Perfect pairings with essie

essie nail polish

I’ve been a fan of essie’s nail polishes for a long time. I remember when Mint Candy Apple was the shade to wear, and when I was 18 I spent a large majority of a trip to New York hunting down Splash of Grenadine and Ballet Slippers (don’t worry, I found them in the end).

So, when an email landed in my inbox asking if I would like to be sent some of essie’s polishes my immediate was ummm…GOD YES!! A couple of weeks later a box of six polishes arrived with me and I let out an excited squeal and quickly got to work swatching. As a general note, the pigmentation and lasting power of essie polishes is great. No matter what top coat I use (or don’t…) they don’t chip for a good week and, apart from the paler nude shades, two coats is enough for a fully opaque finish.

essie ballet slippers birthday girl

Ballet Slippers and Birthday Girl

Ballet Slippers is one of my favourite essie polishes, purely because a couple of coats makes my nails instantly look a lot healthier. It’s a translucent finish, so you won’t ever get a fully opaque colour from it, but for those of us who sometimes want a more subtle polish finish, this is perfect.

I’m not normally a fan of glitter polishes (they can be a total pain to remove) but Birthday Girl is a subtle light pink and the shimmer is so fine it’s really not difficult to remove, which I appreciate!

essie topless and barefoot mani thanks

Topless & Barefoot and Mani Thanks

I’m a sucker for a nude nail polish, so of course it was love at first sight with Topless and Barefoot! As you can see in the swatches below, it’s a fully opaque taupe shade that’s really flattering on. I tend to keep my nails neutral (so they go with whatever I wear) so I’ll be wearing this lots!

Mani Thanks is a similar formula to Birthday Girl, and is a champagne shimmer colour. Layered over Topless and Barefoot, this is just gorgeous, and it’s one I’ll be using when I have an event and want a bit of a more exciting manicure.

Essie congrats! cocktail bling

Cocktail Bling and Congrats

I don’t tend to wear blues on my nails, but as Cocktail Bling is a grey-toned blue I feel it’s neutral and subtle enough for daily wear. I actually really like this colour on my toes too, so I think it will become a pedicure polish for me.

Congrats is a full-on blue, lilac and silver glitter polish that includes glitter of lots of different sizes. I know this is going to be a bit of a pain to remove, but it will be worth it because applying it to the tips of my nails after two coats of Cocktail Bling is gorgeous!

essie nail polish swatches

L-R: Congrats, Cocktail Bling, Mani Thanks, Topless and Barefoot, Birthday Girl, Ballet Slippers


  • Nail polishes provided as PR samples
  • Shop essie polishes at Boots or Superdrug