Let’s be honest: Tea & Crumpets looks a little dated. It’s beige and it’s frosty. It’s semi-sheer. It’s everything I am not a huge fan of in nail polish.
And yet, it is one of my all-time favorites. I suspect that nostalgia plays more than a small role in this oddity. The very first nail polish I ever fell in love with was a greyed-out mauve frost by Max Factor (no-longer-available/merged-with-CoverGirl in Canada) called Cine Beige. It was so different from every other nail polish in the drugstore at the time (’96) and I adored it. I mean, there was nothing wrong with L’Oréal Drumbeat Red or Revlon Raisin Rage. Cine Beige just spoke to me more! I went through about three bottles of that stuff in one summer. (And several other Max Factor polishes, too—I thought they were fabulous.) That said, StreetWear by Revlon was not easy to come by where I was, so it wasn’t really on my radar.
I can’t get Cine Beige anymore, but Tea & Crumpets reminds me of it. It’s because of the finish and the overall 90s vibe, not the actual color. Tea & Crumpets is a warm, pinked beige with a touch of gold, and its frost is very fine.
Tea & Crumpets was released quite a while ago (perhaps 1998–99, based on its code being 325), but it is still in production. My bottle is fairly old and definitely not 3-Free, so I’m not sure how the current Tea & Crumpets measures up, so please keep that in mind when viewing my swatch.
The formula is nice for a frost: not too streaky and it applies evenly. Also, I shook up my bottle a bit too emphatically, and you can see tiny air bubbles in my swatch. D’oh! Sorry about that. I think I will eventually purchase a new bottle and compare swatches.
Essie Nail Polish retails for US$8.50 / CA$9.99–$10.99 and is 0.46 US fl oz / 13.5 mL. The polish is free of toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). (However, my bottle is very old and is not 3-Free.) It is made in the USA.
Essie Cosmetics, founded in 1981, is based in Westfield NJ, USA. In 2010, Essie was acquired by the L’Oréal Group.