Essie Belugaria

Essie Belugaria CoverOh Essie. I don’t even know where to start with this polish.

Essie is very busy this holiday season. They are releasing 2 collections (along with their normal, winter collection Shearling Darling) and both focus on textures and glitters. Belugaria is from the Encrusted Treasures collection which is a collection of full of interesting finishes.

Belugaria is not what I thought it was going to be at all. Essie describes Belugaria as a “holographic jet black lace.” While I’m not exactly sure what I expected Belugaria to look like I certainly didn’t expect a black version of the ever so dreadful China Glaze There’s Snow One Like You.

Application was a serious headache. I found the best way to apply this is to apply one, very thin coat that covers the nail and creates a good base. Then apply a second, thicker coat focusing on where the bald spots are. Fortunately, 2 coats does the job.

Admittedly, from a distance this polish looks kind of cool on the nail. And when I put it on I initially couldn’t pin down my feelings about it. I don’t loathe it but there is far too much about this polish that I just don’t like. Application is terrible. It’s scratchy (seriously, it’s almost painful if the polish hits your skin….much worse than a normal, textured polish). Because the formula has little beads in it (ala the original China Glaze textured polishes) I find my nails accumulating lint throughout the day. I find my hair also gets caught in between the beads and I can wear this polish no longer than a day before I have foundation tips. Yes, foundation tips. Makeup gets wedged between the beads and there’s no way to get it out. It’s just over.

All of this is very unfortunate because Belugaria is really gorgeous in the bottle.

Even though I consider this polish to be a fail I do want to applaud Essie for putting out a polish that’s totally out there. It’s very un-Essie like and I like that.

Make sure to check out the swatches under the jump (the MACRO shot is very telling).

I realize that some people may like or even love this polish! So, if you’re on the hunt, the Encrusted Treasures collection should be hitting drugstores soon. Belugaria is currently available online at Ulta and Dermstore.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this polish!


Essie Belugaria Essie Belugaria swatch Essie Belugaria MACRO Essie Belugaria 2 Essie Belugaria MACRO2 Essie Belugaria bottle Essie Belugaria label Essie Belugaria bottle 2


  1. I’m sorry, but… yuck! And that was before reading the post. Texture AND glitter together? Really…?!

    (I think you mean “lint”, not “lent”)

    1. It’s so bad, right? I expect a higher taste level from Essie!

      (And yes, thank you. That’s what I get for writing this post in a hurry before I went out last night!)

      1. I hope his/her head will roll for approving it – along with its creator’s! I don’t even want to know what they were on.

  2. It’s…interesting. Well, it is. It looks like glittery potting soil. (Most ladylike I could come up with, snicker)

    I’m assuming ‘Belugaria’ is a play on beluga caviar, but the caviar manis I’ve seen (not a like of mine) are least not ugly… Not counting on this one selling out. But I’m glad someone swatched it because it is, well, interesting! (Totally with you, who approved this stuff?)

    Last thought – Good thing this didn’t get released on April 1… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It’s definitely supposed to be a form of a caviar manicure. That being said, I did a DIY black caviar manicure (that you can see here) that’s I’d wear over this in a heart beat!

      I’m still waiting for Essie to be like HAHA JK!!!

  3. I bought this thinking it was a solid black with the big glitter spots in it – which would’ve been cool. Unfortunately, I – like you – discovered quickly it was not what it seemed. It lasted a day before it started to chip and it just scratched everything, on top of feeling “heavy” on my hands. Disappointing.

    1. I actually mentioned to Katie that I found it strange Essie didn’t say anywhere on the bottle (or in the name…) that the polish was textured. I think it’s very misleading to the average consumer.

  4. I bought this as well without testing it first because it looked pretty in the bottle, like you said. I put the color on one nail to “test” it out and I don’t like it either. When it started to dry, I though it was doing that beading thing when you have too many coats of nail polish. I had no idea is was textured until you mentioned it. I can’t see the big pieces of glitter on my nail either! The other colors in this collection are fine.

  5. This polish was in my cart at It really is lovely in the bottle, but I would have been so disappointed if I had attempted wearing it. So instead I think I’ll try the new Sephora X in a neon. The Kapow shade sounds like a winner. Wish me luck!

    1. Essie needs to warn people they’re purchasing a textured polish!

      I haven’t tried any of the new Sephora X polishes yet. But I’ve heard good things!

  6. I guess I’m one of the few that actually loves this polish. It reminds me of like the morning after a fabulous party. It looks like stray glitter stuck in dark concrete after it rained and I love it.

    1. Now… that’s a description that I can get behind! It makes me want to get this polish even though I know I’d hate it… Essie should hire you ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. The Essie site says not to use a topcoat but I’m not loving the matte-ness of the look (and I’m hoping it makes it less rough feeling). Did you use a topcoat in your pics above?

  8. I had NO idea it was a textured polish when I purchased it at Ulta on Friday. My daughter and I looked and went “Ooooh black with glitter! Pretty!” and decided to get it. Well, whenever I tried to apply it, imagine my surprise! YIKES! So I immediately googled the color to see swatches (like you have so kindly provided here) and realized OH, it’s a textured nail polish. Someone didn’t put sand in my bottle of Essie as a joke…. Hmmm…. I’m not crazy about textured nail polishes. I got the Nails Inc Leather Effect and found myself constantly “Feeling” my nails. What an odd distraction!

  9. Thank you, Alli! I am new to your site. I just saw Belugaria in the store and was immediately smitten. But, before I shelled out the bucks, I came home to google it and lucked upon the wonderful public beauty service performed by this post. I love Essie and this is quite a departure for them. I was intrigued but, no way am I enamoured by the add-on of the texture. Not a good look. At all. Thanks for the wonderfully instructive pics (Macro especially). Needless to say, I’m not buying. The up side is I found you and have you bookmarked for future intervention/consultation!

  10. Could not wait to have my nails done with this. So pretty in the bottle. I was thinking dark with little bits of light and glitter. I have them done because I so suck at doing them myself. So not pretty. Not holographic. It is lumpy, matte, catches on clothes and my hair and looks worse than the mani I got in Thailand last year. At least that one was only three dollars! I didn’t think to check online for reviews and did not do the tacky sneaky try it in the store. If I had, I would have pretty nails now. And we did use a top coat which picked up a little shine, but still epic ugly.

    1. Loved it in the store, just put it on, hate it!!! Worried about how this is going to come off?? What a waste of money!

  11. I would adore a NON-TEXTURED version of this, because the multi-colored hex glitter in the black base actually looks really cool.

    But the texture thing is just bizarre. It looks like glitter-encrusted coal…

    1. Indie brand Lynx Cosmetics actually has a pretty decent alternative called No Peekin! that was part of their Oversized Elf Mystery Gift Bag this season. It’s a black jelly with holographic hex glitter that I imagine would look a lot like what Belugaria looks like in the bottle when layered over black. it was never sold separately though, and I think the gift bags are sold out. =[

  12. Wow, thanks for the heads up! I was considering buying this just because it looks pretty in the bottle and i like the name so much! But it looks UGLY. Like some sort of super bubbly “this is the first time ive done my nails so i went overboard” polish (no offense to your job, which is fine). Thanks again for saving me the $10!

  13. I’ve had my eye on this color for awhile. I finally gave in and got it. I don’t really know how I feel about it. Looks awesome in the bottle but it’s kind of a mess to put on. Wish there was an easy way

  14. Hate. It. I eyeballed it in the store for a long time, I eyeballed it on the net for a long time but it ended up being a huge disappointment. You can’t tell at all that it’s a textured polish. It looks like it’s just black polish with the little glitter discs. Nope, it’s like black sand and heaven help you trying to take the polish off. *gag* It shreds cotton pads and remover sponges. The weird, polish covered chunks of I don’t know what catch on everything, too. Even after two coats of No Chips Ahead topcoat. I hate it and am really bummed because in the ad and in the bottle it looks really pretty.

    1. Agree… it looks awful! Then again, I’ve never understood why Essie is so popular… the shade selection is impressive and the bottle shape is cute, but every Essie polish I’ve ever tried (with the exception of Mademoiselle and Set in Stones) has been a draggy, sticky, streaky mess. It’s like they don’t even test the formula before bottling it up, so with Essie I’ve learned to save my receipt!

  15. I purchased it based on appearance and did not know about the texture. I loathe it. I am displeased with this product, even though it looks beautiful I the bottle.

  16. I had no idea it would look like this on my nail until it was too late. I’ve been out of the polish loop for awhile. I’m a nurse & there’s no way I can wear this to work, even if I wanted to, without collecting numerous communicable diseases, no matter how good I wash my hands. I need it off…NOW!

  17. Guess I’m one of the few who actually like this nail polish. I bought it without reading reviews, which made me really nervous when I went online and googled it, but fortunately for me, I think it’s really pretty.

    I’m not a nail polish expert, but I found that it wasn’t that difficult to apply to the nails and that 2 coats did the job (as you described) and I’m totally in love with the texture of the polish. I haven’t had problems with it sticking to my clothes and I even did laundry with it on.

    I guess it really differs from person to person ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Lol I’m only commenting on your post practically a year late, but I just saw this in the store and almost bought it. I went so far as to put it in my basket before rethinking it and putting it back. It is sooooooooo gorgeous in the bottle but I’m so glad I came home and googled it before buying it. I like the Zoya pixie dusts just fine but that Belugaria looks like just too much craziness for my nails. Belated thanks!!

  19. I love the way it looks on other people’s nails and I love the way it looks in the bottle! I’m not very skilled at applying nail polish, so when I put it on myself it doesn’t look like that. Also, when wearing it my nails feel so heavy and like they have stuff caked on them (which they kinda do). Also, it doesn’t last long. The polish started chipping off my nails within an hour.

  20. I bought this without knowing it was a textured polish. It was definitely tricky trying to apply it. I used a top coat when I wore it to help with the grittyness. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, it was definitely a nightmare when I first put it on. I though it was a black jelly with glitter! It has grown on me a bit and it does look pretty in sunlight, because it’s so grungy though it made me want to dress and do the rest of my makeup extra girly when I wore it.

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What do you think?