Color Disprepancy : Are my Essie's changing colours?! Part 2 - Lilacism, Rocky Candy & Pillow Talk

Sunday, August 28, 2016 10 comments

Hello Essie Lovers!

Do you remember last year when I brought you a bunch of Color Discrepancy posts? I compared lots of Essie's with the same name but had different coloured polish and sorted out which were reformulations (Fiji and Mint Candy Apple) and which were changing colours (basically every sheer pale pink...) Lilacism was included in that post, but I didn't have personal experience with it. 

Well now I do :(
Left: new bottle of Lilacism
Right: old bottle of Lilacism

I noticed that every time someone I followed on Instagram posted a picture of Lilacism, it was MUCH more purple than mine. Weird.

Then last Winter, Essie came out with Virgin Snow and I thought "why would Essie make a complete dupe of Lilacism?" I even compared them here and they were almost identical. But the more I looked at the super blue-grey colour of my bottle of "Lilacism", the more I realized my poor bottle had changed colour!

I had to do a little bit of searching in different stores to find a fresh purple-toned bottle of Lilacism (since a lot of them tend to be the discoloured blue version) but I finally found one earlier this Spring! I knew I needed to share my findings with you, so let's take a look at both of them closer.

Discoloured Lilacism (blue)

My old bottle of Lilacism is a very pale greyed out blue. When I look at my post for Lilacism that I did a year ago, my bottle seems to be a little bit more lilac back then. Now any trace of purple in this polish is gone. The formula was more opaque than I remembered. I only needed two coats of polish to get it opaque.

True Lilacism

A true bottle of Lilacism is completely and totally a pale lilac colour with no trace of grey or blue in sight. The formula of this new bottle of Lilacism was thin and watery, a very different consistency than the old one which was thicker. This is probable due to my old Lilacism being older and air having gotten into the formula which thickens it up over time. Or maybe the formula of Lilacism has been updated, I'm not sure. Even though the new Lilacism was a thinner formula it still became opaque in 2-3 coats. Some of my nails were two coats and some I still had a bit of streaking that the 3rd coat evened out.

old Lilacism vs. new Lilacism

Don't these look like completely different polishes?! It's so crazy that the colour of Lilacism on the right will fade to look like the bottle of Lilacism on the left over time.
I'm sorry to say, I don't know the cause of the fading. Maybe just time and the volatile nature of the chemicals used to make the lilac colour. But I'm pretty sure that if you own the true Lilacism...eventually you will have a bottle of blue polish in your collection.

*UPDATE April 2018 - This bottle of Lilacism faded to blue-grey in less than 6 months because I store my polish on a polish rack in my bedroom. I searched out another bottle of true Lilacism and have been storing it in a dark drawer for the last year and I'm happy to say it's still LILAC! That's the trick if you want to keep it purple looking. 

new Lilacism vs. old Lilacism vs. Virgin Snow

Just to make things interesting, I threw Virgin Snow in the mix to show how it compares to both the new and old bottle of Lilacism.
Left to Right: true Lilacism, discoloured Lilacism and Virgin Snow

As you can see, a true bottle of Lilacism is COMPLETELY different than Virgin Snow. But discoloured Lilacism is almost a perfect match. Virgin Snow is just a hair lighter and brighter. But they are so so close. 

I really LOVE the colour of true Lilacism. It's so freaking pretty. But I'm also in love with the colour of Virgin Snow. And a bottle of discoloured Lilacism is basically Virgin Snow. So even if the colour changes over time (which is annoying, yes I know) at least it turns out to be a nice pale blue-grey colour! I highly suggest that if you haven't yet purchased Lilacism, that you do it in person (not online) and make sure you are getting the colour you really want.

Speaking of not ordering polishes that discolour online, I totally ignored my own advice and ordered some sheer pale pink Essie's online back in December. I found Essie Rock Candy and Essie Pillow Talk on for $3.95 a bottle and was stoked to add them to my collection! I love sheer pale pinks and was most excited for Rock Candy. Here's what I THOUGHT I was getting:

Image from Makeup & Beauty Blog

....and here's what I got:
Hmmm...not the pale pretty pink I was looking for. 

I also ordered Pillow Talk which was supposed to be a sheer nude pink, that looked like this:

....but I got another bottle of yellow/brownish/beige:

Here they are lined up with some of my other sheer pinks.
Left to Right: Sugar Daddy, Mademoiselle, Tying the Knotie, Rock Candy (discoloured) and Pillow Talk (discoloured)

Nope. Something's definitely not right here. 

The GREAT thing was that gave me amazing customer service! I emailed them to tell them what I received and they offered to either a) replace my discoloured bottles and send me new ones, or b) refund my money. I was worried I would just end up with two more discoloured bottles of polish so I took the refund. They were super quick and amazing about it. 

As a refresher, here are the list of Essie polishes (that I've discovered) that change colour over time:
  • Mademoiselle
  • Vanity Fairest
  • Muchi Muchi
  • Ballet Slippers
  • Adore-a-ball
  • Limo-Scene
  • Rock Candy
  • Pillow Talk
  • Lilacism

Do you know of any Essie's other than these that change colour over time?


  • Jess said...

    Thank you for this post, Kindra! For the longest time I wondered if I was just crazy because my lilacism is a grey/blue not the lilac I see all over Instagram. Although I also love the discolored color (I'm wearing Virgin Snow on my toes now.)

  • Emma said...

    Your polishes might be changing colour if you are storing them in the sunlight Kindra. Those wall rack displays might be pretty but are the absolute worst for preserving polishes. I personally store my polishes in a drawer or cupboard basically in a cool, dark and dry place.
    For the longest time I kept my perfumes out on display (they are so pretty I couldn't resist) and found that the liquid yellowed very quickly. I soon discovered that to make your perfumes last longer you actually have to keep them out of sunlight/daylight.
    So ever since I realised that, I've always applied the same philosophy to my nail polish collection. All my colours are the same as when I originally bought them (my baby pinks are all still baby pink despite some being 5 years old) and the consistencies are also pretty much the same (the sun evaporates liquid from the polish hence making them more gloppy over time) of course some have been opened more frequently than others and have had more air enter the bottle (as you said in your post it's definitely a factor in gloopy-ness) so they are a little thicker, but they are far from the more dried up version I would have had they been left out in sunlight/daylight.
    Of course climate is also factor; living in a colder climate will preserve polish for longer (like a fridge) as opposed to constant 25°C heat (even if you are careful to keep them out of sunlight).
    Hope this helps :)

  • Karen K said...

    I have a Lancome color that was almost the color of Nars Poker Face and it has faded to a light blue. Strangest thing ever! I've noticed my purples separate and change more than any other color.

  • Bunny said...

    Violet and blue pigments are the least stable pigments, but most pigments are prone to yellowing. Pigment breakdown is not reserved to bottled polishes, but also happens on the nails. It is more apparent with gel polishes because they stay on the nails longer than regular nail polishes. Try comparing swatch sticks of polishes left out in normal daylight conditions for a week to fresh swatch sticks and you will see differences.

  • JoAnna said...

    I was at Kohl's a couple months ago, and noticed that half the Essie stock (of all different color names) were that same pale yellow. It was like they had completely to put the colors in them at all. Something major got past Essie's inspectors.

  • Anonymous said...

    Thanks so much for this comparison! I have lilacism but virgin snow just wont get out of my mind. If its still possible to order it (i live in Germany) i will get it eventually. If not one day ill have a greyish virgin snow at least. Thanks again!

  • LouiseH said...

    Sugar Daddy is another one that is like this. My new one is pale pink and the one I bought 6 months ago is that yellowish beige color. I store them in a box in my closet so I doubt it has anything to do with sunlight.

  • Lilan Patri said...

    Thanks for this post! I live in Germany, and I was looking to buy Lilacism online. I feel like I'm going crazy because there's a very lavender Lilacism #37, and grey looking version #705. Is it possible they made to versions? Wait, some of the 705s are lavender, too. Lord help me.

  • Michelle said...

    Funny I've been trying to figure out what color I got on my latest manicure -- picked out at last minute by my manicurist and I forgot to check the name. But I've loved it so much! Lilacism seemed the closest but also seemed a bit more lavender. Mystery solved -- nail salon must've had an old bottle!! I might like the discolored version better ��

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