Essie Fall 2016: My Picks Swatch and Review


Hey everyone, today I am showing off most of Essie’s fall collection! I realize that the title is a bit misleading because usually when people show their picks from a collection, they show off two or three. I’ve got all of them except Go-Go Geisha (not a pink fan). I love that they’re all creams. As much as glitter and shimmer is fun, a good cream polish is just so classic and versatile, you can’t go wrong. I address the formulas individually with an in-depth look at their application below!

All swatches are shown over Zoya Get Even base coat. The top coat I use is Seche Vite.


Essie Kimono-Over, 2 coats plus top coat

Kimono-Over is the first polish in this Japan-inspired collection. The names are all stellar, makes my pun-loving heart soar. This color also makes my heart soar, a gorgeous vampy plum. It doesn’t lean too red or too blue and it doesn’t look black! That is one of the most important features of a dark purple for me.


Essie Kimono-Over, 1 coat

This covered very well on the first coat! It was super easy to apply, except that the brush in my bottle was a bit wonky. That, combined with the fact that this was the last polish I swatched that day, resulted in the mess at the cuticle area. But formula-wise, I have no complaints. There were only a couple light spots that needed to be covered up.


Essie Kimono-Over, 2 coats

Two coats brings this polish perfectly opaque, I cannot imagine anyone would need more than two for this one! On the nail, this polish does look slightly darker than it does in the bottle. I noticed that when I top-coated it, it looked slightly lighter and matched the bottle color. Maybe the lighting in my house changed at that moment or maybe I’m just crazy. Anyway. It’s a beautiful dark purple that is noticeably purple with an amazing formula. I love it!


Essie Maki Me Happy, 2-3 coats plus top coat

Next in the collection we have this beautiful, deep berry red. I love my dark reds and I love berry colors; this one is just delicious. It definitely maki-s me happy :]


Essie Maki Me Happy, 1 coat

This polish has a crelly formula. It was a bit patchy on the first coat and the color tone was uneven, but that is to be expected from a crelly. I do not have a lot of free edge so it is difficult from the picture to tell how sheer it is, but I could see through it in person. The formula was super easy to work with.


Essie Maki Me Happy, 2 coats

With two coats, this polish was almost opaque! The color darkened to match the bottle, but I still had some light patches on most of my fingers. The good news about this polish is that I think you could easily do a thicker second coat to get it 100% opaque. It does not go weird or patchy with a lot of manipulation like some crellies do. I did get it opaque on my pointer finger here.


Essie Maki Me Happy, 2-3 coats

I did a third coat on my middle, ring, and pinky fingers to bring this mani opaque. Even though doing three coats may seem like a pain to some people, I really cannot complain because the formula was so easy to work with. Also, I think next time I wear this polish, it will be an easy two-coater like I explained above.


Essie Now and Zen, 2 coats plus top coat

This year the neutral of the collection is a grey! Now and Zen is a perfect medium toned grey polish. I’m a seasonal polish wearer but I think you could wear this any time of the year! It’s not too dark for spring and summer, but just dark enough to be moody for fall and winter. I know I’m going to get a ton of use out of this beauty.


Essie Now and Zen, 1 coat

With a medium coat this covered really well, especially considering it is a lighter polish. I would not recommend trying to use a really thick coat of this because I think it might run. The formula isn’t thin and watery, but don’t test it. There are still a couple lighter patches so it needs another coat.


Essie Now and Zen, 2 coats

Now and Zen was easily opaque with a second coat. I was really impressed with the formula, it self-levels really well and goes on so smooth. The opacity really makes it a winner for me, the other two greys I have (and adore) in this similar, medium tone both need 2-3 coats to be opaque, while this one is a steady two-coater. I have so much love for this polish, it’s one of my favorites of the collection!


Essie Udon Know Me, 2 coats plus top coat

Next up we have this interesting addition to the fall color line up! I do not really know how to describe Udon Know Me. It’s like the blue version of a sage green. It is light, yet has depth. There is a dusty and grey quality to it, but it is still a solid blue. Looking at it in the bottle, I thought Essie might be remembering that there are folks in the Southern Hemisphere who are currently in spring, but on the nail I can totally see how it works for fall. That dusty quality really brings it out of the pastel family (but I would have no issue rocking this in spring!). This is my other top pick of the collection alongside Now and Zen.


Essie Udon Know Me, 1 coat

The first coat was easy to apply. I used a thinner coat on some fingers so it went on a bit streaky. You can see on my ring finger how good the coverage can be if you use a medium coat.


Essie Udon Know Me, 2 coats

I used a thicker second coat (similar to what I used on my ring finger the first time) and got it completely opaque. It did dry slightly uneven and I was not able to drown out that piece of something on my middle nail that ended up there during the first coat, but I have no complaints. I would always use a top coat anyway, so just slap one on and you’ll have a gorgeous mani! I really should not be surprised that I ended up loving this so much because it’s a blue, but considering it’s not a typical fall shade… I’m still a bit surprised. But also totally in love. Thank you for this one, Essie!


Essie Playing Koi, 2-3 coats plus top coat

Last we have the darling of the collection, Playing Koi. Ahhh, burnt orange. I could write a love letter to burnt orange. It is the essential fall shade in my opinion, the color of pumpkin and spice and everything nice. I know you’ve seen this polish a million times at this point, but let’s look at it again, shall we?


Essie Playing Koi, 1 coat

Like Maki Me Happy, this polish has a crelly formula. Which meant that the first coat is a bit too sheer, making the color too light and uneven in some spots. The formula is a dream though, it has an awesome consistency. Really, across the board all of these have been easy to work with, I have to applaud Essie for that.


Essie Playing Koi, 2 coats

With the second coat, I got my mani almost opaque! There were a couple light spots on my index and ring finger, but my middle and pinky were opaque. This has a similar formula to Maki Me Happy, in that the formula can be manipulated without any patchiness so if you want to guarantee two-coat opacity, use a thicker second coat and you should be good.


Essie Playing Koi, 2-3 coats

I added a third coat to my index and ring fingers for full opacity! Look at how shiny it dries on it’s own – that’s the beauty of crellies. If only I could master applying them for two coat perfection every time…

I do not have any comparisons for you today because my collection is not super extensive and because none of these polishes reminded me of anything else I had anyway. If you are curious about a polish compares to any of these, please feel free to ask and I will do my best to help you out!

I went into this collection knowing I was going to love it, but I am still surprised by how wonderful Now and Zen and Udon Know Me are! I just do not expect lighter Essie shades to have such great coverage. Since a lot of their formulas over the past year have been so perfect, I guess I should start trusting them more.

Which ones have you picked up? Which ones do you want to pick up? Are you sick of seeing people talk about Playing Koi yet? ;]

xx, Ashley

You can visit Essie on their website here. I bought these polishes from Target.


2 thoughts on “Essie Fall 2016: My Picks Swatch and Review

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