Favourite Essie Polishes of All-Time

Thursday, April 13, 2017 8 comments

This post is so daunting to write! How can I possibly choose my top favourite Essie's of all-time?!

I was tagged by my friends from the #essieclubcollab waaaaaaaaay back last Summer to post my Top 5 Essie's. I COULD. NOT. DO IT. I loved seeing everyone else's posts, but I just couldn't narrow it down and post one myself. I told my friend Crystal and she said "Well post your Top 10 then!" But guys...I couldn't even narrow it down to 10!  After 8 months, I've finally bit the bullet. I picked all my top favourites and said "screw it" to a specific number. I just needed to get all my faves in here! (I think I ended up with a random number like 19, haha)

I also thought it would be a super appropriate post for today because I'M IN NEW YORK WITH THE ESSIE CLUB COLLAB!! I'm writing this post at midnight before I actually leave, so that when it goes up I will already be in New York. With Essie. And the girls that became my friends on Instagram because we bonded over our favourite nail polish. I will tell you all about it when I get back, but for now, I could think of no better post for a day like today than my Favourite Essie's of All-Time.

Pre-Show Jitters

I love me a good white nail, but the hint of blush in this one is just perfection. It's also in my fave Essie formula (Gel Couture) so it lasts a good amount of time on my "easily chipped" nails. I'm highly considering wearing this one to New York. It's so good.

Who Is the Boss

This one is hard to describe...it's kind of a light sage green but also kind of a grey. I realized after wearing all kinds of greys that this one in particular gave me the special feels every time I wore it. It's a paler version of Maximillian Strasse Her and pale shades are my kryptonite. 

Topless & Barefoot

If I'd have made this list 2 years ago, a nude polish would've never been on it. I wouldn't even buy a nude polish! But once I tried my first one they became some of my absolute favourites to wear. Sand Tropez is a really good one too (I actually feel bad for not including it! This is why this list is so hard for me to make. I just want to include every Essie polish I've ever loved) but in the end, Topless & Barefoot is the first one I reach for every time. 

Spool Me Over

The last time I went to New York I wore this polish and I loved it.  It's such a pretty almost nude, with soft peach tones but also a touch of pink. I kind of want to wear this one to New York again, just to give it even more special significance to me. It'll be my New York polish ;) (you'll have to watch on Instagram to see which polish I finally picked!) 

Borrowed & Blue

I love doing comparison posts because it helps me to really pick apart and discover little intricacies about my own collection. It also helps me to discover polishes I may have never bought before. This polish came on my radar because of a comparison post. A reader had requested I compare light blues and I only owned three of them. I wanted an even number of polishes for the comparison collage and I also thought readers might be curious to see it next to Find Me An Oasis since they are quite close, so I bought it. Then I fell in love. It's still my favourite light blue. Don't get me wrong, Bikini So Teeny is really good, but we've had a rocky relationship because of it's formula. Borrowed & Blue stole my heart from the moment I first swatched it.

Surrounded by Studs

That is some gorgeousness right there. When I'm not wearing the palest of pastels, I love a good dark polish and this one captured my heart this past Winter. It's a bejewelled blue that's not quite navy and also with some pretty shimmer to give it depth. I friggin' love this polish. 

Van D'Go

I picked up this shade 3 years ago. I think I was wowed by a photo I had seen on Pinterest and then looked every where until I finally found a bottle. I did a feature post on Van D'Go and after only wearing it a couple times, I claimed it may be one of my favourite shades of all time. It still is! It's just so flattering when I put it on. Lucky for you, this one is pretty easy to find now. 

Urban Jungle

It's been established that I love white nails, but I basically love any shade of white. This off-white made me swoon right from the beginning. 


I discovered this shade because of Olivia (@essiebuff) on Instagram. A couple years ago she posted a shot of her nails painted in Minimalistic and she was dressed up for an interview or something. It was so chic! The polish immediately went on my wish list and it didn't take long before I found it on sale and scooped it up. It's a pale pink with cool undertones but also almost verging on a cream colour like Ballet Slippers. The other thing I love about it, is that it's not completely opaque. It has a squishy jelly finish. This polish will always remind me of Olivia (and at this moment I'm probably meeting her in person for the first time! Eeeeek!)

Go Ginza 

Go Ginza has been a long time fave of mine, but I recently got a new bottle and realized there's two versions of Go Ginza. After swatching them together, I'm obsessed with both. 

 This more pink-toned Go Ginza was the one I fell in love with first. It's kind of pinky, kind of purpley and all kinds of beautiful.

My newest Go Ginza is just a straight up pale lavender. I used to be obsessed with Essie Lilacism, but after getting this one I said it might take Lilacism's place and I think it has. I submitted Lilacism to the most recent fave purple #essieclubcollab but after wearing that mani all day I thought "I do LIKE this, but I really think Go Ginza is taking Lilacism's place in my heart".

(honourable mention to Lilacism)

Okay. I HAD to at least give Lilacism an honourable mention since it was one of my all-time fave Essie's for years. It might still be up there. The part that edges this one out of the top spot for me, is how it changes colour from a lilac to grey-blue. And to be honest, I actually like this polish when it is a slightly grey-blue lilac (I think that's what it looked like when I first fell in love with it). It's just too fickle and I fall way out of love with it when it's entirely grey-blue. I've bought a bottle of this polish 3 times so I can get this lilac tone! This latest bottle I'm storing in a dark drawer to see how long I can preserve the colour. Since my newest Go Ginza is essentially the colour of true Lilacism, except a bit lighter, it went on the faves list instead of Lilacism. 

Lace Me Up

I have long been a fan of uber pale pink nails. The first comparison I ever did was to compare my pale pink polishes (there is hardly any difference and yet I managed to justify every single one of them). Besides Minimalistic, Romper Room was my favourite. I loved the colour but never truly loved the formula. Then Essie released the Ballet Nudes Collection this past January and I fell in love with Lace Me Up! It's essentially the colour of Romper Room but with an easier formula to work with. And because it's gel couture it lasts. It might seem silly to add a polish I just met to my all-time faves list, but it had to be done. The colour I've loved for years and it's finally in a formula I can love too. 

A couple weeks ago in preparation for this trip, Essie asked us all to tell them our favourite Essie shade. How can that be done?! I managed to narrow it down to Topless & Barefoot, Pre-Show Jitters and Lace Me Up. In the end I went with Lace Me Up, so that tells you how much I love it!!

Smokin' Hot

This colour is so mysterious and Smokin' Hot perfectly describes how you feel when you wear it. I once wanted to wear this colour so bad, I polished my nails in the van while I drove to church. Not actually in the middle of driving, but I would pull over and paint a coat and then it would be dry enough to put a coat on at the next stop. I guess you could say I'm crazy for this polish!

By the way, I made no rules for myself while I made this list. I would not be boxed in by narrowing it down to a specific number or having to pick certain shades. I just put polishes on this list that I knew in my gut were my favourites and that I reach for often. But then I thought about how some of my friends when they did the #top5essies, they picked their favourite polish from each shade category. I also had someone on Instagram ask me what my favourite Essie red was. That got me thinking that I should add a few more to this list under some shade categories I haven't covered yet (just in case you were curious)

Favourite Red:

Come Here!

While I don't wear red often, as soon as Spring and Summer roll around I absolutely LOVE this shade of bright coral red. It makes a serious statement on the nails. It also looks amazing on tanned skin. 

Size Matters

Since Come Here isn't a shade that carries me in Fall and Winter, I picked my other favourite Essie red which is Size Matters. It's a deep cherry red with an incredible formula. I pinned this picture from Pshiiit years ago and obsessed over it forever and ever. It grew to be my favourite Essie red before I even owned it. Then I gasped out loud when I found it in a Dollarama for $3. I couldn't believe my luck! It's just as awesome as I had always imagined. 

Favourite Green:

First Timer

My all-time favourite green has always been First Timer (same collection as Come Here). It's bright with a touch of pastel and it's green with a touch of blue. Basically the perfect green for me. It's also what I was wearing in the first picture of mine that @essiepolish regrammed. I had only had my account for a few months and it was hovering around 100 followers. All of the sudden my phone was blowing up with notifications from Instagram and it didn't stop for hours. I couldn't figure out what was happening until I saw my photo on Essie's feed. I freaked out! I was so flattered that Essie liked a photo of mine enough to regram it. I gained about 500 followers that day. It was just so exciting (and still is whenever Essie regrams me!) Not only do I love this green polish, I love that memory too.

Favourite Mid-Toned Blue:

Aruba Blue

I know I technically already picked two blues (a pale and a dark) as my favourites, but I felt like for the amount I've mentioned Aruba Blue on this blog I should really include it! This just seems like it shouldn't be one of my faves. The finish is completely different. I always go for cremes, but there's something about this when I put it on I just love it. It kind of glows from within. As I always say: it's like glittering sapphires on your nails!

Favourite Burgundy:

Designated DJ

Ok, it's a given that I had to include a burgundy on this list. I wear them non-stop every fall, but I've honestly not been that attached to a specific one. This past fall I was all about Model Clicks so that was honestly the polish that was originally on this list. But I realized Essie created my perfect burgundy this Spring! The purple tone of Designated DJ is the ultimate perfect burgundy for me (and I've worn a lot of burgundy's). But then I reasoned that I very well couldn't include Designated DJ on this list when I really haven't worn it, only swatched it, but every single time I went to compare pictures of Model Clicks and Designated DJ, Designated DJ had my heart every time. So maybe count it as an honourable mention or whatever you want, but I freaking love this shade. 

Whew! That was a huge post to get through and a lot of swatches and pictures. A Top 19 isn't bad right?! Haha. Now to just narrow that down to my top 5 and post it on Instagram.

If you had to pick your favourite Essie's ever, what would they be? Tell me in the comments. Or if you have an Instagram account, I challenge you to post your #only5essies and tag me so I can see!


  • Mrs W said...

    I love, love this post!! Thank you for not restricting yourself to 10 or 5 polishes, I always love seeing what other people's favorites are, it's so fun!! Ok, so confession, I only own 12 Essie's so my choices are limited. With that said though, my top 3 favorites are Mint Candy Apple (the OG blue version), Van D'Go, and Virgin Snow. I'd have to give an honorable mention to Coat Couture though, it's really pretty. I can't wait to read about your NYC trip, that's so exciting and well deserved!! I hope you're having a blast!!

  • Shimmering Highlights said...

    I see some colours here I need to try out. Essie are my favourite brand for nail polishes. I'm the same as you, it's so hard to narrow down my favourites. If I had to choose my one favourite, I think it would have to be Eternal Optimist.

    Instagram @shimmeringhighlights

  • Vanvi_vi said...

    I enjoyed this post a lot^^
    Lilacism and Surrounded by studs are definitely on my list as well.
    Everything else would be hard to choose.
    Currently I'm lovin Dandy Blossom and Brides no grooms. Licorice must be on my list, too, since it's a great black base for nail designs.

  • Cat said...

    Ha, ha! You really had me laughing at this post -- because you are just so, so enthusiastic about Essie and nail polish in general -- and because you just can't pick a favorite or even a couple favorites. :O That is how I am, too! Whatever polish I happen to wearing at the moment is usually my *favorite*!!

  • Kindra said...

    Yes Cat! You feel me! Haha. I hate choosing because it's like my choices are set in stone, but I'm totally discovering polishes in my collection I love all the time. Whatever I'm currently wearing is probably my favourite too!

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