Essie Retro Revival 2016 Swatches & Quick (but Sleepy) Thoughts

Published in: Essie, Nails

essie retro revival 2016 collection

It’s a revival of the fittest over at Essie!


OK, I thought that was very clever at first…but now I see that it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Haha. I’m sorry, friend, but I barely got a wink of sleep last night. We had a scary storm with 45-mile-per-hour winds and nonstop rain, and it kept me up all night. I got through the day today, but now I’m passing out. Zzz…

I did, however, muster the energy to try on the new new Essie Retro Revival 2016 collection, which will go down in MBB history as “The Collection That Knocked Off My Red Dolce & Gabbana Christmas Mani of 2015 After About 2.5 Seconds.”


essie retro revival 2016 collection

The collection comes out next month with six $8.50 polishes, all of them throwbacks to colors that were previously released in limited edition Essie launches, so it’s sort of a glance back at the brand’s 35-year history.

In the comments, reader broantza left some dates for when these polishes first appeared in their respective limited edition launches (thank you, broantza!).

Cabana Boy – 2005; Birthday Suit – 1981; Bikini with a Martini – 2006; Sequin Sash – 2005; Life of the Party – 2002; Starry, Starry Night – 1997

It’s also limited edition, so if you see something you like, grab it (the collection’s on pre-sale now on the Essie website).

essie starry starry night swatch

Essie Starry Starry Night (two coats)

I’m excited about this one, especially Starry Starry Night, which is the dark glittery midnight blue, and Sequin Stash, the sheer glittery bronze with tiny flecks of glitter.

What can I say? Glitter — it moves me.

essie life of the party swatch

Essie Life of the Party (two coats)

With those bright pieces of silver glitter, Starry Starry Night could be a very pretty pedicure color. I have a strong feeling…

I like Sequin Stash, too, but not as much as I thought I would. It’s kind of a peachy bronze, but I have to use three coats, and when I look at in on my nails, I say “meh.”

essie bikini with a martini swatch

Essie Bikini With a Martini (three coats)

Of the others, I did not expect to like Cabana Boy, but I do. It’s an ultra cool-toned creamy white that almost looks gray, and I dunno…I just think it looks neat.

essie sequin stash swatch

Essie Sequin Stash (three coats)

And then there’s Birthday Suit, which is a quintessentially creamy, semi-opaque Essie pastel; pearly pink Bikini With a Martini; and pearlescent reddish wine Life of the Party, which I think is GORGEOUS.

essie cabana boy swatch

Essie Cabana Boy (three coats)

When it comes Essie polishes, I rarely have an issue with wear time. With a base and top coat, I can usually get a full week out of them without any drama, and their colors? Somehow, they always manage to be wearable, even when they’re edgy.

essie birthday suit swatch

Essie Birthday Suit (three coats)

What do you think of these colors? Do you see anything you like, and how do you feel about Essie in general?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 17 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t normally wear pink polish, but I really like Bikini Martini.

    Do you know what year each of these polishes originally launched? That just seems like it would be interested to know, and to compare trends over the years.

  2. broantza says:

    How was Starry Starry Night upon removal? Did it leave a lot of glitter behind? (I don’t enjoy that very much, to be honest…) I did order it though, along with Bikini with a Martini and Cabana Boy.

    Elizabeth: Cabana Boy – 2005; Birthday Suit – 1981; Bikini with a Martini – 2006; Sequin Sash – 2005; Life of the Party – 2002; Starry, Starry Night – 1997

  3. Ginger G. says:

    I love Essie, and I’m super excited about the launch! Is it only being sold online, or can we get it in stores?

  4. Starry Night is pretty! What a surprise that I went for the sparkly one, lol.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Two Dashes of Glam | Star Wars make-up look

  5. I love Essie, but the only one that really excites me out of all of them is Life of the party.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Driving home for Christmas and my 28 weeks bump update

  6. Jan says:

    I love Essie nail polish, especially the darker plum/red shades. I don’t get manicures often, but treated myself on Monday. my favorite Fall/Winter shade is Raisinnuts. I also used to love Jellyapple. I do, however, love Ballet Slippers for a neutral look. I have never done glitter, but am thinking of it for my anniversary. Happy Holidays to all!

  7. Juvy says:

    I like the Birthday Suit one but with the Essie line you have to put on too many coats on for it to become the color in the bottle. That’s the only downfall for me.
    Juvy recently posted … Wireless Touch Screen LED Vanity Mirror

  8. jessica says:

    I love loud scary storms…as long as I am home and no one is getting hurt outside.

    Sweet dreams!

    (I love the Essie red)
    jessica recently posted … “Vanilla” Blogging- Notsomuch Here

  9. Rosemary says:

    The Essie website is showing Starry Starry Night as sold out already! Will there be more?

  10. Shelly Parker says:

    Must. Have. Starry Starry Night.

  11. India says:

    I always want to like Essie nail polishes, but they always always chip within even 2 hours on my nails and they take forever to fully dry! I prefer the OPI nail polishes and the Formula X and they are around the same price
    India recently posted … Review: Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadow

  12. Elena says:

    I ordered two bottles of Starry Starry night. FYI they are live at Ulta online and there is also a mini set for $17 that features (4??) of the shades if anyone is trying to track that particular shade down.

    It looks pretty so I ordered a bottle for me and one for a friend! Couldn’t resist as it is a cult classic and everyone freaks out over it! lol.

  13. hanna says:

    I normally really like essie products. These swatches all look pretty.
    hanna recently posted … Review: PMD Personal Microderm

  14. Lena says:

    I have Starry Starry Night bought maybe around mid 2000s – can not believe it was over a decade ago!! It is a great one, one of my faves from Essie.
    Lena recently posted … [Music] Delirium: Ellie Goulding’s new album

  15. Tatiana says:

    I like the look of Starry Night and Life of the Party. I think Sequin Stash looks interesting, but I’d have to swatch it first to say for sure if it’s for me. I haven’t had much long with longevity with Essie. It usually starts to chip the day I apply it and is a total wreck by day three. I have to admit it’s fairly reasonable in price.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Essie was smart to bring these back. Starry Starry Night has been known to sell for $250 on eBay. I’ve read that it’s not the same as the original formula though due to the 3 free formula’s now. Some of the nail polish bloggers said the original was fast drying and had a completely different texture. It’s still really pretty and I plan on buying a bottle.

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