Lauren

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Hi my loves! I am so excited to finally share with you my AMAZING backstage experience with essie during the SS’17 Fashion Week in New York. I am so incredibly thankful (I mean, literally still pinching myself) to have been able to join such an amazing team behind the scenes and hope that you all enjoyed coming along with me on Snapchat – I can’t wait for you to drool over all the gorgeous looks! So. Much. Nail. Inspo.

If you’ve read my previous post or have been following me along on Instagram + Snapchat then you’ll already know that I had the honour of creating my very own essie shade during my trip, experience backstage and attend two shows (Michael Costello and Self-Portrait), attend the Maybelline Fashion Week party AND meet essie’s Global Color Ambassador, Rebecca Minkoff! #LIFEGOALS anyone!?

I’ll start by sharing with you all of the essie looks that walked down the runway during NYFW; Michael Costello, Self-Portrait, Rebecca Minkoff, Band of Outsiders, Alexander Wang, Jenny Packham, Altuzarra, Oscar de la Renta, Rag & Bone and last but not least Monique L’Huillier.

Let’s get to  it, shall we?

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MICHAEL COSTELLO // Rita Remark

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“Drawing inspiration from a Spring 2017 runway collection influenced by the relationship between the light and dark side of femininity, Michael Costello showed stunning gold and açaí fabrics that were the spotlight of the runway.  Rita Remark, celebrity manicurist and global lead educator for essie was the show lead, creating a gorgeous design that drew on the hybrid of darkness and light.  Taking a cue from the collection colors, Rita chose a deep essie ‘sole mate’ and metallic ‘good as gold’ to luxuriously illustrate this contrast.”essie press release

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgM_nsoe8fc

This is one out of the two shows that I was lucky enough to be backstage at! I know this is going to sound shocking as I live and breathe all things essie but I had never met Rita Remark before this trip! I’m sure you’ve seen me recreate her looks many, many times – she is such an inspiration to me so it was so amazing to be able to finally meet her! The ‘good as gold’ and ‘sole mate’ gradient that she created for Michael Costello was simply breathtaking – the models makeup literally matched these nails perfectly. You can see my recreation below:

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SELF-PORTRAIT // Rita Remark

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“Designer Han Chong launched his self-portrait brand in 2013. Within a year you couldn’t scroll through Instagram without seeing a celebrity or ‘it girl’ wearing one of his designs.  This season was his debut NYFW show and a first-time sponsorship for essie.  Show lead and global lead educator Rita Remark created an ‘au natural’ nail with ‘matte about you’ top coat to intertwine the collection’s bright pops of color and textured fabrics.  The neutral matte proved the an almost bare look does not have to be boring.”essie press release

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNjTrIU5Ofw

Self-Portrait was the second show that I was backstage at (you may have caught me on essie’s snapchat looking a hot mess for this one) there was no AC backstage and the space super crowded! The actual show was absolutely stunning and so much fun!! Rita used ‘au natural’ and ‘matte about you’ for this chic nude look – ‘au natural’ gives a “strobing” effect to your nails much like the ultra popular “no-makeup makeup” look! You can see my recreation below:

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REBECCA MINKOFF // Michelle Saunders

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“Rebecca Minkoff once again shook up New York Fashion Week this season with a Soho street catwalk and 360 virtual reality showings at her flagship stores in NY, Chicago and Los Angeles.  As essie Global Color Designer, Minkoff chose two essie shades she helped to design from the latest Fall 2016 Collection – ‘maki me happy’ and ‘now and zen.’ Celebrity manicurist for essie, Michelle Saunders created this twist on a French manicure with a reversed accent nail.  The fashion and nail looks walked the runway on a number of models and global influencers like Something Navy’s Ariel Charnas,  Shea Marie and Caroline Vreeland.” essie press release

Side note: essie’s nail art ambassador, Harli, got to work on Michelle’s team for this show (get it girl!!!) and I’m so sad I missed them on this trip – hopefully next time!! Even though I wasn’t backstage for this show I just couldn’t help recreate the look!

BAND OF OUTSIDERS // Rita Remark

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“This season Band of Outsiders returned to New York Fashion Week Saturday with a trio of new designers.  Show lead and global lead educator Rita Remark for essie made sure to find a nail polish shade that flattered every skin tone. Opting for a ‘limo-scene’ with ‘gel.setter’ topcoat manicure that would pop against the California prep-school uniform inspired collection.”essie press release

ALEXANDER WANG // Michelle Saunders

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“In front of a star-studded font row, Designer Alexander Wang was full of surprises this season.  One being the pops of bright neons in his collection. This was the perfect contrast to the essie matte nude nail. Celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders created a layered effect with ‘cocktails & coconuts’ and ‘au natural’ followed by ‘matte about you’ topcoat to give the look a sanded-down effect from days spent sunning at the beach.” essie press release

JENNY PACKHAM // Michelle Saunders

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“Jenny Packham’s Spring 2017 collection was inspired by a 1940’s art exhibition from Peggy Guggenheim that was made up of 31 distinct looks, each of which had a different muse. Michelle Saunders for essie took this unique inspiration, and created a nail look using a neutral colour and soft texture that is both unique, but still wearable with just about anything. Michelle chose ‘tuck it in my tux’ layered with matte about you top coat as it mimicked the smooth, white fabric used in the collection.” essie press release

OSCAR DE LA RENTA // Michelle Saunders

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“The Oscar de la Renta Spring 2017 collection was all about a modern mix of cool and elegance. Michelle Saunders for essie took that inspiration and wanted to keep the nails short, minimal and rounded. She chose the classic ‘mademoiselle’ with a high shine top coat for a fresh, young take. The perfectly neutral, shiny nail complemented the classic, modern looks that walked the runway.”essie press release

ALTUZARRA // Julie Kandalec

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“Joseph Altuzarra aims to elevate the kitsch with his Spring 2017 collection, drawing on inspiration from a classic 90’s film. For the nail look, Julie Kandalec for essie took Altuzarra’s flirty direction and created a manicure with pink undertones for a sensual touch using one of essie’s famous nuances of pink, ‘hi maintenance.’” essie press release

RAG & BONE // Julie Kandalec

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“rag & bone’s Spring 2017 collection was all about a girl with just a bit of an attitude. While the collection had a fresh and “real” feel to it, it also had a slight toughness – leading Julie Kandalac for essie to create a custom red manicure using ‘a-list’ and ‘really red’ to perfectly match the pops of red in the collection. She also interspersed a neutral nail and a black nail to change things up a bit on the runway, opting for ‘sand tropez’ and ‘licorice,’ on eight of the girls.”essie press release

MONIQUE L’HUILLIER // Julie Kandalec

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“Monique Lhuillier’s spring/summer 2017 collection was full of edgy elegance. To complement this, Julie Kandalac for essie paired ‘wicked’ on the fingernails with classic sheer ‘ador-a-ball’ on the toes. “They’re feminine, fluid and timeless shades, and not too sugary sweet – just like the collection.””essie press release

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#MNYFW Rooftop Party

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Jackie Wyers and I at the Maybelline Fashion Week party! SO happy that I met her on this trip she is actually so sweet and it was fun to be able to share this amazing experience with someone! If you don’t already follow her channel you can check it out here! Most images I took at the party came out blurry but I did remember to snap a lot, so chances are you’ve already seen how great it was – we got to meet all the Maybelline girls and preview new products! 🙂

essie Labs Visit

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Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take many pictures at the labs (totally understandable). This was so much fun and something I will surely remember for the rest of my life! I got to chat all things essie, from sneak peeks (peep the winter collection below!), hearing Rita’s backstage tips and of course creating my very own essie shade (you can read my in depth post about ‘lauren’s list’ here). I am truly so overwhelmed by all of your support and kind comments about my very own shade and am over the moon that you all love it as much as me! I really wish I could give every single one of you a bottle (maybe in the future, essie??)! 😉

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essie Winter 2016 left to right: ‘ready to boa’, ‘go with the flowy’, ‘oh behave!’, ‘getting groovy’, ‘party on the platform’ and ‘satin sister’

Rebecca Minkoff

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I also got to meet Rebecca Minkoff and watch her show in virtual reality at her Soho boutique, it was such a cool experience! She is literally stunning and SO sweet!

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I know that you guys have been wanting me to share more about my life and have asked me when/if I am starting a Youtube channel – I agree experiences like these would be amazing to share through video (along with nail tutorials, new collections, etc) so please let me know in the comments below if this is still something you’d like to see in the future and if so what kind of videos. 🙂

Finally, a million hugs, kisses and THANK YOU’s to essie for letting me tag along, meet so many incredible people and live out my dream(s)!! And thank you all so much for following along with me while I was in NYC, I love all the positive feedback and I hope to be able to share many more #essieNYFW‘s with you in the future! I will probably, definitely be posting a lot more about my trip on Instagram but I’d really love to know your favourite look, so please let me know below in the comments!

♡ Lauren

Hi my essie lovers! I am so excited to finally share with you my very own essie shade, ‘lauren’s list’!! It’s an ultra-flattering soft yellow, unlike any other shade in my essie collection and absolutely GORGEOUS. I am forever grateful of being able to visit the essie labs while in New York for Fashion Week and it was literally a dream come true for me to be able to make my own bottle of essie (#lifegoals)! I hope that you all love it as much as I do!

image2 ‘lauren’s list’ a soft yellow opaque crème
Shown above is two thin coats, I worked hard to make sure the formula was perfect! 😉 (and of course one of my nails had broken prior to Fashion Week so I’m sporting shorties but I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys)!! It also looks great with ‘matte about you’ (shown below)!

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Why did I choose yellow?
If you’ve been keeping up with me for a while then you’ll know that I absolutely love a great yellow polish! It’s just so cheerful and unique. I also wanted to make sure that it was unlike any other shade in my current essie collection and something that I could cherish forever. We all know that essie rarely releases yellow shades so I figured I might as well go all out! I first wanted to name this shade ‘yo-lau’ (a play on yellow/yolo/lauren) but went with ‘laurens list’ in the end to keep things simple.

Is it for sale?
I wish that I could share this special shade with ALL of you but unfortunately it’s not for sale. I mean, it would literally be my dream if this shade were to be released but a girl can only wish… 😉

Retired yellow essie shades:
‘barbuda banana’a pastel yellow with subtle shimmer running throughout
This shade would probably be the most similar minus the shimmer and the formula (heard awful things about this formula) and it’s one of the only essie yellows that I do not own (the other is ‘shorty pants’).
‘yellow #3’limited edition yellow released as a Ralph Lauren Collaboration
‘funky limelight’ neon yellow
‘aim to misbehave’ yellow gold released as a limited edition 1000th shade
‘shorty pants’yellow crème
…there’s also ‘chillato’ but that’s a pistachio and leans more green than yellow.

Let me know if you’d like to see swatches of any of these!

I will be updating you all on my essie NYFW experience this week so stay tuned for a detailed post on all the looks and more information on my essie lab visit! Until then I just thought that I’d write a quick post to answer all of your questions regarding my shade ‘lauren’s list’.

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If you’d love to snag your own soft yellow, go comment with a yellow heart on my last Instagram post!! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them below. ☺

♡ Lauren

Hey beauties! September is almost here and besides dreaming of pumpkin spice lattes (ok- pumpkin everything) and fashion week, that means one thing: it’s time to go BACK TO SCHOOL! While it’s a no brainer that nails go side by side with your hair, makeup and outfit for that first day back, it can be tricky to nail down the perfect (Instagram-worthy) look.

To help you decide, I teamed up with Sally Hansen to create four, super easy nail looks! I used shades from their Miracle Gel line to ensure long-lasting, gel-like shine – easily removed with regular nail polish remover, which basically means less stress for you!  The zero-light Miracle Gel system takes only two easy steps to create super chip-resistant colour that can last up to two weeks! The brushes are amazing and align perfectly with your cuticle making any clean up virtually unnecessary. Also, did you know that Canada has over 70 shades of Miracle Gel? Trust me, you’ll never get bored – the nail art possibilities are endless!

In order to cater to everyone’s taste, there are two looks for those of you who don’t want to let summer go, and two looks for those of you who can’t wait for fall:

For the fall lover: PLAID NAILS

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You can never go wrong with plaid nails! It’s been a go-to of mine at this time of the year for as long as I can remember. Here’s a quick how-to:

1) Apply two coats of Midnight Mod and let dry for 5 minutes
2) Using a striping brush apply two horizontal lines using Off With Her Red, let dry and repeat vertically on each nail creating your plaid design
3) Seal in for gel-like shine with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat making sure to cap the tips

For the fashionista: NEGATIVE SPACE NAILS

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Burgundy nails are always classy and when you add a negative space concept it becomes ultra vampy (+ it won’t stain your cuticles when removing)! Here’s a quick how-to:

1) Apply two coats of Wine Stock, leaving a bare half-moon near your cuticles and let dry for 5 minutes – you can use a striping brush to achieve this as well
2) Seal in and cap the tips with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat 

To make this look really stand out, you can apply a coat of Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat for an ultrachic velvety smooth look (see below). Apply the Big Matte Top Coat over Miracle Gel Top Coat to ensure that your mani lasts up to 14 days

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For the girly-girl: GRADIENT NAILS

Miracle Gel x Sugar Rush Pinky Promise
For those of you who aren’t ready to let summer go, this soft gradient is a must. These Pantone inspired shades will make sure you stay stylish in 2016. Here’s a quick how-to:

1) Apply two coats of Get Mod (while this is optional, a white base will always help a gradient look pop) and let dry for 5 minutes
2) Layer Sugar Fix and Pinky Promise on a makeup sponge side by side vertically and repeat until sponge is covered
3) Dab sponge onto your nail until fully covered with colour
4) Finally, seal in your gradient for long-lasting shine with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and cap the tips

For the minimalist: STRIPED NAILS

Miracle Gel x Prince CharMint Mauveolous
This look is so chic and easy, it’s sure to be foolproof for nail art beginners! Here’s a quick how-to:

1) Apply two coats of shade Prince Char-Mint (NEW from their Royal Splendor Collection) and let dry for 5 minutes
2) Using a striping brush, or toothpick, create a horizontal line above the cuticle on each nail using Mauve-olous, (also from the NEW Royal Splendor Collection)
3) For an ultra-plush finish, seal in with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, making sure to cap the tips

These are just some of my favourite back to school nail looks, I tried to keep them simple, well-rounded and easy to re-create. I know not everyone wants to paint rulers, school supplies or apples on their nails for back to school. If you prefer going with a solid colour, check out these shades from the Sally Hansen Plaid City Fall 2016 Collection:

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Shade names from L to R TOP to BOTTOM: Off With Her Red, Midnight Mod, Cream Of The Crop, Wine Stock

My tips? Make sure your nails are completely dry and bare before starting; I like to use a quick swipe of nail polish remover to help ensure this. If doing a gradient design, you can apply liquid-latex or tape to the area surrounding your nail so clean up will be easier.

I hope that these looks have helped inspire you guys! I know that this time of year is already stressful enough without worrying about how you’re going to style your nails.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polishes retail at $11.95 CAD at drug and mass retailers across Canada. Be sure to check out Sally Hansen Canada and @sallyhansenca for more information and endless nail inspiration.

What will your back to school nails look like? Let me know in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram (@laurenslist) I love to see your looks!

♡ Lauren

*Post kindly sponsored by SALLY HANSEN CANADA. All opinions are always my own*

Hi my OPI lovers! I finally got my hands on the OPI Fall/Winter 2016 Washington DC Collection for y’all. Excited? I know I am! As you may already know, this collection was designed with their new Creative Ambassador, Kerry Washington. It includes the usual 12 shades plus 3 Special Limited-Edition Kerry Washington shades; making it a grand total of 15!

 

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“The Washington DC palette delivers a dramatic, sophisticated spin on classic fall hues. From the authorative red of Madam President to the treasury-worthy deep olive of Suzi – The First Lady of Nails, OPI boldly casts its ballot for color pure and powerful. Fashion-forward lush green Stay Off the Lawn!! adds a jolt of power to fall looks, while (air) traffic-stopping yellow Never Dulles a Moment curries favour with movers and shakers. As a bonus, three limited-edition coors bear Kerry Washington’s stylish imprimatur.” OPI PR Press Release

Ok BRB gotta go binge-watch Scandal!

No but seriously, these shades just scream fall and with gorgeous, bold crème formulas I think you’re gonna love ’em.

Let’s get down to swatching shall we?

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Stay Off the Lawn!! Don’t trespass on this deep, lush green. Two super easy, super creamy coats for this beauty. She did need a top coat for extra shine but guess what? No staining upon removal!

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Never a Dulles MomentA curry yellow seen on airport and fashion week runways. Three thin coats to level out. Gorgeous mustard yellow… and we all know by now that I love a great yellow. Love!

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Yank My DoodleGet a tawny copper mani and call it macaroni. Ugh. Colour is gorgeous, but the formula is a bit too jelly for my liking. Three thicker coats for this one. Also, I don’t have any dupes for this shade in my collection.

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Squeaker of the HouseA chocolate brown so yummy, it crosses party lines. This is the exact type of fall shade that I love, a muted brown. Three easy coats. I could’ve stopped at two, I swear she was perfectly even and opaque but I just couldn’t resist plumping her up a bit more.

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Madam PresidentA commanding red with real Oval Office power. Hmm, to me this shade falls into the berry family and not red at all. Either way the formula is AMAZING and I am obsessed. One coater right here y’all! The only downside is that she’ll stain if you twist while removing.

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We the FemaleYou are hereby authorized to wear this empowering garnet. Now this is a true garnet shade. Gorgeous, creamy and opaque in ONE coat. No complaints. 🙂

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Suzi – The First Lady of NailsCommand the political scene in this chic olive. Semi-sheer with one coat, opaque with two.

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Pale to the ChiefSo nearly nude, it’s almost scandalous.  Isn’t she gorgeous?  There is very a very fine iridescence throughout this one- perfectly opaque with two easy coats. Obsessed.

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Freedom of PeachWearing this creamy peach is your fashion right. This is exactly how I would describe a peach shade made for fall; Peachy? Yes. Dusty? You bet. Two quick coats will leave you with this extremely creamy goodness.

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Shh…It’s Top Secret!A deep, deep brown so dark, it’s incognito. Again, I wouldn’t exactly call this brown but I’ll take it! Opaque in two coats.

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OPI By Popular Vote It’s a landslide victory! This cool apple red is a real winner. A real winner indeed! One coat of berry perfection.

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CIA = Color is AwesomeA smart, dusky blue for secret agent fashionistas. Ugh. Swoon! I absolutely adore shades like this! So pigmented and complete coverage in one coat. Yes, yes, yes!!

…and finally, the three Special Limited-Edition Kerry Washington shades:

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Kerry Blossom – Accomplished stateswoman love this plum with capital flair. By far my favourite in the collection. She is so, so, sooooo pretty!

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“Liv” in the Gray –  This edgy, sophisticated dark gray makes a strong federal case. Another gorgeous one coater right here! In love!

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Inside the ISABELLEtway – Washington’s movers-and-shakers vie for this caramel crème. Flawless with two coats.

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Overall, these formulas are ah-mazing and the shades are so spot on for fall! If you love crème polishes then this collection is definitely for you!

My picks? Kerry Blossom, “Liv” in the Gray and CIA = Color is Awesome.

My tips? Apply a ridge-filling base if your nails have bumps and grooves.

Availability? Select salons, The BayTrade Secretsnailpolishcanada.comulta.com …

The Kerry Washington DC Collection will be available in regular polish and GelColor starting August 2016. Don’t forget to check out OPI.com and @opi_products for more information and updates!

Now, you know I need to know- which shades are you most excited for!?

♡ Lauren

*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*

The essie neons are back and they are bolder and brighter than ever! Although you still have to use that darn white base to make them pop, I can’t really complain in comparison to last years “neon” collection.

I’m not usually a neon polish fan but they pair so perfectly with a tan in the summer that I can hardly resist (I usually opt for a neon pedi). Let’s check out the press release:

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‘the fuchsia of art’ rich, vivid magenta – What you see here, my friends, is three coats of colour PLUS two coats of ‘prime & pop’ as a base. Are the results pretty? Yes. Does the application process almost make it not worth the hassle? Yes. 🙁

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‘gallery gal’ vivacious coral pink – Okay, now this is what I’m talking about! So bright, so bold and completely opaque with one coat of colour (but don’t forget those two coats of ‘prime & pop’)! 😉 ‘gallery gal’ is the type of shade that I can’t stop staring at, and oh so perfect for a beach pedi! LOVE!

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‘off the wall’ bombshell shocking pink – The formula on this one was great as well… but how many coats is too many? Shown here is two coats of ‘prime & pop’ and two coats of ‘off the wall’. She’s REALLY pretty though.

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‘mark on miami’ vibrant ember orange – I don’t know why but I love a good orange (and yellow) neon, and ‘mark on miami’ is just that! Another one coater and soooo so gorgeous!!

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‘stencil me in’ edgy citrus lime – LOVE!! I just can’t get enough… Seriously, I may have to hoard a couple of bottles. ‘stencil me in’ is an easy one coater and such a gorgeous yellow-lime for essie. No fuss with this formula. I am completely obsessed!

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‘in it to wyn it’ electric turquoise blue – probably my least favourite formula of the bunch, this applied streaky even after 4 coats- and that’s not even including the white base!

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What did you guys think? All in all, if you love neon polish there are definitely a few must-haves in this collection. Yes, the white base is a pain and so unnecessary when you compare it to other neon formulas such as China Glaze, but some of these shades are so vibrant and GORG that it’s so worth it. The only two that I really had a hard time applying were the blue and the purple. Oh yeah, expect tons of nail art from me using this collection, ‘stencil me in’ is everything!!

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My picks? ‘stencil me in’, ‘gallery gal’ and ‘mark on miami’.

My tips? Just like Karen from Beauty Geeks I love using RCM White Hot soak off polish as a base (although I didn’t here as I wanted to show you guys how ‘prime & pop’ works).

The essie neon 2016 collection will be available as of August 2016. Will you be picking them up?

♡ Lauren

*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*