For Spring, Essie has launched six shades ranging from blue to nude in their A French Affair Collection. Essie can be found at various etailers and salons, but also through beauty.com ($8 per bottle).
Coat Azure (breathing taking medium blue with shimmer), French Affair (sophisticated soft lavender pink), Nice is Nice (whimsical light lavender), Sand Tropez (soft sandy beige), Topless & Barefoot (barely there soft beige pink), and Kisses & Bisses (kiss of pink shimmer – perfect to layer over any color).
Coat Azure is a dusty cornflower blue with soft microshimmer. I used two coats. China Glaze Sky High Top seems similar but brighter.
French Affair is a pale pink with cool undertones and a cream finish. I used three coats. It is cooler-toned than Essie Neo Whimsical.
Nice is Nice is a pinked lavender with a cream finish. I used two coats, and there was a hint of visible nail line. It is similar to MAC’s Little Girl Type, but darker and not as cool-toned. It’s also more pigmented and less cool-toned than Essie Lilacism.
Sand Tropez is a muted, beige with a touch of gray in a cream finish. I used three coats. It seems a bit similar to Essie Body Language.
Topless & Barefoot is a warmed over light-medium beige cream. I used two coats. I couldn’t think of a possible dupe for this one.
Kisses & Bisses is a sheer, warmed white base with a duochromed, opalescent shimmer that flashes pink and gold. I used three coats in the swatches. Essie recommends it for layering, and if you’re not into sheer polishes, it would work well as a layering polish. I did like it on its own; it gave a soft, sheer look but the duochrome finish of the shimmer added interest. Zoya Bailey seems similar, perhaps not as much of a duochrome.
my thoughts on the formula: Essie’s spring shades is a good mix of soft colors and pastels with a formula that applies easily and none of the pastel shades have a chalky look to them. I found about half needed two coats, but overall, three seemed like the ideal amount. The formula wasn’t too thick or thin, and it flowed evenly onto the nail. With a base/top coat, I had only minor tip wear after a week’s wear of Essie’s formula.
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