Tuesday, April 20, 2010

L'Oreal Passport to Paradise (Summer 2010) vs. Essie North Fork (Summer 2009)

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).

L'Oreal Waters Edge (and Essie Greeport)

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!


jbrobeck said...

oh, i guessed right! we miss you! come back soon, but i hope your break gets you back on your feet!

Justine (Productrater) said...

Good for Loreal for making these, Essies are too expensive and their formulation sucks in my opinion. I will totally get these when we get them in Canada. Love the greenport dupe!

Katie said...

Ha! I did pick the right finger! I could tell mainly with the brushstrokes. Essie always levels out with me with L'Oreals for some reason NEVER LEVEL. It drives me batty as I'm sitting there trying to get the spots that aren't as pigmented as the rest of the nail.

Hm, Greenport always took two coats to be completely opaque with me (maybe we apply polish differently)? That was my color for all of last summer, so you can imagine how little I have left of the blessed color.

Do I dare to go goopy though? I hate goopy polishes! They are the bane of my existence. I tend to pick off goopy polishes (yes, I have a picking nail polish problem) as there's always that *one* spot that never levels and when it chips, it takes half the color too!

It sounds like you're on a steroid medicine. Steroids always make me tremble. It is hard to paint nails halfway decently when your hands tremble!

B.Stone said...

Wow, I couldn't tell! I despise cuticle drag, too. Like, above all else. Especially because the entire premise is that it can only happen on the second or third coat, and those are usually your last ones! Then you have to add another, or start over, and then it gets all goopy, or then you have a sheer spot >:[

The Glitterati said...

Dupe-city! I missed out on Sag Harbor, so will have to keep an eye out for these, thanks!

yardsticks 4 lunatics said...

I didn't get the Essie, but I am def gonna snatch these up.....very pretty and a great swatch comparison.


Diane said...

They're pretty and it's nice to have an accessible alternative, but I've gotta say, I'm a little disappointed with L'Oreal right now. And I say this as someone who has done contract work for them in the past, editing training workbooks and whatnot. Usually I'm quite fond of them as a company.

I realize no colour is ever completely unique, but when you release a collection of three oddly-coloured polishes that are *identical* to another company's collection from last summer... That's not a freaking coincidence.

Grace said...

I have to say, this pisses me off. Essie's polish is not THAT much more than the L'Oreal and this is so obviously a rip off. You can still find the Essie polishes on Amazon or Ebay (and not for a ridiculous markup). I got a bottle of Greenport online not too long ago, for pretty much the same price as Essie goes for in a store.

I know it's frustrating when a bunch of great limited edition colors come out all at the same time and you have to decide which to haul and which to let go, but I will be boycotting this nonsense. I'm a PhD student and just as broke as anybody, but I'll shell out the extra $3 to support a company that actually produces unique, high quality, Big3 Free polish.

...although I have a serious bone to pick with Essie about the bullshine that is Tart Deco turning bright orange with every single topcoat in my stash... even Essie's. But that is another story.

Grace said...

Whoa, update: Apparently L'Oreal has purchased Essie. Panic! If they start filling Essie bottles with L'Oreal polish I'll be devastated.

Rebecca said...

Oh I'm seriously lemming these!

Diane said...

After finding out that L'Oreal has purchased Essie, I do feel better about this. It seems above-board now, rather than out and out ripoffs.

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