Truth time: I have a real love/hate relationship with Essie. When I saw the Summer Neon Collection 2014 in a local store I immediately loved the colors (I also wondered what the what they were doing there since their official release date isn't until May 1st). When I got home and swatched them, my love dissolved into hatred. Little Bottles of Hatred.
You know how Essie is notorious for being hit-or-miss when it comes to the formula? Like, sometimes the formula is the perfect consistency so that it doesn't flood the cuticles but it glides on like melted fricking butter and is self-levelling? And sometimes it's watery and streaky and it feels like the polish is purposefully applying in weird plateaus?
I'm no polish-applying expert, but the formula for these falls into the latter category in my book. It blows all the butts.
That being said...
Too Taboo is the best of the worst in this collection in terms of formula. It's described as a "vivid intense fuchsia" which I'd say is pretty spot-on. It applied somewhat streaky with the first coat but evened out by the second and dried with a slight matte finish which I actually kind of liked.
Shown below is two coats over white without topcoat.
Chills & Thrills looked like it would be my favorite in the bottle but it applied like a nightmaaare. In my swatching notes I literally wrote 'ugh' and underlined it. Described as "supercharged neon blue violet," it's a touch more violet-leaning than my photos show. I loved the color but its refusing to level out kind of ruined our special moment together.
Shown below is 3 teeth-grinding, lumpy-ass coats over white without topcoat.
Vices Versa is the exact color of Slimer from Ghostbusters, described as "juicy neon lime." I don't have much to say about this one. I like the color all right, but the formula was a little rebellious and had some issues with leveling out. Dried to a semi-matte finish.
Shown below is three coats over white with no topcoat.
I'm Addicted is described as a "neon aquamarine blue." The formula was quite streaky and not very self-leveling. It's a pretty color but I feel like it would have worked out just fine as a creme. It didn't really read neon to me, you know?
Shown below is three coats over white without topcoat.
Sittin' Pretty is described as a "fluorescent berry hibiscus" which kind of sounds insane. It's, like, lilac. It also photographs a bit blue-r than it is in real life so I adjusted the color to reflect the actual shade. This polish was SO SHEER. I wrote "pretty but not worth it." Yep.
Shown Below is four coats over white without topcoat.
Finally there's Serial Shopper which is described as a "fluorescent fire coral" but my camera describes it as "nope." It photographed as neon orange but in real life looks a lot closer to the color that's in the bottle in my pictures. I tried to adjust the color for accuracy but there's just, like, no way. This one self-leveled the best but the formula was still pretty streaky.
Shown below is four coats (though you could probably get away with three) over white without topcoat.
Overall, I'm super underwhelmed. Essie needs to get its sh together with the formula issues already! If I had to choose colors to recommend, I would say Too Taboo and Serial Shopper were the two that didn't make me want to rip my hair out.
What do you guys think? Does the formula issue dissuade you from getting any of the colors? Do you think I'm just an impatient polish sissy? Do tell!