Essie mint nail polish comparison: part 1 creams

When I was just getting into nail polish, I loved reading huge comparison posts, and I decided that if I ever would start my own nail polish blog, I would be doing these types of posts all the time. I never realized how much work these types of posts were until I tried making one! Since spring is around the corner, and I love mint nail polish (in particular mint Essie polish), I thought it was a good time to do a little comparison of mint Essie shades. Because this post was getting pretty long, I chopped it up into part 1, and part 2. In the first post I will cover the creams and in the second the shimmers. Although I own a lot of nail polish, by no means do I own ALL Essie mint nail polish shades, I start with the shades I do own and do a little summary of the shades I’m missing. At the end of this post, you will find my final recommendations!

Mint candy apple (Winter 2009)

Let’s start with the most famous mint polish of all, Mint candy apple. Mint candy apple was originally released in the winter 2009 collection and has been around for over 10 years now. The shade has been added to the permanent collection, and I would say that every store that sells Essie, sells Mint candy apple. If your drugstore is anything like mine, this will be the only mint polish you’ll find in the permanent collection. Here in Europe this shade seams to be pretty consistent color-wise, but in North-America different versions seam to exist. Some are more green than what I am showing here and some are more blue. It doesn’t mean that you own a fake polish, there are just color descrepancies! I would say Mint candy apple has quite a nice formula, so you might be able to get it opaque in two coats. Since I did very thin coats, I needed three coats however.

You can find Mint Candy Apple over here on Amazon (affiliate link). I have found Mint Candy Apple many times in discount stores, and also Amazon has it permanently in stock for a very reasonable price! Although I like mint candy apple, it is not my favorite mint Essie ever, so read further to find out more

Blossom Dandy (Spring 2015)

swatch of Essie blossom dandy from the spring 2015 collection

Blossom dandy comes from the Spring 2015 collection. I remember being completely in love with the Spring 2015 collection (the flowerista collection). The only shade I originally picked up was perennial chic, which was a nude brown that didn’t match my skintone at all and was a horrible pick in hindsight. I later found Blossom Dandy in a budget store and I just needed to have it. Originally I was afraid it would be too similar to Mint Candy apple. However, Blossom Dandy is like the lighter, fresher sister with a little bit more green. I thought the first time I wore this polish, the polish was very water-y and needed three coats. However the last time I used it, the formula was better and it only required two coats. I personally like this shade better than mint candy apple, and I can’t wait to wear it again.

Unfortunately, blossom dandy is becoming harder and harder to find. It is available on Amazon over here (affiliate link), but when I last checked the price, it was a bit higher than your average Essie polish (I would recommend checking it yourself, since prices on Amazon change). If you find it somewhere for a reasonable price though, I would definitely recommend this shade!

Strike a pose-itano (Resort 2017)

I wasn’t planning on picking up Strike a pose-itano since I already owned Blossom Dandy and Mint candy apple by the time pose-itano got released. However, last year I found it for less than half the price in a discount store so I just needed it! This shade contains definitely much more blue and is the lightest shade. The formula is surprisingly good, Strike a pose-itano is opaque with two coats. I didn’t expect to love the shade this much but I do! It’s very unique and different from all other mint polishes released by Essie (well as far as that it possible;)

Now the bad news, the resort 2017 collection was extremely popular, but also was not sold everywhere. Every shade from that collection is very hard to find at the moment. I guess your best shot will be stores that sell older Essie nail polish!

Bon boy-age (Spring 2018)

Swatches of Essie bon boyage spring 2018
Since I was bouldering at the time I took this picture, my nails were in horrible condition! Maybe time to wear this shade again and make new pictures 😉

Ahh Bon Boy-age always makes me giggle. Right after I wrote my review on Bon Boy-age, I found out I picked up Bon Boy-age twice. I even picked it up at the same store! I was lucky and I only paid halve the price (twice), but it surely shows that I really liked this color! The whole Spring 2018 collection is gorgeous. The shade is very opaque, I only needed two coats for complete coverage. Compared to Mint Candy Apple, Bon Boy-age is more green, darker, and greyed out. Essie still classifies it as a mint shade, but I would say it also leans a bit sage green. Honestly, it’s just a gorgeous shade and I should wear it more often!

You can still find Bon Boy-age over here on Amazon (affiliate link). I should warn you however that this shade seems to getting more expensive and more difficult to find every time I check!

Update: Can dew attitude (Spring 2020)

When I started writing this blogpost, I didn’t own Can dew attitude. That’s the reason it is not in the first picture of this blogpost. However, shortly after writing this blogpost, I was able to find it on discount! The way I would describe Can dew attitude is probably a light version of Bon boy-age or the greener brother of Strike a pose-itano. It is the greenest mint in this blogpost. It has a great formula and it covered in two coats. I was definitely impressed by Can dew attitude!

Can dew attitude should still be easy to find. You can find it over here on Amazon for example (affiliate link).


Comparison of Bon boy-age, Mint candy apple, Blossom Dandy and Strike a pose-itano.

From the comparison above it is clear that Bon Boy-age is the darkest and greenest mint shade. Mint candy apple is a ‘regular’ mint shade, not super light and not super dark. Blossom dandy is lighter than Mint candy apple and greener (not that clear in this picture, but you can clearly see it in the first picture of this article), and Strike a pose-itano is the greyest, and bluest and also very light.

Comparison of Essie Mint candy apple vs Strike a pose-itano vs blossom dandy vs can dew attitude vs bon boy-age

Missing mint crème shades

Again, since I don’t own all Essie mint shades, I made a list of all other shades that are currently available. I made a small summary of things I read online. I might be wrong about these, since I don’t own them, but i just wrote down what my impression is.

  • Empower-mint (Summer 2018): Empower-mint was sooo popular when it was first released. I really wish that I had picked this shade up when it was still available over here. The shade is very close to Blossom Dandy though, and you definitely don’t need them both. Empower-mint is still available over here on Amazon (affiliate link).
  • Fashion playground (Spring 2014): Technically this shade is not a crème. It contains tiny invisible shimmer. Since a lot of people don’t even know it is a shimmer, I still classified it as a crème. Most reviews say that this polish is very transparant, and that it needs 4 coats to be completely opaque. For me this was the reason I didn’t pick this shade up back in 2014. You can still find it over here on Amazon (affiliate link).
  • Embellish-mint (Gel couture): I had actually never heard from this polish before I started making this blogpost. I have no idea from which collection it is and the polish seems to be quite difficult to find (at least here in Europe). The shade seems to be pretty close to Mint candy apple (but I might be wrong about that). You can find Embellish-mint over here on Amazon (affiliate link).
  • Express to impress (Expressie): This is another shade that seems to be difficult to find here in Europe. I would probably say that this is the greenest shade of all mint polishes. In contrast to Bon Boy-age, it is a very happy and bright green. As far as I can tell, this shade was released as part of the first Expressie line back in December 2019, but I’m not 100% sure. You can find Express to impress over here on Amazon (affiliate link).

So… Which one(s) should you pick?

If I would purely look to the colors I like the most, I would pick Blossom Dandy or Empower-mint as the ones you really need to own (but you definitely don’t need both!). Strike a pose-itano, Can dew attitude, and Bon-boyage are runner-ups since they both are pretty unique in their own way (they both have something that I haven’t seen in a mint polish before). Mint candy apple is probably my least favorite. It is still a pretty shade and the formula is perfectly fine, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that after all these years it doesn’t “wow” me anymore. I guess I have just seen it too often!

From a practical point of view, Mint candy apple and Can dew attitude are probably the easiest shades to get your hands on right now (at least over here in Europe). Can dew attitude is the greener shade, and mint candy apple is more blue. It will probably depend on your personal preference which one you prefer. Personally for me, I will probably soon pick up a new bottle of Mint candy apple. I only own a mini bottle right now, and I use it so often for comparisons!

You can find part two of this comparison, with all my mint Essie shimmers, over here.

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