The Best Selling Essie Polishes of All-Time (with Swatches)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 13 comments
Left to Right: Ballet Slippers, Mademoiselle, Muchi Muchi, Bikini So Teeny, Wicked, Eternal Optimist, Sugar Daddy, Mint Candy Apple, Blanc & Smokin' Hot. 

Hey Essie Lovers!

I had a request awhile back to do a post on the best selling Essie's. Since I don't work for Essie or having any affiliation with them, I did some good ol' googling to see if I could find that info. I came across this post from The Zoe Report and it listed the Top 10 Best Selling Essie's of all time according to Essie herself. It's such interesting information and they only showed bottle shots, so I thought I'd swatch them for you.  Let's count 'em down!

10. Muchi, Muchi

This polish came out in the 2007 Spring Collection and also goes by the name Guchi Muchi Puchi (I have zero idea what either of these names mean!) I picked this up recently for two reasons: 1. Because I knew I wanted to do this post and 2. Because so many of you have recommended this polish to me in the past. And you were right...I love it! With 3 coats it turns out opaque (and could definitely benefit from Fill the Gap as a base coat to even everything out) but it self-levels nicely. I love the look of this polish on my nails!

9. Blanc

I'm obsessed with the look of white nails, so I love this one. Blanc has been around since 1981 when Essie Weingarten created her first 12 Essie polishes. The formula is ok to apply but doesn't completely self-level. It leaves a bit of uneven ridging but it's minor enough that a coat of top coat fixes it and makes it look smooth and even. This is 2 coats with Gel Couture top coat, although some nails could've definitely used a 3rd coat now that I'm looking up close. Also it probably would've benefited from a ridge filling base coat so it goes on smoother. It can be a bit of a finicky polish but looks great once it's on.

8. Smokin' Hot

I'm absolutely obsessed with how this one looks on the nails! I've written about my love for Smokin' Hot in a Cult-Classics post and it definitely deserves that title. It was released in the Winter 2010 Collection called "A Winter's Tale".  It takes 2-3 coats to be opaque and has a really nice and smooth self-leveling formula.

7. Eternal Optimist

This is one I've debated getting for at least a year but was never quite sure how I felt about it. It's a nude rose colour and now that I've got it, I dig it!  It came out in the Spring 2009 Collection along with Mesmerize. It's opaque in 3 coats and self-levels nicely.

6. Wicked

Essie released this colour in 1993 and it was a bit of a gamble. This is a red that is so dark it looks almost black on the nails, so it was quite racy at the time, but Essie talked her distributor into taking it overseas to London and it immediately sold out! It must be good since it's still a best seller today. This one is new to my collection, but it has a good formula and is opaque in 2 coats.

5. Sugar Daddy

Sugar Daddy is a super sheer pink that was released in 2004. This is 2 coats. It's an extremely natural shade that just gives your nails some shine and a very slight tint of pink to make them look healthy. The thing I love about this polish is, it's NEVER streaky and is so easy to apply.

4. Mint Candy Apple

This polish was released in Winter 2009 in the Sweet Time of Year Collection.  I can definitely see why this polish is so popular! It adds such a pretty freshness to your nails. If you've ever wondered why this polish is sometimes blue and sometimes green, I got to the bottom of that mystery in THIS post. I chose to swatch the more green version because the blue one is the "old version" that was apparently a mistake. It applies nicely in 2 coats but I did need top coat for these photos to smooth out the slight ridging.

3. Mademoiselle

Mademoiselle came out in the 1990's and was created for Mademoiselle Magazine who wanted "the perfect sheer pink that is universally flattering". Since then, it's won countless awards and obviously became a best-seller since it's on this list! This is 2 coats with Fill the Gap as a base. I highly recommend that base coat for a polish like this. It has a good formula and self-levels well. I can see why so many people like this! My nails look clean and pretty.

2. Bikini So Teeny

Out of all of this polishes, this one was released most recently (Summer 2012) and yet it still made it to #2 on the list! It's a GORGEOUS colour but I used to not like this polish because I thought the formula was so thick and goopy. Well, my old bottle of Bikini So Teeny and my friend's bottle I borrowed both were. I finally broke down and bought a new bottle and I'm so happy I did! The formula is not goopy at all. I think because it's filled with tiny shimmer, if you don't clean off the neck of the bottle before closing the lid, polish can get stuck up in there. That's when air gets in and goops up your polish and wrecks the formula, so clean off the top of the bottle before you close it and you should have no issues with the formula :). This is two coats.

1. Ballet Slippers

Ballet Slippers was released in 1982 and has become an iconic Essie shade. I'm not surprised at all it's Essie's number one best seller! I can see this being flattering on absolutely every skin tone. This is one coat of Fill the Gap plus two coats of Ballet Slippers. My bottle is older and half gone so I felt like my formula was a bit thicker than a fresh bottle would be, but it wasn't difficult to apply at all. I'm just mentioning that because a fresh bottle may need three coats instead of two. This is an opaque ivory toned polish with just a blush of pink to it. It looks incredibly beautiful on the nails. I haven't worn this polish in a verrrrry long time (like a couple years) and now I'm regretting it, because it looks amazing!

Were there any polishes on this list that surprised you or that you thought would be on this list that wasn't? I was actually surprised that Sugar Daddy was on this list because it really doesn't have any colour to it. I was also surprised to see Eternal Optimist, not because it isn't pretty but because I expected to see something like Topless & Barefoot or Lady Like instead. 

But I already owned and loved most of these! There were only a couple I had to pick up for this post, so I hope I can get to know them and love them too. If you are an Essie collector, I bet you have a lot of these too! Which one is your favourite? 


  • Mrs W said...

    Interesting post!! I'm surprised Fiji isn't on this list though, I would've thought it would be one of their best sellers. And Ballet Slippers is really opaque? I thought it was a sheer polish! I hadn't picked it up because I thought it was sheer, gonna have to change that soon!

  • Claire said...

    Hi Kindra - another neat post, thanks for putting it together. I'm a fellow Essie lover and I always enjoy reading your blog! I'm wondering whether you have ever used a nail polish thinner for when your older bottles start to turn goopy?

  • Kindra said...

    Hi Claire! So glad you are enjoying it. Yes I've totally used thinner, although I do find that you need to use way more thinner than the bottle suggests. I need a new bottle right now!

  • Unknown said...

    I'm a little surprised Chinchilly was not on there! Maybe I just love it more than other people! It's possibly my all time favorite color.
    Love all your posts!

  • Adry said...

    Hello Kindra!
    It really surprised me to know that Muchi Muchi and Guchi Muchi Puchi are actually the same color! I own Muchi Muchi and I was thinking of getting the other one because I thought they were different colors!

  • Anonymous said...

    I wore 'Angel Food' for years....its like Ballet Slippers but even brighter/cleaner looking

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