Color Disprepancy : Are my Essie's reformulated or changing colours?!

Monday, November 2, 2015 14 comments
Hey there fellow Essie fans! I've got a different kind of post for you today. Some of you know from one of my recent nail polish hauls, that I picked up a bottle of Mint Candy Apple because it was a totally different colour than my old bottle of Mint Candy Apple. I've gone on a bit of a hunt and done some research for you to find out if Mint Candy Apple is changing colours as it ages or if Essie reformulated it (I've got the results and I'll be posting that later this week. *posted here!) In the midst of my research I came across this post by Daily Something. She was showing her beloved bottle of Essie Mademoiselle, a beautiful sheer pink next to a new bottle she bought that was a yellowy beige colour. She was so disappointed and was wondering if Essie had changed the colour and reformulated it. I thought "Wow. Is Essie really changing the colours of all these polishes? Mademoiselle is an absolute Essie classic!" so that sent my research on a bit of a bunny trail.

I was shopping for groceries one day in Superstore and they have this big amazing nail polish bar where I started to look at all their Essie's. That's when I discovered all these Essie's that were labelled with the same colour name, but were completely different colors. Here's the discoloured Mademoiselle Daily Something was talking about:

And it wasn't just Mademoiselle. Take a look at Vanity Fairest:

...and Muchi, Muchi:

Here's my own beloved Ballet Slippers:

Once I saw Ballet Slippers that solidified in my own mind that some Essie polishes change colour over time. These were not "colour reformulations". My bottle of Ballet Slippers has looked more and more "cream" coloured and less pink, the longer I have owned it (about 3 years). 

Another polish that changes as it gets older is Lilacism:

Swatches of this polish online or on Instagram can be really different, ranging from a very purpley lilac to a full on blue. I especially got suspicious when I saw Crystal @lovefreshpaint post a photo of Lilacism looking straight up blue! (her nails and photos are absolutely gorgeous by the way. You should check out her insta account). I really don't think Essie would make a purple polish, give it a name with "Lilac" right in the title and then reformulate the colour to blue. Doesn't make much sense! This is just a case of nail polish changing colour over time. 

I've read that nail polish can change colour because of UV rays and sunlight, although this Superstore is HUGE with no windows. These polishes were definitely not exposed to any sunlight, they just sat on a shelf for a very long time. Maybe just light in general can change these polishes? Not sure. The best way to store your nail polish is in a dark place. Mine is in a clear plastic bin at the bottom of my closet and my Ballet Slippers is still slowly changing colour. It could just be the volatile nature of the chemicals inside the nail polish. 

To double check that these changes weren't just at Superstore in the city, I checked out my small town Pharmasave the other day. I found the exact same results there with Mademoiselle, Vanity Fairest and Adore-a-ball.

All that to say, this post is in no way a bash against Essie. I'm sure there are polishes in any brand that this happens with. I just wanted to post this for your own personal information. It's good to be an informed consumer! This will help you if you are buying these specific Essie polishes to know that they can and WILL change colour over time. As someone who orders a lot of my Essie nail polishes online,  I would also suggest that these colours are ones that you should buy IN PERSON, from a store where you can see what you are buying. If you ordered Mademoiselle, Vanity Fairest, Muchi Muchi, Ballet Slippers, Lilacism or Adore-a-ball online, you could end up with a bottle of polish you do not want or like the colour of.

Have you noticed any of your nail polishes changing colour over time?


  • Crystal said...

    Thanks for the shout-out Kindra! I never realized this was a problem, but now that you point it out it makes total sense. Hmm, I wonder if other brands have this problem or if it's more rampant with Essie...

  • Unknown said...

    Thank you so much for this post!
    I am a essieholic (hoarder) to be completely honest! This helps a lot.
    I think that this happens more commonly with the lighter colors. I have had some essie polishes that are darker and older than some of my lighter colors and have not notice any significant change. I also have to say that the formula remains intact in my essie polishes as opposed to other brands. Have you notice that?

  • Kindra said...

    No problem Crystal! I only speak the truth :). I'm pretty sure other nail polish brands change colour too, since I've read comments and articles by nail technician's that say that's what happens. It's not just Essie. But if you notice, it's mostly pale pink shades that this happened with, so maybe it's a particular chemical or particle within the pink that likes to change?

  • Kindra said...

    Hi Wendy! (my fellow Essie hoarder),
    I completely agree with you, I think it's just SOME lighter colours and in particular maybe pale pink? And yes, I've noticed that over time my Essie's hold up really well. I've had a few bottles goop up and become unusable over time, but that was a problem on my part, since I left too much polish on the rim or didn't make sure the cap was really tight and air got in.

  • Unknown said...

    Thanks so very much!!! the only one on my essie colection that discolored over time was adore a bal.... the rest is perfect!!!! and i bought my mint candy apple almost two yrs ago and it's icy green.... u r a doll thx 4 all your post ... greeting from Venezuela

  • Anonymous said...

    Thank you so much for this post. I thought I was going crazy with all the various shades I've encountered in different stores. I have to admit to preferring the 'off' or blue-ish Lilacism with my skin tone. :)

  • Mab said...

    I recently purchased and applied "Fun in the Gondola". A nice muted pink tone (matte); similar in color to the inside of my mouth. I used two coats of base (OPI), two coats of color (ESSIE), and a topcoat (Sally Hansen) on my toenails. I always use that particular base coat and top coat regardless of the color brand (OPI, China Glaze, Orly, Revlon, or Sally Hansen). Never had a problem with color change before with those brands. Within days "Fun in the Gondola" turned into "Fun with Window Putty"... it started to change color; pink to lavender beige to a light warm grey similar to window putty tape. I spend afternoons in the pool (saltwater) and jacuzzi (chlorine). While removing the greyed polish today, the bottom coat of color was still pink! My husband thinks it's the UV light. Which makes sense... and makes sense to store it out of sunlight, but how do you wear it out of sunlight? My pedicure normally lasts about 3 weeks and then grow-out is evident. It is intact till then unless I lose a battle with the sides of the pool while swimming. If I had wanted to do grey I would have done a metallic (silver). It was ugly to say the least. I was stuck with it till now (lack of time to redo them). I purchased other shades of Pink from ESSIE and now wish I hadn't and I am afraid to use them.

  • Unknown said...

    That explains so much! A while back I ordered a bottle of Neo Whimsical of a trusted website and the bottle that arrived is an off-white cream color (the plish is supposed to be a light faded pink!). For a long time I was convinced I paid for a fake Essie, even though there were no other signs of it not being original, nor had I ever had any problems with that online shop. Now I know the polish must have been the actual thing, just an old bottle of it.
    With that said, I do actually like the white-ish polish more haha.
    Thanks for the post!

  • Abbi Crutchfield said...

    Very helpful post! Like super helpful. I have both Lilacisms and both Mint Candy Apples, although with MCA, I believe they originally released a blue version before the more-present Green version came about.

  • Alison said...

    My mom just got me a bottle of Blushing Bride for my birthday and I'm wondering if it's discolored. Do you have this one? It's supposed to be pink but mine looks more nude.

  • Anonymous said...

    It's because these are discount versions of Essie. Look into it. Actual Essie bottles look different and those colors have never given me issues

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