Essie Icon and Fall Collection review

Last weekend, as promised, I dutifully schlepped my new Essie polishes all the way to Loskop Dam for our long weekend away. We had a fabulous time – filling our days with food, reading, chilling by (or in) the pool and playing board games. But if you go away with me, chances are I will pull out my manicure set, plonk myself down in the middle of the living area and start playing with a horde of girly things. While the boys continued their board game marathon, I managed to convince all the girls to give the range a bash and let me know what they thought. It’s not often I get the chance to crowdsource opinions on the products I’m trying so I took full advantage – I even painted 3 out of 4 of the girls myself (myself included, obvs).

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First of all, I have to point out that when it comes to nail polish, it’s each to her own. Between four girls, we all had different favourites and the ones I wasn’t a fan of proved extremely popular with the other three. So when it comes to nail polish reviews, it really is all about what you like and don’t like. We also did a quick survey among the boys who seemed to approve more of the Icon Collection’s colours – the pinks and red. They unanimously disapproved of the metallics and the teal (aka “dirty green”).

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The Fall Collection

Contains: Cashmere Bathrobe (a dark charcoal grey), For The Twill Of It (a shiny metallic grey), Vested Interest (a cool grey teal) and The Lace Is On (hot metallic pink with a pearl undertone).

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I was a bit apprehensive when I first unwrapped this collection. Although there are some beautiful polishes in it, they are very specific to certain tastes. I really didn’t like The Lace Is On, but the rest of the ladies loved it: both in the bottle and when it was on. I also wasn’t too interested in the For The Twill Of It, but once it was on I was sold. It’s a funky yet subtle gun metal grey and the metallic effect really makes it pop. I can’t wait for winter so I can pair this with some ankle boots and my leather jacket. Cashmere Bathrobe is very similar to Powerclutch, which is already a favourite in my collection – same with Vested Interest. Although it’s technically a teal, it does come out almost grey so it’s subtle enough to wear with anything.

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The Icon Collection

Contains: Ballet Slippers (a beautiful pale pink – almost nude), Marshmallow (also a subtle nude, but with more of a white undertone), Really Red (bright red with an orange undertone) and Licorice (a deep, dark shiny black). Fun fact: Licorice has been around since 1982! It was created for the Asian market where “highly embellished nail styles were already in fashion”. Ballet Slippers was created in 1989 for Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. It’s the only shade she will wear.

Oh how I loved this! We all ended up doing our finger nails with one of these Essie bestsellers so it’s easy to see why they are called the Icon Collection. I’ve loved Ballet Slippers for as long as I can remember and always look for the closest dupe if the nail salon doesn’t stock Essie. My dear friend and reason for the manicure station in the first place, Angela, consistently choses pale whites when she gets her nails done so of course she went straight for Marshmallow. The other two finished off our Icon Collection with Licorice and Really Red.

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Things I learned:

1. Boys can name nail polish too. I was asked if the red was called “Very Red”, because that’s what it looked like. I laughed it off and turned over the bottle to discover the actual name: Really Red.

2. When presented with a selection of colours, most girls will go with something they already have in their collection or already like. Everyone went with something they usually go for: I went for my favourite Ballet Slippers, the OPI Funny Bunny loyalist picked the white, one former goth went for black and lastly, we had a classic red. Apparently, we tend to stick to the familiar.

3. Confessing to painting your nails while driving will get you looks of disapproval. I was just trying to explain that after lots of practise, you really can do it anywhere!

4. Washing the breakfast dishes for eight people (after one very messy cook!) will result in a ruined manicure. I am, however, pleased to report that the designated dishwasher was very impressed with how well the polish held out, until she had to scour a pan with steel wool…that, dear readers, is not advised for ANY manicure.

5. The quickest way to incapacitate a woman is to paint her nails. The four of us walked around for at least two hours with our hands out in front of us, pleading “but…my nails are still wet” whenever a drink needed to be opened or a board game packed away. In truth, Essie actually dries really quickly. We’re just a lazy bunch.

While I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular – there is a reason why Essie is my favourite brand; it delivers consistently – I am pleased to report that they are bringing out some very exciting news soon! If you’re part of the Sorbet Secret Society, you’ll have seen the newsletter regarding the launch. Essie will be bringing out a gel polish system come July. How awesome! I’ll update you with all the details as soon as I get hold of them, but I’m told there will be a substantial collection with colours similar, if not exact matches, of your favourites. All Essie polishes retail at a recommended selling price of R119 and I believe the gel service will be around R240.

This is the kind of view you should have when painting your nails. I feel it adds to the experience.

This is the kind of view you should have when painting your nails. I feel it adds to the experience.

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