Essie Mauve Comparison : Merino Cool, Angora Cardi, Island Hopping & Take Me To Thread

Thursday, September 28, 2017 8 comments
For the third year in a row now, every time Fall rolls around I start craving the colour mauve on my nails. Essie makes some great options for mauve nail polish, some on the more pinky-purple side and some on the more dusty purple side of things. This comparison was inspired by our most recent Essie Club Collab. Mauve is such a wide and diverse colour, but I decided to stick to the rich middle toned ones. In my comparisons, I always dissect the formulas, tell you about colour differences and after playing with the polishes back to back, I can give my feedback on which ones I think are the best in the category. Let's do this. 

Angora Cardi

Angora Cardi was first released in the 2009 Fall Collection called "Cuddle with Color". There were some other beauties in that collection like Mink Muffs, Midnight Cami and Chinchilly, which I'm happy to say ALL were added to the permanent collection. This polish is a staple in my collection and actually probably the most used polish I own. Not only is the colour stunning but the formula is perfection as well. It's creamy and opaque in 2 coats and applies perfectly.

Island Hopping

Island Hopping was originally released in the 2007 Summer Collection along with Bahama Mama, and it was later added to the permanent collection, yet it doesn't seem as easy to find on store shelves. You CAN get it though and honestly you should if you love Angora Cardi. I think of it as Angora Cardi's little sister since it's got the exact same tones but it's a few shades lighter (funny enough, I tried to create Island Hopping's even littler sister since I wanted this shade of mauve but lighter when I went to the Essie Labs. Spoiler alert: It isn't easy to create and it totally didn't work out! But how pretty would that have been if I could've pulled it off?!) The colour is super gorgeous but the formula isn't as perfect as Angora Cardi's.  It's fine, it just isn't as opaque. It has a slight bit of a crelly finish so it's SUPER shiny but it takes 3 coats to be completely opaque.

Take Me To Thread

Take Me To Thread was an original Gel Couture release in Summer 2016 and is still part of the core line. I remember when I first got this one last fall and tried it, I absolutely fell in love. It has less of the pink undertones and has this more smokey purple/taupe thing going on, along with mauve. It's a really, really cool colour.  The Gel Couture formula is gorgeous and the brush makes it so easy to apply. The formula self-levels and is opaque in 2 coats.

Merino Cool

Merino Cool came out in the Fall 2010 Collection, along with In Stitches, Sew Psyched and Little Brown Dress. It was one I finally picked up in 2016 because sooooo many people on Instagram owned it and swatched it and told me I needed it. It's part of the regular Essie line and a really popular polish. It's basically the exact same shade as Take Me To Thread, except darker. It has a really similar formula to Island Hopping, except it covered better. While it was kind of thin, crellyish and streaky on the first coat, it still became opaque in 2 coats.

Here you can see all 4 shades side by side. You can definitely tell how Island Hopping is the lighter version of Angora Cardi and Take Me to Thread is the lighter version of Merino Cool. But how do I pick a favourite?! I really can't you guys. I love them all because they are different. Ok, maybe Angora Cardi takes first place because the formula is so stellar and that polish has a special place in my heart, but I also REALLLLLLLY love the colour of Island Hopping. And Take Me to Thread. Ugh! I can't choose! Basically, you can't go wrong with any of these polishes and they are different enough to justify owning all of them. 

Sorry if that was a cop out answer! Haha. When polish is this good, I just can't pick.

Let me know in the comments if there are any other polish comparisons you want to see. I've done sooooo many colour comparisons over the years, but if there's something you are curious and want to see, let me know! Red has already been requested so I'll get on that, but if there's anything else please don't hesitate to ask.


  • Unknown said...

    Great comparison. Thanks. I also loved mauve in all its varieties. Island Hopping is on my wish list . You just confirmed I shall try and find it asap here in England.

  • Unknown said...

    I have been collecting Essie since the diffusion collections appered in USA (2010) and Europe in 2012. I often wonder how far back I shall go tracing older collections. So I would be interested in comparisons of "prehistoric" Essies ( i.e. Pre 2010) with modern versions to see whether colours have been reissued. Another comparison I would love is among all dupes of a given colour, which has the best formula? Which is the longr lasting? The shinnier. The best name, etc.The idea if that if I were forced to reduce my collection, I would love to know which version of the duplicates to keep. Finally have you thought about comparing shades with similar names? Yesterday I was just looking at how there are more than a few Essies with Stitch(es) on the name, is there a relation/ connecting line through them? Thank you.

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