THE GLAM DOWN: A Throwback to Essie’s “Mint Candy Apple”

My first two years in New York, there was only one nail polish color that mattered and it was Essie’s “Mint Candy Apple.” When I finally got my hands on a bottle of it, I was still working at Topshop in Soho and I recall so well how a coworker (her name was Margeaux) stopped me after I dropped off clothes for the second floor fitting room, and with a shriek and a charge towards me, asked where I found “Mint Candy Apple.”

It seemed that Essie quietly released “Mint Candy Apple” in stores and while I can’t confirm whether it was a re-release or not–there’s been so many shades since the brand’s 1981 debut–it was either the nascent of online blogs or classic word of mouth that got it hot. There was no denying how pretty the color was. Classy yet unexpected, it was unequivocally the “it” shade. Wherever I bought my bottle from, it was after weeks of searching for it because from drugstores to Bronx beauty supply stores, it was sold out. Getting my hands on one felt like I found gold. Liquid gold I suppose considering I hadn’t been this eager for a nail polish shade since freshmen and sophomore year of college. As an undergrad, black nail polish, no matter the brand, became a zeitgeist in the makeup industry. Similar to when Hard Candy’s “Sky” and Chanel’s “Vamp” ruled.

Now how would I describe “Mint Candy Apple”? It is a milkshake smooth mixed hue of granny smith apple green and muted lime. The Essie website describes it even more perfectly: “a creme de menthe mint.” You know, the same shade as the cool filling in those easily eat the whole box of chocolate thins named Andes. It’s gorgeous and again, funky enough to be different but you can get away with it if worn as a part of a professional or understated ensemble.

I recently bought it at a Wal-Mart near Northampton, MA. It had been some time since I wore it and the last one dried up after much use. Hello, ol’ friend and winner of an Allure Magazine Best of Beauty recognition in 2011.

In November 2015, the Essie fan site, Essie Envy, published an expose on whether the brand had reformulated the popular mint hue since its original launch. Kindra did a compare and contrast of two bottles of “Mint Candy Apple” and the one on the left, in the photo provided, definitely carried bluer than the other bottle of “Mint” that is more seafoam.

This is not uncommon in makeup. Sometimes even after a shade or product has proven to be popular just the way it is, brands get excited about the possibilities of making shades or items more innovative or bigger. This also happens in the food industry. 32 years ago, Coca-Cola changed the recipe of their classic soda and released “New Coke” in April 1985. Hilarious uproar ensued when Coke loyalists called up phone lines demanding answers to why the mutation took place. Others went to their local grocery store to stock on what was left of original Coke. In July 1985, Coca-Cola brought back its renowned taste and both versions were sold for some time.

Kindra noted that there are two types of “Mint Candy Apple” available and if you are a huge fan of the shade, be aware! She noted that when she Googled the two labels she’d seen in stores, “Mint Candy Apple 702” and “Mint Candy Apple 754” appeared in representing the color. The one I bought from Wal-Mart is listed as 702, but I didn’t ponder once if it was the right shade. It looked just how I remembered from a few years ago. It is easy to get confused with what else Essie has to offer. They have another shade called “Turquoise & Caicos” that at first glance looks extremely similar to “Mint Candy Apple”, as does “Fashion Playground” and “Passport to Happiness.”

Retailing between $7-9, it’s still a favorite where Essie is sold. If you’re only just now being introduced to “Mint Candy Apple”, thankfully you won’t have to run up and down New York City like so many of us did to get it!

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