Essie Retro Revival swatches and review

Essie Retro Revival swatches and review

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It’s party time…a reunion with old friends you haven’t seen in quite awhile. You’ll be amazed at how good they look after all these years! It’s Essie’s 35th anniversary, an occasion we can all celebrate with Essie Retro Revival, the re-release of six of the most beloved and coveted shades in nail polish history.

The bottles are classic Essie with a stellar twist: a gold design that screams Las Vegas, the place where Essie was first introduced 35 years ago. The starbursts are a nod to the dazzling vintage sign of the Stardust Casino. Just looking at the bottles makes me feel a little more glamorous!


A Retro Revival of six shades, each $8.50. DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free.


Starry Starry Night (1997) – twinkling midnight blue
I am enthralled by what is perhaps the most coveted Essie color ever: the most gorgeous midnight blue I’ve ever seen. Two years ago, a vintage bottle sold on eBay for $250! At the time, I thought the buyer was crazy. Now that I’ve used the color Essie describes as “legendary midnight blue, twinkling with silvery stars and glittering like the night sky,” I understand. The color is so deep, and flecked with little stars of glitter… I can’t stop staring at my hands! I wish I had enough to paint my car this color. It’s perfect, and I’m sure its availability will be fleeting.



Cabana Boy (2005) – ultra-cool pearly white
Unlike the otherworldly flash of Starry, Cabana Boy has stolen my heart in a slow-burning, lustful way. It looks like a dingy gray-white in the bottle, but goes on a gleaming, pearly white. Almost opaque in one coat, two coats are perfection. Even without a top coat, the finish is super shiny.



Life of the Party (2002) – pinot noir pearl
A gorgeous cranberry red with a shimmery finish, this shade is unlike any of the endless assortment of reds I previously owned. Great pigment—I almost didn’t need a second coat—and the shimmer is unique.



Bikini With a Martini (2006) – frosted iridescent pink
Very sheer pink with a purple sheen. In the bottle, it reminds me of a color you’d see in a Fabulous 50s cocktail lounge. On the nails, it’s not quite as pink because it’s so sheer. Very pretty, though.



Sequin Sash (2005) – sheer glittery bronze with silver flecks
Another sheer shade, Sequin Sash is a pretty, light peachy bronze with tiny silver glitter. I like the frosty nude finish, which reminds me of polishes I wore in the 80s.



Birthday Suit (1981) – cheeky delicate nude
One of Essie’s original 12 shades, this reminds me that I first learned of Essie as the go-to line for nude polishes. Birthday Suit is a perfect pinky nude: creamy, glossy, and flattering for any skintone.


Retro Revival is a great opportunity to reconnect with old favorites. But these limited edition colors are going fast, so don’t dawdle, or you might as well start saving your money for a crazy eBay purchase down the road. It really is a “sparkling night of thrills” with this Las Vegas-style celebration! Viva Essie!

we heartsters – what’s your must-have of the bunch?

Melissa loves road trips, bargain shopping, drive-in movies, lip gloss and rock ‘n’ roll. She lives in Baltimore with her precious pups Zeus and Bellarina.
skin tone: NC25
skin type: dry to normal
favorite beauty product: skincare

4 thoughts on “Essie Retro Revival swatches and review”

  1. The bottle accents are so glam and adorable–love them. I am a Starry Night Virgin, but one look at the swatches and I’m a believer. Cabana Boy is calling my name, too–with a matte top coat for extra retro-y goodness. Great review!

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