Essie Nail Polish in Haute Tub

Essie — Haute Tub (Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

Collection: Essie Winter 2015, Virgin Snow

I’m posting a bonus review today because I just picked this up yesterday and won’t have time during the week to post its swatch (this upcoming week is reserved for China Glaze!).

I was recently checking out my favorite local beauty supply and saw Essie’s new winter collection in stock. I’ll be frank: only one shade really stood out to me, so it’s the only one I got. It’s the sole vampy shade in a winter collection consisting of two pastels (lavender and pink), two reds (a bright and a rich), and a silver sparkle. I contemplated getting the pastel lavender and brighter red, Virgin Snow and the tongue-twistery Altitude Attitude, but they didn’t seem unique enough to me, so I passed on them…for now.

Haute Tub (938) is described by Essie as a “jet black with amethyst fire”, which, frankly, is a bit of an overstatement. It certainly has a black base, though I’ve seen jetter—it has the slightest dull, murky brown/purple undertone.

In the bottle, the purple shimmer looks a bit iridescent, as it flashes blue-green. On the nail, however, it’s not really possible to see the flash, even in sunlight. The amethyst shimmer is on the sparser side and gives the polish a subtle, speckled look on the nail. The overall appearance gives off a cherry cola vibe with its red and deep purplish-brown tones.

The polish formula is quite nice for a vampy: it is close to being a one-coat wonder! I used two coats for the swatch. It is also slightly runny, so you do have to be careful to avoid bald spots and cuticle pooling. But, overall, it’s a fairly easy-to-apply black polish. My only real complaint with the formula is that it doesn’t dry to a glossy enough finish.

I feel that this polish is just a bit too subtle for me; the shimmer is simply not intense enough, not to mention I can’t see the iridescence on the nail that I see in the bottle. The purple shimmer is on the sparser side, and while it is visible even in dim light, I could definitely get a better effect by layering a sheer iridescent pink/purple (CND makes a lovely one called Raspberry Sparkle) over a super-black cream.

It’s not a terrible polish, by any means! I think I was just blinded by how pretty it looked in the bottle, and disappointed when it didn’t translate entirely accurately onto the nails.

I’m so glad to be digging out the vampies for fall and winter, though! So long, pastels and brights!

Essie Nail Polish in Haute Tub, swatch

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). 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.


10 thoughts on “Essie — Haute Tub (Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

  1. Wonder what it was about this shade that made them name is “haute tub”? This is one of those shades that look amazing in the bottle but not nearly as exciting when applied. I still fall for them though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah, I got suckered! :p I also do not know why it’s called Haute Tub. I wouldn’t want to get into a hot tub filled with black shimmery stuff :O


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