Back in the Summer of 2009 I was sitting at the reception desk of a dead-end job. The sad thing is I was lucky to have the job because the job scene was in the toilet. It was quite possibly the most boring job I have ever had except for the fact that there were 3 salesmen whom I bonded with and we found ways to keep ourselves occupied and entertained. Of course we had to make sure the branch manager and his pet monkey (the counter salesman) didn't catch on to any of it (we were known to play pranks on those two). We were kinda like 'The Office' but a little less obvious and there was no office romance (unless you counted the branch manager and his pet monkey). I spent much time goofing off on the Internet. Before you ask; No, there was nothing else for me to do. I already did it all. I turned that office around as far as organization and filing was concerned. I even kicked ass in doing all the customer service stuff (talking to unhappy customers, returns, all that junk).
I found a killer fashion blog (which sadly, I no longer know the name of and can't find anymore, darn it!) and I loved her looks.... I think she was in Amsterdam and her style was very much what I would love my style to be if I were a little more edgy and bold. It was shabby chic with a little rock n' roll here and there. She's the one who introduced me to H&M and Top Shop. Before her blog I didn't think those places carried anything my style; turns out they do. One day there was an Essie ad that popped up with the 2009 Summer Collection; my eyes zeroed in on this bold, saturated coral. It was love at first sight. This was the moment that changed my path and eventually lead to the creation of this blog. That was the defining moment. I had to have it; and I got it. The entire collection... because I fell down the rabbit hole.
This will always be THE Summer Shade for me. You can imaging my disappointment when Essie sold out to L'Oreal and was no longer cruelty free. I have purged my Essie stash, except for this one and another that was given to me as a gift. The formula on Escapades is unique; it wants to be a jelly but it's thin and watery. In the photo I used 3 coats and you can still see visible nail line. However, you get a high shine finish once it's dry (I didn't use a top coat). Dry time is average and I do recommend allowing plenty of dry time between coats. This is no longer available in Essie's core line, but you could always try eBay, a Polish Swap/Sell Group on Facebook, or even Googling it to see what you can find.
I apologize for my photos in the this post... I have no idea where all these little fuzzies came from and the few little blue glitters on my ring finger (I wasn't even using a blue glitter!).
Because this bold coral polish means so much me to I decided to go on a hunt for a dupe. NYX Girls has quite a few coral colors in their line up and they are quite inexpensive as well as a huge 'Cruelty-Free' supporter. Here are some comparisons for your viewing pleasure:
|They all look the same in the bottle don't they? From Left to Right: Unbreak My Heart, Love at First Sight, Poppy, and Grapefruit.|
|On the Right; Top to Bottom: NYX Girls - Grapefruit, Poppy, Love at First Sight, and Unbreak My Heart.|
On the Left is Essie, Escapades (As you can see my camera freaked out a bit on it)
NYX Girls, Poppy is the lightest one of the group. I didn't think it would be close to Escapades but sometimes nail color dries darker on the nail than in the bottle. This one matches the bottle color perfectly. It's less intense and softer than Escapades but still a bright pop of color. It's still a little sheer but much more opaque than Escapades. I had a bit of streaking with Poppy but maybe I just didn't wait long enough in between coats. I only needed 2 coats and it dried to a high gloss shine.
NYX Girls, Love at First Sight is the best substitute to Escapades. It's slightly more orange but here's what I like about it:
- Only required 2 coats to match the same level of opacity as Escapades at 3 coats.
- When in indoor lighting, there is no discernible difference between the two.
- It's still a sheer jelly that gives a juicy, squishy look.
- The formula was slightly thicker and easier to work with.
- Same high shine finish as Escapades.
NYX Girls, Unbreak My Heart is the reddest one. It's also a tad darker than Escapades. The formula was a lot like Poppy, much more opaque than Escapades but a bit streaky. It's like a tomato red. I only used 2 coats for Unbreak My Heart and it dried to a high shine finish.
None of the nail stick swatches have top coat.
You can buy NYX Girls at various online retailers like Beauty Joint, Cherry Culture, and Amazon. I also find it at Cinderella Accessory Shops.
I hope you enjoyed my comparison post; I love finding cruelty-free replacements!
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