Essie Whites Comparison : Limo-Scene, Marshmallow, Tuck It In My Tux, Baby's Breath, Blanc & Private Weekend

Monday, March 7, 2016 7 comments

I'm so in love with the look of clean white nails. Whether it's sheer or opaque, I dig it. If I don't have to fiddle with a streaky application, I actually think I love the look of sheer white nails better. Even if they end up getting opaque, I really like how they stay looking squishy and gel-like. I've picked up a bunch of sheer whites in recent months and was gifted one for Christmas, so I decided to put them all to the test. I wanted to see how easy the formulas were to work with, which ones were streaky and if they were pure white, off-white or blush white. Of course I added my opaque white polishes to the mix as well, so it's one big Essie white polish comparison.

I was actually tempted to go out and buy Waltz before doing this comparison and then ultimately decided not to spend more money on polish right now. In the future I definitely plan on adding that polish to my collection. I've had readers/insta followers tell me that Waltz takes 7-8 coats to be opaque and asking if that was ok (It's not by the way. If it takes that much, it's supposed to be worn sheer :) ) I've also chatted polish a ton with Jennifer at @chroma_nails and she loves Waltz! She says it's one of her favourite underrated Essie's that gives just a pretty wash of white all over the nail for a clean look. (By the way, if you are looking for a new person to follow on Instagram who always has gorgeous nails and pictures, follow her! She always has stunning shots. Check this one out of Waltz. It's this pic of hers that made me want to get it!)
Left to Right: Limo-Scene, Tuck It In My Tux, Marshmallow, Baby's Breath, Blanc & Private Weekend

From the bottle shots we can see that Limo-Scene is quite an off-white beige colour. As I mentioned in my Limo-Scene post, it's actually supposed to be a sheer pastel pink but this is another Essie polish that changes colour and loses it's pink pigment over time. I've often seen other people's swatches of Limo-Scene look quite white and mine did too, so that's why I added it to this lineup. The other polish standing out for me is Baby's Breath. It's looking quite blushy pink (the third from the right). When I ordered this polish I expected it to be a sheer blush off-white, which was why it was included in this Sheer Nude comparison. But it shocked me and turned into quite an opaque white polish. Whaaat?! I was so surprised I knew I had to see it next to an opaque white like Blanc.

For all my swatches, I used Fill the Gap as my base underneath because I feel the sheers apply much better and less streaky with it. Just to keep consistency, it's underneath the opaque polishes too. I did as many coats as each polish needed to be streak-free (with one exception, which you'll see below).


Limo-Scene originally came out in 2004 and stayed on in Essie's permanent line. The formula is very sheer and can be streaky, but Fill the Gap helps. You need to apply thin coats. You can still see the nail line at 3 coats and it still has a few streaks. I didn't want to take it any farther because I figured, who actually does more than 3 coats?

Tuck It In My Tux

Tuck It In My Tux came out in the Winter 2014 Collection called Jiggle Hi Jiggle Lo. It's sheer but really nice and milky. It doesn't go on with nearly as many streaks as Limo-Scene does. At 2 coats I thought this looked just like Limo-Scene with 3 coats, except smoother with almost no streaking. I did 3 coats for the swatches and LOVE the result! Yup, this was definitely in my Top 15 of 2015 for a reason. There's no streaking because I have Fill The Gap base, it's opaque and slightly off-white but with this squishy jelly finish which I dig soooo much. 


Marshmallow was introduced way back in the early days of Essie. I'm not sure of the exact year, but most likely it was in the 80's and it's been a part of the permanent line since then. It applies similar to Tuck It In My Tux - there's a little bit of streaking on the 1st coat, but it's easy to apply.  With Fill the Gap as base, it's smooth and streak-free at 2 coats. I like the squishy look of it, so I stopped here, but you can apply a 3rd coat and get a more opaque look.

Baby's Breath

This is one of the first 12 Essie's ever released and it is still part of the permanent line. The first coat is milky sheer. It has about as much pigment as Tuck It In My Tux at two coats and only one finger has streaks, the rest are very smooth looking. At two coats it's smooth and slightly see-through - kind of looks like Tuck It In My Tux at 3 coats. I still had one nail with some streaking, the same one as before, so I went ahead with 3 coats. If I had been more careful with application I could have had zero streaks at 2 coats. I also was curious so see this one with 3 coats compared to Blanc because I knew it becomes more opaque. At 3 coats it's totally opaque, smooth and beautiful. This polish self-levels so nicely as well.


Blanc is another Essie original 12 and a popular polish in the permanent line. Last summer I borrowed Austrian's bottle of Blanc and hated it. It was thick and hard to apply and gave me a really bumpy and uneven application. It was awful! I bought a new bottle just to try out and see if maybe it was because Austrian's bottle was older, so this is my first time using this brand new polish.

Oh wow! What a difference! This brand new bottle was sooooooo much easier to use. The formula was not too thick or too thin. It was nice and smooth and I basically got it opaque in one coat! That could have been because of Fill the Gap, but I honestly just couldn't believe the difference. At one coat, I had one nail that was a little streaky so I went for a 2nd coat. Absolutely perfect at 2 coats with no frustrating application! It self-leveled really nicely as well.

Private Weekend

Private Weekend came out in the Summer 2015 Peach Side Babe Collection. It's an opaque white full of tiny shimmer. The formula of Private Weekend was a tiny bit thick but not obnoxiously so, and it was also a tad gritty from the all the fine glitter inside it. It was almost opaque on the first coat. At 2 coats, this polish gets thicker and harder to work with. My nails aren't totally opaque or totally smooth. There's a chunk on my pointer (which I have no idea where it came from) and my ring finger is uneven and slightly streaky. I've also mentioned before, that even though this polish is full of tiny shimmer, it isn't shimmery at all (yet when you remove it there's tiny glitter all over your fingers!). Disappointed in this polish. My opinion has totally reversed from my initial comparison.

After applying these polishes, I definitely know which ones I like best because of their formulas. But how do they really look side by side? I tried to paint all 6 polishes side by side on a swatch wheel, but you couldn't tell at all which ones were sheer and which ones weren't, so I had to do them side by side on my nails.

This first group I started with were all the off-whites and sheers. At 2 coats, all of these polishes have a bit of streaking going on except Baby's Breath. Marshmallow is also showing up a tad brighter.

At 3 coats each, Limo-Scene is the most off white. There doesn't seem to be streaking on that single nail, but you saw above that it's hard to get an entire manicure streak-free. Tuck It My Tux and Baby's Breath have the same creamy ivory white tone, but Baby's Breath is more opaque. Marshmallow is the most white at this point.

This next comparison specifically was the one I was itching to see! Since Marshmallow looks so white next to the off-white above, I wanted to see it next to Blanc. The Sheer Nude Comparison had me super curious to see Baby's Breath next to Blanc as well, because when Baby's Breath was next to all those blush-pink nudes, it looked like a super opaque white.

At 2 coats of each, Marshmallow, Baby's Breath and Tuck It In My Tux are all looking the same. Blanc is standing out as a true crisp white. I didn't include Private Weekend in this, because as you can see here, Blanc and Private Weekend basically look identical on the nail. Marshmallow and Baby's Breath have some light streaking while Blanc and Tuck It In My Tux are streak-free at 2 coats.

Here are all four polishes again with a third coat. Blanc is still standing out as stark white, but Marshmallow has also taken on a more white tone with it's third coat. It's a much softer white though. Baby's Breath is a beautiful creamy white and Tuck It In My Tux is more ivory off-white.

I hope you found this comparison useful! I definitely did. I found my favourite formulas and finishes out of this bunch. My favourites out of the opaque whites were Baby's Breath and Blanc. They both had really nice formulas and took on a very different finished look. After trying a new bottle of Blanc and seeing how nice the formula is, I've decided I really dislike Private Weekend. That shimmer is totally invisible and makes application a real pain.

As for my favourite sheer whites, that would have to be Marshmallow and Tuck It In My Tux. Since they applied the same and yet came out with a slightly different look, I really like both of them. But they are so similar that I don't think you need both. It's just your personal preference if you want your polish to look more white or have a sort of ivory off-white look to it. The more I use Limo-Scene, the less I like it. It's just so fiddley and streaky.

It's also making me reconsider getting Waltz. I like sheer polishes but if it's going to be a streaky mess like Limo-Scene, I might have to take a pass. Do you have Waltz? What are your thoughts on it?

Are there any other white polishes you think I'm missing? East Hampton Cottage and Instant Hot are two other Essie whites that have been recommended to me, but I just don't know. I think I have enough! Haha. That may be the first time I've ever said that about nail polish. I just think this comparison provided me with really clear answers of which white polishes I like best and I don't know how much different other whites could be? Unless Essie came out with a true shimmery white...


  • Crystal said...

    Baby's Breath is calling my name. I just love these sorts of very natural, neutral shades. Which ones of these would you say are jellies? At first I thought I disliked jelly formulas, but I've completely changed my mind on that. I, like you, just LOVE the squishy look to polish. I want more of it in my collection.

  • Kindra said...

    The jellies would be Marshmallow, Tuck It In My Tux and Limo-Scene. And I agree with you! If you get one that doesn't streak they look so good!

  • Kindra said...

    Yeah I did notice that, I just can't figure out how to change it! I've tried several times but can't remember where it is in the code to change it.

  • Emma said...

    OMG!!! I love @chroma_nails she's so creative with her photos, they always look stunning!
    As for whites, I've honestly never been really attracted to them in the past. They reminded me too much of when I tried painting my nails with Tipp-Ex in school...come on, we all did it! But lately I've started to see the appeal (I blame Instagram!) like you said in your Naughty Nautical post, tastes change ;)
    I'm very tempted by Blanc (I want that pure crispy white) and I saw it in an adorable set 2 years ago, the Essie duo; Strawberries 'n' Cream (contains Too Too Hot and Blanc) and I'm kicking myself that I didn't pick it up then. So I might hold off my purchase of Blanc till I see that set again...fingers crossed! :)

  • Amy L said...

    Awesome comparison! I have Waltz, and I recommend you pass on it. I originally got it because I heard it was the better version of Marshmallow. I used it a few times, and was far from impressed. It was streaky and made my hands look really washed out (I have very pale skin, so that was probably why, though). It also had too much off-whiteness to it to not give that "clean white" look to the manicure. I ended up getting Marshmallow, anyway, and I'm so glad I did! It is a tinge less streaky and far prettier in color than Waltz.

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