Oh my good gracious this polish is gorgeous!
Smokin' Hot won my heart as soon as I saw swatches floating around on Pinterest about 3 years ago. I absolutely loved this deep gray-purple shade. At the time, I didn't splurge very often on nail polish and decided to get a Sally Hansen X-treme Wear dupe called Grey Area instead. It's a dead on dupe for colour but....you know my undying love for Essie, right? Obviously. So it just wasn't the same to me. I've barely worn that Sally Hansen polish and back in November when I was looking to add more Essie polishes to my stash, I couldn't say no to Smokin' Hot since it's been calling my name for years.
Smokin' Hot came out in the 2010 Winter Collection called "A Winter's Tale" along with Going Incognito. I decided to classify this polish under "Cult-Classics" because I think everyone knows about it and loves the colour of this polish. I feel like it has become an extremely popular Essie shade and since it only came out 5 years ago, it couldn't be a classic yet, but a cult-classic? Definitely yes!
Sometimes when I do a bunch of swatching all at once, I'll end the session and won't have time to paint them one last time to actually wear. Usually that doesn't bother me if I'm staying home, but if I'm going out I like to put polish on or I feel a bit naked. About a month ago, I got up and was getting myself and my four kids ready to go to church. I finished my makeup and got dressed and then I got it in my head that wearing Smokin' Hot on my nails would be the PERFECT accessory to my outfit. My husband was gone that morning, so I still had to get the kids ready by myself and didn't have time to sit and wait for polish to dry. I reasoned it would be been fine if I could have all the kids shoes and jackets on and have them already buckled into their seats in the van, so I decided to do just that....and also brought along my bottle of Smokin' Hot! Buckling my kids into seats ALWAYS ruins my nails even if they seem totally dry, so everyone was buckled up and then I got in the driver seat, with the car in park of course, and painted my nails with one coat of Smokin' Hot. After driving for a few minutes, I pulled into a parking lot and threw on a second coat. This is so ridiculous I know but I wanted my nails painted this colour soooo bad! Being a stay at home mom, I'm often at home during the week, so going to church on Sunday and seeing all my friends made me think this couldn't be a day to have naked nails. Anyways, I had to drive about ten minutes to my mother in laws house to pick something up. My nails were ready for top coat, so while I sat parked in her driveway I painted a coat of fast drying top coat on top. Then I drove another ten minutes to church where my nails were already dry to the touch, although I asked my older daughters to unbuckle their younger siblings carseats so I didn't have to. I got to wear these gorgeous nails and feel like a stone cold fox all day. Yasssssssss! My husband totally rolled his eyes at me when I told him this story, but I think it just shows you the luring power of this pretty polish.
The formula is very thin but easy to control if you don't put too much polish on your brush. The first coat will go on pretty uneven but don't let that worry you, because it all evens out after 2 coats. If you are doing really thin coats then you may have to do a third but what you see in the pics is 2 coats and it's perfect. It also self-levels really nicely, so it's a great polish to apply.
The one downside I have found is that it chips pretty easily. In fairness, that first time I wore it to church I had no base coat underneath. But the second time I polished my nails with it, I made sure to use Essie All In One Base coat and Good to Go top coat and I still had some minor chipping after one day and significant chipping after two days. Womp womp. So disappointed. But I love this colour too much to just shelve it and forget about it, so I'm going to play around with it some more and figure out the best combination to get the most wear time out of it. Wrapping the tips when I paint them would be a good start, but maybe a different base coat would help too.
*Updated to add: I've been wearing Smokin' Hot with CND Stickey Base and Good to Go top coat and I'm already at day 3 with absolutely zero chips. Yay!! If you are having trouble with this or other polishes chipping easily, I suggest trying a different base or top coat to see if you get different results.
All in all, I'm super in love with this shade. Do you own Smokin' Hot? Do you have a problem with it chipping easily? If not, what combo of base coat and top coat do you use? Spill your guts because I neeeeeeeed this polish in my life!