Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gift of Fab: Essie Taj-Ma-Haul

A couple of weekends ago, I was at my best friend's house for a late Saturday night muffin baking date (as you do). As we waited for the muffins to rise, she produced this Essie from out of nowhere and told me that maybe this color would look better on me than it did on her. She'd picked it up on mega-clearance at Ulta, and for $1.97, why not? I'd seen this one floating around as well and kept passing on it because I didn't know if I could pull off this color, but when K handed it to me, I was interested to see how it would do.

The verdict? Well, I wore Taj-Ma-Haul last weekend, and I still don't know where I am on it. I only know that this will look INCREDIBLE on ladies with yellow/olive/tan/dark skin tones! My hands & fingers do get a bit red sometimes, which makes this tricky for me. But I don't think it looks *too* terrible, y/n?

Three coats with SV.

In reality, this polish has more of a faded look than these pictures show. In certain lights, it can be a little more vibrant, but it won't encroach on tangerine territory. The official Essie description touts this as "spicy marigold apricot," which I suppose is true ... although I did get some overripe cantaloupe vibes from it. Definitely a unique shade to the Essie catalog, and for summer in general.

Nearly all of the Essie Resort 2016 reviews praised Taj-Ma-Haul's formula, which was encouraging. Only ... not so much? I don't know if my/our bottle was weird or if it was just too humid for my Gelous base coat or what, but I did not have the same "TWO EASY COATS!" experience everyone else seems to have had. Nope, I really needed three, especially when I noticed that this didn't dry as quickly in between coats as I'm used to with Essie cremes, because when I went back I got some pooling on the second coat, which was not cool. Um ... what even. Normally I wouldn't be annoyed because this is fairly par for the course with some polishes, but I was annoyed because I wasn't expecting to have to deal with it. Had this been a streaky mint pastel, I could understand. It was just weird when almost everyone is like "omg so good, such a flawless formula, y'all!" But if this is the worst thing I can say about this polish then I guess that's not the end of the world. I had this on for four days with average wear and one chip, not too shabby for a weekend of salad prep and housecleaning (and "Sense8" bingeing).

Essie Resort 2016 showed up kinda early this year, I wanna say around March?? (not as early as Resort 2014, though, which I saw in JANUARY of that year), so you might be able to score it on clearance or at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Personally I wasn't as wowed by the Resort 2016 palette this year, especially knowing it's inspired by India ... when I think OPI's SPRING 2008 India collection had more stunning and memorable polishes, then ... I dunno. Just a thought. I did score two other Essie Resort 2016s on clearance, but Essie has put out two other summer collections since this one, which probably is old hat by now.

Thanks to Krysi for gifting me with this polish and giving me a chance to try it! :) If any of you have this Essie, I'd love to hear from you, particularly re: the formula & this shade's wearability on you. I'm curious.

And thank you so much for stopping by! Between this post and my previous one, we're all up to date on my June NOTDs, hahaha. At this rate, July might be pretty quiet around here, too. I also don't know if I'll be doing a blogiversary? blogaversary? giveaway next month because I sort of forgot to plan one ... if I'm able to put one together, it might be kind of late. I don't know. Let's see what happens. Until next time!

P.S. Muffin recipe [HERE]. Surprisingly good, and also quite tasty with whole wheat flour (though I think I prefer regular all-purpose). But I will note that you might have to reduce the filling by maybe 1/3 or 1/2 because I found that my yield with the ingredients as listed was too much. Alternately, you also can increase the bread portion by 1/3 or 1/2, which I have done several times because I don't think there's quite enough for a filling sandwich; this also should yield approx. double the muffins. Win.


  1. I got the mini Resort 2016 set in TK Maxx here (Ireland) a couple of months back but have yet to try any of them! This one looks nice on you, I'm paler and have redness in my fingers also so I doubt it will look good on me!

    1. Thank you! -- but now I'm looking forward to your photos. ;) I'm sure you'll love the blue (everyone seems to, and it's a HOT color). And hey, if this one ends up being weird on you, I'm sure you could use it for lots of nail art looks.

      Happy birthday again!

    2. Aw thank you so much! Yeah I like the look of the blue, looking forward to trying that one! But also intrigued to try this one. Havent tried any nail art so far, took me long enough to do a reasonably neat mani haha! But you never know!

    3. For future reference, I find that Taj-Ma-Haul looks amazing with a purple-leaning periwinkle (ChG What a Pansy, Essie Suite Retreat). ;)

  2. I like this one! But then again, I like these sort of apricot/cantaloupe colours. Another shade that screams summer to me. :-)

    1. This one was a little more bright than I thought it would be (yet still with that faded/dusty look). But I will have to pull out another orange soon -- definitely one of my favorite colors for summer!


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