Essie Nail Polish in Birthday Suit (Retro Revival), swatch

Essie — Birthday Suit (Retro Revival Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

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.

From Essie:

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:

Essie Nail Polish Retro Revival collection, mix of original and new

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!

Essie Nail Polish in Birthday Suit (Retro Revival)

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.

16 thoughts on “Essie — Birthday Suit (Retro Revival Nail Polish) Swatch & Review

  1. I luuurve the nudes and that’s what Essie does best! I did also notice that the prices online have gone up. I got this whole collection from the TBBS and I got the buy 4 get 2 free deal! Can’t wait to wear them. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

      • I was actually a bit surprised I had Cabana Boy! I could only remember having LotP and SS. And for some reason I thought I might have had BwaM, but I didn’t.


    • Ahh I almost went to TBBS but it’s so awkward w the stroller. So NPC it was. Plus I only wanted 3, not 6…not that I couldn’t have come up with 3 more colors to get, of course. I love that they’re still running the deal, and that you can mix-n-match with ChG.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Apparently you can’t mix and match with ChG! The offer is extended to ChG but you must get 6 Essies or 6 ChG. I tried and was denied… so I bought 6 Essies AND 6 ChG… problem solved! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • No! I guess it depends on who you get at cash? I had a guy and he didn’t want to let me (even though I’d cleared it with a lady near the polishes). She came by and said, no it’s OK, so I was able to do so. They need to get their policy straight!

          Oh well. The more polish, the merrier 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that we both posted this today and how awesome is it that you have 3 or the originals!!? I can’t wait to see your posts with the originals to see how they compare to the rereleases!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you, i’m not into sheer nudes so I won’t be purchasing this one- but I love the fact that they brought a few older shades back for limited edition purchase!

    Liked by 1 person

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