Beautiful Beginnings with Essie

Beautiful Beginnings with Essie

What was the first Essie product you ever tried?  Did it pave way for a real romance or did it put you off the brand entirely?  What was the first product you purchased?  Did you love it? Hate it? Still own it?

my answer: The first Essie product I ever tried was their Spring 2008 collection! The older I get, the more I really enjoy the brand for its overall color range. They do some really fantastic creams in particular!

Share your first time experiences with Essie in the comments! 🙂


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mpca66 Avatar

I’ve only tried Essie cream type nail polishes and find them very streaky.  The product never spreads on my nails very well and I’m always disappointed with the results.  I’ve been loving Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polishes.  I have Lively Lilac on my toes and it’s quite pretty!

xamyx Avatar

I tend to look at Essie, but always wind up with Sally Hansen. In my experience, all of the SH formulas are good (I’ve tried *most* of them, although not the Insta-Dry).

xamyx Avatar

Essie is another brand I’ve never tried (at least that I can remember), but then I’m not big on nail polish. I do find myself looking at. the displays, *alot*, lately, and there have been several shades that have caught my eye. However, the shades that appeal to me are too similar to shades I have already. I do plan to go through my polish stash, and see what needs to be tossed, and if there is anything that needs to be replaced, I plan to give Essie a big consideration.

deannej21 Avatar

My 1st Essie polish was Fiji. Its a rich baby pink creme. Its looks like it’d be perfect for a pink french mani, or a simple feminine manicure. Unfortunately, the texture is totally off. The 1st coat is very streaky and uneven, but it’s not thin. It’s goopy which makes the 2nd coat just as challenging as the 1st. It takes a long time to dry and doesn’t compliment my brown skin very well. It looks very white on the nail. I’ve tested other Essie colors and won’t be deterred from buying them in the future. For now, Fiji is still the only Essie I have. I’ve had similar experiences with pastel creams from other brands so I know it must have something to do with the formula required to achieve the color and it’s not a brand. Still looking for the perfect feminine baby pink for brown skin.

Liz Avatar

deannej21 I had the exact same experience with Fiji. Ugh! I don’t know how much of a polish person you are, but if you don’t mind dropping ~$14 USD, a-England’s ‘Iseult’ is a pretty, very subtly shimmery baby pink that I think would look beautiful on brown skin. It’s also non-streaky, fast-drying and builds to pretty good opacity. Just a thought!

Liz Avatar

deannej21 I had the exact same experience with Fiji. Ugh! I don’t know how much of a polish person you are, but if you don’t mind dropping ~$14 USD, a-England’s ‘Iseult’ is a pretty, very subtly shimmery baby pink that I think would look beautiful on brown skin. It’s also non-streaky, fast-drying and builds to pretty good opacity. Just a thought!

deannej21 Avatar

@Liz I’m rebuilding my dwindling polish collection and dont mind spending money on a nice polish. Right now, Im buying 3-5 polishes per month. Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll look it up. 🙂

Nicola Avatar

The first Essie product I ever tried was the colour “Trophy Wife.” Absolutely loved the colour, finish, and it stayed on for quite a while too. It is still one of my favourite polish brands to look at. They always have some gorgeous shades.


I only have a few from Essie, but I do love them. My first color was MAMBA. The color is brilliants and just so flattering on me. The other one i love to death is Navigate her. it’s the perfect pistachio green and I love to layer it with gold or holo flakes.

shellygrrl Avatar

My first Essie polish was Limo-scene, a sheerish baby pink. Very pretty colour. After that I went on to purchase quite a few more of their polishes — Sand Tropez (pinky nude), Topless and Barefoot (beigey nude), Go Overboard (deep blueish teal on me), and Lady Like (plummy mid-tone mauve). I think they go on very easily. The downside for me is that they don’t seem to last for long on my nails. (Most nail polishes I’ve tried don’t. The only brand to date that’s lasted longer than a couple of days for me is Illamasqua.)

Dinitchka Avatar

I’m very new to Essie. I ‘got’ my first Essie just this year through a freebie coupon from CVS. The CVS I went to was lacking with the variety and not to loose out on a free bottle of polish, I went for Wrapped In Rubies. It’s a lush burgundy-red with suttle gold shimmer. It wore well and I only had fading on the tips of my nails. I was next after the Luxeffects, which I was able to pick up all but 1 at CVS and then the one I was missing I just found at Wal-Mart. I also wanted Armed and Ready, which I found at CVS. I’m loving the mirror metallics set. I’ll wait for swatches before I purchase any.
I am fairly impressed with Essie polishes. They have a few unique colours and I like the formula and wear (which for $8 it had better wear well). My local CVS seems to always be out and my local Wal-Mart does not carry them … yet. The Wal-Mart I went to is by my work and TBH their set up was not at all impressive. Then again it could be the people who are looking at the polishes … I’ll leave the rest of that comment blank 😡

JaneenArias Avatar

Dinitchka The mirror metallics are gorgeous. I own the purple, bronze, and gold one. My friend wanted to steal all of them from me when she saw them and swatched them. Some other blogs are swatches up already so you can google it. 🙂

Liz9969 Avatar

I was looking for the perfect red nailpolish to compliment my pinup makeup look.  I bought Really Red and Fishnet Stockings.  Neither color was right for what I was looking for (I ended up going with Revlon’s All Fired Up).  I’m really not into nail polish at all.  So, I pretty much stick to Revlon, which is half the price of Essie.   

lulu Avatar

i was looking for a navy blue polish to wear to my high school graduation (navy blue is one of the colors of the university i would be going into) and i found essie’s bobbing for baubles–amazing! i bought limo-scene (pale peach pink) for half off, but it was awful. oh well.

wwendalynne Avatar

Essie was a brand introduced to me about 10?? or so years ago at my nail spa.  They also carried OPI.  OPI always held up better on my nails, but Essie had a kajillion shades and always seem to hit a great note or two with their unique collections.  I typically give Essie a 4 out of 5 on nail enamel as I have other brands I prefer which have better brushes and greater staying power on me, but it doesn’t prevent me from buying some of their gorgeous shades!

Melissa Noelle Avatar

My first Essie was a PURPLE Forget Me Nots color back in 2001 or so…  I don’t even think they MAKE it anymore but I’ve loved Essie ever since!!!

GUSnail Avatar

I don’t know what my first Essie color was.  Must have been over 10 years ago at my local nail spa.  I still love many of their creme classics: Mademoiselle, Ballet Slippers, (pretty much any beigy, pinky pale creme).  One of my favorites is Wicked, which is a deep red burgandy.  I also own a beautiful blue color (can’t remember the name) but its a vibrant medium blue.

Dominique33 Avatar

I first purchased Watermelon and then many followed : the 5 metallics, tour de finance, olé caliente, 3 from the Love and acceptance collection, etc.. Today I purchased Off the shoulder. I already found photos from the Fall collection, with Orly and others, the Essie 6 polishes for fall look great.

afcanoe Avatar

Christine – do you know how much/to what extent individual body chemistry impacts nail polish formula?  You give great reviews for Essie creams, but I’ve had terrible experiences with them.  For me, they’ve always been both streaky and too thick.  I end up with pooling on the sides and lots of bubbles.  Zoya and China Glaze polishes, which can also be thick, perform much better.  What’s going on?

Christine-Temptalia Avatar

afcanoe I don’t know to what extent or how much, only that it can sometimes impact. I think it might also be reasonable to say that the base coat/top coat you use can also have an impact – either with you + the base coat, or the interaction of the base coat with the polish, the top coat with the polish.I wonder if it has something to do with the brush? Not that those three brands have really standout (in a unique way really, not good/bad way) brushes and are fairly comparable, I wonder if maybe you’re getting too much product on the Essie brushes vs. Zoya and China Glaze. I don’t think it’s chemistry that’s causing the pooling, since that seems more like a general formula issue.  Bubbling might be something to do with chemistry or the base coat you’re using.

Becca @The Beauty Sample Avatar

I can’t remember what the first Essie shade I ever purchsed was called…I think it was when it first started being carried in Target. They didn’t have the small, circular sticker with the shade name on the top of the bottle, but instead at the bottom. It has since worn off so I can’t say what it’s called. Its a medium mauvy-rose shade cream

beachgal Avatar

Goodness – I could not even begin to tell you. I have been using Essie since the early 90’s! It certainly has become more accessible since L’Oreal bought them and it’s in drug stores vs. only beauty supply now.

Budziak Avatar

My first color was Forever Young. I wanted a classic red that I could use at work without going overboard with shimmer or glitter, it was perfect. I got closer to the bottom of the bottle and one night before a car show (and right before my bf got his bumper sanded and re-painted) we touched up some graffiti his friend did on the bumper with my polish! Long story short, we used up the rest of my favorite first Essie polish. I bought a similar shade from China Glaze but I have TONS and TONS of Essie. Essie and China Glaze are my favorites. If anyone lives in the Bay Area, try US Nail Supply, they have Essie for $3 something, CG and OPI are about $4 something 🙂 It definitely feeds my polish addiction!

SashaDeter Avatar

The first Essie nail polish I used was Turquoise and Caicos, with the Essie 3 in 1 base coat and OPI chip skip. I couldn’t believe that polish lasted 5 days or more. When I had gotten my nails done at salons they had chipped the next day. That nail polish got me into nail polish in general, now I’m addicted. I own Merino Cool and Wrapped in Rubies now as well and am looking forward to adding more to the collection. I also use the Essie 3 in 1 base coat. 

Robba Avatar

My first Essie was Sew Psyched.  After that I became obsessed.  I own so many bottles of Essie nail polishes, especially collections from 2011, that’s when I really got into it.  For the fall collection I received a lot of compliments for the colours I wore and usually it was an Essie colour.  I like how long they last.  Application wise, (it could be due to my skill) my first coat is always really bad since I always ending up having a streaky first coat.  It usually evens out by the second coat.  I really love their cream finishes.  Since I’m still new to this, my favourite collection is their French Affair collection from last year.  There are older collections that seem interesting but I wasn’t buying that many nail polishes at the time.

KP Avatar

Fiji is the first Essie polish I ever used/purchased. I still LOVE it. It’s a classic cotton candy pink. I chose it at the nail salon for a wedding i was in a few weeks ago after not wearing it for a couple of years.  It’s crazy how a nail polish can bring such strong nostalgic feelings! I see that some people had a bad experience with Fiji but I have nothing but positive things to say about it!

deannej21 Avatar

@KP Should I try another pastel creme from Essie, I’ll take it into the nail salon. I’m sure they could get a professional looking application out of it. Right now, Im using Fiji for dotting or lightening up some of my other creme polishes for an ombre manicure look. Fiji is just too light on my brown skin. 

Jenny Avatar

I love Essie. Their creams are so smooth and wear so well, with a really great shine even without a top coat. I wore one of their classic sheer pinky creams once for a two week vacation, and they lasted flawlessly, with minor tip wear and absolutely no chipping. I remember towards the end of my trip, I got a manicure done professionally for me, and the manicurist asked me if I was wearing gel nails!

Dea Avatar

My first Essie polish was Lilacism. I loved the quality but gave it away later, as I didn’t use it often enough. Have bought lots of Essie polishes ever since!

JaneenArias Avatar

First Essie nail polish I used was at a nail salon 4-5 years ago when I asked for french and the girl picked out Sugar Daddy. Next day I went to buy it at CVS across the street. To this day it’s a nail polish I always have, and the only nail polish I’ve actually finished and have had to repurchase. And, it’s the nail polish I have on my toes right now, with french. 🙂

Katy Avatar

My first Essie would have been one of the sheer pinks, maybe Mademoiselle, at least ten years ago at Ulta. I read an article in Vogue about how sheer pink/nude manicures that don’t look like manicures were the “most sophisticated,” and that Essie had the best sheers, and I abandoned my bright Long Island girl colors and threw myself into sheer Essies for a few years there. 

Gaby Avatar

The first experience I had with Essie was probably about 12 years ago, for my very first manicure. All the nail salons near me exclusively carry Essie. I don’t remember which color I had for the manicure, but the first one I bought was Curtain Call. Still one of my all time faves. I go back and forth between whether I prefer OPI or Essie.

Nell Avatar

My first Essie was “Allure”. It’s named after the magazine. 🙂 I bought it when it debuted…maybe early 2000’s? I probably have about 30 different shades at the moment. Today I’m wearing Bikini So Teeny on my toes and Pink A Boo on my hands.

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