Essie Starry Starry Night Swatches & Review

Essie Starry Starry Night Swatches & Review

The very few times that I’ve met celebrities in person (Maestro Fresh Wes at Hero Burgers, Avril Lavigne during her early free-mall-tour days, etc.), I’ve always managed to keep my cool. However, when it comes to nail polish, I get starstruck with the drop of a hat. 😉 *Squeals*

This was certainly the case with Essie Starry Starry Night, which is from the upcoming Essie Retro Revival Collection that officially launches in January 2016! (Click on that link to see the Quick Look post I did a few days ago.)

Like Gloria Swanson, Essie Starry Starry Night approached me and said, “I’m ready for my close-up!” However, unlike the fictitious, fading star from Sunset Boulevard, even after all these years, its light still shines brightly.

Essie Starry Starry Night was originally launched in 1997, and it has reached cult status. After extending a poll for beauty enthusiasts to weigh in and vote for their favourite shade to be resurrected, it was no surprise that the twinkling blue wonder named after the heavenly bodies rose to the top of the wish list!

Over the years, if you’ve ever taken a peek on eBay, the going price was around $700 CAD – obviously a price point that only a slim margin of people could splurge on.

I’ve been waiting for the re-release of this colour for the longest time and am ecstatic that now it will not only be available again, but for a reasonable price. Love it when nail polish can be enjoyed by more people!

Since I’ve never owned the original Essie Starry Starry Night, I can’t compare it to see if the colour, sparkle, or formulation is a dead-on match. Nevertheless, it is one of my cherished nail polishes, and I’m thrilled to have it in my collection!

Essie Starry Starry Night Pictures

Essie Starry Starry Night

Artificial Light

Essie Retro Revival Swatch Starry Starry Night Swatches

Natural Light

Starry Starry Night Essie Retro Revival Collection

Artificial Light

Essie SSN Retro Revival Collection

Natural Light

Starry Starry Night by Essie

Essie Starry Starry Night Swatches

All swatches have:

    • OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener – Maintenance version (Used as a base coat)
    • 2 coats of Essie Starry Starry Night
    • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Artificial Light Photos

Essie Starry Starry Night Review Retro Revival Collection

Essie Starry Starry Night Review Swatches

Essie Starry Starry Night Retro Revival

Essie Starry Starry Night Swatches Retro Revival Collection

Starry Starry Night Essie Retro Revival Review

Essie Starry Starry Night Swatches & Review

Essie Starry Starry Night Swatch

Essie Starry Starry Night Swatch & Review

Essie Starry Starry Night Swatches

Natural Light Photos

Essie Starry Starry Night Swatches Retro Revival Collection Swatch

Starry Starry Night Swatch Essie

Starry Starry Night by Essie Swatch Swatches

Starry Starry Night Essie Retro Revival Swatches


  • Twinkling midnight blue (Yes)

Key Notes

  • Name: Essie Starry Starry Night
  • Collection: Essie Retro Revival Collection 2016
  • Press Release: Click here to see the official Essie Retro Revival Collection 2016 press release
  • Quick Look: Click here to see my Quick Look at the Essie Retro Revival Collection 2016
  • Colours Available in the Collection: Starry Starry Night, Life of the Party, Bikini with a Martini, Cabana Boy, Birthday Suit & Sequin Sash
  • Amount: 13.5 mL (0.5 fl. oz.)
  • Retail Price: $7.95 CAD
  • Disclosure: The nail polish, playing cards, and poker chips were provided by PR.
  • Where to Buy: It will officially be available on January 5, 2016. Check around that date to find it in stock at Trade Secrets, Nail Polish Canada & select beauty-supply stores.

Essie Starry Starry Night Review


Starry Starry Night by Essie is a dark blue that lives up to its name and reminds me of the moody sky lit up with stars.

In dim light it looks very deep, but not quite black. Most of the time, you can distinctly tell that it’s blue, which I appreciate.

Before this polish was originally released, I already was layering navy blue with silver glitter. A lot of my friends saw me sporting that combination frequently, as it was my favourite. Then, when Essie Starry Starry Night and Chanel Ciel de Nuit (Night Sky) came out, it blew up everywhere and so many people started wearing the combination. It was pretty cool to see how nail polish united a lot of people. (Love how it still does!)


In person, Starry Starry Night by Essie is even more spectacular than photos can convey! The micro-glitter sprinkled throughout has depth – it isn’t flat and plain silver like it appears in the bottle.

When you paint it on your nails, each glitter has its unique ‘personality,’ as some shine brighter than others. Together, the effect really does remind me of a twinkling, star-studed sky that makes you fall silent in awe and admiration.

Each piece of glitter catches the light as you move your hands, and it’s not over-the-top. In the bottle, it appears densely packed, but it looks more natural and less showgirl on the nail. This is a good thing because finding chunky ‘one-note’ glitters are a dime a dozen. Essie Starry Starry Night appears almost ‘animated’ on your nails in a soft yet mesmerizing way.

Another important thing to note is that the finish was smooth. Before I applied a glossy top coat, I gently felt the surface of my nails, and they weren’t gritty.

Application & Formula

My bottle had a really thick consistency, which surprised me. Maybe some air got in and dried it out a little bit.

Normally Essie nail polishes I’ve worn tend to be on the thin-to-medium side, but this one wasn’t, which meant that in order to paint it on smoothly, I needed to use a medium-to-generous coat. If I tried to apply it thinner, it would dry too quickly and perhaps clump up. (I’m sure this is something that nail-polish thinner can restore in a jiffy.)

Despite the thicker formulation, I didn’t have trouble applying it smoothly, and yes, it was incredibly pigmented even with one coat. With my particular bottle, I got complete coverage with a single coat, but I still applied a second to intensify the twinkling effect.


Since Essie Starry Starry Night hasn’t been easily accessible for a lot of people, it’s no surprise that you may be curious is there are any dupes on the market.

Although I don’t have it in my collection, KBShimmer Carpe Denim has been said to be similar, although not a carbon copy. Rather than having micro-glitter like the ones in Essie Starry Starry Night, KBShimmer Carpe Denim has larger holo glitters. (Check out this Pointless Cafe blog post that has comparison swatches of both.)


  • Twinkling midnight blue cult favourite from 1997 that is brought back for more people to enjoy
  • Blue doesn’t look black most of the time
  • The glitter really doesn’t twinkle & doesn’t fall flat
  • Full coverage with just a coat, due to the thick consistency


  • Thicker consistency means that each coat will be medium-to-generous and not thin (As long as you’re aware of it from the beginning, it’s easy to control & to glide on smoothly.)

Final Verdict: 9.5/10

What a wonderful nail polish to bring back to celebrate Essie’s 35 years in the industry! This is a beloved shade that has been on many nailphiles’ wish lists, so I know that I’m not the only one who ‘clicked her nails together for joy’ when I first heard that Starry Starry Night was being relaunched! 🙂

Do you have the original Essie Starry Starry Night? Is the relaunched version what you expected? Do you remember this polish back in 1997?


16 thoughts on “Essie Starry Starry Night Swatches & Review

  1. Melissa

    I’m drooling over this color. I think I’m going to have to buy a bottle of this as soon as I can find it. Thanks for sharing it with us and as always it looks great on you! 🙂

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      This is a gorgeous nail polish – so happy to have it in my collection! 🙂 Plus I know that many fellow nail enthusiasts will appreciate that Essie brought it back for many people to enjoy.

  2. George Stamas

    I am with Melissa, I need to find this polish color it looks so dazzling on your nails. Love the way you photographed it and rated it 9.5 out of 10. I love Essie polishes and even used Pansy pink at a local Susan Komen 3 day walk for breast cancer in 2007, but that story is for another time. Love this color on you Mary great job.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey George!

      Oh, it would sure look photogenic on anyone’s nails. It’s the kind of polish that makes you gasp – a true beauty!

      So happy to hear that you enjoy my photographs, as I try to take clear shots in different lighting and angles to give readers a better view of the nail polish. 🙂

      It’s wonderful that you actively supported what you believe in. Kudos to you and for participating in the 3-day walk!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Traci!

      a-England Tristam has holographic micro-glitter, whereas Essie Starry Starry Night doesn’t have any holo to it. The base of Starry Starry Night is like a creme-jelly, so the silver glitter peeks through and the overall look appears to have more depth. While Tristam is beautiful, I feel like Starry Starry Night twinkles and resembles a night sky more.

  3. Carolyn

    I used to layer glitter over navy blues back in high school too, but mine was a blue glitter. Funny thing was, it was a really cheap-o 90s drugstore polish and after a few days the blue would wear off and it would be silver-ish glitter! Not as nice looking as SSN, though – I can’t wait to get my hands on a bottle. Blue is my favorite color to begin with, but add in the beauty of this, plus the legendary status and it’s definitely a winner. I only own one bottle of Essie color, plus one bottle of their Gel Setter topcoat, but that’s about to change! : )

    PS I love your swatches. I’m also a rounded-nails kind of girl, so your pics always give me a better idea of how a color would really look on my own hand. Keep up the great blog!!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Carolyn!

      Back in high school when I did the layered manicure, I believe I used two Wet ‘n Wild nail polishes that were $0.99 each. That was back when they had the cylindrical bottle design. (I wonder if we used the same polish, at least for the base blue!) 😉

      Thank you for your kind comments regarding my swatches!

      (I’ve received several e-mails saying negative things about my nail shape and even some people feel so strongly about it that they have left comments on my blog to give me a piece of their mind. Despite all that, I am 100% comfortable with my nails the way they are, even with imperfections. I’m not a nail professional, so I paint and shape only my own nails for personal enjoyment. It brings me happiness, and the bonus is that readers like you encourage me a lot and bring a smile to my face. I appreciate your support so much! :D)

  4. Tanya

    I want it in my collection, but it doesn’t look
    like the original and that bugs me. I do like the look of it though, it’s really lovely.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Tanya!

      I was never fortunate to snag the original, so unfortunately I can’t compare them for myself. However, I can assure you that the new version of Essie Starry Starry Night is a true beauty. I wasn’t disappointed! 🙂

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Beth!

      That makes sense because in the bottle, it looks like the glitter would appear flat on the nail. But then when you wear it, that’s when the depth comes out, and you can see how the glitter plays Hide and Seek with the creme-jelly base. It’s certainly the kind of polish that shows all its bells and whistles during its performance. 🙂


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