Swatches of the Essie fall 2021 collection (‘High voltage vinyl’)

A while ago, I already showed you the preview of the new Essie fall 2021 collection. Today, it’s time for the swatches! This collection consists of six new colors, Essie describes it in the following way:

This fall’s newest essie nail polishes will have you feelin’ amped! introducing the limited edition fall 2021 collection, inspired by a glam, garage band jam session. Rock out in these fierce nail polishes – A mix of creams and refined gold pearl shades 

It sounds good to me, so let’s just continue with the swatches!

Essie Sound check you out

At first, I considered not picking up Sound check you out. It didn’t look special enough to me. But it is one of the big surprises of the collection in my opinion. Essie describes it as “dirty, light mauve nail polish with lavender undertones “. After seeing it, I completely understand what they mean. At first Sound check you out seems to look like a normal grey polish, but it has this beautiful purple undertone. It even covers in two easy coats. My bottle has a weird green swirl in the middle, but I don’t notice it when I use it.

Comparison of Essie Chinchilly, Essie Sound check you out, OPI Berlin there done that, and Morgan Taylor keep ’em guessing

On Instagram I got the request whether I could compare Sound check you out to OPI Berlin there done that. I think it clearly shows what Essie means with the “lavender undertone”. OPI Berlin there is more brown, Essie Chinchilly is greyer and Morgan Taylor Keep ’em guessing is too light to be a dupe.

Comparison of OPI Addio bad nails ciao great nails vs Essie sound check you out vs OPI Somewhere over the rainbow mountains vs Essie masterplan

All of the shades listed above are not that close to Essie Sound check you out. OPI Addio bad nails ciao great nails has the same vibe -both are greyed out purples- but it has a cooler undertone.

Comparison of Essie “Ciao effect” vs “Sound check you out” vs “Island hopping” vs “Smokin’ hot”

When I was done with this comparison, I realized Sound check you out could be close to Essie’s Ciao effect. Ciao effect is close, but much brighter and contains less grey.

Essie Wire-less is more vs Essie Sound check you out vs Essie ciao effect

Mrscgn reminded me on Instagram about Wire-less is more. It just happend that I had picked it up on a couple of months ago. It is a dusty purple with pink shimmer, so of course I knew it was different from Sound check you out. Next to Wire-less is more, Sound check you out almost seems brown.

Essie Ladylike vs Essie Sound check you out vs Essie Merino cool

Recently I purchased Essie Ladylike and Essie Merino cool. Ladylike is much warmer and browner than Sound check you out. Essie Merino cool is obviously much darker than Essie Sound check you out.

Essie High voltage vinyl

Essie calls “High voltage vinyl”, a warm onyx green with gold shimmer. It’s definitely one of the stars of the collection (in my opinion). The shade almost covered completely in one coat, but I ended up doing two coats to bring out the depth. I would recommend using a topcoat with this one, since it makes the gold shimmer sparkle even more. I personally definitely love this one, and I’m sure that I will love it even more when temperatures will drop.

China glaze love ’em and leaves ’em and Essie HIgh voltage vinyl (both without topcoat)

Of course I had to compare the new China glaze Love ’em and leaves ’em to Essie High voltage vinyl. In terms of color they are extremely similar. The only difference that I was able to spot, is that the shimmer in the China glaze one is much finer and more pearly. High voltage vinyl has bigger shimmer.

I think I personally prefer the Essie, but they are so close. I always wonder why two companies get the exact same idea for a polish at the same time!

Essie Feelin’ amped

Essie “Feelin’ amped” is described as a deep, royal blue. To be honest with you, it is another one I wasn’t sure about, but I decided to pick it up after all. The formula is really good, and it covered in two coats. What made me doubt is the fact that Essie already released two blues in summer (in the Ferris of them all collection and Tangerine tease collection). To be fair, “Feelin’ amped” is different from both these shades. I like it, but even after swatching it, I kept having the feeling that I could have lived without it. If you do not own a royal blue already, this is a nice one that’s not too bright.

Essie Mezmerised compared to Essie Feelin’ amped vs OPI Duomo days, isola nights vs Essie Amuse me

After doing the comparisons for Essie’s “Feelin’ amped” I changed my mind quite a bit about the shade. I was afraid Feelin’ amped would be close to Essie’s Mezmerised. However, Mezmerised is quite a bit brighter than Feelin’ Amped. From all the shades that I own OPI’s Duomo days, Isola nights is actually the closest to Feelin’ Amped. Both colors seem to contain a hint of green, only Duomo days is a bit darker than Feelin’ amped. Essie’s Amuse me is much lighter than Essie’s Feelin’ Amped. Seeing how it compares to other blues in my collection took the worries I had about this shade away.

Essie Star struck a chord

Essie “Star struck a chord” is in my opinion, the other star of the collection. Essie describes it as a deep, eggplant purple with a refined gold pearl finish. I first thought that “Star struck a chord” and “High voltage vinyl” had the same type of shimmer, but upon closer inspection, I noticed that “Star struck a chord” has much finer shimmer. In lower light it almost seems to be leaning brown. It’s another typical Essie shade in my opinion. The formula was again very good, covering in two coats.

Comparison of Essie Designated DJ, Essie star struck a chord, Essie Ferris of them all, and Essie Teacup half full

Honestly, I had no clue what I had to compare to “Star struck a chord”. I selected “Ferris of them all” and Essie “Teacup half full” because they seem to have the same type of shimmer as “Star struck a chord”. From the picture you can see that the shade are just very different. Colorwise, Essie Star struck a chord seemed to be close to Designated DJ. However, seeing them on the nail together, I realized I was probably very wrong. At least you can see clearly that Star struck a chord has a lot of warmth in its base color!

Essie My happy bass

Essie “My happy bass” is a very polarizing shade. You either love it or you hate it. I think everyone will agree that it’s a unique shade though. Essie describes it as a mid-tone yellow with lime green undertones. I personally can’t decide whether I find this a green or a yellow. The formula was again good, it required two coats for complete opacity.

Comparison of Essie Taxi hopping (from the expressie line), Essie My happy bass, Essie Zest has yet to come (summer 2021), and China glaze autumns up!

Originally I had no clue what I had to compare to Essie My happy bass, since I was convinced this was a unique color. Someone on Instagram suggested Essie’s Taxi hopping from the Expressie collection. My happy bass and Taxi hopping are indeed very similar. I would say that My happy bass leans a bit more green, while Taxi hopping leans a bit more orange. Taxi hopping’s formula is also a bit more jelly, but that’s impossible to see after two coats. To be honest, you probably don’t need both, unless you are a big fan of these types of colors.

Essie’s Zest has yet to come and China glaze’s Autums up! are clearly not green enough to be dupes for Essie’s my happy bass.

Essie Taxi hopping vs Essie My happy Bass vs OPI Pear-adise cove vs Essie come on clover

I also pulled out OPI pear-adise cove and Essie Come on clover. Essie calls ‘My happy bass’ the color of Granny Smith apples on Instagram. To me, OPI Pear-adise cove is the color of Granny Smith apples. Once you hold it next to My happy bass, you can see that My Happy bass is not so green after all!

Essie Off the record

Essie “Off the record” is a deep burgundy red. I feel like I probably have ten dupes for this shade, but I still love it. It’s perfect for fall, but it’s the type of shade that will also look great all year round. Most people will love “Off the record”. I guess sometimes people just don’t feel like wearing greens or blues. Again, super easy formula that covered in two coats.

Comparison of Essie Gala-vanting (Gel couture), Essie off the record, Essie Bahama mama, and Essie Swing of things

I pulled out some random red Essie shades. Essie’s Bahama mama was probably the closest, Essie off the record was a little bit lighter and dustier. Essie’s Gala-vanting is obviously redder. Essie Swing of things is more purple.

Essie still has a ton of reds that could be close to “off the record” like “Knee high life”, “nailed it”, and probably even more that I’m forgetting!


What can I say? I love this collection. I feel like there is something in this collection for everyone. If you’re more into traditional shades you can go for “Off the record”, “Sound check you out” and “Star struck a chord”. For a bolder and more unique look, there are “My happy bass”, “High voltage vinyl” or “Feelin’ amped”. In my opinion, there are definitely a couple of very interesting shades in this collection, even if you already have a larger collection of nail polish.

You can find the shades now over here on Amazon (affiliate link) and they are available over here on Beyond Polish (affiliate link).

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you buy a product through one of these links, I might receive compensation at no additional cost to you. I label all affiliate links with the label “affiliate link”. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Here in Europe, I already found them at Douglas (NL). I have been told that unfortunately in other countries, this collection is not available yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if they will be released around the first of September though!

Also, I will add comparisons to this post in the near future. I have a lot of shades that I want to compare, so it will take me some time. If you want me to compare these shades to a particular color, be sure to leave your request below in the comments.

8 thoughts on “Swatches of the Essie fall 2021 collection (‘High voltage vinyl’)”

  1. loving this collection!!! I can’t get enough of blue shades like Feelin’ Amped; I own way too many, but still going to get this one. And, chartreuse is one of my favorite colors; My Happy Bass is such a lovely chartreuse (a perfect mixture of bright yellow and light green) creme. *swoons* I am happy someone came out with a chartreuse because I am running low on the one I have (which is very old). It’s such a unique shade (that, I’ll admit, doesn’t look fabulous on every skin tone) that I know everyone won’t have or love. I have seen the big names release the shade only a handful of times, most times it’s a bright green that leans lime. nice swatches!!

    1. Thank you! I definitely agree about the chartreuse! It’s unique. I’m going to try to get my hands on Essie’s “Taxi hopping” which is the only shade I could think of that is maybe slightly similar.

  2. I really love these colors. I saw high voltage vinyl and had to try it out and found your blog. Love the comparison with similar colors from other brands!

    1. I recently purchased a bottle of Ladylike! To me, it seems like Ladylike is a bit browner, but I would have to check again and make proper pictures (I will report back 😉 I don’t own Demure vix, but now I might have to check it out! Thanks for the heads-up!

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