Essie Cobalt Blue Comparison : Butler Please, Mezmerised, Aruba Blue, Loot the Booty, Style Cartel & Bouncer It's Me

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 8 comments

Something about the dead of Winter makes me crave cool-toned polishes like purples, greys and blues.  I decided to dig out all my cobalt blue polishes and borrow a couple more from friends to bring you another Essie colour comparison. I love finding out how similar colours in the Essie line stack up next to one another in tone and formula. Rumor has it we'll be seeing another cobalt blue released in the Spring 2017 Collection as well. That collection won't be released until February, but if you are curious as to what it looks like check out swatches on Lauren's List and Beauty Geeks. I asked Lauren if it was a dupe for Butler Please but she said no, it's much closer to Mezmerised. (P.S. I always take my swatch photos in front of my bookshelf. You can't usually see what books they are, just blocks of colour in the background,  but my fellow book nerd friends should be able to pick out the books behind these polishes ;) )
Left to Right: Butler Please, Mezmerised, Bouncer It's Me!, Aruba Blue, Loot the Booty and Style Cartel
Just from the bottle shots you can see there won't be any dupes this time around. Essie doesn't tend to release a lot of deep blue shades like this, although we are starting to see at least one each year lately. So if there's no colour dupes, what are the formulas like? Are all Essie cobalt blues created equal? Lets dive in and find out. 

Butler Please

Out of that whole blue lineup up there, I would choose this bottle as my favourite blue every time. But why does the formula of Butler Please have to suck??! I reviewed it a year ago and I really really liked it. I noted how lots of stuff I read online said this was a bad formula but I found it to be fairly easy to apply. Fast forward a year later and we're working with a thick and goopy formula with long stringy strands that would come off the tips of my nails as I polished. Ugh. It's very opaque and covered in 2 coats but it left some ridging because the polish didn't self-level. Unfortunately, top coat didn't completely smooth it out either and I could still see ridging when I looked up close. This polish could definitely benefit from some nail polish thinner but I ran out. She's a beauty to look at though!


Okay so all Essie blues are NOT created equal! Mezmerised has a waaaaay better formula than Butler Please (full review here). It has a really easy and nice formula. It's opaque in ONE coat but I did two. It also self-levels really nicely. It doesn't have that same bright blue quality that Butler Please has, but it beats the formula by a long shot.

Bouncer It's Me!

Bouncer It's Me! came out in the Summer of 2013 released in the neons collection. I'm not much of a neon's person so this one was a pass for me, but my friend Austrian picked it up. In the bottle it looks super close to Mezmerised but since it's supposed to be a neon, I thought it might show up more like Butler Please on the nail. Bouncer It's Me is darker than both Butler Please or Mezmerised. And it has such a weird consistency! It's a thick jelly polish and yet it's super sheer. It's really patchy so it's very difficult to polish and make your nails look even. It was opaque in 3 coats but there are thin uneven spots on my nails. It's bizarre how dark this polish is since it was released in a neons collection. It dried dull and matte so it needs topcoat.

Bouncer It's Me! over a white base

I own Bottle Service from the same neons collection and I know that it's much more neon if you paint it over a white base so I decided to try that. But. Just. No.

Ok yes, it's way brighter over white (I'll give it that) but it's SO STREAKY! The weird thick jelly is so uneven, you have to add at least 2 coats. Ironically enough, that second coat deepens the blue up a lot so that its not a bright blue anymore either. And it's still uneven! One coat of white and two coats of polish are as far as I'll go and this mani looks terrible. I know this polish was discontinued, but if you ever happen across it in a clearance bin or something, PASS!

Aruba Blue

Aruba Blue is forever and always one of my fave Essie blues. It's so pretty and glowing.  Two easy to apply coats and it's self-leveling. I reviewed this polish two years ago and it still has the same flawless formula it's always had.

Loot the Booty

This polish came out in last year's Summer collection.  This is a deeper cobalt blue that is full of fine turquoise glitter. I love that the shimmer is so visible in this one! It has a great formula too. It's easy to apply in 2 coats and looks gorgeous.

Style Cartel

Style Cartel came out in the Fall 2014 Collection. It's not really a cobalt blue but I included it in this comparison, because in the bottle it looked similar to some of the dark cobalts. Once on the nail it's actually more of a navy. It's a beautiful navy nonetheless and it's not so dark that it looks black. It has a jelly/crelly formula that is opaque in 2 coats. This is a good one if you like dark blue's but hate when they turn out looking black!

There's some great formula's in this lineup and some really bad ones too. I'd say my favourite out of all of these in Aruba Blue, although I'd really like to wear Loot the Booty some more because it's so pretty with that shimmer! Butler Please was borrowed from a friend but I don't think I'll be picking up a bottle of it anytime soon. While I love the colour of it, I really hate fighting with thick, goopy, ridgey formulas. I'm lucky enough to still have two original bottles of Sally Hansen Pacific Blue so if I REALLY get the itch to wear that beautiful bright cobalt, I'll use SH instead ;).
What's your favourite Essie cobalt blue?

P.S. If you are new here, I have LOTS of other colour comparisons for you to check out! Just click here


  • Jess said...

    Awesome comparisons as always, Kindra! I have such a love-hate relationship with Butler Please. Such a gorgeous color but such a terrible formula!! Also, I've always wondered about using the white base with neons because I've always ended up with streaking like you showed. Is that just the color formula do you think or is there a trick to it?

  • Adry said...

    I love Loot the booty! It is so pretty and different from all the blue nail polishes I have in my collection. Can you believe I don't own Butler Please?????

  • Unknown said...

    I got Style Cartel this last year in a minis set, but have yet to wear it! It looks beautiful though! I am also excited to try out the new Spring 2017 blue, and I may be passing over Mesmerized if I get it.

    I have Aruba Blue and Loot the Booty. I used AB as part of a 4th of July mani and I liked it but am generally not the biggest fans of blues. I love navy and cobalt and I don't think AB and LTB were bright enough for cobalt for me or dark enough for navy for me.

    I think Butler Please was released with Mojito Madness? 3 or 4 years ago when I first started painting my nails, I bought MM and had a horrible time with it. I don't think I had proper base coat and top coat, but even so, others were telling me the formula was bad.

    - nailpolish_amateurhour/jenntendo64

  • Kindra said...

    Jess - I understand the love-hate with Butler Please! It's so frustrating because it's such a gorgeous colour. Essie should really release a colour like that but with a way better formula.

    I think the streaking over the white base is just because Bouncer Please is a terrible formula. I picked up Stencil Me In from the 2016 neon collection and it's a highlighter yellow sheer jelly you wear over white and it's a COMPLETELY different formula! Way easier to handle and work with. Also Bottle Service that came out with Bouncer It's Me was a much better formula that didn't do that either.

  • Kindra said...

    Unknown - Yes, Pret a Surfer is a great blue! I didn't include it here because it was quite a bit lighter and dustier than the rest of these blues. But the formula is so spot on on that one! Whenever I wear it I think "I've found my favourite mid-toned blue".

  • Kindra said...

    Jennifer - Butler Please was released in the Winter 2012 Collection and I think Mojito Madness was Summer 2012. I've only worn Mojito Madness once and it was a brand new bottle, so I didn't have any formula issues but I'm curious to try it now and see if it's gone bad. bAn

    And yes! If you like navy blues, you'll love Style Cartel.

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