Lauren

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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.*

Kat Burki is a line that I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about. A favourite among Victoria’s Secret models, Kat Burki’s products were developed with bio-processing technology to create nutritionally based beauty products that would challenge the status-quo. The prices are a bit steep but with quality ingredients like these, it’s well worth the price for healthy, glowy skin that starts from the inside.

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The Kat Burki Vitamin C Nourishing Cleansing Balm has quickly become a staple in my skin care ritual. I like to use this at night on dry skin to ensure my skin is fully cleansed, as balms are pretty heavy-duty compared to regular cleansers. My skin feels instantly fresh, plump, and hydrated- it has 15% Vitamin C to ensure a bright, even skin tone and seven bio-processed oils; coconut, sunflower, jojoba, rose hip seed, olive, avocado and cranberry seed. It honestly smells so good and I just can’t get enough! The texture is creamy and rich but after massaging it into my face it’s easy to wipe of with a face towel or simply warm water. I love the feeling of my skin after using this.. it feels ultra cleansed but hydrated at the same time.

I like to use the Kat Burki Balancing Elixir after the Cleansing Balm as it helps refresh and ensure the skin is fully cleansed (sometimes cleansing balm can leave a little residue on your skin). It claims to support natural collagen production while brightening and tightening the skin. I’ve been using it for a few months now and have noticed my skin looking brighter and slightly more even-toned.

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Finally, the Kat Burki Complete B Vital Hydration Mask is by far my favourite – it’s like hydrating magic in a tube! It uses pro B vitamins to improve the skin’s elasticity and encourage natural emollient production. I have super dry, dehydrated skin so I love to apply this at night and let it soak in while I sleep. When I wake up my skin is plump and my fine lines appear to be blurred. As you may know, I’m currently in the process of planning my wedding (check out my something blue above) and this mask will definitely be my go-to on my big day.

Kat Burki products are available at katburki.com and Murale, have any of you tried their products? If so, what are some of your favourites?

♡ Lauren
<span style=”font-size: xx-small;”>*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*</span>

Hi guys! I am super excited to share Sally Hansen’s new launch, Color Therapy, with all of you! Color Therapy is the first Sally Hansen nail polish that blends ultra-saturated color and nourishing Argan Oil in 33 stunning new shades that were created in partnership with their Global Color Ambassador, Madeline Poole.

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“Sally Hansen continues to lead in innovation by introducing its new Color Therapy products: a nail polish, top coat, and nail & cuticle oil, inspired by women’s desire to wear beautiful color while simultaneously caring for their nails. Sally Hansen’s Color Therapy nail polish and top coat contain a patented micro-delivery system that delivers an argan oil-enriched formula, resulting in intensive nourishment and instant moisture for healthier-looking nails. The Color Therapy nail polish needs no base coat so the oil complex can directly contact the bare nail. 9 out of 10 women experienced a noticeable improvement in their natural nails after wearing the Color Therapy nail polish. Vibrant tones, available in three magnificent palettes, glide on for a radiant, shiny finish with up to 10 days of fade-proof, chip-resistant wear. The Color Therapy nail polish provides the ultimate color that cares while you wear, with everything needed to restore nails without sacrificing luminous color.

Complete your manicure with the Color Therapy top coat and nail & cuticle oil, both formulated with the same argan oil contained in the nail polish. The top coat provides an ultra-glossy finish for extended wear, and the nail & cuticle oil, the ultimate in nail therapy, instantly makes nails and cuticles look healthier, restored, and rejuvenated.

Color Therapy blends a complex of natural argan, acai, and evening primrose oil to condition weak, dry nails. Argan oil contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, as well as vitamin E, an antioxidant vital for healthy skin and nails. Acai berry oil is rich in omega-3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids that are valued for nutrition and conditioning in skin and hair care. Evening primrose oil features essential fatty acids that are known to help reinforce hair strength.” – Sally Hansen Color Therapy Press Release

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MADELINE POOLE, SALLY HANSEN GLOBAL COLOR AMBASSADOR

I actually had the opportunity to sit down with Madeline Poole to have my nails done and discuss the new formula and shades that she helped create. (Note: I filmed the whole process with Madeline but unfortunately my macbook crashed this past weekend and I’m in the process of trying to re-edit everything so please bare with me – UPDATE I was unable to recover the video files) you can read some highlights from my experience with Madeline below.

Madeline Poole is an editorial manicurist, designer and nail art genius! Besides being named Sally Hansen’s Global Color Ambassador in 2014 her looks and expertise have been featured in countless magazines and on the runways. Needless to say it was an extremely cool experience to be able to sit down with her, chat about Color Therapy and have my nails done! If you’re not already following Madeline you can find her at @mpnails / mpnails.com. Spoiler alert: you’ll find major nail inspo!

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Madeline Poole, Sally Hansen’s Global Color Ambassador and I at the Color Therapy launch.

What is Color Therapy?

MP: Color Therapy is color that cares while you wear. It has 3 nourishing oils; acai, argan and evening primrose that soak into the nail plate while you wear. The polish is applied directly onto the nail (no base). It is a guilt-free polish. No drying, breaking, flaking or “breathe-time” necessary.

Who is Color Therapy best for?

MP: Everyone! It’s especially great for those who get acrylic/gel a lot as it will really help heal and nourish dry and damaged nails, bringing them back to a healthy state. It’s also amazing for pedicures.

Tell me a little bit more about the formula, how does Color Therapy apply as oppose to non-oil infused polishes?

MP: Color Therapy polishes are very high opacity. They are still thin and easy to apply but they have great coverage, which makes them great for regular wear and/or nail art. The wear time should last up to 10 days.

You actually helped design this entire collection; what is your favorite thing about Color Therapy?

MP: Definitely the colors- they are rich, expensive and luxurious! There is something for everyone.

I noticed that there are a great variety of shades (sheer, creamy, metallic). Metallics are sometimes hard to apply, as they tend to highlight nail imperfections. Do these run more opaque than your regular formula metallics?

MP: The soft pinks and peaches that are meant to be delicate are obviously going to apply more on the sheer side, as this was the intention. However the rich tones, take Soothing Sapphire for example, will apply exactly how it looks in the bottle. All of the rich tones are really strong, prominent shades. This was something that was extremely important to me, it’s always annoying when you pick up a shade and it ends up looking nothing like how it shows in the bottle. With Color Therapy you will get great coverage with 2 coats. I really tried to fill in the blanks color-wise; colors that I thought were missing from other Sally Hansen franchises. Sure, there a lot of pinks but there wasn’t any specific opaque “hot pink” that wasn’t metallic so therefore Berry Smooth was created. I also tried to include different tones (warm & cool) so that everyone really had something to choose from.

Speaking of these gorgeous shades, do you have any current favorites?

MP: It changes almost everyday! But, right now I love Soothing Sapphire, it’s amazing. it looks so luxurious and elegant with a metallic sheen. Unwine’d is also a gorgeous deep red- it’s just so fabulous… I just feel like such a lady in it, and then I was just wearing Robes and Rosé… I guess I’m really into metallic shades lately!

Do you have any tips and tricks for nail art beginners?

MP: A clean up brush, for really sharp edges. Negative space is great cause there is no base coat required you just clean up the nail plate and you’re good to go. It’s important to grasp your own style and go from there. The nail art inspirations are endless.

Finally, is there a certain look that you’re obsessed with at the moment?

MP: I just love long nails lately. Long nail with the underside painted – it’ definitely more picture worthy more than lifestyle… it’s hard to do and you need super long nails but it just photographs so beautifully!

Madeline created one of her classic looks on my nails using the new Color Therapy shades Cool Cucumber and Berry Smooth. I was blown away from the get-go at how creamy and opaque the first coat of polish applied- check out the final result:

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I probably didn’t change my polish for about 5 days after this (which is super rare for me) because I was just so obsessed with these watermelon nails! Once I removed it (Color Therapy removes with regular polish remover) I noticed almost no staining which is amazing since we used no base with a hot pink polish, and my nails felt nourished instead of the usual stripped-dry feeling… Also tell me that these new rose gold lids aren’t the chicest lids you’ve ever seen!?

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COLOR THERAPY: THE SWATCHES

Sally Hansen Color Therapy comes in an array of 33 different shades ranging from sheer neutrals, soft pinks to richer hues that will be sure to please anyone and everyone. There’s a great mix of bold, bright shades and neutrals along with some great metallic-jewel tones. All of my swatches were taken in regular daylight and only two coats of each shade were used without a top or base coat. I also didn’t use any clean-up brush so that you can really see how great the brush/formula combination is.

RICH TONES

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Ohm My Magenta – say “namaste” to this magnificent reddish-purple

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Unwine’d – escape with a beautiful robust bordeaux

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Slicks And Stones – a lustrous crystalized purple

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Red-iance – energize with this cherry red

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Haute Springs – clear your head with a restorative red

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Red-y To Glow – harness a zen attitude with a medium cerise tint

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Exotic Acai – cleanse your color palette with this plum tone

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Indiglow – shimmer with an electric metallic violet

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Good As Blue – refresh with this daring navy

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Soothing Sapphire – reflect and restore in a saturated blue jewel tone

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Ja-Cozy – melt away in the aquatic tones of cobalt blue

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Reflection Pool – go with the flow in a metallic aquamarine

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Cool Cucumber – a deep refreshing garden green

PINKS & CORALS

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Aura’nt You Relaxed? – invigorate your senses with vibrant coral

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Pampered in Pink – revitalize with this punchy pink

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Soak At Sunset – a rose gold tinged with tangerine

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Rosy Quartz – a crystallized classic pale pink

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Sheer Nirvana – a marvelous marshmallow with hint of muted lilac

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Primrose And Proper – a delicate medium pink hue

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Rosy Glow – this beautiful begonia pink replenishes and restores

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Berry Smooth – a bright electric pink berry

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Mauve Mantra – conjure calm with this carnation tint

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Robes and Rosé – a metallic and bubbly fuchsia

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Couple’s Massage – unwind with this shimmery pastel peach

THE NUDES

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Steely Serene – get centered in a gorgeous greige

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Powder Room – a ladylike pearlescent blushed nude

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Chai On Life – a warm calming taupe

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Well, Well, Well – keep it clean in this milky hue

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Make My Clay – submit to serenity in this earthy putty shade

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Therapewter – meditate in a deep charcoal metallic

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Glow With The Flow – a luminous and naturally radiant pale bronze shimmer

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Blushed Petal – breathe it out in a botanical blush tone

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Re-Nude – take some me time with this peach-tinged taupe

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I am so obsessed with the idea behind these new Sally Hansen Color Therapy polishes. Color that cares while you wear is something that can benefit anyone! Although wearing them for an extended period of time is probably best in order to see real benefits from the oils, it’s a relief to know that even after a few days your nails won’t feel dry or damaged (especially with bolder hues). The formula is so smooth and creamy and the color payoff is super pigmented and rich- shades are exactly as seen in the bottle. Most of these shades applied opaque with one coat, which is something so crucial to me. Plus, you don’t have to fuss with a base coat to achieve flawless application. Healthy nails start with the foundation (skin and cutlcles) so it’s a relief to know that you don’t have to forgo color while giving them some much needed “therapy”.  Sally Hansen Color Therapy hits shelves in July 2016.

My favorite shades?

I am currently loving Slicks and Stones, Chai on Life and Berry Smooth.

My tips?

Make sure your nail plate is clean of any oils before you start, it will really help the oils soak in and let the polish adhere.

Now that you’ve seen all of the swatches and heard my thoughts, I’m curious to know which shades are YOUR favorites and what you guys are looking forward to the most about this new range?

♡ Lauren
<span style=”font-size: xx-small;”>*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*</span>

Hi guys, I’m so happy to finally be able to share with you a sneak peek of the upcoming essie Gel Couture Collection! You may be wondering “what took essie so long” to develop an at home gel system as we’ve already seen Sally Hansen, OPI, CND and even Revlon’s take on this… Well, the truth is, they spent a while making sure the application and formula would be flawless, and trust me it. is. flawless. So sure, they might be a little behind in the gel game but once you try Gel Couture, you’ll know why.

I’ll let you guys read through the press release and then we’ll dive into my favourite things about these polishes and of course some swatches! 😉

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Gel Couture is “perfect for both salon and at-home application, the instant gel-like shine is delivered in an easy 2-step system that anyone can master!” and the best part is that the GC line is actually divided into 4 fun collections; Atelier, First Look, Fashion Show and After Party. While I won’t be swatching all 42 shades just yet, (I haven’t had the time) I will make sure to include a few from each collection in this post, but don’t worry I will definitely add all 42 eventually.

Also, can we talk about the brush!? The brush is life changing!! essie claims their Gel Couture brush is “a first-to-market curve hugging, patent-pending swirl stem brush. Its meticulous design hugs the curvature of the nail and ensures perfect color application.” and I just can’t oppose that. I was super skeptical at first because I adore essie’s regular thin brush, I have small fingers and nails so the tiny brush is perfect for me. The Gel Couture brush is truly amazing and delivers such a flawless application, I swear you’ll never want to use anything else (like I’m legit thinking of just cleaning then dipping the GC brush in any polish I use in the future). IT’S THAT GOOD, GUYS.

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The Gel Couture formula also claims to leave minimal staining (if any). While it’s recommended to use no base coat, you may want to use one if you are very prone to staining or have ridges. What I love about this unique formula is that it doesn’t cause bubbles like many other at-home gel polishes. Oh yeah and the Gel Couture Top Coat is quick-drying and not UV sensitive. Unlike gel•setter the GC top coat formula is a bit thinner and does not clump over time (yay)!

Let’s take a look at the different collections:

ATELIER; Embodied by the neutrals.

“Make a powerful statement in whisper soft essie neutrals. Inspired by the atelier’s go-to palette of tulle, fishnet and lace. These shades seamlessly fuse delicacy with quiet strength. From lustrous pearls and sheer veils to creamy silks, there’s a shade of luxe for every heart’s desire.”

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shown below is atelier’s ‘first view’ a baby cashmere blue

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Ugh. Obsessed. Could’ve gotten away with one coat but I followed the instructions and applied two. :p

FIRST LOOK; Embodied by the pastels.

“Win hearts with graceful charm in essie pastels. Fashion comes out from backstage to first look and pulls out all the stops in these alluring, ultra-feminine pastels. This cotton-candy rainbow of creams is all about how you style it: with taste, wit and cutting-edge style.”

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show below is first look’s ‘pre-show jitters’ an alabaster white

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Although the shade states alabaster white, I found there to be subtle pink hues in here. Almost like the original ‘fiji’ but more white. I always love testing light opaque shades because they are notorious for streaking. No clumping. No fussing. Gel Couture is the real deal.

FASHION SHOW; Embodied by the brights.

“Turn heads on the runway in essie brights. These entrance makers are brilliantly boundary-pushing and flawlessly fashion forward. From red-hot crimson to acid chartreuse, each shade vividly proclaims your place on couture’s fabulous throne.”

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show below is fashion show’s ‘beauty marked’ a striking statement crimson

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This red applied evenly and left no staining. Two even coats topped with Gel Couture Top Coat.

AFTER PARTY; Embodied by the deeps.

“Soar to new fashion heights in decadent essie deeps. Bask in the glamorous celebrations and come dressed to the nines. From an ebony kiss to midnight plum, this stylish after party is more mysterious under the cover of darkness.”

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shown below is after party’s ‘off duty-style’ a deep dusty teal

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Look how nicely the brush allows the colour to line up with the cuticle- no spilling and no clean-up! LOVE.

…and finally, here is the shade story:

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All in all, I’m obsessed! Not just because it’s essie but because the product is truly amazing and well worth the wait. From the funky bottle design (which stacks beautifully btw) to the formula, to the the brush and even the long wear and shine, Gel Couture is something that you need in your collection.

essie Gel Couture will retail for 13.99 CAD and launches in stores and salons on June 14th, 2016– so soon, I know!

How many of you can’t wait to get your hands on these beauties?! If you want to see how they compare to regular essie shades (any dupes, etc.) keep checking back as I’ll be continuously adding to this post.

♡ Lauren

Happy Sunday! I thought that I’d finally share my thoughts on the upcoming essie Summer 2016 collection. I have to say that the formulas used in this collection are most similar to those in the Spring ’16 collection which is AH-MAZING. The namesake in this collection is ‘viva antigua!’ a gorgeous shimmering turquoise. The collection consists of 3 sparkling shades and 3 opaques. Before I get started I know that a lot of you are somewhat disappointed with these shades as they look very similar to existing shades .. but that’s not the case! Keep reading to hear my thoughts, shade story, swatches, review and comparisons:

 

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‘viva antigua!’, ‘loot the booty’, ‘tribal text-styles’, ‘hiking heels’, ‘berried treasures’ and ‘coconut cove’

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‘coconut cove’ is a sweet cream white. I would describe it as an off-white that applies opaque with one coat but it’s better with two coats to ensure full, even coverage. The formula is amazing and so SO shiny! I can definitely see myself wearing this one all through summer.

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‘berried treasures’ is a bright ruby berry. I love this type of pink for summer, although it’s very hard to capture the exact shade on camera (think ‘brides no grooms’ or ‘bachelorette bash’) it’s like a creamy hot pink. The formula is super shiny and opaque with two thin coats.

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‘hiking heels’ is scorching hot lava red. LOVE! You can never go wrong with a bright, bold red. But, this shade does seem eerily similar to last years ‘sunset sneaks’. No complaints about the formula, and no staining with removal either.

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‘viva antigua!’ is an iridescent crystalline turquoise. I’ve heard some people mention that my swatch doesn’t look anything like the others they’ve seen online. I do not use artificial lighting for my photos and I always make sure to capture shades that have sparkle in direct sunlight. Shades can look different against different nail beds. This is how ‘viva antigua!’ looks like on mine. It is NOT texturized, or altered. I absolutely love this shade! I used three thin coats here to even out the sparkle.

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‘loot the booty’ is a pavé sapphire blue. This colour reminds me of ‘style cartel’ with shimmer, it really is such a lovely blue. Is it dark for summer? Sure. Do I care? No. Three thin coats shown here. (plus it’s a great colour for a pedicure.. ;))

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‘tribal text-styles’ is a black gold crushed onyx. This is hands down my favourite from this collection (besides ‘viva antigua!’) three thin coats and you’re looking at a gorgeous iridescent black.

COMPARISONS

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L to R: ‘haute tub’ – ‘tribal text-styles’ – ‘frock n roll’ | L to R: ‘naughty nautical’ – ‘viva antigua!’ – ‘garden variety’

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L to R: ‘style cartel’ – ‘loot the booty’ – ‘starry starry night’ – ‘butler please’ | L to R: ‘brides no grooms’ – ‘berried treasures’ – ‘peach daiquiri’ 

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L to R: ‘color binge’ – ‘hiking heels’ – ‘fifth avenue’ | L to R: ‘urban jungle’ – ‘coconut cove’ – ‘blanc’ 

The essie Summer 2016 collection will be available as of May 17th, 2016 across Canada. Which shades are you most excited for?

♡ Lauren

<span style=”font-size: xx-small;”>*PR press sample kindly provided for my un-biased consideration.*</span>