essie luxeffects Collection Fall 2011


Essie Luxeffects Swatches

essie nail polish Swatches

“as gold as it gets” * “shine of the times” * “a cut above”

First off, eSSIE, why you no capitalize your brand nor labels?? I, proud capitalizer, will be driven mad by the end of this post. (Folks, my eye just started twitching. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.)

Last fall of 2011, essie released a holiday collection called luxeffects. The collection in it’s entirety can still be found at Target, CVS, Walgreens, Ulta and a bajillion other places. I’ve noticed stores seem to be very individual in whether or not they carry this line. One drugstore will and yet another drugstore, by the very same name who is located down the street, wont. This seems to be a brand in which stores heavily weigh their plans, demographics and yearly projections with.

The luxeffects collection features five topcoats:

-A gold flake, very small flake, in a clear base (“as gold as it gets”) *Edit: I took notice that many people have stumbled onto this page by searching “Is this a gold glitter or flake?” It is a small FLAKE.*

-A multi-chromatic rainbow flake, various size but larger overall than the gold (“shine of the times”)

-A rose-gold glitter featuring small round glitter, medium round glitter, and larger hexagon glitter (“a cut above”)

-A silver shimmer composed of very fine silver particles in clear base (“pure pearlfection”)

-A silver glitter featuring small round glitter, medium round glitter, and larger hexagon glitter (“set in stones”)

I always hesitated in purchasing these, despite having yearning for the rose-gold glitter since it debuted, due to a number of reasons:

1. They average $8 + tax.

Now while I don’t bat an eye at purchasing Chanel, Lippmann and other “high end” polishes with their foo-foo overpriced price tags, I’m strangely uncomfortable forking that over for a polish found at the drugstore. I know, it’s entirely silly and backwards but it’s my first reaction. Plus, I really don’t need any other expensive brands making it into my frequent lemming hunts. Trust me, cosmetic industry, you’ve already got me hook, line and sinker.

2. Every polish in this line didn’t seem revolutionary. Multi-sized copper-esque glitter? Been there and done that for months now. Even Revlon came out with one that looks just like you. Gold shimmer? Yawn. Multi-chromatic flakie? That’s nice and all, but I already own Finger Paints and Nubar. What makes you different enough to justify spending a ten note on you, little polish?


But! I am expanding my horizons. Today I have all three pictured to show you.

First up…

Essie Nail Polisha cut above

essie a cut above polishessie a cut above swatch

a cut above is the rose-gold glitter mentioned above. It features three sizes of glitter, of all the same color: small round, medium round, and larger hexagon. It has heavy copper undertones turning this pink into a rose-gold.

It is not as copper as it looked in store, making this different than what I assumed it was right from the start (the Revlon for example is much more coppery). All of that glittery goodness is suspended in a clear base. With few exceptions, I always appreciate glitter in a clear base. It makes everything much more versatile.

As gold as it gets nail polishas gold as it gets

essie as gold as it gets luxeffectessie luxeffects

as gold as it gets is the mini-gold flake mentioned above. It features a super dense sweeping of little gold particles amongst larger (though still small) gold flakes. All this is suspended in a clear base.

Even though I am not a frequent wearer of gold jewelry, I do love gold makeup and polish. ..but this one just looked so boring to me in the bottle! Almost a standard shimmer rather than anything. It is a lighter gold color on the warmer, yellow tone range which also surprisingly features a strong iridescent quality.


essie flakes polishshine of the times

essie shine of the times polish.essie nail polish swatch shine of the times

shine of the times is, what I consider, the star of this show (and by show I mean the entire line, not just the three shown here today). She is a multi-chromatic rainbow flake of various sizes suspended in a clear base. What is amazing about this polish, all of these polishes, is how amazingly dense they are. None of the “flakies” I own come close to how packed this one is with those little rainbow pieces. shine of the times also shifts to every color, rather than the usual range of 2-3.

On to the swatches!

essie luxeffects collection pictures review and swatchesIndex: as gold as it gets * middle: a cut above * ring: shine of the times * pinky: plain black base (China Glaze “Leather Black”) for comparison

All swatches in this post feature just one coat of each luxeffect. I apologize for any weird shadow lines, I get so wrapped up in accurately capturing the polishes that I completely disregard anything in front of my light sources!

Plus a few swatches of each, over various other colors:


Layered over baby pink

a cut above by essie over chocolate nail polish swatchLayered over chocolate

a cut above over peach polish essieLayered over peach


as gold as it gets essie essieLayered over lavender tinted light grey

Layered over green tinged sand

as gold as it gets nail polish essie over blue baseLayered over electric cobalt blue


Layered over butter cream

Layered over dark grey

Which brilliantly showcases all of the colors with a less dramatic feel than black.

It also enables several of the colors to disappear entirely, shifting and dancing with the light like burning embers.

rainbow flake nail polish

and a bit of a fail…

Layered over neon yellow

This pretty much resulted solely in turning my neon yellow base into a neon green base.

There were still some colors visible (what you see in the picture) but for the most part the flakes just gave it a lime peel appearance. Which is fitting considering the fun it had with the base color as well.

Hey, if this is your thing then rock it!

essie luxeeffects nail polish collection

Overall the collection did impress me far more than what was expected. Shine of the times is a must buy, especially if you don’t own any flakies, and the gold was much better out of the bottle. I wouldn’t run out and break the bank but don’t be weary either as they’re all quite beautiful!



  • Gretchen says:

    I wasn’t feeling these initially either but you have me second guessing myself with shine of the times. I love essie but I hear you on the $8 price tag at the drugstore. It’s a much harder sell for me there than at Ulta for some reason.

  • Jessica says:

    “shine of the times” is scrumptious and will likely become the 2nd flakie that I own (Zoya “Chloe” popped my flakie cherry). I love how it really runs the course of the spectrum.

  • Vee Cavet says:

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    • Christina says:

      Aw, Shucks, Vee!! You are too kind and awesome and have nice hair and are really pretty for saying that :) I’ve received a numerous amount of emails regarding technical difficulties on the main site and I’m working on them now. I hope to have it resolved before next week. It’s looking more and more like core html problems rather than a few tweaks so it’s taking a bit longer to look for alternatives than I expected. Thanks for letting me know, however! If it wasn’t for readers bringing these things to my attention, I wouldn’t know there were any issues! So THANK YOU!

  • Benete says:

    some great ideas here…

  • Denise says:

    i love your post, thank you for sharing.

  • Lester says:

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