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Collection: Navigate Her (Essie)
Retail Price: $8.00 (USD) per bottle

Today, I’m reviewing Essie’s spring 2012 Navigate Her collection, which was created to “pay tribute to the beautiful, ambitious woman of action… Never one to rest on her formidable charms alone, this self-made woman knows what she wants and exactly how to get it. She’s in the driver’s seat navigating her way through life with daring, wit and fashion aplomb.” I love that description from Essie! This is a collection with some real zing. There are a few traditional spring pastels in this collection, but just as many bright, eye-stopping colors, too. This collection is quite fun, and certainly fits the “daring and fun” mood Essie was going for. Read on for the reviews! :)

Navigate Her: This shade is a bright pistachio green pastel with a creme finish. Bossy Boots (Butter London) is a dupe, although Navigate Her is slightly darker. The formula for this is adequate. Application is slightly streaky on the first coat, but the problem doesn’t last beyond that. In the photo above, I am wearing three coats of Navigate Her. Overall, this is a great spring color, and certainly one of the “it” colors this season. However, since so many collections have attempted their own versions of this light pistachio green, all I think when I see it is “blah.” It might be one of those colors I’ll totally fall in love with next spring. Regardless, if you’re a pastel person, this would be a great last-minute polish to pick up before St. Patrick’s Day this year!

To Buy Or Not To Buy: This shade is a creme pastel purple with lilac shimmer throughout. No matter what I did, I could not get the shimmer to photograph. This isn’t a testament to my “photography,” though…it just proves how subtle the shimmer is. I could really only see the shimmer if I held the bottle really close to my face and squinted! The subtle pop of shimmer was a good thought (a sneaky way to add some bling to an otherwise safe spring color), but I’d say it’s a bit too subtle if no one can even see it! Sadly, it doesn’t improve on the nail. Application is similar to Navigate Her, in that it’s streaky on the first coat, but worst of all, the shimmer really isn’t noticeable on the nail either. In the photo above, I am wearing three coats of To Buy Or Not To Buy. If you choose to purchase this shade, I’d say it’s a classic spring color to have in your stash; however, since the shimmer doesn’t really show up, if you already own Nice Is Nice (Essie), you can probably pass on this one.

A Crewed Interest: This shade is a pastel peach with a creme finish. Seriously, all I could think about when I swatched it was a peach smoothie!! I’m generally sort of harsh on pastels since I think they just don’t go with my skin tone (perhaps not as well as other nail polish colors), but I rather liked this! It made me realize that what’s most notable about all the pastels in this collection (especially Navigate Her and A Crewed Interest) is they seem to pop. Since A Crewed Interest is such a worksafe color, I think the pop of color really adds some personality to an otherwise muted color. Again, application was similar to the other pastels in this collection: streaky on the first coat, but much smoother afterward. In the photo above, I am wearing three coats of A Crewed Interest. Overall, the reason I like this shade so much is it’s a fun worksafe color, and a great twist on the nude/neutral nail trend. If you like pastels, absolutely add this one to your stash. If you’re not really a pastels person…I dare you to add this one to your stash. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Orange, It’s Obvious: I love the name of this shade—how fun! It’s a bright, highly pigmented orange that reminds me of sunsets. And that’s probably because the shade reminds me of Meet Me At Sunset (Essie), except Meet Me At Sunset is slightly darker. The real difference, however, is that Meet Me At Sunset has a very thin formula (I think it’s possibly Essie’s attempt at a jelly), and Orange, It’s Obvious is a true creme. The formula for this shade was really easy to work with. Application is smooth, and I achieved bottle color in two coats. I like this orange because it’s so bright; any darker, and I’d be reminded of Halloween instead of sunsets!  This is definitely more of a summer color instead of a spring color, but that’s just as fine. It’s great for your fingernails, but I think this shade (and the other two brights in this collection) are even better for your toes!

Tour De Finance: I love the name of this shade, too! “Tour De Finance” is so creative (although possibly the most boring tour ever!), especially since I keep wanting to read it as Tour De France. In any case, this shade is an incandescent fuchsia with subtle pink and blue shimmer. It’s a really outspoken color, and certainly the most creative in this collection. In fact, I don’t think I own another pink like it. Application was an absolute dream with this shade. The formula is perfection, and it’s so easy to create smooth lines for a clean final manicure. I can’t say enough about how much I like the formula! In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Tour De Finance. Overall, I think it’s pretty clear I like this shade. It’s flirty and fun, which is perfect for summer parties or a day on the beach, and absolutely daring to work it in the office. I didn’t know it was possible to plan for a “filing your taxes” manicure until now…

Olé Caliente: This shade is a bright coral reddish pink (or pinkish red?) creme. In fact, it looked more like a pink than a red to me at first, so “coral” really is the perfect term to describe it. I love this shade, and I think it might be the most obvious favorite from the collection; it’s never in stock at my Ulta! The formula for this shade is similar to Tour De Finance, in that application is smooth and easy, and it’s practically effortless to create a flawless manicure. In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Olé Caliente. Again, this would be a great color for your fingers and toes. It doesn’t really remind me of the spring (like I said, these brights all make me think of summer), but that’s okay. If you’re looking for a cute shade that can add a pop of color to any wardrobe, Olé Caliente is your dance partner all year. It’s a fun staple you need in your stash!

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this collection. I’m kind of “blegh” about the pastels, although I think both Navigate Her and A Crewed Interest are interesting, and might possibly seem more alluring when I’m not swamped in spring colors. I love the bright in this collection, though. They are so in-your-face and unapologetically fabulous! 

Going back to Essie’s theme for the collection, I think they succeed in creating a fun and daring collection for the ambitious woman. The shades in this collection are fashionable since they certainly go with spring and summer wardrobes (they seem so representative of a lot of what I saw from New York Fashion Week this year, too!), but even more notable is that each shade has its own personality, meaning you can wear these colors in my favorite way: based on your mood instead of your wardrobe! So, despite my mixed feelings on some of the shades, I’d still have to say Essie nailed it with this collection. :)

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Essie.

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