Collection: Essie 2003, Party
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. I’ve already reviewed these three newer polishes, so now it just remains for me to review the three older ones that I already own.
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]
Life of the Party (437) is from a 2003 Party collection, which consisted of seven shades of red, one of which was the classic A-List, which remains in Essie’s core collection. It’s a rich, garnet shimmer that has a whisper of frost in the finish. The color has a warm depth that you don’t always get in deep red shimmers—sometimes they just go a little blah—there’s a touch of berry in the red that gives Life of the Party a more unusual look. Swatching this makes me want to go back to some of Essie’s other older red shimmers: they did some amazing ones back in the day. (And, some are even still available!)
My bottle is an older one from the original collection, and it probably needed some thinner. I shook it up a bit too much and ended up with tiny bubbles on my manicure. Next time, I’ll just add a little thinner and roll it around!
The formula is still pretty nice, though. Two coats gave full opacity and it dried to a pretty, glossy shine.
While Life of the Party has been discontinued by Essie, in early 2016 they brought it back in the limited edition Retro Revival collection. I’m not sure how the new version compares, but it’s worth picking up if you are digging this shade! I especially love that it’s deep but steer clear of being vampy—not that I don’t love my vampies, of course.
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. My bottle is older (~2005 or a bit after), so it is probably not 3-free. The new Retro Revival versions are, however.
Essie Cosmetics, founded in 1981, is based in Westfield NJ, USA. In 2010, Essie was acquired by the L’Oréal Group.