Essie Lilacism

Despite the fact that Charlotte has yet to have any weather that would classify as winter weather I’m ready for Spring. Once the holidays are over I’m ready to move on! Between my desire for warmer weather and my nails needing a serious break from dark polishes and glitter I was rummaging through my Melmer for a lighter colored polish.

Lilacism is always a polish that catches my eye but not one I wear often. It is from Essie’s Spring 2010 The Art of Spring collection but is now part of the permanent line. I purchased it when the collection was originally released but I’ve only worn it once or twice. I decided it was time to give it another go. It looks gorgeous in the bottle, after all.

Essie describes this polish as a satiny smooth lilac. That’s more or less accurate. This is a blue based lilac with quite a bit of white in it. It lacks the dusty quality of OPI Done Out in Deco and Essie Nice is Nice. I have nothing but good things to say about the color itself, but the formula is an entirely different story.

Application of Lilacism was a headache. The formula is so thin and runny and quite sheer. I used 4 coats (on some nails 5 coats…) before I had an opaque color. You have to be very careful when applying coats to avoid streaks.

Due to the application issues I can’t say I recommend this polish. Yes, the color is gorgeous but it’s alot of work to get the color to look like it does in the bottle.


  1. I am from Basel, Switzerland and had the same idea, though with me it will be ‘thanks a plank’ from Opi! Have a great start of the week

    1. You mean “Planks A Lot?”
      Also, had the same issue with this color. Definitely deterred me from buying more Essie polish in the future.
      My bottle of Lilacism is very, very blue. When I looked it up online it looked like a completely different color than the bottle I purchased at Ulta recently. I wouldn’t have gotten it if it had been purple.. I wanted it because I thought it was blue. I did think
      “Lilacism” was a strange name for a light blue polish, which is what it appears to be to me!

      1. I’ve had a couple people say recently that the new bottles of Essie polishes aren’t matching up to the old ones. This seems to be happening with polishes that were released pre essie going retail. It’s very strange.

  2. Do you find that most of the Essie pastel or “easter egg” polishes have formula issues? I had the same problem with Lilacism, but also “Borrowed and Blue”. I stopped buying Essie because I was so frustrated with the formula and application.

    1. Oh, definitely. But what’s so frustrating about Essie is alot of their darker shades have fabulous formulas. I don’t understand why they can’t make pastels with better formulas.

  3. I also noticed when I used this polish on my toes that i got this weird pinkish splotchy effect… I always get compliments when I wear this on my fingers, but I’ve stopped wearing this on my toes.

  4. I have lilacism and for whatever reason mine looks like a light blue. It has no purple in it at all. I’m not sure if it’s a dud or the bottle was mislabeled. It’s sad 🙁 if it was the right color I would love it.

What do you think?