since it’s wider than the enamel and kinda tapered/rounded towards the tip. However, the color range has not been completely expanded yet and there are some inconsistencies with the shades, like the Pinned Up color having two different intensities; one being lighter and the other being darker. On the other hand, these nail colors are great to use with the Essie Gel Top Coat to set immediately and for a brilliant shine.

essie gel couture nail polish in sew me, all dressed up, spiked with style, bubbles only, pinned up swatches


Sew Me – cream caramel

Bubbles Only – creamy burgundy

Pinned Up – nude pink rose, there’s an inconsistency with this color. One bottle may be lighter than the other. Lighter shade looks very close to Sew Me, while the darker one is closer to All Dressed Up. Love both tones though.

Spiked With Style – wine red

All Dressed Up – medium rose pink


essie nails review

Bottom line, it’s hard to tell the Enamel nail colors when compared to the Gel ones, especially at eye value. They both pretty much smell the same, feel the same, and look the same. The only difference between them is the lasting power, which the Gels obviously are ahead at with barely any chipping. The nice thing about Essie is that they tend to have beautiful bold colors that are easy to find, not that crazy expensive, and reliable. Perfect for all your nail polish needs.


Are you an Essie fan? What are your favorite Essie Nail Polish shades?


The Essie Nail Colors can be found at most local grocery stores and drugstores everywhere, as well as at Ulta, Target, Dermstore, Kohl’s, Walgreens, and Macy’s



Smith & Cult New Shades for Spring 2018

smith & cult powder posse


If you’re bored and tired of this frigid gloomy winter, well, rest assured that you’re not alone. I can’t wait for the colors around me to come back. Speaking of colors, there’s a couple of new shades from Smith & Cult nails polish lately and they’re really pretty. As someone who’s never tried any Smith & Cult nail polish before, even though I keep seeing them in my local department store, I feel like it’s about time to venture to new nail polish brands and explore different unique shades that are outside my comfort zone. I’m talking about taking a break from my usual vampy red nail colors.


smith & cult new shades spring 2018


The Smith & Cult nail polishes are one of those chic nail colors that you just can’t help but stare not only at their interesting shades but also at their glamorous packaging. Such design for a nail polish. But the beautiful colors and beautiful containers come with a steep price. For $18 per nail polish, it’s definitely a splurge. However, having a few shades that you know you’re gonna use a lot and love for a long time makes it all worth it, like the three I got here.


smith & cult peaceful paranoia review


These three new shades are not only Spring and Summer-ready shades, but also they’re great transitional shades from Winter to Spring. Apart from that, if you’ve been following the “mannequin nails” trend, that is, matching your finger’s skin tone to your nails which gives a lengthening effect, then you’re gonna love two of the shades here.


smith & cult basis of everything base coat review


I applied these nail colors using Smith & Cult’s very own base coat and top coat. My experience with both is just amazing. The Basis of Everything base coat settles very fast and it made my nails feel very strong. The Above It All top coat is one of the best top coats I’ve ever tried. It does what a top coat should do. It dries and sets the nail polish immediately and it makes for strong nails that shine. It’s perfect.


smith & cult peaceful paranoia swatch


Peaceful Paranoia ($18) – This opaque dark cream with a pinkish/magenta sheen is probably one of the most perfect shade for that mannequin nails trend. It’s definitely gonna match to your finger especially if your skin tone is light to medium like mine. However, to be honest, I’m not so crazy about the whole mannequin nails trend, I think it’s just not a trend for everybody, and it’s a pretty difficult trend to pull off. If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you know that I like mE nails red, scandalous, and vampy, LOL. So, you can imagine my reaction when I painted my nails with this cream-tone shade. But anyways, even if this color is too close to my skin tone, it doesn’t mean that I couldn’t love this. It took me a while to get used to this color though, but after a few days, I feel like it’s really not that bad. I could get used to it. But do I really need to psyche myself that much in order to love a nail color? hmmm… Anyway, apart from that, let’s talk about the longevity and overall impression that I got with this color. Once on my nails, I had a hard time seeing that pink/magenta sheen that comes from the nail polish itself, it’s almost like it only reflects from the bottle. After probably a week or so, I noticed a slight chipping on the side of my nails, but overall it stays on almost perfectly for more than two weeks.


smith and cult powder posse swatch


Powder Posse ($18) – If I had mixed feelings about the Peaceful Paranoia shade above, this creamy pale lilac is a surprise love for me. I like this one a lot better than Peaceful Paranoia because at least this shade shows a bit of contrast between my skin and my nails. It’s definitely a shade lighter than my own skin tone, but it looks clean, sleek, and polished. It still looks like I have mannequin nails on but it also looks like I have nails for real. You know what I mean.


smith & cult a short reprise swatch


A Short Reprise ($18) – Lavender Mauve. This is my most favorite shade among the three. It’s so pretty and it’s not an aggressive “look at me” shade. It’s just simple yet stunning. This is indeed a nice transitional shade or a color meant for Spring and Summer. The tone of this reminds me a bit of Essie’s Angora Cardi, but this one has more lavender shade in it. Overall, this is a relaxing pretty nail color that you don’t see a lot in most nail polishes nowadays, but when you see one, you know you’ve got to have it.


peaceful paranoia, a short reprise, powder posse swatch


I feel like I’m gonna be seeing some more Smith and Cult nail polishes popping in my drawer after this. I love this nail polish already. The formula is long-wearing, doesn’t have that much strong odor, and I get about two weeks or more of wear, and it’s also an 8-free nail polish. I also love the brush applicator, it’s much better than OPI, Essie, Chanel and Tom Ford’s, but I still love Dior’s brushes though, because those are fat and wide, so it’s easier for me to apply the colors on my nails. Other than that, I am now a convert of Smith and Cult nail colors and I highly recommend them. Yay!


smith & cult a short reprise nail polish


The Smith and Cult Nail Colors are currently available at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, SpaceNK, Bloomingdales, Net-A-Porter, and



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