Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Swatch & Review: Essie - Saltwater Happy

Essie, nail polish, reviews

Hola mi amigas!

I promised y'all that I would review this polish and I'm deliverin' to you today my thoughts on Essie's Saltwater Happy, which is/was part of the Peach Side Babe collection for summer 2015 (or summer 2015/16 if you live in my neck of the woods). It's the only polish I've bought from the collection, although that may change if I finally decide to stop dithering & buy Pret-A-Surfer as well. (Which I did, eventually.)

In case you haven't figured it out already, I'm obsessed with a major lover of blue hues. It's very rare for me to pass on buying anything blue (or blue-green) related, but unbelievably it does happen and has happened with some recent limited edition blues that have come off the Essie production line (e.g. Truth or Flare & Hide & Go Chic). This time, however, was different because I didn't have a shade like this in my stash - it's pretty unique (I call this chambray blue, but Essie call it "sugar-sweet atlantic blue"). Neither Essie's Borrowed & Blue nor OPI's You're Such a Buda-Pest! come close; but having said that if they had a baby, then Saltwater Happy is what it might look like.

Ok enough babbling on, let's hear what I think about this polish:

nail polish swatch
Left hand, indoors, natural light

nail polish swatch
Left hand, outdoors, natural light
  • All the nail bloggers that I follow said that this was the best polish out of the Peach Side Babe collection in terms of application & they weren't wrong. What you see in the photos is 2 coats, albeit uneven ones. Some of my nails were on the bald side after applying the first coat (I blame that on not putting enough polish on my brush in the first place), so I had to do a thicker 2nd coat; although you probably can't see that in the photos. One of my nails has 2 thick-ish coats because that's how it worked out.
  • The formula itself is on the thinner side, but not so thin that its frustrating to work with. Provided you get enough polish on your brush, then application will be fine.
  • As I mentioned in my summer Project Polish update, Essie have changed their brush in recent times. I'm not sure when this occurred - maybe late 2014 or early 2015 - and I'm not sure if it's in all bottles either. Instead of a skinny, compacted, flexible brush with a stumpy sort of end, they now have one that is still flexible yet wider, flat & rounded off at the end for perfect cuticles (see comparison in photo below, it'll tell the story better than I can). Personally I'm a massive fan of this newer brush due to having wide nail beds - these sorts of brushes are soooooo much easier for me to (almost) achieve a perfectly rounded cuticle + they make it easier for me to paint in general - but I know not everyone will be. I suspect Essie might be trying to muscle in on OPI's territory here. EDIT: Essie changed the brush in markets outside of North America. Unfortunately you guys are stuck with the same crappy skinny brush as shown below.
brush comparisons

  • The wear time? Extraordinary. Normally by the 2nd day I have to remove my polish because its begun to chip badly; but to my surprise that didn't happen this time. In fact, on the 3rd day (last Tuesday/Australia Day) all I could see was just some minor tip wear & a couple of minor chips on my right thumb & middle finger - the rest of my nails still looked as good as new & as glossy as they did post-manicure. I did dent the tip of that middle finger a bit several hours after application, but that wasn't a huge deal unless you got out a magnifying glass to look at my nails. I kept this on for a whole week (no extra top coat added) just to see how well it would last and I think the photos below speak for themselves!
nail polish wear time
Right hand, 1 week since application

nail polish wear time
Left hand, 1 week since application
  • This shade works well on my fair cool-toned skin + I feel like I could potentially rock this shade all year round. That said, blue in general is a shade that just works for me, regardless of its tone.
  • If you're into the whole Pantone colo(u)r of the year thang, then Saltwater Happy matches Serenity fairly well.

Overall I'm really Saltwater Happy (bahahahahaha lolz #crappypuns) with this polish and I reckon it's one of the best polishes to have ever come from the Essie factory line. I really hope it becomes part of the permanent range at some stage, but considering Essie have just welcomed one of the worst formulated polishes from a recent collection (which we didn't get in Australia *sniff sniff*) into its permanent range, I haven't got my hopes up.

For all my Aussie sisters, you guys can get this + the other 5 polishes from the Peach Side Babe collection in Priceline or at chemists that stock Essie (the Soul Pattinson one in Sydney's Pitt St Mall sells Essie, FYI to my Sydney readers), but you'll want to be quick as they are limited edition & will be gone soon. For all the northern hemisphere folk, I'm not sure if this will still be on your shelves since this was from last summer. With a bit of luck you may still be able to find a bottle.

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*All products featured for review on The Novice Life are purchased by me, unless otherwise stated. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more details.

 Do you love blue hues as much as I do?


  1. This is a gorgeous shade!
    Very wearable!

    1. I know, she's a beauty & yes, very wearable even if you're not into blues as much as I am.

  2. I actually love the new Essie brushes as I feel like it's easier to paint the entire nail! This shade looks gorgeous on you Shell! :)

    1. Totally agree with you Aimee - they're much easier to paint with & I hate skinny polish brushes. Ain't nobody got time for that! Thank you for the compliment too. :o)


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