Essie Nail Polish in A-List, swatch

Throwback Thursday! Essie — A-List (Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

Collection: Essie 2003, Party

Today’s Throwback Thursday polish is about twelve years old and still going strong, as it remains in Essie’s core collection. My bottle is fairly new; I picked it up from Shoppers Drug Mart this year. It’s a color I’ve wanted for ages, but since it’s not super unique, I kept finding excuses to pick up other colors, until now!

A-List (434) is described by Essie as a “award-winning classic creamy red”. It’s indeed a classic red: a shiny, Snow White-apple red cream with a touch of cherry so it leans a smidge to the cool side.

Shalom Harlow in costume as Snow White
I’ve cropped this image, as the original is probably NSFW. It’s Canadian supermodel Shalom Harlow in costume as Disney’s Snow White…the PG-13 version.

The finish is slightly jellied, so it dries to that gorgeous jellyish shine, but it’s really a little more opaque, so it’s not a jelly proper. This does mean that it requires at least two coats for full opacity. I personally like it best with three coats—gotta ramp up the intensity.

Application is good: it’s smooth and self-levels. There is a little bit of pooling if you’re not careful, but if you use two to three coats, no problem.

Essie Nail Polish in A-List, swatch

I wouldn’t call this a must-have, since it’s not the most unique shade, nor is application perfect, but you can easily do much worse. It’s a fine choice for a go-with-anything red cream that will take you from day to night and spring to winter.

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.

14 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday! Essie — A-List (Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

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