The Essie Summer Collection might not have a clever name, but it has big appeal to this girl. Every single color interested me this time around, which is a first for Essie and me. I decided Instead of buying full-size bottles of them all I'd buy the set of minis with four of the shades to see what I thought. You can get the set many places online ranging from $10 -$17 or so, but I personally got mine on eBay for $12 shipped which I thought was a really good deal. The colors included are Haute as Hello, Knockout Pout, Demure Vixen and Pretty Edgy and each bottle is .16 fl oz. I really liked all these shades, though I have to say that Demure Vixen looked horrendous on me.
Pretty Edgy is the kelly green that everyone had been looking forward to so much. I found myself somewhat bored with this as it was a little sheer. Normally I'd apply another coat and keep on truckin' but I think that had it been a more opaque and creamy polish it would have lent the shade a more pleasing and solid feel. It's very pretty, and the closest to a kelly green I've got myself, but it's less than I hoped it would be.
Haute as Hello - This applied sort of like one of Essie's neons more than anything else. I'd call it a neon myself, actually, because of the way it glows in the sunlight. It's a very light and bright peach that gives skin an instant tan. It was slightly streaky but quite opaque, and you must be careful with the application as it's a little goopy. I would be afraid to add thinner though, as I have a suspicion that it would add to the streak factor. The color is gorgeous though, and worth the trouble. I thought maybe it would be similar to China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy; that glowing bright coral, but Haute as Hello is a lot lighter and there's not as much pink to it. I love this shade!
Knockout Pout - another "almost-neon," this shade had similar application to Haute as Hello, and it's almost as bright. It's a lighter neon than you see in the stables of other polish companies, and it has a touch of warmth that makes it more wearable while still packing a huge summer punch.
Demure Vixen - I was really looking forward to this shade but it turned out horribly on me. It's a light purpley clay shade with a screaming streak of violet shimmer that is visible only in certain lights. The texture is a jelly, and is quite sheer, but is not streaky in the least. The finish is incredibly glossy and appealing, and while I can see very fair or dark skin tones loving this shade, it's a huge fail on me. It comes off as midtoned on my NC30 hands.
Overall, this collection was really exciting because it was comprised of so many cool and unique colors. At some point I've got to stop saying "it's a surprising collection to be coming from Essie," because there haven't been that many ho-hum collections recently. We've seen oodles of blues, greens, neons and the like that the 100 Shades of Pale Pink reputation that has plagued the company forever is starting to melt into the ether. If you're curious about more than a couple of these shades from the collection, I highly recommend getting the mini set if you can find it at a good price.