Essie Fiesta nail polish review

What I wanted: a hot fuchsia cerise pink.
What I got: like I’d coloured my nails in with a Muji gel pen.

Essie’s Fiesta nail polish is bright. As in, should be highlighting my revision notes with it. If Essie’s Turquoise & Caicos makes me feel like Malibu Beach Barbie, then Fiesta makes me feel like straight-up Barbie herself, with pink obsession very much in tact. Admittedly, this would be a Barbie with crimped hair working some street style, rather than soft and pretty eveningwear Barbie with her hair up in a chignon. Fiesta would be way too vulgar for her!

Fiesta looked a lot duller in the photo, on the sample, in the bottle and on the brush (i.e. like the cerise I wanted) but somehow, seemed to develop neon properties on my nails. That’s not to say it’s a nice colour but it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

As for the nail varnish itself, I’ve already mentioned how much I prefer Essie’s thinner brush, which gets into all the nooks and crannies of your nails, is really easy to work with and gives great coverage. Fiesta is, perhaps unsurprisingly, very highly pigmented (so much so that even with a base coat, it stained my nails) and already gives you a very strong, bright colour with just one coat. However, it felt a bit thin on my nails, so I went for another coat… and alas, it continued to get even more fluorescent! But again, Essie acquits itself well in terms of both drying time and durability.

It’s a rather artificial E-Number-addled candy shade of pink, which looks really brash and, dare I say it, a bit tarty worn with black. Fiesta’s definitely not a shade for shrinking violets or wallflowers and doesn’t really work with colours that try to tone it down. Instead, I found it looked nicest against other jewel colours for it to pop against, particularly cobalt and (my turquoise obsession rearing its head again!) aqua.

Whilst it’s definitely not a shade for the everyday, it’s lots of fun and Essie’s quality still shines through. Now I’m off to go crimp my hair.

Looks great with: Jewel tones, fun times, not taking yourself too seriously
Drying time: <5 mins
Coats required: 2 (but you can get away with 1 in terms of colour)
Chips: 5 days

Essie Fiesta nail polish, $60, Cher2

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