Essie Fall 2016 Kimono Over Collection - Swatches, Review & Comparisons

Thursday, October 13, 2016 12 comments

This year I've really figured out my absolute favourite nail polish colours to wear. They are the ones that make me feel chic and classic and they go with everything. The ones that ALWAYS do that for me are:

1. Nudes
2. Pale pinks
3. Pastels
4. Grey
5. Deep reds
6. Almost blacks

Soooooo....basically this entire Fall collection in a nutshell! After swatching it and wearing it in person, it's one of my favourite Essie collections in years. 

Go Go Geisha

My eyes zeroed in on this polish from the moment the press photos were released. STUNNING. Some photos it looked like a pale grey toned lilac, in others a more antique pale pink like Romper Room and in some more of a nude. In person, it's all of those things and it's perfection! The formula is really nice. It isn't too thin or sheer. It's self-leveling, smooth and opaque in 2 coats. This is such a gorgeous nude with a hint of pink and a hint of mauve and I think it's my number one favourite polish Essie has released this year.

Go Go Geisha vs. Topless & Barefoot vs. Ladylike vs. Neo Whimsical

Even though I have a sea of nudes, pale pinks and mauves in my Essie collection, Go Go Geisha is unique and special. You can really see the grey and lilac tones come into play next to the other nude/mauve/pinks.

Udon Know Me

This pretty vintage blue had a great creamy formula and was opaque in 2 coats. I wasn't sure I loved this at first, but I really do. Somehow it is both vibrant, yet dusty and appropriate for fall.

Udon Know Me vs. Truth or Flare vs. Parka Perfect vs. Who Is the Boss

Part of what made me not excited about Udon Know Me at first was thinking it was going to be a dupe for Truth or Flare. But it's actually brighter and a different tone. It is incredibly similar to Parka Perfect, although Parka Perfect has more grey to it and tiny silver shimmer (that you can barely see).

Now and Zen

The formula on this stone grey was super creamy and opaque. Depending on your nails, this could definitely be a one-coater. I have some ridging on my ring and middle finger so those nails weren't completely opaque in one coat, but it was super super close. Great formula!

Now and Zen vs. Maximillian Strasse Her vs. Cocktail Bling vs. Take It Outside

In all the promo pics and Essie's description of Now and Zen being a "sage grey", you would think it would have more green tones to it. But I actually found Now and Zen to be a fairly neutral middle toned grey. In comparison to Maximillian Strasse Her, it's darker and greyer and they ended up not being close at all (which surprised me). When I put Now and Zen next to a more blue/lilac toned grey like Cocktail Bling, I can see where the slight green tones come in. 

Playing Koi

Everyone was going crazy on Instagram for this rusty orange polish, but the photos did nothing for me. I didn't get the hype! If I had only ordered one or two polishes from this collection, Playing Koi definitely wouldn't have been one of them. Then the first day of Fall rolled around and I decided to paint my nails this colour, only because it seemed so iconic to the colour of changing leaves. And WOW. This polish is phenomenal. Very creamy, opaque, self-leveling and shiny. It applies so great. I honestly went from hating this polish to absolutely loving it. THIS is fall in a bottle.
I went to pull colours to do a comparison but I had NOTHING in my collection like it! It's orange and rusty and brown and reddish and nothing compares. I do have to note, that every time I photograph this polish, both here and on Insta, the lighting or my camera or something really brings out the reddish tones in this colour. Most of the time, it looks more burnt orange. If you've seen a photo of this polish online and it looked straight up brown or orange or rust and you thought "I wonder if that polish really looks like that?" It does. It's a chameleon polish for sure but it's so perfectly fall and awesome. 

Kimono Over

Holy this colour is so good!! It's absolutely gorgeous. It's a super deep plum that's sometimes so dark it's nearly black and other times more purple toned. The formula is very creamy and opaque and if you apply a bit thicker of a coat you can get it to completely cover in one coat. Two coats deepens the colour and ensures an even application.

My typical lighting situation showed how dark this polish can look, but I wanted you to see it in full sunshine to get that beautiful plum.

Kimono Over vs. Under the Twilight vs. No More Film vs. Sexy Divide

In indoor lighting, these polishes all kinda look the same, although Under the Twilight is definitely the closest. Those two look like twins in this lighting. 

Outside you can see that Kimono Over is a bit more purpley while Under the Twilight has more navy. They're not quite identical twins in this lighting but they are incredibly close. It's a fraction of a difference. You don't need both.

Maki Me Happy

While I used to be all about the deep red polishes, they are starting to bore me. Probably because we see one released in every Fall and Winter collection and I've got like 20 of them. Seeing this shade in this collection was a bit of a yawn and yet, every friggin' swatch on Instagram I've seen of this shade makes me do a double take. It's so deep and rich. I put it on and I'm obsessed with this deep vampy red! It's another great formula and it applied perfect and opaque in 2 coats.

Maki Me Happy vs. Size Matters vs. With the Band vs. Raisinnuts

I'm honestly surprised that I don't have a closer red to Maki Me Happy. How is Essie able to keep producing unique shades of red?! It looks closest to a very old and obscure Essie I have called Raisinnuts but Raisinnuts is actually more of a deeper purple-red. Size Matters and With the Band from last year's fall collection aren't even close. 

This fall collection is so perfect. I've been obsessed all year with pastels so I'm sure as heck going to take these greyed out dusty pastel cremes and wear the heck out of them, as well as the deep, rich jewel tones this collection has to offer.

My hands down number one favourite of the collection is Go Go Geisha. All the yes! Of course I'm also loving Playing Koi and Kimono Over. Oh and Maki Me Happy. Udon Know Me keeps growing on me and I'm liking it more and more as well.

What's your favourite from the collection?

P.S. If you are curious about the Essie Winter 2016 Collection I've already got it in my possession and I'll be swatching and posting comparisons in the next day or two! If there's any polish you are curious about and want to see a comparison of, leave your request in the comments and I'll make sure to include it.


  • Mrs W said...

    This collection is great!! I definitely need to pick up Go Go Geisha, I can safely say I have nothing like this in my collection!! Thanks for doing comparisons too, I can only imagine how much work that takes but they are very useful to me. Thanks!! :)

  • Unknown said...

    Go go Geisha is my fave! Although I have to say I'm so disappointed in the brush - I've gotten used to the brush that they use in the gel couture polish and I wish they'd use it in their regular line. And I think I may need Maki me Happy - it looks so pretty!! Excited to see you swatch the winter collection!

  • Abbi Crutchfield said...

    Essie Alligator Purse (Fall 2007 Glamour Girl collection) looks very similar to Playing Koi, but with slightly more red. I keep hoping to find Koi in CVS to use my extra care bucks and take it home to compare! I only like to buy polish at a discount, and in person (not online).

  • Anonymous said...

    Oh my goodness! I want them ALL! I haven't said that about a collection - from any brand - in years! The ads intrigued me when I first saw them, the bottles in store have really interested me, and now your swatches? SOLD! Thanks so much for sharing these pretties with us - I can't wait to see the winter collection!

  • Emma said...

    Oh wow I really thought that Now And Zen and Maximillian Strass Her were going to be identical...just goes to show you can't trust bottle comparisons :P
    I personally only picked up Go Go Geisha, Udon Know Me and Playing Koi and I couldn't be happier...all the formulas are dream to apply!
    YAS!!!! You have the 2016 Winter Collection already?!!! I haven't even seen promo photos for it yet #WANT

  • Jess said...

    Thanks for the recap and all the comparisons! I always rely on your reviews and the dupe pics to decide what I'm going to get. I think I may need Go Go Geisha!

  • Kindra said...

    Mrs W - No Problem! I'm happy to help :). Definitely pick up Go Go Geisha, she's so pretty!

    Kim Couch - I totally know what you mean! I really prefer polishing with the gel couture brush too. The Essie EU brushes are wide like that, so I'm not sure why they can't do it for North America?!

    Abbi Crutchfield - I just googled Alligator Purse and you are right!! Looks very similar to Playing Koi with the burnt orange tones and all.

  • Unknown said...

    I bought all of these but have only worn half! I wore Go Go Geisha, Playing Koi, and Maki Me Happy. I have loved all of them, but PK has been my favorite! MMH was a fun red, though and I can't wait to wear GGG again...maybe Valentine's Day/February??

    I was going to wait on Udon Know Me and Now and Zen for December/January and I guess Kimono Over now, too. I am super excited for KO!

    - Jenn (jenntendo64/nailpolish_amateurhour)

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