A Fashion Playground?
Nay, I say it’s an equinox-icating spring feast for the eyes! Like spring distilled into nail polish bottles, except without the — AHCHOO! — allergies.
Pass the Zyrtec and Kleenex, please, because I do not want to sneeze all over these beautiful bottles.
Like butterflies, the six-piece Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground collection flitted onto counters earlier this month, and I treated my paws to ‘em this morning (SKITTLES MANI!) before going for a walk…
It’s crazy just how springy these six shades seem, like the bright blue sky and the two blue shades, or the mint green and the budding leaves on the oak trees outside. There’s also a big cherry tree down the street, and the blossoms are spitting images of the peach and pink pastels. And then there’s the fire bougainvillea bush, which could have been painted by the bright red.
These colors totally say, “Hey, y’all, spring is in full effect!” to me.
Officially, fashion runways were supposed to have inspired this release, like vintage denim and oversized prints — that kind of thing — but my crazy makeup mind sees more Mother Nature’s influence than Michael Kors’. Like Team Essie sat down with Mother Nature and brainstormed over a few cups of really strong Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in a caffeine-fueled frenzy, then BOOM! — someone in the art department mixed some acrylics at the table to come up with azure Hide & Go Chic, light denim Truth or Flare, pistachio Fashion Playground, peachy nude Spin the Bottle, crimson Style Hunter and pale tea rose Romper Room.
What to watch
Essie is well-known for their delicate nudes and pastels, and chances are good that if you walk into any nail salon that carries the brand, you’ll see pale pinks, peaches and beiges FOR DAYS.
Over the past few years, Essie’s released quite a few jazzy blue and green shades I can remember, which is kind of funny considering that for years I thought of the line as specializing in dainty bridal nails — primarily pinks and nudes.
This time around, I think the blues and greens are again the colors to watch out for (at least for me).
Hide & Go Chic
If you get a chance, let your paws play with Hide & Go Chic, the dark creamy blue.
I mean, look at it! It’s so rich… So deep… And a single layer works just fine (even though I went with two to be consistent with the other shades).
I also think this is the one that’ll sing on the widest range of skin tones. It’s the people’s blue!
Truth or Flare
True or Flare, the lighter, vintage denim blue, definitely benefits from a second coat. On my NC42 skin, I feel like the color doesn’t reach out and grab you by the eyeballs as readily as Hide & Go Chic. I like it, but I have a feeling it’ll like lighter lasses best.
And then there’s the green… Fashion Playground. Described as a pistachio shimmer, it certainly sounds delicious to me. But I get more of a straight-up mint cream, as the tiny flecks of silver glitter swimming in the formula are very hard to see.
At first glance, it resembles Essie’s Candy Apple, but upon closer inspection I think it’s sightly deeper and darker.
One may have to play with Fashion Playground a bit (Ha! Sorry, bad pun). Two thick coats deliver fully opaque coverage, but they have to be thick… With thinner coats, it can look a little streaky and require 3-4 layers.
The remaining colors — the bright red and two creamy pale shades — strike me as rather typical of Essie (I feel like I’ve seen shades like them before), which is neither good nor bad, but they don’t really light my fire like the blues and greens.
Crimson Style Hunter leans, ever so slightly, toward magenta. This one should be a blast on toes, methinks. One coat or two works well.