Collection: Essie 2016 Spring, Retro Revival
Happy February! Earlier this year, Essie released a Retro Revival collection, consisting of six older Essie shades. I already own three of them, so there remained just three for me to pick up: Bikini With a Martini, Birthday Suit, and the infamous Starry Starry Night.
for essie’s fabulous anniversary, we’re celebrating vegas style in honor of the ultimate party town where it all began. in honor of this iconic birthday, the legendary essie color archive has been opened with a thrilling glimpse into the brand’s dazzling history. the result is a limited edition collection of six iconic shades that all promise a sparkling night of thrills.
I purchased these last week from Nail Polish Canada for CA$7.95 each, though I have just noticed that NPC’s Essie prices have climbed to $8.25. Fair enough—our dollar has been down to $0.70 to the USD lately! I guess it’s not bad since Essie’s US retail price is $8.50.
Here’s a shot of the three Retro Revival polishes I bought, plus the originals of the other three in this collection:
- Bikini With a Martini [2006, frosted iridescent pink]
- Birthday Suit [1981 Original Launch, cheeky delicate nude]
- Cabana Boy [2005, ultra-cool pearly white]
- Life of the Party [2002, pinot noir pearl]
- Sequin Sash [2005, sheer glittery bronze with silver flecks]
- Starry Starry Night [1997, twinkling midnight blue]
I’m not entirely sure how Essie decided on these six shades. Personally my own retro revival would have included just two of the above (Life of the Party, which I adore, and Starry Starry Night, due to its popularity), and some of my old fave shades like Funships (hot pink coral with gold shimmer), Moda Scoota (plum with antique gold shimmer), Urban Express (plummy bronze shimmer), Vintage Wine (deep wine shimmer), and Viva La Vespa (intense purple shimmer).
But, I understand that a lot of Essie’s appeal is in their nude shades, of which I’m generally not a huge fan—nothing against Essie, I’m just not much into nude shades—but Birthday Suit and Cabana Boy are a little meh to me. I’d have preferred a relaunch of Iced Chai Latte (a sheer beige cream) in place of one of them.
Bikini with a Martini looks so dated and pink and frosty! I half-regret buying this one. A red like Bonded (pinked red with silver microglitter), prettier frost like Click It or Ticket (frosty coral), or a stunner like Final Answer (glowing red shimmer) would have been so much more interesting.
Sequin Sash is way too sheer for my taste, and could easily have been replaced with the gorgeous China Doll (sheer pinked lilac shimmer), Flower Girl (sheer ivory with green shimmer), Tennis Corset (sheer milk with gold microglitter) or Virgin Orchid (sheer lavender pink shimmer).
In any case, the six released are what we’ve got! Here’s my swatch of Birthday Suit (962) [originally 7], which is a perfectly nice sheer, pinked nude. It was in Essie’s original launch in 1981, and to be honest, I’m not sure why they discontinued it! While I still think it’s meh, that’s mainly because I’m not really into sheer nudes. As sheer nudes go, this seems remarkably well-suited to a wide variety of skintones. It’s really quite neutral and it pretty much goes with everything.
Please forgive the state of my cuticles. Winter is killing them!
I used three coats to show the color better, but one or two coats applies very nicely if the sheerer look is what you’re going for. The formula is really excellent, and not streaky like some of Essie’s milkier, sheer nudes can be.
The Retro Revival collection is packaged in the usual Essie bottle with white cap, except the cap is decorated with gold stars, possibly inspired by the inclusion of Starry Starry Night.
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.