Essie Greys Comparison: Maximillian Strasse Her, Who Is The Boss, Parka Perfect, Petal Pushers, Cocktail Bling, Bangle Jangle, Love & Acceptance, Master Plan & Chinchilly

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 5 comments
Top row, Left to Right: Parka Perfect, Maximillian Strasse Her and Who Is the Boss
Middle row, Left to Right: Petal Pushers, Cocktail Bling and Bangle Jangle
Bottom row, Left to Right: Chinchilly, Master Plan and Love & Acceptance

Every Winter I gravitate towards beautiful silky shades of grey on my nails. In previous years, I wore blue-toned grey Parka Perfect and green-toned grey Maximillian Strasse Her like crazy, but this year I added purple-toned greys and taupe-greys to my collection as well. I'm really loving these polishes and I can tell you guys are too, since they seem to be the polishes that get the most likes on Insta. This is a post I've been itching to do because I think it will be really helpful. I get lots of questions asking how certain greys compare to others, like Who Is the Boss compared to Maximillian Strasse Her and how Love & Acceptance looks next to Master Plan, so I decided to do one big giant Essie Grey's Comparison to see how they stacked up.  

In the bottle:

It almost doesn't even look like I'm comparing greys when I line them up like this, since they span from green to blue to purple to brown. 
Left to Right: Maximillian Strasse Her, Who Is The Boss, Parka Perfect, Petal Pushers, Cocktail Bling, Bangle Jangle, Love & Acceptance, Master Plan and Chinchilly

On the nail wheel:

Polishes can look different swatched against white or black, so I did both. 

Out of 9 Essie greys there isn't a single dupe! (which means they can all happily stay in my collection and I don't have to feel any guilt whatsoever, right? ;)

Maximillion Strasse Her 

This polish came out in the Spring 2013 Madison Ave-Hue Collection. I loved it then and still love it now! (It was one of my 2015 Faves) It's easy to apply and is opaque in 2 coats. It's streaky on the first coat but will even out on the second. It self-levels nicely but if you aren't careful it will apply slightly patchy. I had one nail that needed a third coat.

Who Is the Boss 

This polish was a recent addition to my collection and it might be my favourite out of all these  polishes. It came out in the 2012 Wedding Collection. I discovered it on Pinterest years ago and reaaaaaalllly wanted it, but because I already had Maximillian Strasse Her, I didn't think it was necessary since they looked like they could be dupes. But nope! Who Is The Boss is definitely lighter. It has a thinner formula that starts out a bit streaky on the first coat but will even out as you keep applying it. It's opaque in 3 coats.  Keep your coats thin or you'll flood your cuticles.

Parka Perfect 

Parka Perfect came out in the Winter 2013 Shearling Darling Collection. It's a light blue-grey creme with tiny little silver sparkles in it. As is pretty typical of Essie "shimmer", it's really sparkly and pretty in the bottle but almost completely disappears on the nail, which is disappointing. This polish would be gorgeous and have an element of uniqueness if it was more visible. The formula is creamy and opaque in 2-3 coats. I thought I had it opaque at 2 coats, but looking at these photos I can see streaks and unevenness, so I probably should have done 3.

These 3 polishes were the most similar out of the group so I thought I would show you them up close. This close up comparison makes the colour differences more apparent. Like I said earlier, Who Is the Boss is the lightest out of this group. Parka Perfect is the most blue and Maximillian Strasse Her is the most grey.

Petal Pushers 

Petal Pushers was released in the 2015 Spring Collection and was one of the best polishes Essie released last year. When I first got this polish I thought it was a purple grey but next to all these other shades, it looks more like a true grey. It has the best formula of all these polishes I have here. It's creamy, opaque and self-leveling in 2 coats.

Cocktail Bling 

Cocktail Bling is also a true grey but a couple shades lighter than Petal Pushers. It came out in the Winter 2011 Collection (which I loved!) It's a thinner formula but applies in 2 coats.

Here's a side by side view of Cocktail Bling and Petal Pushers. Petal Pushers is quite a bit darker.

Bangle Jangle 

Bangle Jangle came out in the Winter 2011 Collection along with Cocktail Bling. It's a grey with quite a bit of purple in it. I've been really into grey-purples this winter. This polish has a really nice formula and is almost opaque in one coat.  The second coat evens it out and deepens the colour.

Love and Acceptance 

Love & Acceptance is a polish that lots of people haven't really heard of, but really gravitate towards. I randomly discovered it when I went searching for Essie grey-purples and came across it on Sparkle Canada. It originally came out in the 2012 Wedding Collection (along with Who Is The Boss mentioned earlier). It has a thin, easy to control formula that is opaque and even in 2 coats.

Master Plan 

Master Plan is a polish that was released in stores in 2011 when Essie was acquired by L'oreal. Essie moved from being exclusively sold in salons to mainstream stores and they released 9 exclusive polishes to commemorate this called the "Color-holic Collection" (although I think you can buy them anywhere Essie's are sold now). When I bought my bottle of Master Plan in the Fall, I almost returned it because I thought it was too close to Chinchilly.  I'm happy I hung onto it though, because Master Plan is definitely a shade lighter which I am currently really into. The formula is thinner with some streaks on the first coat, but is opaque in 2 coats.


Chinchilly came out in the Fall 2009 Collection called Cuddle With Color and has been a staple Essie shade ever since. It's a darker taupe grey and is opaque in 2 coats.

A question I've been asked several times is how Love & Acceptance compares to Master Plan and they are actually pretty different. Love & Acceptance is a really light pale lilac toned grey while Master Plan is a taupe grey and is a bit darker than Love & Acceptance. They give a really different effect on the nails as well since Love & Acceptance is really cool and Master Plan is a warm toned grey. If you go back up to the very first picture in this post, you can see how different they look on the nail.

I love and have worn ALLLLLL these polishes this past fall and winter season, but my current favourites are Who Is The Boss, Petal Pushers and Bangle Jangle. That's just my own personal whims which change from year to year. 

What type of greys are you into this season? Do you gravitate towards the green-greys, blue-greys, purple-greys, taupe-greys or true greys?

If you love comparisons I have many more, so if you missed any click here to see them all.


  • Emma said...

    Once again this is so useful Kindra! I'm gravitating more towards the lighter ones in your post, yet I own the darker ones (Maximillian Strasse Her, Petal Pushers, Chinchilly). I found that when I'm wearing a deep red on my nails and go polish shopping I often crave the greys (yet I rarely wear grey on my nails) it must be the colour combination I find satisfying :) I might pick up some more or try to get use out of the ones I already own...Nearly bought Poolside Service today but resisted (proud!), it pulls way too dark grey for me, and realistically I don't think I would wear it at all.

  • Unknown said...

    My bottle of Bangle Jangle is starting to have a blue discoloration/separation to it and no matter how hard I shake it, it won't absorb back into the polish itself. I wish they'd add Bangle Jangle to their permanent collection! I hope that when I use it again, it still looks the same.

  • Karina said...

    This post is AMAZING. It has about 50% of my entire collection of Essie polishes, so clearly I gravitate to these colors too!! My Bangle Jangle is doing the same thing as Jennifer's! I think since that blue has separated, it has started to look more like Cocktail Bling. Is bringing colors back something Essie does? This was my favorite color. :*(

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