Tag Archives: Resort Collection

Essie Playa del Platinum nail polish review

It’s one of life’s small but great pleasures when a nail varnish colour turns out better in the flesh than in the bottle. Such was the case with Essie’s Playa del Platinum polish.

Playa del Platinum was part of Essie’s 2010 Resort Collection and the neutral shade seemed a bit of an odd choice for summer, especially against the tropical turquoise, ocean blue and splashy fuchsia creams of the rest of the set. But on the nail, it suddenly makes perfect sense.

It’s a cloudy sandy colour that, whilst being a beautiful neutral that would work well for any season, is evocative of bleached beach-houses, smooth pebbles washed up on dusky shores and the kind of chunky oatmeal knitwear that pretty people wear in the similarly evocative Boden catalogues. In fact, think this advert for Jennifer Aniston’s new perfume and you’re pretty much there!

The first coat seems a little thin and streaky, yet it evens up to a gorgeously creamy opaque by the second. It’s a highly durable and wearable shade that goes with just about anything; a classic neutral that, with its subtle mix between dusty grey and biscuit beige, also taps into the current vogue for grungy greiges. Consequently, it looked fabulous with tips in Essie’s Island Hopping (from the 2007 It’s Better In The Bahamas collection) – a creamy murky mauve belonging to the similar summery but grungy family.

After a few less than stellar Essie choices I’ve made lately, it was great to be reminded why I fell in love with the brand in the first place. Easy to apply, easy to wear and a colour that you fall for gradually a little more each day. A platinum polish, indeed.

Looks great with: beach hair, chunky knitwear and just about everything else
Drying time: 5-10 mins
Coats required: 2-3
Chips: +7 days

Essie Playa del Platinum, Summer 2010 Resort Collection, $60, Cher2

Essie Turquoise & Caicos nail polish review

OK, so the taupe nail polish didn’t last long. But if I said I was so in love with OPI’s Over The Taupe, then I’m at a loss as to what superlatives to use for Essie’s Turquoise & Caicos. It’s pure love in a nail polish.

Lusting after someone else’s aqua nails was what set me off on the nail varnish road of discovery in the first place, so it was inevitable that sooner or later, I’d be turning my talons turquoise. And Essie’s Turquoise & Caicos is the truest tropical turquoise you could hope to find.

(Don’t be fooled by Essie’s own photo of Turquoise & Caicos, above, which makes it look dull, muddy and green. It’s none of above.)

Putting it on makes me feel like Malibu Beach Barbie. It gives an instant feeling of sun, sea and summer – especially great since now autumn is breezing in, I’m desperately trying to prolong that summer feeling. It’s a bright colour that never fails to pop whatever shades you pair it with, but does so without feeling too bold and brash. It’s cute, like a My Little Pony or a mint choc chip sundae, and fun, like a summer beach party. But it’s also surprisingly versatile and doesn’t instantly scream pre-school, like so many of the other ice-cream colours that were marketed this season. And it’s very very pretty.

As for the nail polish itself, I have to profess myself a greater fan of Essie than OPI. The dinky square-shaped bottle, with ‘essie’ embossed on the glass and the white cap with trademark ‘e’ on top, is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than OPI’s chunkier container. Similarly, Essie’s brush is smaller and thinner, which I found a lot easier to work with, and it dried a whole lot quicker and chipped a whole less sooner than OPI too.

However, the consistency of Turquoise & Caicos lets Essie down – the first application is thin, watery and streaky. The second application basically does what the first application should have, whilst a third application is necessary if you want a really consistent, even finish. Nevertheless, I was impressed with the creamy final finish, which was smoother and more self-levelling than OPI’s, even if it took a few more coats to get there. And the overall effect more than makes up for it – lushly gorgeous, it was like I’d dipped my fingers into a particularly beautiful ocean.

[One trick that works is if you don’t wipe much polish off the brush for the first application, so the initial coat is very wet and thick. This means that the colour is strong enough to get away with just two coats, although there can be a slight issue with air bubbles – but these get painted over effectively with the second application.]

If anyone had Crayola’s colouring pencils when they were little (I know my entire class seemed to!), it’s as if someone distilled the shade labelled simply ‘Turquoise’ into a bottle. And I have a feeling I’ll still be trying to re-capture that summer spirit by wearing Turquoise & Caicos well into winter. So meet me at the cocktail bar… I’ll be the one with the turquoise nails!

Looks great with: Denim, bright colours (especially hot pink), swimwear, summer!
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 3
Chips: +7 days

You can also see a photo of me wearing Turquoise & Caicos in real-life at the end of this post!

Essie Turquoise & Caicos nail polish, Summer 2010 Resort Collection, $60, Cher2