Essie Avant-Garde Gel Couture Collection

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 0 comments
You guysssssss! Long time no post!

I rushed to get my review of the 2018 Summer Collection posted before we went away for one of my kids' dance festivals and then it was busy season with kids activities and I never made it back here! So sorry about that. I even got the Bridal Collection swatched before I left on that trip but had no time to edit and post. At this point it sort of seems irrelevant. Whatchoo think? Do you still want that post with swatches and comparisons?? Let me know. 

Ok, back to this super exciting, gorgeous and fun Avant-Garde Collection. I LOOOOOOOOVE this collection! The colors are so bright and pretty for summer. And can we talk about how Essie FINALLY released the perfect shade of yellow?! Us ECC girls asked Essie to make a good yellow when we were in New York last year, so dare I say this polish was inspired by us? I'm so glad they listened! (P.S. I will still happily take more shades of yellow polish, haha) Enough chit chat, let's get on with the swatches and comparisons. 


Like I said, this is the yellow polish of my dreams!!! It has some pastelness to it but is also saturated and bright. I love it so much. It applies really creamy and smooth. The first coat seems streaky but it really smooths out on the second. I needed 3 coats for full opacity.

Avant-Garment vs. Aim to Misbehave

Aim to Misbehave from 2016 was the most recent yellow polish in Essie history (the last one was Shorty Pants which came out in 2008!) But the tone of Aim to Misbehave was not my cup of tea. This comparison shows how much better of a yellow Avant-Garment is.

What's the Stitch

This is a pretty shade of lavender and was easy to work with. Some nails were opaque in 2 coats and some needed a third coat to be completely opaque, but the polish went on smooth and levelled well. 

What's the Stitch vs. Dress Call vs. Baguette Me Not vs. Bond With Whomever

The first question I got after posting a swatch of What's the Stitch was "how does this compare to Dress Call?" They are really close. Not completely exact; Dress Call is a touch darker. But I would say if you already own Dress Call then What's the Stitch is probably not necessary. Baguette Me Not and Bond With Whomever are very similar as well but they are both lighter.


From the first swatch I saw online of this one, I knew I was going to love it. The is EXACTLY the kind of blue I want to wear in the summer time. Perfect color. The formula is the same as What's the Stitch; easy to apply and opaque in 2-3 coats. 

Dye-Mentions vs. Blue-la-la vs. Mint Candy Apple vs. Getting Intricate

Dye-Mentions is much brighter than the bridal release Getting Intricate. It's incredibly close to Blue-la-la but again, a touch brighter. Mint Candy Apple (this is the old version) was also similar but less blue and more mint. 

Exhibit A-Line

What's more perfect than a bright coral for the summer?! This applies really nicely, basically the exact same as the last two. Smooth, creamy and opaque in 2-3 coats. 

Exhibit A-Line vs. Tart Deco vs. Lounge Lover vs. Fondant Of You

If you're a fan of Tart Deco, Exhibit A-Line is a perfect dupe in the GC formula! Lounge Lover is more pink and Fondant of You is more orange. 

Bold Boundaries

Pink-toned reds used to be my absolute favourite and this one is really nice. This kind of shade always has a nice formula, but Bold Boundaries is no exception. It's smooth and opaque in 2 coats. 

Bold Boundaries vs. Attendant to My Needs vs. Berried Treasure vs. Eclair My Love

All of these are incredibly close!! They are basically all dupes for one another, but if you want me to get nit-picky about it, Attendant to My Needs is EXACTLY the same and Berried Treasure and Eclair My Love are very, very slightly different. Attendant to My Needs and Bold Boundaries has the same berry pink undertone while Berried Treasure and Eclair My Love has more of a red undertone. But I couldn't tell these apart once they were on the nail!
P.S. I didn't have room to swatch it, but someone asked if Sunset Sneaks was a dupe for Bold Boundaries and it's not. It has more of a bright red-coral tone compared to Bold Boundaries. It's definitely close but not as close as these four are. You would be able to tell Bold Boundaries and Sunset Sneaks apart. 

Set the Seam

This applied really nicely. Probably the nicest formula of the collection (even though the were all good). Perfectly smooth and opaque in 2 coats. 

Set the Seam vs. Berry in Love vs. Big Spender vs. Flowerista

Berry in Love was more red and Flowerista was much more purple but I'd call Big Spender a dupe! 

All in all, this collection was really successful. I love the brightness of the shades and the rainbow palette. I did find dupes but only to previously released polishes from the regular Essie line. If you prefer the Gel Couture formula this might be super exciting to you, to know you can get a beloved shade in the user friendly formula. Or it could be a downside, knowing that you already have a shade like that in your collection. I also noticed that 4 of the shades were comparable to polishes released in last year's Summer collection. Swap out S'il Vous Play and Sweet Souffle for this year's Set the Seam and Avant-Garment and you'd have this collection. 

But regardless...YELLOWWWW! Avant-Garment (the yellow) is definitely my favourite of the collection. It looks amazing on a wide variety of skin tones and looks even better when you've got your summer tan. I also love Dye-Mentions (the blue) and if I were only picking up a couple from this collection, those would be the two I would reach for. I've heard from Essie that these will only be released in Canada and the U.S. I've seen them at a ton of stores here in Canada (Shopper's Drug Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, London Drugs, etc), but I have heard from a lot of U.S. followers who have had a hard time finding these. The people who have found it, found it at Walgreens. If you want this collection but can't find it, it's available on and they do ship to the U.S.

What are your thoughts on this collection? Were you as excited as me to see Essie release a pretty yellow?

*Essie Canada sent me 3 polishes as part of PR but one broke in the mail. I purchased the remaining 4 polishes with my own money. All opinions are my own and I always give an honest review, whether I buy it myself or Essie sends it to me!


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