REVIEW: essie Gel Couture Wedding Collection x Reem Acra 2018

by - May 23, 2018

Recently I got my hands on a couple of polishes from last year's Essie Gel Couture Bridal Collection and I kind of fell in love with them. I don't actually buy a lot of gel look polishes, because I feel like they never really look like gel to me, but Lace Me To The Altar from last year's collection really gave me that feel of actual gel polish. So obviously, I was really excited to try out this year's Essie Gel Couture Reem Acra Wedding Collection* polishes, hoping to find a few shades that would hit that same mark for me.

Keep reading for my review and swatches!

I love that Essie is actually working with bridal designers to curate their bridal collections (last year they worked with Monique Lhuillier). If you're unfamiliar with Reem Acra, she's a bridal and ready-to-wear designer who is known for her beautiful wedding gowns and ready-to-wear collections in rich hues with beautiful embellishment. Admittedly, I was more aware of her name than her actual work before I looked into her for this review, but the shade choices in this collection make absolute perfect sense when you look at her work. In my opinion, amazing choice of designer to work with on this collection.

The six shades in this collection range from very classic bridal shades to shades that you wouldn't necessarily immediately think of for a bridal collection but somehow, in my opinion, really work. There's also a selection of different finishes in this collection and I think people with a lot of different tastes will be able to find something here.

Before we talk about the shades, I wanted to just take a moment and talk about the brush because I love it. All six of these bottles had really consistent brushes, which is always a plus for me, and I was able to get quite a smooth application because the brush fits so perfectly into the curve of the nail bed. Seriously, why aren't all brushes this good?

Picture Perfect*
I have to admit that this shade wasn't initially very exciting to me, but once I had applied it I was really blown away. This is a very sheer white that pulls a little bit ivory with beautiful gold shimmer throughout it. For the swatch photo, I did 4 thin coats because I wanted to show it as opaque as it could get, but I feel like one or two coats for someone who has nice natural nails will be beautiful on their own and give a really pretty, smooth look. It actually applied really evenly and, unlike with some other sheer polishes, didn't need to be evened out with subsquent coats. My only issue with it was that as I built it up, I had to be really careful to let each coat dry and apply thin coats without too much product on the brush because it did have a tendency to gloop up at the edges of my nails if I wasn't careful. Regardless of that, though, this is a beautiful polish and I personally can't wait to use it in nail art when I'm looking for a perfect sheer to pair with more opaque polishes.

Handmade Of Honor*
Rose gold metallic will never not be pretty, am I right? But this one has the added bonus of being super pigmented and a really beautiful sort of champagne toned rose gold that is super delicate and pretty. For these swatches, I did add a second coat, but if you apply it a little bit more heavily and try to use as few brush strokes as possible, this can definitely be a one coat polish. The reason I say to use as few brush strokes as possible is because it does dry to a satin-matte finish and I find that finish tends to show brush strokes more than probably any other. I also used a top coat in this photo because I personally prefer to add a glossy shine back to this kind of polish (and my application wasn't as perfect as you might hope) but I think you could get away with no top coat as well. While this might not be my favorite type of polish, I definitely think it's super pretty and pigmented with a solid application.

You're Golden*
This is another one that I didn't think that I was going to like... and then I actually ended up liking it more than other polishes in this collection that I thought I'd love. Really yellow golds don't tend to work on my skin tone, but this has that sort of olive-undertoned old gold kind of look to it, making it really stand out as unique for me. I was expecting the formula to be similar to Handmade Of Honor, but I actually found it to be quite different. I applied both polishes twice and both times I was able to get this to apply with less brush strokes. Both have the same satin-matte finish that I prefer to top with a glossy top coat, but this one distinctly needed two coats for me while Handmade Of Honor would have easily done the job in one. Still, I actually like this one better personally and I feel like it has the most beautiful glimmer when you have it in full light. This swatch is two coats with top coat.

Getting Intricate*
Light blue créme shades will forever be amongst my favorite spring and summer polishes, so I love the addition of this one - and it's a very, very good one.It's just a very true pastel blue that doesn't lean too far towards green or purple. This is two coats with no top coat and I feel like it gives beautiful, smooth coverage and applies pretty dreamily. I actually struggle with what else to say about this polish, because it's quite straight forward. Two coat full coverage, nice finish, nice shade. Not the most exciting in this collection (we're getting to that) but the kind of shade that I think everyone should have in their collection in a solid formula. Two thumbs up!

Moments To Mrs.*
Annnnnnd ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my absolute favorite in this collection and the one that I will sing the praises of to anyone who asks. Moments To Mrs. is a sheer orchid shade packed with irridescent flakies that seriously makes me think of indie more than conventional polishes. This swatch is built up with three coats because I love how it looks built up - with that smooth, full gel look on the nails, but I also really think it looks beautiful worn sheer. The strong blue undertones really help to color correct any staining on my nails and just give my nails a really healthy look. Seriously, though, worn built up I'm just obsessed with this and I actually love that I don't have to be too careful about applying it because I haven't had any issues with it glooping up and I find it levels really well. If I could only recommend one shade in this collection, it's definitely this one.

Forever Family*
Finally, Forever Family is the deepest shade in this collection and did (literally) have me singing One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others from Sesame Street initially. However, I love the inclusion of it in this collection because I think there are probably a lot of brides who would rather wear this rich berry shimmer shade over something more pale or sheer - and it's just a really beautiful polish as well. For this swatch, I applied two coats without top coat. The first coat applied quite sheer, but I didn't find it particularly streaky or uneven, and the second coat (applied a little bit heavier) filled out the colour and gave really even coverage over the nails. The berry shade of it is actually really interesting to me, because in lower light it pulls more rich cranberry, but when you look at it in more full light there's a much cooler raspberry hue to it due to the blue/violet undertones. Though personally, this type of finish isn't my favorite, this shade is just so beautiful that I know it'll get a lot of wear from me.

Overall, I'm really impressed with this collection. The satin-metallic shades Handmade of Honor and You're Golden are really the only ones that I don't think I'm super excited about, which is more a matter of personal taste than quality, and I can't deny than the tones they chose for those two shades are absolutely gorgeous. While I love Picture Perfect and Getting Intricate and would certainly recommend them, for me the biggest winners and most exciting shades in this collection are Moments To Mrs. and Forever Family, because they're super impactful and truly interesting.

The Essie Gel Couture Wedding Collection x Reem Acra 2018 Collection* is widely available now in stores and online!

Thanks for reading!

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