Swatches of Essie Fifth avenue (Core collection)

To be quite honest, you don’t really ‘need’ my swatches of Fifth avenue. This shade has been around for as long as I can remember and the internet is filled with pictures of it. I’ve had this mini bottle in my collection for a couple of years already. It came in a mini pack together with ‘Mint candy apple’ and ‘Mademoiselle’. The bottles of ‘Mademoiselle’ and ‘Mint Candy apple’ are almost empty, but I’ve only used Fifth avenue for comparisons and never wore it as a full manicure. For me, the problem with ‘Fifth avenue’ is that in fall/winter I always saved it for spring or summer, and during spring and summer I found that it would be better for fall or winter. Today I decided to just finally wear it!

I started wondering where Fifth avenue came from, so I started to dig through the internet! Fifth avenue was released for Spring 2003 in Essie’s Central park collection. I couldn’t find pictures of this collection, but I was able to find the original colors and Essie’s official description:

“Essie takes you on a spring time tour of one of the world’s most famous parks, with the spring 2003 Central park collection. Explore the unique landscapes as you enter her enchanted turf… and share her adventure in spring colors.”

-Essie 2 Feb. 2003 [] (retrieved on 23 Oct. 2021)

The colors of this collection were:

  • Bike ride (‘A delicate lavendar’)
  • Boat house (‘Fuchsia Pink’)
  • Carousel coral (‘Spring soft coral’)
  • Fifth avenue (‘Sophisticated orange red’)
  • Lily pond (‘Luscious pink’)
  • Plaza sweet (‘Sweetheart coral rose’)

The shades are all in the pink-red range, which used to be pretty common for nail polish collections! At least here in Europe, Fifth Avenue was the only shade that stuck around in the core collection.

Essie Fifth avenue is described in Essie’s description as a ‘red-orange’. In the bottle, I definitely agreed. But on my nails, it is a lot redder. It’s definitely a warmer shade of red, but it is not super orange. I’m super impressed by its formula. At one super easy coat Fifth avenue is almost opaque, but I did two in the pictures.


I always find red nail polish shades difficult to compare. On pictures, they often just all look the same, and also on Essie’s website it is not always clear to me what the difference is. I believe the core collection in my drugstore changes every once in a while but the red shades it has at the moment are: ‘Meet me at sunset’, ‘Fifth avenue’, ‘Too too hot’, ‘Russian Roulette’, ‘Really red’ and ‘Forever yummy’ (and some darker shades of red). The only other shade I own is ‘Forever yummy’, which is a lot darker than Fifth avenue. My mother owns ‘Meet me at sunset’, which is a lot more orange. I think the shades that are closest to Fifth avenue are Russian Roulette, which is described as ‘a classic red with orange undertones’, and Too too hot which is ‘a rich coral nail polish’.

OPI Emmy have you seen oscar? vs OPI Art walk in Suzi’s shoes, vs Essie Fifth avenue vs Essie Forever yummy

I pulled out the shades that I thought would be close to fifth avenue. OPI ‘Emmy have you seen oscar?’ is the closest, but has a jelly formula. OPI Art walk in Suzi’s shoes is a bit darker and Essie Forever Yummy is a lot darker.

Essie Toy to the world vs Essie Fifth avenue vs Essie Color binge vs OPI Short-stop

In this second round I hoped to be a bit closer with the colors, but only Essie’s Color binge ended up being similar. Again, the formula of Color binge was more jelly and not as opaque as ‘Fifth avenue’. Essie’s Toy to the world and OPI Short-stop are more pink than Fifth avenue.


Although I didn’t find Fifth avenue the most exciting shade in my collection, I definitely enjoyed wearing it more than I expected! It is such a classic and it honestly has an awesome formula. I enjoyed wearing the shade at the moment, but I definitely can also see that it would work for spring or summer. Knowing that it came from the Essie Central park collection makes me enjoy this shade even more. I found some of the shades of the Central park collection at Polish Pick, so maybe in a while I can show you a little bit more!

Fifth avenue should still be eay to find, especially if you’re located in Europe. In the US, I was still able to find it over here on Amazon (affiliate link).

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