No, I'm not officially back but I just had to swatch these today and because I was swatching, I thought I might as well post. :) (A challenge considering that my medication is making me tremble today and painting my nails usually requires me to have a steady hand. Usually.)
North Fork is one of my favorite color collections in all nail-polish-dom -- and is my ultimate favorite Essie collection -- so it was worth it to me to pick these up to use as backups. Because these are good backups.
In these swatches, three fingers are the L'Oreal Passport to Paradise Colors and one finger is its Essie counterpart. Can you tell which fingers are the Essie swatches?
L'Oreal High Tide (and Essie Sag Harbor)
Dusty light blue with silver shimmer. In this case, the L'Oreal applied a bit better than the Essie in terms of coats: the Essie needed a fourth coat to even out the ridiculous cuticle drag I got but I got perfect coverage in three with the L'Oreal. In terms of settling down nicely on the nail, the Essie was definitely better. The shimmer is also just slightly more pronounced in the Essie.
L'Oreal Ocean Breeze (and Essie Shelter Island)
This is a slightly more muted bright blue IRL than my camera portrays it. Also, there's topcoat on this because it's my NOTD. That's how dupey these colors are: I'm actually wearing one polish on nine fingers and the other on the remaining one. The L'Oreal was a pain in the ass to apply: four goopy coats. Luckily, topcoat evened it out prettily. Definitely one where I prefer the Essie. Although looking at my nails now, I wish I could say, "Oh, my fine discriminating eye can totally see the difference... it takes a connoisseur to tell!" but I really can't. I keep looking at my mani in different lights and sometimes I think one appears darker than the others... but then I move my fingers and another finger appears darker than the other (and it's not the one I painted the Essie on).
Not quite turquoise... verdigris perhaps? This one dried quick! Usually when swatching, I can take off most of a polish with a swipe of a paper towel (followed by a wiping with acetone) but this one barely came off with the paper towel. The Essie applied smoother but I had to be more careful about cuticle drag while the L'Oreal was thicker and a bit harder to apply. Three coats. I prefer the L'Oreal in this case... I despise cuticle drag.
So there it is. L'Oreal North Fork... I mean, Essie Passport to Paradise... yup. If you missed out on North Fork, definitely get these polishes because they are beautiful colors and on balance, not bad to apply. (I like the L'Oreal brush too: it's thicker and flat but smaller than the Pro Wide.) If you have North Fork and want slightly cheaper backups that are more readily available currently, definitely pick this up. This collection is offering you absolutely nothing new over North Fork though. I do not think it's just rebottled North Fork though because the formulas do feel different -- Essie's seems thinner, smoother while L'Oreal seems slightly more pigmented and thicker -- but who knows how this came about.
...oh, and the Essie polishes were on the third finger from the left (the ring finger) for all of the photos.
Like this? Click below to let us know!