Adesse Organic Infused Nail Lacquer in Surfer Girl, swatch

Adesse — Surfer Girl (Organic Infused Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

Brand: Adesse

I just got my first Adesse New York nail polish in this month’s Ipsy bag, and I was really looking forward to reviewing it, even though a more interesting duochrome shade was given out a few months ago, which I sadly did not receive.

Adesse states of their Organic Infused Nail Lacquer (also described on the website as “Gel Effect Polish”):

A revolutionary long-wearing, fast drying nail polish that gives your nails the “plump” look of a gel manicure without a UV or LED lamp.

We infuse our polish with organic bamboo extract, argan and shea oils to soothe and rejuvenate your nails. Our organic mica, minerals and pigments deliver high-definition color and super shiny finish that won’t chip or scratch. Our specially designed self-leveling brush delivers the right amount of polish each time.

Gel Effect polish is 5 Free, Cruelty Free, Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, Petrochemical Free, GMO Free, Triclosan Free, Vegan and Made in New York.

It kind of peeves me that Adesse described their “mica, minerals and pigments” (er, mica is a mineral) as organic, because some of these are inherently inorganic substances. In chemistry, anything containing carbon is organic. Mica, for example, does not contain carbon. Then, organic products are those that are produced via organic agriculture, and ain’t nobody’s growing rocks using fertilizers. It’s like companies that claim their vegetables are gluten-free. Well, like, duh.

Anyway, Surfer Girl is a sprightly, summery shade of whitened turquoise that leans more blue than green. The website describes it as “[C]ool, sophisticated and wearable with a hint of light reflecting sparkle.”

This is a cream finish. There is no sparkle. The most I can say is that it has the vaguest hint of a pearly finish, so I don’t doubt that perhaps there is verrrry fine shimmer that gives it that pretty look. It’s super-crazy subtle, though, not like the “invisible shimmer” (which is slightly visible) in some Chanel and Zoya polishes.

I am reminded of Alfred Hitchcock’s and Winston Churchill’s instructions for a martini (respectively: “five parts gin and a quick glance at a bottle of vermouth” and “with ice-cold gin, and a bow in the direction of France“). I like vermouth so I don’t know what their problem is, but how they feel about vermouth is about how much shimmer shows up in this polish.

Adesse Organic Infused Nail Lacquer in Surfer Girl

I am always more forgiving with whitened pastel shades, since they are notoriously difficult to apply evenly. Sadly, Adesse’s formula is no exception.

It’s a bit unfortunate, because the formula actually feels nice, like it should have performed better. It’s thicker and gel-like, not chalky-feeling, and the pigmentation seems good.

However, after two coats, I still found unevenness and a bald spot here and there, so I went ahead and did a third coat. You can see in my swatch that the polish didn’t even itself out like some others do, and the streaks dried onto the nail. The polish didn’t dry quickly, either, so it was perhaps just a bit too thick to even out well.

There was nothing wrong with the brush, either. It’s a medium-thickness, slightly flattened but not quite wide, straight-cut and with nicely flexible bristles.

Adesse Organic Infused Nail Lacquer in Surfer Girl, swatch

I certainly do not mind if I receive another Adesse from Ipsy—though preferably in a non-pastel cream shade, so I can see if their other finishes fare better. But for the whopping US$18 this polish costs? I don’t believe I will be ponying up that kind of money for a polish that seems slightly above a drugstore brand. After all, most polish formulas these days are at least 3- to 5-free, and many lower-priced brands perform better.

The packaging isn’t anything to shout about, either. It doesn’t feel like a luxury brand to me, but a mid-end eco-brand. The pricing places it in butter LONDON/Deborah Lippmann territory, but both of those brands come in packaging that feels more luxurious.

Adesse Organic Infused Nail Lacquer in Surfer Girl, label

Adesse Organic Infused Nail Lacquer in Surfer Girl, label 2


Adesse Organic Infused Nail Lacquer contains 11 mL and retails for US$18. The formula is free from toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Adesse is cruelty-free, vegan, and the products are made in the USA.

Adesse New York is an eco chic luxury nail brand launched in 2015 by Suzanne Roberta-Meyer and her husband, Don. Roberta-Meyer previously worked for a color cosmetic manufacturer. The brand’s name is a “Latin word meaning that any possibility can become a reality.” The company is based in New York, NY, USA.

🇺🇸Made in USA
🇺🇸Company based in USA

9 thoughts on “Adesse — Surfer Girl (Organic Infused Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

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