ABC Challenge: E is for Essie

Welcome back for my take on letter “E” in Kimber’s ABC Challenge.

This challenge began with something of a quandry.

See, I’ve got a ridiculous amount of polish, but those with names that begin with “E”, are few and far between.

After far too long a process, I lukewarmly went with elephant art.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I’ve nothing against elephants, and this particular tutorial is a gem.

I just feel a lot weird sporting elephants on my 56 year old nails.

You know what I’m saying?

That’s when I had an “Aha!” moment.

via Wikipedia

“Who else, besides me” I asked myself, “is older than dirt, and seriously into nail polish?”

Why Essie Weingarten, of course.

You know, the lauded genius behind Essie polishes?

The original Essie, for crying out loud!

The woman is a polish-industry icon! And…

I’ve a slew of “Essies” in my stash, some of them grabbed before the company’s sale in 2010 to L’Oreal (for an undisclosed amount thought to be in the hundreds of millions).

Suddenly, the clouds lifted, and in my post-menopausal reverie, I came up with something nearly as ridiculous as elephants, but glitzy enough to deceptively win me over.

Take note:  THAT’s the power of glitz.

Essie’s glittery Beyond Cozy, and creamy teal School of Hard Rocks.  Plain, taped and studded.

 Here’s how it went down…

yeah, I have cats (lower left cat-haired pic)

Step by step….

The hands needed help.  So, it was time to massage cuticle oil into the nails, cuticles, and surrounding skin of my freshly washed hands.  Same routine with a good hand cream.  Then some rubbing down with a soft dry terry washcloth, to stimulate and remove any surface oil from the skin and nails.

Next up…over a dried base coat, I applied two thin layers of of Essie’s creamy teal neutral, School of Hard Rocks.  On every other nail.

 Next, I grabbed a bottle of that recently released silver-gold Essie two-coater microglitter,  Beyond Cozy, and polished up the remaining two tips.  Both of these polishes are found in practically every Essie nail rack I’ve come across in the US.  I suspect the same is true wherever Essie polishes are sold. 

Taking down the bling factor, just a smidge, I decided to tape off horizontal lines on Beyond Cozy.  This shot was taken just before I pulled back and adjusted the two middle lines into something resembling straight.  Anal retentive here.  As for the tape I used, be advised that I’ve searched high and low at the local beauty supply stores for this stuff, but to no avail.  I get mine online from Born Pretty (there’s a 10% off coupon in the sidebar).

Then, one smooth coat of School of Hard Rocks, over that taped bling….

And before you know it, we’re looking at Something Quite Different – before clean up, of course 😉

As you may already know, I veer toward crazy when in the company of nail bling, and so, unable to Leave Well Enough Alone, I reached for more Born Pretty stuff.  This time, their super-cool studded rhinestones….

Positioning those tiny metal elements on the nail is a bit tricky.  With my smallest dotting tool, I dotted a bit of top coat where I wanted a stud, and then used the tool to pick up and affix it onto the nail.  Thing is, I didn’t plan on cat hair, but that’s how we roll in my house.

A few tweezer pulls at the furry stuff got me quickly back in shape, so that the application of studs could continue.

In the end, I’m pleased. 

Not quite elephants, but good enough for me…

Thanks so much for dropping by!  I hope you’ll come along and check out what my brilliant and lovely co-challengers have come up with for the letter “E”, in this fifth week of Kimber’s ABC Challenge.

  43 comments for “ABC Challenge: E is for Essie

  1. February 6, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Beautiful mani! 🙂

    • February 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  2. February 6, 2013 at 6:09 am

    I loved this! I love these type of skittle manis and this one is just gorgeous! Well chosen and done!

    • February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks, Mari! It was a lot of gun!

  3. February 6, 2013 at 6:17 am

    The Essie I usually see at the store has never caught my eye…but Beyond Cozy? WOW. I like, especially the striped nail.

    • February 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      I agree. Beyond Cozy is beyond Essie’s usual line. Thanks so much for your sweet comment! 🙂

  4. February 6, 2013 at 6:57 am

    I flipping love this!!! It’s the perfect skittle mani!! That bluey color is so pretty!!! So funny, I’m totally hoping to see some elephant nail art today and event mentioned it in my post!! It was the only thing to do with nail art that I could think of that started with an E!! Darn, just thought of another – eyes!!! That would be cool!!!

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Thank you so much, sweet Nicole.

      LOLOLOL. EYES. Definitely. Wish I’d thought of that. If you’ve not already seen, you should check out what Jenny at 10 Blank Canvases did with eyes. As I recall, they were bloodshot and fabulous!


  5. February 6, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Haha I used Essie’s Beyond Cozy too! It’s my favorite of their winter collection. (that and Leading Lady.)

    I love the color you paired it with, and love the studs. ^_^

  6. February 6, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Lovely manicure! I adore striping tape nail art! And LOL for cats hair. 😀

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      LOL, Cristina! YAY for kittays! And string tape, indeed! 🙂


  7. February 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Great idea!! I love skittles manis too and I’m yet to do one myself. Very nice color choices :))

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks, Ria. Was a lot of fun!


  8. February 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

    LOL! I love your post. 🙂 And, the mani turned out gorgeous, cat hair and all!

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Thank you, sweetie!!!!!



  9. February 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I understand the pet hair issue, ive got a white dog lol. Still looks great though!

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      LOL. Clearly, Raquel, you’re a devoted pet lover.

      Thanks so much! 🙂


  10. February 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Haha! 56 is still in your second youth, darling! Loved the post and the manicure, it’s more fitting than elephant themed nails I guess 🙂 At least for a Wednesday!

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Thank you, darlin’! Wednesdays and elephants just don’t work for me. Thursday and elephants, different story. 😉

      I like that idea: second youth. I’m going to run with it!



  11. February 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    So pretty and creative! Love it!

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you!!!

  12. February 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    You have a random cat hair post! Yay!! Charlie whole-heartedly aproves!

    Man, I love this mani. best use of School of Hard Rocks ever!

    And you are not old as dirt. I find it comforting that I’m not the only person here that’s over 35.

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      LOL re: ageless dirt!

      TY, darlin re: SOHR. It’s a gorgeous polish, and that it comes from Essie and meets the requirement of this week’s challenge? Even bettah!!!!!! 🙂

      Listen, my kittays would like to have a virtual playdate with yours.



  13. February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I love the different designs that you did and tied it together with the same color gold! Very nice. I’m over 35 too…

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks, Jenni. I’m kinda big on gold. And silver. And glitz, in general!

      You’re a spring chicken, sweetie! I love this group of women…all ages, backgrounds, nationalities…

      We rock, don’t we?



  14. February 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    I bet we all have cat hairs all over. Seems like nails addicted are also cats’ people! Anyway, I love that Essie SoHR, I hope I can get my hands on it someday, and I hope it will work better than the other cremes I have by the brand! Love your mani, too, the way you did all your nails different and still being a perfect one manicure. Does it makes sense? I struggle to do that, I’m probably not as artsy as I’d like to!

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      Yeah, Simona…I agree that there might be some sort of correlation between the nail addicted and their ownership of “babies” (kittays, puppays, etc.)

      Thanks for your lovely comment!


  15. February 6, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I love these!! And am so glad that I’m not the only one that has the stray fur in her mani!! Although they aren ‘t cats…some people in my house insist on using the “dog” word…they are my babies!! And I’m so thrilled I’m not the only one over…well, over old!

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      I know all about those precious “babies”. My heart absolutely melts just thinking of ’em.

      And glad to know that our group’s membership spans a wide age bracket! We are all so damn special, I can’t stand it! LOL.



  16. February 6, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    This is so pretty! I love the color combination! And i have cat hair all over the place, and dog hair too! 🙂

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      YAY, Aly! Cat AND dog hair? You rock, girlfriend! LOL.

      Thanks for your comment!


  17. February 7, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Ahh I really love this! So pretty. Also, I want School or Hard Rocks so badly.

    xo Elle

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you, Elle! SOHR is AWESOME!

      Lisa 🙂

  18. February 7, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Very pretty! I ended up going with elephants myself 😉 And I also never have a mani sans cat hair…that stuff ends up everywhere!

    • February 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Love your sweet elephant, Natalie!!!!

      Glad to know I’m not the only one with furry manis 🙂

      Thanks much.

      Lisa 🙂

  19. February 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Love it!! I really like the little picture tutorial! I don’t have a lot of Essies but I really like this one! 🙂

  20. February 8, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Thanks, Alaina! 🙂

  21. February 8, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Awesome job, Lisa! I adore this mani; it’s so pretty!!!!!

  22. February 8, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Thank u Meredith! 🙂

  23. February 9, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Essie Beyond Cozy is getting a lot of love lately! I love it, and I love your mani! So funky but still very elegant. I also know the pains of pet hair…my husbands dog sheds like crazy, my bottle shots have to be retaken like a hundred times to ensure there isn’t a butt load of Suri hair on them!

  24. ALY
    February 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Wow, I really love what you did with the striping tape! And I am with you on the cat hair problem, such a pain. But my kitty is so cute it is worth a ruined mani every once in a while.

  25. February 13, 2013 at 4:03 am

    This is so purty! And sophisticated with a twist of fun! I love it

  26. February 14, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Wow!!! They look so pretty!!! I chose Essie too but didn’t do any nail art, I did this week though. I love the striping tape and keep meaning to order it.


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