The New Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground Collection: This Fashion Playground Looks Good Outside, Like It Was Inspired by Mother Nature

Published in: Collections, Essie, Nails

Essie Spring 2014

The new six-piece Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground collection

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. πŸ™‚

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.

OK, those are fairly great, but I always look forward to their blues and greens (see: Mojito Madness, Pretty Edgy, Naughty Nautical and Under the Twilight).

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

Essie Hide & Go Chic

Hide & Go Chic (two coats)

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

Essie Truth or Flare

Truth or Flare (two coats)

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.

Fashion Playground

Essie Fashion Playground

Fashion Playground (two coats)

And then there’s the green… Fashion Playground. Described as a pistachio shimmer, it certainly sounds delicious to me. πŸ™‚ 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.

Style Hunter

Essie Style Hunter

Style Hunter (two coats)

Crimson Style Hunter leans, ever so slightly, toward magenta. This one should be a blast on toes, methinks. πŸ™‚ One coat or two works well.

Romper Room

Essie Romper Room

Romper Room (two coats)

I think pale pink Romper Room is also kind of neat. It reminds me of the opaque white manis I was seeing everywhere last summer, only updated and served with a twist.

Like Fashion Playground, it seems to prefer thicker coats, and two pretty well for me.

Spin the Bottle

Essie Spin the Bottle

Spin the Bottle (two coats)

And for the grand finale! — a basic nude. Spin the Bottle, while standard-issue Essie, is still a babe. Non-streaky, I think it looks really good with two shades.

Bottom line

Keep an eye out for those blues and greens — Hide & Go Chic, in particular — and if pastels are your jam, also grab Romper Room.

All six shades are available now at salons, beauty supply stores, Ulta and online for $8.50 each.


Yet another Trader Joe’s obsession (in a long line of tasty obsessions)

Trader Joe's Vegetable Chips

Om nom nom!

Holy crap, dude! Daayum… Trader Joe’s Vegetable Chips.

Picked these up on a whim last weekend, and they’ve been rocking my lunchtime world. They’re made from root veggies (taro, sweet potato and parsnip) and have that satisfying crunch that makes things wildly addictive.

Have you tried these before?? Please say yes. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Alison M says:

    Such pretty colors! I don’t see myself purchasing any from Essie, but I am inspired by the shades for clothing and makeup.

    Have you ever tried a neti pot and Vitamin C for allergies? It’s nice to know I’m washing out the allergens and boosting my immune system to prevent any new reaction during the day.
    Alison M recently posted … I Overslept: The Two Product Face

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alison,

      Oh, totally. I think after seeing this collection I want to try wearing an azure blue/mint green outfit. It’s a color combo that I would’ve never thought to put together, and I think it could be cute.

      So, years ago an allergist suggested a neti pot and I dunno…it totally freaked me out. I’ll try a bit more Vitamin C. There’s some Emergen-C around here somewhere. πŸ™‚

      What are you allergic to? Do you have spring time allergies like me?

      • Alison M says:

        I was never allergic to anything until this spring. And then I thought I was dying. Turns out my system despises pine pollen. Fun fact about Vitamin C: It only stays in your system for 4 hours so you’ll have to take it more frequently than you’d expect. And for allergies they recommend 8000mg a day. I take 1000mg five times a day and it really does the trick. The neti pot freaked me out too, but it’s the only thing that actually removes the cause of allergies rather than just covering them up. And it works. So I deal πŸ™‚

        Your outfit color combo sounds way cute. Be sure to IG or post what you put together!
        Alison M recently posted … I’ve Got the Blues With Radiant Orchid

  2. Agata says:

    I love Hide&Go Chic and Fashion Playground. For some reason nothing speaks springs to me as some mint green nail polish. Speaking of nail polish. I’m typing it waiting for my nail polish to dry.

  3. Let says:

    I just received the two blues in the mail yesterday (ordered them off Amazon)– I’m a sucker for blue polishes. Truth or Flare might be the sky blue polish that I’ve been looking for.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Let,

      NICE! Have you tried them on yet? Which one are you doing for fingers/toes?

      • Let says:

        Yep. I only did quick swatches on one nail per color though. I think I’ll wear Hide and Go Chic first when I have the time to do proper manicure (which is not until Friday) πŸ™‚

        • Karen says:

          Ahh, a gal after my own heart! I totally do the same thing when I get new shades in, LOL! πŸ˜€

          Speaking of proper manis…what are your go-to base and top coats? I’ve been using a kit from Sephora by Formula X and have been really happy with it. But ya know. One can always use more go-to nail polish accoutrements.

          • Let says:

            I don’t use any base coat(don’t have the patience). My go-to top coat (not that I’ve tried many) is Revlon Colorstay Gel-Shine. Other top coats that I have tried are two types of Revlon Quick Dry (one sold in US and another that I can only find in Asia) and OPI.

            Oh by the way, Karen, do you have any recommendations for polish remover? I almost run out of the Butter London holiday LE I got from Nordstrom Rack and am open to try different brands.

          • Karen says:

            Hi Let!

            Haven’t tried that Revlon Gel-Shine; I’ll put it on my list. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the rec.

            So, for polish removers, I’ve been using Essie’s Naturally Clean Purifying Polish remover. I really like it a lot. It doesn’t strip my nails and removes color quickly. The scent is also less obnoxious than your usual polish removers. I get the big bottle for $16 at Ulta:


            I also like OPI’s Expert Touch. It, too, remover polish fast and doesn’t have an obnoxious scent. Here’s a link.

            It’s fun chatting with you about polish products! πŸ™‚ If you have any cuticle oils that you like, HOLLA. I’m just about to finish my bottle of CND Solar Oil and need something new to try. (

          • Let says:

            Not sure why the page wouldn’t let me reply to your last reply. Anyway, thank you for the recommendation! πŸ˜€ I’ll snag the Essie one tomorrow alongside the Ulta Butter London promo tomorrow.

            It’s fun to chat with you too! I feel like I haven’t left a comment in this blog for a long time..

  4. Brooke says:

    Beautiful colors! I’m a sucker for pastel polishes! Do you know if Fashion Playground is similar to Essie Absolutely Shore?

  5. Shyla says:

    Love the Hide and Go, seems like a good fit for my coloring. Its hard to find nail polish that a) doesnt make me look pasty b) is screaming “look at me” and not in a good way lol. I have the same coloring as you and find that sometimes it s a hit or miss but Hide and Go looks like a winner! I have just started following you and have recently started to up date my make-up stash and there are so many choices!! Can you recommend a must have basics that I can grow my collection from? Maybe neutrals that will go well with looks for Spring and will take me to Summer as well? Anyway, just wanted to tell you love your blog, the tutorials and tips you have are simple, easy to follow. Now, if i could just narrow it down…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shyla!

      Thank you for this sweet comment. Of course, I have a TON of neutrals that I can recommend. πŸ™‚ Are you looking for a particular product, like an eyeshadow or lipstick?

      • Shyla says:

        Hi Karen,
        I really have no particular brand in mind, as long as its highly pigmented and easy to use. I’ve seen your reviews and tutorials on Mac eyeshadows and they seem to be wonderful. =) (Everything is actually hence, the dilemma lol). I’d like to get 3 eye shadows and a lipstick/gloss that would be my base and build from there. Um and also a recommendation on a good, affordable moisturizer. Getting giddy just thinking of shopping for make-up. Anyway, thanks Karen and hope your enjoying the nice weather today. =)

  6. Rhea says:

    I saw these yesterday and just wasn’t “wowed”. I feel the colors aren’t that unique and I have colors too similar in my collection:/. Essie’s formulation is great so that’ll keep me coming back but I hope they’ll work on some more new, fun, and unique shades.
    Rhea recently posted … Lush Bath Bomb Experience

  7. Amanda says:

    I’m really jealous because you’re seeing buds. In the upper Midwest, I see nothing but bare-bone trees and melting snow mixed with mud. But at least we have pretty nail colors to admire, right?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amanda,

      Yes, definitely. I hope spring comes to visit you soon. Until then, I’ll be sending you virtual sunshine.

      So, do you have any outdoor space where you live currently? I’m planting a deck garden this year. πŸ™‚

  8. Abby says:

    These all look beautiful! I really want to try Hide and Chic. Great Post!

  9. Natalie says:

    I just got Fashion Playgound! I can’t wait to try it now. I love those green colors, but I like that its not quite as bright as your standard mint. I know its subtle, but I care, lol.
    Natalie recently posted … Brush of the Week: Wayne Goss 04

  10. Fancie says:

    I loveeee Fashion Playground, Romper Room and Spin the Bottle!!
    Fancie recently posted … MAC Maleficent Collection Update!

  11. hanna says:

    I love that green.
    hanna recently posted … My Walmart Trip

  12. Kayla says:

    I purchased Romper Room a few weeks back at Ulta and I absolutely LOVE it!! I have super pale skin, and believe it or not, it looks beautiful! Love reading your blog, Karen!! πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kayla,

      Oh it sounds like it looks beautiful on you. Have you been wearing it on fingers or toes? I bet it would make a really sassy pedicure shade.

      Hope you had a nice Tuesday! πŸ˜€

  13. These colours are gorgeous! Will have to pick them up if I can find them!
    MakeupbyHilary recently posted … Make Up Forever HD Blush #210 Review

  14. kwmechelle says:

    Hide and Go Chic, Fashion Playground, Truth or Flare, oh my! I want them all. Just painted my nails a lovely periwinkle-ish color. Now I wanna take it off & play with these colors. Haha πŸ™‚

  15. Sylirael says:

    Oof. I think I’m in love with Truth or Flare! Such a pretty pale blue…and I don’t have any pale blue polishes yet…

    *scheme, plot*
    Sylirael recently posted … Exploring an Ice Dungeon! A Frozen Glitter Gradient Manicure with OPI and China Glaze

  16. Erin says:

    I love Style Hunter!
    Erin recently posted … Kendall Jackson 2010 Avant Chardonnay Review

  17. Nothing says spring like a nice a pastel polish! I had a pastel mint on my nails last week!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … NOTD : Milani Red Sparkle

  18. Jenny says:

    Gosh, Karen. I really love the Hide & Go Chic and the Fashion Playground. Off to Ulta I go! πŸ™‚


  19. Kadie Lee says:

    I’m particularly broke right now, so I’m really glad that Essie didn’t release anything too groundbreaking in this collection. They’re gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but the three I’m drawn too are basically the three that I may already have something wayyyy too similar to. πŸ™‚

  20. Denise says:

    Hi, those colors look gorgeous!!

    But can you tell me what you use to clean the sides of your nails when you go over? or are you that precise, cuz I always end with half my nail polish on my fingers πŸ™

  21. MC says:

    Is it me or do these colors seem quite close to the Pantone 2014 collection? They are not exactely alike but there are some similarities : a soft, baby blue and a darker, stronger one, a light, subtle green, a red-not-so-red and a sandy-beige color (the pink one doesn’t fit though).
    Maybe someone already pointed that out…
    Anyway, great collection for spring!

  22. Melanie says:

    I love all the colors.

  23. Shyla says:

    Purchased a bunch of Essie the blue and beige/neutral ones are awesome!

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