essie Nama-Stay the Night

essie Resort Collection 2016

essie Resort Collection 2016I do believe spring is here. To stay. At least in Charlotte. There are even a few flowers blooming. Of course that means it’s time for the essie Resort Collection.

Historically the Resort collection is my favorite essie collection of the year. So I went ahead and ordered the mini set so I could try all 4 polishes. And to be honest…I’m a bit disappointed by this collection.

Under the jump is my review of all four polishes. You can pick up the Resort collection at Ulta.


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essie Cabana Boy The Daily Varnish

essie Cabana Boy

essie Cabana Boy The Daily VarnishMy local CVS is going through a bit of an overhaul in the beauty department. They are finally going to start carrying NYX (hooray!) but it seems they got rid of Rimmel. Anyhow, it’s still a work in progress.

Remarkably I ran across the essie Retro Revival collection among the mess. There was no display…the polishes were just kind of thrown in with some other essie polishes. I do not know. They did have Starry Starry Night! And, of course, just when I was about to walk away Cabana Boy caught my eye.

I’m always looking for neutrals that aren’t boring. Cabana Boy was originally released in 2005 but over a decade later I still think it’s a fantastic polish.

essie describes Cabana Boy as a Pearly White but it’s so much BETTER than that. Cabana Boy is a soft pearl finish gray with lavender/blue undertones. It’s a very understated polish but I got so many comments on my nails while I was wearing Cabana Boy.

My only complaint is the formula. It’s a tad thin. Which, to be fair, may be by design. I prefer a more opaque look so I used 3 coats.

The Retro Revival collection is currently in stores. You can find the collection online at as well as on Amazon.

There are swatches under the jump!


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essie Retro Revival Mini Set The Daily Varnish

essie Retro Revival Mini Set Swatches & Review

essie Retro Revival Mini Set The Daily VarnishThe essie Retro Revival collection has landed. And the hype surrounding the collection is something I haven’t seen in the nail polish world in ages.

Granted, the vast majority of the hype is about one polish; Starry Starry Night. But there are 5 other polishes in the collection. I picked up the mini set so I could get a feel for the entire collection.

The mini set includes Starry Starry Night, Life Of The Party, Bikini With A Martini and Birthday Suit.

I have swatched and reviewed all the polishes in the mini set under the jump!

The Retro Revival collection is currently in stores. You can find the collection online at (including the mini set!) as well as on Amazon.


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New Year's Manicure

New Year’s Eve Manicure 2015

New Year's ManicureHappy New Year’s Eve!

This year I’m having a rather low key New Year’s. Tonight (or rather, this afternoon…) the boy and I are heading to our normal bar to watch the first of the College Football Playoff games. We plan to come back home for the second game and ring in the New Year with a nice bottle of champagne and a meat and cheese plate.

Anyhow. I’ve been rocking this manicure for a few days this week. Because I can (plus, it matches my headband).

So, first things first. I am totally obsessed with essie Starry Starry Night (from the essie Retro Revival collection). I will do a full review after the New Year (I have the mini set) but it’s one of the few polishes that lives up to the hype. And the hype is insane.

I’ve essentially been living in Starry Starry Night so I used that as my base. Then with essie Private Weekend and the smallest dotting tool I own I wrote out 20-16.

Simple mani but straight to the point. And really quite easy!

There’s another swatch under the jump.

Where ever and however you are ringing in the new year I hope you have a fantastic time!


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Festive Fringe Nail Art

Nail Art: Festive Fringe

Festive Fringe Nail ArtEvery now and then we can all use a little nailspiration, am I right?

I was in a bit of a rut when I was browsing Pinterest and essie posted this lovely manicure they called ‘festive fringe’. I’m always looking for new ways to use glitter top coats and since I had both of the polishes featured in the nail art I figured I give it a go!

This is a super easy nail art look. I started with two coats of essie Bell-Bottom Blues. I let that dry then added a thick coat of essie Frilling Me Softly on half the nail pulled in glitter towards the center of the nail. I topped it all of with a thick coat of essie No Chips Ahead.

I have to say I like this way more than I thought I would. It would be a really fun last minute New Year’s Eve manicure!

There are a couple more swatches under the jump including a photo in the sun and a MACRO shot.


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Guest Post - Amanda

Guest Post: Essie Mix & Match Nail Art with Amanda

Guest Post - AmandaHey guys!

I’m so stoked to be doing a post for Katie and Alli! I didn’t do anything terribly insane but some simple nail art.

Here’s a fun fact about me: when I do posts, I like to use the same brand for all of the polishes that I use. I’m not sure why I do this but it’s become some sort of an obsession, lol. So I found 5 Essie’s that I wanted to use to recreate this manicure from Bad Girl Nails.

I started with Essie Pret-A-Surfer on my pinky and pointer finger, which amazingly covered in one coat. Then I painted 3 coats of Ballet Slippers on my middle finger, and then 2 coats of Coat Couture on my ring finger. After those dried, I dotted Blanc on the index and pinky fingers. THEN I free hand/crookedly drew some lines on the middle finger with Mint Candy Apple and filled in the stripes. Finally…. the flowers with Blanc on the ring finger. Annnnnnd topcoat.

Phew. Catch all that? Let’s look at the final product…

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essie Frilling Me Softly The Daily Varnish

essie Frilling Me Softly

essie Frilling Me Softly The Daily VarnishKatie thinks I’m psychic. Or I cheated. Let me explain…

In my Fall 2015 Must Have Polishes post I included bar glitter as a trend. At the time I had no idea essie would be coming out with a holiday luxeffects collection full of bar glitter. I did, however, see a fringe trend in fashion. The obvious translation of that to nail polish is bar glitter. So, perhaps I have good foresight….but I’m definitely not psychic!

Anyhow. The only polish from the 2015 holiday luxeffects collection I just had to have was Frilling Me Softly. It just looked SO GORGEOUS in the bottle.

Essie’s description of this polish is poetry.

Frilling it and killing it. dazzling platinum slivers and shattered cobalt knock ‘em down with a feathery touch.

Frilling Me Softly has silver bar and hex glitter along with hex light blue glitter suspended in a clear base. Now, I’m the first to admit bar glitter can go bad. Fast. Even essie got it a little wrong with Peak of Chic. But, Frilling Me Softly is just the right amount of bar glitter.

I used one coat of Frilling Me Softly over essie Virgin Snow and really loved the result. All the glitter laid down flat and the glitter was evenly distributed on the nail.

The 2015 Fringe Factor holiday luxeffects collection can be found at Ulta. Make sure to check out the swatches under the jump!


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Mix & Match Polka Dot Nail Art

Nail Art: Mix & Match Polka Dot Manicure

Mix & Match Polka Dot Nail ArtA few nights ago I was flipping through an Avon catalog and ran across a little nailspiration. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a polka dot manicure and who doesn’t love mixing navy and white? And I mean…I love polka dots!

Of course, I wanted to put my own twist on things. I decided to use a shimmery dark blue for my base color instead of a plain navy. I used 2 coats of essie Bell-Bottom Blues. Then I let that dry slightly before adding white polka dots with essie Private Weekend.

I used the smallest dotting tool from my dotting tool set and made the polka dot pattern a bit different on each nail. This added variety plus it takes away the pressure of making every nail look the same. And for me, that’s by far the hardest part of nail art.

Polka dots just make me happy and this manicure is no exception. I’m definitely going to be rocking this manicure until it chips. And probably taking photos of my nails in my car. Because that’s normal.

There are a couple additional swatches under the jump!


PS: If you don’t have dotting tools you can easily make one. Check out my DIY Dotting Tool post. However, dotting tools are inexpensive. The ones I use can be found here on Amazon. They are $1.50 and ship free!

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Essie - Peak Show

Essie – Peak Show

Essie - Peak ShowI like to think I’m pretty good with figuring out quirky polish names, but lately not so much. Example: With the Band – I thought it was so nice they had a polish dedicated to hanging out with the marching band, until I remembered the collection name and realized it was more of a fan girl / super groupie situation. Flash forward to Peak Show. My thoughts: Peep Show? Peak Snow? What? So of course I caved and read the official essie description: enjoy the view from the top. in this scenic powder pink, it’s the place to be, in all its pretty glory. Of course…. mountain peaks. Got it. Note: I don’t ski.

I actually didn’t really want this polish. I always get all the light pinks. But, after an intense debate with Alli, I caved. Mostly because trying to swatch Haute Tub would have sent me over the edge.  As it turns out, I LOVE this polish. It has just the faintest hint of pink – it’s perfect for winter and despite my insistence that pastels have no place in fall – I have had so much fun wearing it over the past few days and racked up more compliments than I have in a while.

I slightly apprehensive about the formula because… do I need to say it? Just in case I do: Good news, though!  The formula wasn’t bad – two careful coats or three reckless coats and you’re good to go – I’m really impressed.

Essie nail polish retails for $8.50. I love that you can buy Essie pretty much anywhere. Drugstore, department store, and everything in between. A few good picks: UltaMacy’s, or Walgreen’s. If online shopping is your thing, you can try or my forever favorite: Amazon.*

Love it or leave it? Lemme know below!

katie signature 2015

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Perfect Pair essie Petal Pushers and OPI Pink Yet Lavender

Perfect Pair: essie Petal Pushers and OPI Pink Yet Lavender

Perfect Pair essie Petal Pushers and OPI Pink Yet LavenderThe weather here has been terrible. We haven’t had a single day of sunshine this month. It was even raining in Raleigh when I was there last weekend for a UDC convention. To say the least, it gets old waking up to gloomy skies.

This manicure is absolutely a product of the weather. I was craving a gray manicure…quite odd for me. essie Petal Pushers is a lovely, soft gray from a recent essie collection. It fit the bill perfectly. I decided to top it Petal Pushers with a coat of OPI Pink Yet Lavender to add just a touch of sparkle. It was the perfect rainy day manicure.

Make sure to check out the swatches under the jump!


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