REVIEW: essie Treat Love & Color Nail Polishes

by - March 02, 2018

I can remember as a kid noticing just how much better my nails looked in the summer. Literally, I have a specific memory of being on the dock when I was maybe about 10 or 11 and noticing that my nails looked really nice and wondering why that was. Now, as an adult, I realize that in the colder months here in Winnipeg I definitely need to pay better attention to taking care of my nails. As a result, I recently jumped at the chance to try out the essie Treat Love & Color nail polishes. These aren't an entirely new release, but for 2018, essie expanded the range to 32 shades!

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Infused with collagen and camellia extract and developed with over 5 years of research, these polishes promise 60% less peeling and 35% less breakage in just one week. They also claim that you don't need to add a base or top coat, making this a one step at-home manicure product that is actually good for your nails. Initially, as far as I know, there were only sheer shades in this collection, but with the expansion they've moved to include quite a number of opaque shades as well.

I love the idea of a nail polish that's actually going to nourish and strengthen my nails while I wear them, particularly because it doesn't just use hardening ingredients that in my experience can tend to make my nails brittle and more prone to breakage. In the winter, my biggest issues are peeling and breaking, so I had high hopes for how these polishes would perform.

essie Treat Love & Color in "Pinked To Perfection"*
I honestly don't wear this type of shade often because I tend to find that I hate the formulas of very light pink shades almost across the board. However, I do actually quite like this one. This shade is described as a "blossoming link pink cream", and I'd say that is pretty accurate. For this swatch, I did three coats for full, smooth opacity, but I think you can get away with two coats if you apply it with a little bit of a heavier hand. I used this in a nail art look (below) and I really liked it in that way, but even though I did quite enjoy this formula this isn't going to be a shade that I'm personally likely to use on its own.

essie Treat Love & Color in "Good Lighting"*
Now we're getting more into my personal wheel house of shades! Described as a cream porcelain true beige, this is definitely the type of nude that I like to reach for when I want some really basic, easily-wearable nails (or when I want nail art with a nude base, which is more common.) For this swatch, I applied two coats and I felt like it looked really, really nice - though I would probably want to use a top coat with this shade just to give it a little bit more umph. I have a feeling I'll be reaching for this one quite a bit.

essie Treat Love & Color in "Indi-Go For It!"*
Thanks to Chickadvisor, this is actually the first shade that I tried in the collection and definitely made me interested in trying out more shades. Described as a steely greay blue cream, I don't personally see much indigo, but I really don't care because this is exactly the type of blue shade that I'm likely to reach for personally. This is two coats without top coat and I think it looks really, really good. One criticism that I have for these polishes is that as the shades get deeper, if you take their advice and don't use a base or top coat and have any texture on your nail, it will be fairly obvious in the finish. Because I'm an insane perfectionist, this is definitely something I noticed. Still, I'm a little in love with this shade and I know I'll use it a lot. See below for nail art using this shade as a base.

essie Treat Love & Color in "Laven-Dearly"
I wasn't entirely sure if this shade was going to be one that stood out for me, but I definitely found myself enjoying it - especially for some nail art that I did, which you can check out below. Described as a sheer lavender with orchid irridescence, this is definitely a shade that I will personally reach for to top others and give them a little bit of oomph. For this swatch, I put one coat of this over top of Indi-Go For It! and I really love the effect it gives. It's subtle, lighting up the blue a little bit, but it also adds the most beautifully subtle flash of that orchid shimmer that I just absolutely love. It's also really smooth in coverage and would work nicely in lieu of a traditional top coat if you do want to keep this formula breathable as essie suggests.

essie Treat Love & Color in "A-Game"
Finally, the most impressive shade for me personally. Described as a deep concrete rose cream (what??), this shade is opaque in one coat and walks that line between being really wearable and pretty and being bold. It's deep, so it has some drama, but there's also a lightness and ease to the colour that I absolutely love. This swatch is one coat, but I think that for a smoother finish I would probably apply two coats to get this to where I want it. That said, I feel like this is a shade that I will 100% reach for if I need to get my nails done quick, because it was super easy to apply, full coverage, and dried quite quickly.

As I said above, while testing these polishes I did use them in nail art looks and I'm really happy with how they turned out. For the first look, I applied two coats of Indi-Go For It as a base and then followed with an irridescent nail powder and some white stamping. I wore this mani for four days and didn't have any chipping and only minimal tip wear. Overall, really impressed.

The second mani I did with these polishes is the marble mani on the right. I started with two coats of Pinked To Perfection before adding texture and marble patterns using a white polish. Next, I smoothed out the white with a coat of Laven-Dearly before repeating the process with white and rose gold marbling and finishing with another coat of Laven-Dearly. I feel like Pinked To Perfection was perfectly what I was going for and held up with what I put on top of it, but the real winner here was Laven-Dearly because it really helped to smooth and add dimension to the look. I only wore this mani for two days, but it was just as perfect when I took it off as when it was first applied.

I have to say, I was overall pretty impressed with all of these shades, more than I even expected myself to be, in fact. Obviously there were differences in opacity between the shades and I did find that the deeper shades tended to emphasize texture on my nails if they were worn on their own, but I do think that this line is solid overall and I know I will be reaching for some of these shades often. 

The expanded range of the essie Treat Love & Color nail polishes are available now wherever essie is sold!

Thanks for reading!

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