Essie Mauves : Neo Whimsical, Lady Like, Island Hopping & Angora Cardi

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 6 comments

Colours are funny the way they ebb and flow in and out of fashion. A year or two ago, I would have looked at a mauve nail polish and thought "that's the kind of colour my mom wore in the 90's. I'm not wearing that!" Now here I sit,  the 90's are back in fashion and I'm obsessed with mauve. Mauve nails, lipstick, name it and I want it this Fall! But it truly is a great Autumn hue as the colour is quite muted and it usually has a mix of purple, brown, taupes and greys which all work fantastic together. So I thought I would highlight a few of my favourite mauve polishes that have all  captured my heart this season. This is not meant to be a comparison post, but a highlight of some of the best mauves Essie has to offer.

Neo Whimsical 

Neo Whimsical came out in the Art of Spring Collection in 2010 - the same collection release as Tart Deco, Van D'Go and Lilacism. If I had been into nail polish 5 years ago, it seems I would have loved this collection!  This wasn't even a colour that I knew anything about. I hadn't seen anyone wearing it and the colour had never caught my eye before. It was just this Fall that I realized how much I loved mauve, so I googled "Essie mauves". When this colour came up, I took a chance and decided throw it in my cart on (which by the way, is inaccurately displayed on the website. It's not supposed to be red, but if you order it, they do send you the correct colour). I'm so happy I took a chance on this colour! When it arrived and I tried it, instantly I was in love.

Neo Whimsical applies a bit streaky and patchy like a typical pastel pink, but it does self-level nicely. I needed 3 coats to get it completely opaque. I feel like this is the type of formula that people love to hate on Essie for. It's tricky to work with and if you aren't great at applying polish, you will be in for disaster. If I could give you one tip for applying it nicely, it would be to use a ridge filling base coat first. This will give your nails a uniform, natural look, and Neo Whimsical will smooth right over the surface and look beautiful.

I'm so into this colour! My nails look clean and classic. The bit of mauve in there really tones down the pink, so it reminds me more of a nude on my nails, with just a whisper of pink.

Lady Like

Lady Like is an elegant soft mauve shade that came out in the Fall 2011 Carry On Collection. I borrowed this polish from a friend because I don't really have any nude polishes in my collection and this one seemed perfect for fall with it's soft muted brown/grey tones, as well as the bit of mauve. I was obsessed as soon as I put it on. This is definitely the best nude polish I've ever tried. My husband (who doesn't care for many nail polish colours) said he really liked this one. A few days later I was putting on a dark black polish with fine purple sparkles and I said to him "doesn't this look pretty?" and he replied "that one you had on the other day was much better". I obviously had to order a bottle of this for myself.

When you apply it, it's pretty sheer on the first coat. It was mostly opaque on the second coat, but the polish dragged a bit and created bald spots on a couple nails, so those nails got a third coat. It was smooth and self-levelling as well.

Angora Cardi

Angora Cardi was my first mauve polish and I picked it up only about a month ago, but it started this love of mauve for me. I am so happy with this gorgeous polish and I get tons of compliments every time I wear it.

The formula is creamy and opaque, even on the first coat. It's very easy to apply and you only need two coats for a perfect finish.

Island Hopping

After I fell in love with Angora Cardi, I went on the hunt for more mauves and found this beauty. She came out in the Summer of 2007 along with Bahama Mama, which is funny that they were released in the Summer because both of these polishes are quintessentially Fall for me. Island Hopping is like the little sister to Angora Cardi as it's just a few shades lighter; yet they are different enough that you could have both in your collection ;)

Island Hopping is not as opaque as Angora Cardi however. The first coat goes on sheer but mostly even. Depending on how you apply polish, it will take 2-3 coats but it's not a frustrating 3 coats. The polish glides on beautifully and effortlessly, it just needs that third coat to be completely opaque. Some of my nails were completely opaque in two coats, so I probably applied a thicker coat on those nails.  

Here's all the mauve polishes next to one another so you can see the differences. 
Pointer finger: Angora Cardi
Middle finger: Island Hopping
Right finger: Lady Like
Pinky finger: Neo Whimsical

Are you loving mauve as much as I am this Fall?  Which polish is your favourite? 

P.S. What other colours would you like to see featured in this Color Spotlight series?


  • Anonymous said...

    Thanks for this, great post! In love with angora cardi (like everyone else!) but now definitely gonna try Island Hopping :)

  • Anonymous said...

    Angora Cardi and Island Hopping are my favs too. Something about them makes them great to wear any season.

  • Kindra said...

    Thanks for your input deja vu! I've been thinking about it since you commented so hopefully I can put something interesting together :)

  • Anonymous said...

    Hi Kindra!

    Just wondering where you got the gold rings you are wearing on your finger? Thank you!

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