Thursday, January 28, 2010

Essie Art of Spring Collection

I got the new Essie Spring 2010 collection two days ago from Essie's PR rep and since I was too tired to bother with research stuff, I decided to do some swatching by my lightbox instead. I know everyone is going to say, "Huh, pinks and... more pinks. That's Essie alright." And when I first saw the polishes, I kind of thought that too. (Also, more pastel cremes? Definitely feeling a bit pastel creme'd out already and we're not even in Spring yet.) But I actually ended up liking several of the colors. I'll start with the one I liked the least though, just to get it out of the way:

Essie Pop Art Pink
A sheer cool pink. This is three coats. It's not supposed to be opaque and I don't think I could easily get it to opaque. It went on slightly streaky. The name of this one actually really annoys me. When I think pop art, I think bold, aggressive colors; something that makes a statement and is eye-catching. Something like this:

Roy Lichtenstein, Reverie (1965)

Essie Lilacism

This one I really loved: it's the a perfect lilac creme. Two coats and beautiful. It actually provides a strong contrast with my skin. Who knows which art movement this is named after. It seems that most of them had the suffix -ism at the end of their name. Based on the syllables, I'd say Dadaism. And just because I can, my favorite Man Ray photo:

Man Ray, Tears (1930)

Essie Van D'Go

I hear this is supposed to be like MAC Seasonal Peach. If so, then I'm glad I didn't pay through the nose on eBay for it because this shade of peach does not look good on my skin at all IRL. It's a really smooth polish though, three coats is shown above. This name makes me crazy though. Wouldn't it have been much better as an indigo if it's going to be called Van D'Go? (Essie makes some great blues. Why not more??) Like the color of the mountains in this:

Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889)

Essie Tart Deco

Again, a really great polish: nicely pigmented, easily applied in two coats. A beautiful, glossy guava creme. But makes my hands seem dirty IRL. :( And what's with the name? Wasn't Art Deco about modern, geometric shapes? Things like machines? (Granted, a metallic Essie in this collection would've just looked bizarre.) I think metals when I think Art Deco, mostly because I think of:

William Van Alen, the Chrysler Building (1930)

Essie Neo Whimsical

A cool pink creme that leans just a bit lavender. This one was very thin and sheer and required four coats to become opaque. But the polish was easy to work and four coats didn't take that much effort at all. I don't actually know how I feel about this color: I really go back and forth between liking it a lot and thinking it a bore. And since I've put up some other picture for every other shade so far, a painting in the Neoclassical style (I mostly just love her pose):

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Comtesse d'Haussonville (1845)

Essie Red Nouveau

A basic scarlet red creme (leans orange). Possibly a tad jelly? This one was surprisingly thin and sheer (and not as glossy as I would've hoped). It took me four coats to reach this opacity; you can get away with three but I wanted to see how long it'd take me to get rid of VNL. As with the other polishes, application was easy... but still, four coats does start to feel like a lot for a red. And one last art reference, from Art Nouveau:

Alphonse Mucha, Spring (1896)

My verdict: I really like this collection in spite of myself. It's so... girly. And Essie. And it mostly looks like pink. But they feel strangely adaptable: as pastel cremes, they are demure enough for staid environments. Yet they are also bright and bold: very loudly and proudly feminine. Overall, the quality of the polishes was wonderful. And for all the grief I gave the collection for their seemingly misfit names, a rose by any other name...

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D:) said...

Umm those look fantastic on you.

Lucy said...

I'm starting to come round to lilac after seeing this collection.....I like the others too actually.

Small Town Gal said...

I'm liking Lilacism and Van D'Go most I think - Especially Lilacism ;)

April and Ashley said...

Thanks for going the extra mile and pairing these with great art! Made the post much more exciting. You have great taste!

gildedangel said...

Beautiful swatches!!!

Kelly/PlaneBeauty said...

There's only two colours that really catch my eye from this collection and that's Lilacism and Van D'go. Great swatches!

Katie said...

I loved this post and I love Lichtenstein!Great swatches!

Rebecca said...

Tart Deco reminds me of the dress that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the Oscars a few years back:

It's Art Deco style and a similar colour, maybe that's where Essie got her inspiration?

kittytokaren said...

hmmm im intrigued by Neo Whimsical for some reason...

mKat said...

I am growing more and more fond of lilac. It's everywhere and I LOVE it!

mKat said...

P.S. I want to hear more about this lightbox of yours!

Paillette said...

I love Ingres.

Did you know he loved womens' backs? It was his thing.

flinty said...

D:) They look good in the photos but they clash when you see it in the context of my hand and arm. It's hard to describe...

Lucy, Small Town Gal, Kelly, mKat: the lilac really is the surprising stand out in this collection, I think.

April/Ashley: Thanks! It was a lot of fun to pick out the artwork that I liked to match with the names. :)

gildedangel: thanks!

Katie: I adore Lichtenstein but that one wasn't the painting I was after. It was the one with the dog going "Grrr..." but I couldn't find a nice pic of it as quickly as I could Reverie.

Rebecca: I think you might be right about Tart Deco!

kittytokaren: it's a cute name?

Paillette: no, I didn't know that! Huh! Learn something new everyday...

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