Monday, July 23, 2012

Essence Lime Up! (and an Apology)

Before we talk about today's featured polish, allow me to express my apologies for the radio silence last week. You heard about my back problems but that only got worse thanks to Mother Nature's monthly gift. (TMI? Oops.) Anyway, I'm feeling a whole lot better now and being able to take the week off has rejuvenated this lady's writing skillz. Thanks for bearing with me and to make it up to you, we'll shoot for a post everyday this week. (I haven't done that since I first started so it might be stretch. But we will prevail!) On to what you're here for: nail polish! 

Let me tell you a little secret: green and yellow nail polish terrify me. This, coming from a self-professed blue nail polish kinda gal. Do let me qualify that, however, by saying that vampy greens are really the only sort of green you'll see me sporting (so that's an exception to the rule). Now I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm guessing it's because these particular colors are in opposite spectrum of the blues and purples that I tend to gravitate towards. Aside from that, my experience with them hasn't been very flattering. At a recent Shoppers trip I spent a good 20 minutes ogling the surprisingly full Essence display (yes, I'm also the weird chick who likes to walk up and down the beauty section scrutinizing new displays and waves off any help because really, I'm just browsing). I kept picking up a bottle of this wonderfully strange green/yellow shade that I never would have even given a second look, except I knew with certainty that I didn't have anything like it. At all. So in an effort to broaden my color horizon, I took a chance and decided to bring it home with me. I think you'll agree it was a smart choice, as you can see:

Wonderfully strange and summery!

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Essence Colour and Go Lime Up!
Color: Chartreuse green
Finish: Creme
Price: $1.49 CDN for 5mL
Seen at: Select Shoppers Drug Mart locations, Essence website
Note(s): Essence just recently made it's splash in the Canadian market, much to the delight of budget beauty enthusiasts. As far as I know, only select Shoppers Drug Mart stores carry the line so it might be smart to call ahead to avoid disappointment.

The Fun Facts

Token bottle shot.

Back of the bottle.

Label on the cap.

Stubby but surprisingly decent brush.

Chartreuse green is probably the most appropriate name for this color, not lime!

This is one strange color to describe. I honestly had to look it up some just to make sure I was giving you an accurate description. I knew for sure it wasn't lime, despite what the name says. To be honest, polish color names aren't exactly the most accurate anyway, so that usually doesn't count. Instead, it looks like a yellow green with some brown in it. It's bright but the color has a murkiness that can only be described if we call it a chartreuse green. Think Shrek green. Or the custom CND Murky Mustard mix (7 drops of CND Blackjack to Yellow Bicycle) that models wore at the Karen Walker Spring '12 runway but a with a touch of green and a whole lot brighter. It's a really fun and unexpected color that I had a blast sporting it! Even better is the gorgeous creamy finish. Sometimes, you need a break from sparkles and this eye-catching shade does the trick.
***All nail swatches were done with Essie Feed Me Base Coat and two coats of Essence Colour and Go Lime Up! unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Notice how it's nicely shiny on its own.

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
The lovely formula made for an awesome even finish.

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
Sunlight gives us the most color accurate photo.

I fully expected a skinny or bad bristled brush, so imagine my (pleasant) surprise to find a tremendously easy to use one. Sure, it's on the stubby side (Have you seen just how small that bottle is?) but it works wonderfully and has that user-friendly width to it that allows you to cover a smaller nail in just one stroke. In fact, it's very much like the CND brushes only a bit wider or even a slimmer version of the OPI pro-wide brushes. For a $1.49 polish, the brush was fantastic (I'm looking at you Wet n Wild Fast dry polishes!) so I can't help but rave about it. Apart from that is the great formula that has a nice consistency - a little on the thick side but nothing to make it unwieldy. It covers somewhat patchy on the first coat, but evens out nicely with a second. I also have to point out that this is touted as a quick dry formula and it does just that. Give it about 3-5 minutes and it's dry to the touch.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
More shine but not by much.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: It looks a little washed out with flash.

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: I have to say, I'm drawn to how different this color is!

As the photos show, top coat doesn't do much other than provide protection. Lime Up! is shiny enough even by itself.

The Lowdown

Despite being such a strange and unique looking color, if you're well versed in nail polish, Lime Up! will seem eerily familiar. Perhaps you're right. I did a bit of poking around in the interwebs and found some possible matches. First up is OPI Did It On 'Em from the Nicki Minaj collection. They share the same color family but the Did It On 'Em is much brighter and has a touch more yellow to it. Zoya Mitzi is another and apart from it having a matte finish, they're definitely a close match. If you caught my Shrek reference earlier, OPI Who The Shrek Are You? seems to be the absolute closest match. However, I can't say with complete certainty as I don't own any of the three. If I rely solely on what swatches I've seen, they do look very, very similar. At this point, I'd like to point out that Who The Shrek Are You? was a limited edition release and is no longer available. The other OPI and Zoya Mitzi cost at least $8 a bottle, albeit for more product at about 14-15mL. Both might also be tricky to find as they are earlier releases. If you're like me and you're just curious to dabble in colors you normally wouldn't sport, I'd suggest going for Lime Up! instead. You get enough product to wear at least a few times and if you end up not loving it, you can always chalk it up to just a $1.49 loss. To me, that makes it a better choice than dropping $8 on a color you might not even want to begin with.

As for me, this one was a hit. I never, in a million years, thought I'd like this strange looking green and yet I do. It's a fun departure from the usual neon brights of summer while still packing enough punch with it's bright cheery shade. The easy to apply formula and faster than average dry time makes this a polish worthy of your summer rotation. Hammie agrees but he's more excited about how wallet friendly the price is. By his reckoning, buying 3 bottles of this 5mL wonder totals to a mere $4.47. Compare that with the $8-11 you'll dish out for a 15mL OPI or Zoya. The quality is A+, even for what you pay for. So it comes as no surprise that Hammie scores Lime Up!:

10 Hammie Points!

Happy Monday! How's your week starting out? It's another hot and humid day in Toronto, with thunderstorms in the afternoon forecast. Hopefully it's nowhere near like that downpour we got caught in yesterday! We were still lucky, considering it didn't really pour till the softball game was done. What are you sporting on your nails these days? Are there any particular colors that you tend to shy away from? How do you "broaden your color horizon"?


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  2. I'm glad you are feeling better... and that you were able to successfully broaden your colour horizon! I have some limey/grassy greens, but nothing like this. Might have to give it a go myself!

  3. Hi Hunni, I hope your back is a lot better , I too have been Awol but for other reasons but I am semi back! This colour looks great on you, I love a good green and this one is a splendid one :D

  4. this would be a 'broaden my horizon' type of shade... and I love it on you!!!! I think whimsical shades like this one can be a total pick me upper or a conversation starter! how fun!

  5. Thanks so much, Ammali! It can be daunting to step out of your color comfort zone but it can be oh so rewarding when you find winners like Lime Up! :D I hope you'll love it as much as I do!

  6. Aww, thanks, Jo! :) Oh, and boy are you back! ;) I'm running behind on comments/blog reading but I'll take a week to have it all sorted out. Soon, I hope! Anyway, I think this would look great on you! Hope you do give it a go. :)

  7. Gosh, thanks, Marta! (The number of !!! is making me blush. Hahaha!) :D Do you have anything like it in your stash? I missed out on the OPI Shrek polishes so I'm glad to have this in mine. :D

  8. this would be a 'broaden my horizon' type of shade... and I love it on you!!!! I think whimsical shades like this one can be a total pick me upper or a conversation starter! how fun!


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