I recently was gifted the Essie Spring mini-collection, Go Overboard. (Thanks Sophie!) It consists of 3 polishes: Go Overboard (a deep teal-blue creme), Play Date (a light orchid-lilac creme) and Armed & Ready (a gray with gold-pink shimmer.) I have searched through my stash for similar polishes, and taken comparison shots for each!
Today we have Essie Armed & Ready. This polish has a creamy, concrete-gray base perhaps with a drop of olive, with gold, pink and copper shimmer, plus little bits that reflect greenish, red and a bit purple in full sun.
I have swatched Armed & Ready with L.A. Girl Disorder AKA Love & Beauty Golden Grey. Disorder has a similarly creamy gray base with a drop of slate-blue, a shade or 2 darker than Armed & Ready and cooler, with the same sort of gold-pink-copper multicolored contrasting shimmer.
A nail-fanatic eye would tell these apart, but no one else. Their basic makeup is the same, but Disorder is a bit darker, cooler and its shimmer is more prominent. From afar, it's hard to tell the difference, and I think Disorder is a great substitute for Armed & Ready for less than half the price!
Shown is 3 thin coats of each (they only really needed 2, but I habitually do 3, I think it brings out the contrasting shimmer better) with no topcoat and no basecoat.
|Flash, indoors (sorry, still learning how to take flash pics!)|
- Essie Armed & Ready $8 (Ulta, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Head2Toe Beauty)
- L.A. Girl Disorder/Love & Beauty Golden Grey $3 (Cherry Culture, certain supermarkets like Fred Meyer, Forever 21 stores which is where I bought mine)
- Essie bottles are just the cutest. They are square glass, with "essie" embossed on 2 sides. They store well in Helmer drawers, and they don't feel flimsy. The cap is shiny-finish white plastic, pretty short, with a medium stem (Zoya-length) and a small brush. I personally love the Essie brush, as I have small nail beds--I find it makes the lacquer easy to place & control, and I rarely need cleanup when I use Essie. The cap can be a little slippery, though. The formula of Armed & Ready was great: opaque and smooth without compromising the golden shimmer. It dried in average time on me, too. (Big 3 Free)
- L.A Girl/Love & Beauty bottles are nice and sturdy-feeling. They are wide on top and taper down at the bottom, and are flatter instead of round (pic, they are a bit hard for me to describe!) The bottom is thick & weighty in a good way. I like the shape and feel, and how it stands solidly while doing my nails. The medium-sized cap is matte-finish black plastic, and it's tapered a bit like Zoya caps, which provides a comfortable grip for fingers while polishing. The stem is on the shorter side, and the brush is reminiscent of $OPI/old OPI brushes, but it is slightly floppier. The brush didn't cause me any problems, but I had to be careful while polishing up the sides of my nails to avoid getting polish on the skin. The formula of Disorder was great, too: creamy and pigmented but the shimmer still shone through. It dried in average time on me. (Big 3 Free)
- Essie themselves do not test on animals; however, their parent company L'Oreal (the guys who own them) does test on animals. This is what I consider a gray area in terms of how to vote no-cruelty with polish dollars.
- Beauty21 (L.A. Girl/Love & Beauty's company) is PETA-listed as a no-animal testing company. Hooray!
Myself, I'd rather spend $3 on something quite similar than $8 for the Essie! That gives me a extra $5 toward something extra-unique :)