Buyer’s guide: Essie mint nail polish comparison, part 2 shimmers

Yes! It is finally time for part two of the mint comparison series! You can find part 1, where I compare the crèmes, over here. I have to admit, it is quite fun to dig through my own stash and look at what comes up! I found 4 mint shimmers in my collection that I will be showing you today. I will start by individually reviewing the shades, than I will compare them, I will discuss the missing Essie mint shimmer shades, and I will close the post with telling you my recommendations, let’s get started!

Passport to Happiness (Bridal 2016)

swatch of Essie passport to happiness

This was the first shimmery mint Essie I have ever picked up. I feel like I talk about this in every post about mint polish, but Passport to happiness stays my favorite mint polish ever. The formula, the silver shimmer, the slight satin matte finish. I just love everything. The formula is a bit prone to bubbles (especially when applied during summer and warmer weather), so I always try to take a long time in between coats. However this shade is very opaque and only needs two coats, so it’s not really a problem!

I was quite surprised to find out that this polish is still available on Amazon! You can find it over here (affiliate link).

Zip me up (Gel couture, first look)

Zip me up is part of Essie’s Gel Couture line. The color was part of the first gel couture shades and belonged to the First look collection. When it was first released, I already liked this color. But since the gel couture shades are a bit expensive, I didn’t buy zip me up. After a while, I found Zip me up for only a couple of euros in a discount bin. Of course, I took it home with me. I have never seen such a light shade of green/mint before, and it is definitely unique. The shade dries satin matte, but if you combine it with the Gel couture top coat, you won’t see that. It required 3-4 coats for complete opacity. If I would have paid the full price for this polish, I definitely would have been disappointed! However, the color is very pretty and makes up for the tricky formula.

You can find Zip me up over here on Amazon (affiliate link).

Seas the day (Summer 2020)

Seas the day belongs to last year’s Sunny Business collection. In the bottle, this shade looks very shimmery, but on the nail, the color seems like a crème. The formula was a bit watery and it took three coats to reach complete opacity. I really enjoy the final look, it is just the perfect color and those subtle shimmers make the look complete.

Seas the day should still be easy to find. It is available over here on Amazon (affiliate link).

Peppermint condition (Winter 2020/2021)

Peppermint condition is a recent addition to the Essie lineup. It definitely has a different finish than the other shades in this post. The shimmers are more flaky-like and almost iridescent. It is quite difficult to reach complete opacity with this color and I stopped at three coats. This shade also starts to bubble when you apply it too fast. Peppermint condition is not my favorite of these four shades, but it is definitely a unique color!

The whole family together! Peppermint condition and zip me up are definitely more green. Zip me up and seas the day sort of have the same shimmer. While peppermint condition has more flakie-like shimmer and passport to happiness has more of a pearly finish.

Missing shades

  • At sea level: This color belonged to the 2018 collection Seaglass shimmers. It was never released in the Netherlands, but I still ended up finding some shades at TK Maxx. This shade is a light seafoam green with a very pearly sheer finish. This shade is not for everyone, and it is also a bit tricky to find at the moment. For me personally, it’s a skip.
  • Fashion playground: I’ve also included this shade in the crème comparison post. This shade belongs to the 2014 spring collection and technically contains shimmer. However, the shimmer is so subtle that it looks like a crème. You can still find the shade over here on Amazon (affiliate link).
  • Naughty nautical & Viva Antigua: I have both these shades in my collection. I didn’t include swatches because I personally don’t consider them “mint”. Essie calls Naughty nautical a blue green. Viva antigua is not listed anymore, but this would probably classify as a blue-green too. The bottom line: they are both a lot darker than the other shades listed here.

Which ones should you buy?

First of all, for a large part, this all depends on personal preference. For me personally, knowing what I know now, I would probably pick up Seas the day or Passport to Happiness (but probably not both). The colors are not that similar, but they are also not that different. I love how zip me up looks but the formula is tricky. If you really enjoy a light mint green, I can imagine that you wouldn’t mind the difficult formula. Peppermint condition is unique, but it is probably my least favorite shade of the winter 2020 collection. I’m happy that I own it, but I will more often reach for Passport to happiness and Seas the day.

That was all! I hoped you enjoyed this little overview, and if I missed any shimmery mint greens, definitely let me know! If you’re interested in part 1, you can find it over here.

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