Essie Starry Starry Night Comparison

January 7, 2016

Nothing To Disclose

We were all super excited about this release! Essie were bringing back six of their most iconic, most desired, deleted shades, and among them, Starry Starry Night.

After years of waiting on the wishlists of many people, would this shade be everything that was desired? Would it fan the flame that burned for those who didn’t own a bottle of the original? Was it going to make me kick myself for the small fortune I paid for my bottle? Well, did it?

Your beloved twinkling midnight blue, ‘starry starry night’ is back‘ said Essie on their Instagram page. Well no Essie. No you didn’t bring back our beloved twinkling midnight blue! What you brought back is nothing like the Starry Starry Night you promised! And poor excuses, like, we couldnt find any diamond dust wont fly with me either! Let’s see why…..

I eagerly awaited the launch of the retro revival purely for this shade, as I imagine a lot of people did. It did look at little different from the promo pictures. The glitters larger, the polish a more vibrant colour, but I wanted to try it for myself. When I decided it wasn’t a perfect match I downgraded my original order from a large size bottle to Β some mini’s. The other shades, which I don’t own, looked nice so I purchased one of the following packs from an Ebay seller.


When it finally made it’s way over here to Australia, I immediately stopped what I was doing to have a little play.

I went and grabbed my original Starry Starry Night, which is in fact called Starry Starry Nights. I don’t really know what’s going on with that fact and it’s something I had never noticed.


Someone has told me that there were two originals released? If you know, please let me know in the comments section below. Essie makes it super difficult to find out any information, sometimes saying it was released in 1997, sometimes 1985. Who knows? If anyone can find out this mystery it’s Kaz of Pretty Random blog. Do your sleuth-work Kaz!

Anyhoo… I started applying the polishes for comparison and shot photos as I went along.


It was immediately evident after one coat that the differences would be substantial.

The original is thinner, navy with teal undertones, tiny little glitters, (is it really diamond dust?), and patchy at one coat. The revival is a thicker jelly consistency, large basic silver and blue glitters, still patchy on the first coat.


For the completed comparison, I did three coats of the original, and two coats of the revival. You can see my swatches of the original by going to THIS POST. I was not going to be wasting any more of my bottle after this.

The thickness of the base polish in the revival made doing very thin coats practically impossible. That said, I didn’t find the formula difficult to work with. I liked the opacity of the finished look.

I also like the finish of the original, even though it’s three coats. As you can see in my picture of one coat, I do my coats very thin whenever I can, and that’s what’s gives this polish it’s depth. Depth is created in Revival from the jelly base, not from layering the delicate, speckled polish.


I took a close up of both polishes together, and as you can see, they are not even slightly similar. The new polish doesn’t even look like a starry night. It looks more like a nice, cool ocean to me!

It is my opinion that there is absolutely NO COMPARISON between these two polishes. They are NOT the same, and this is a huge disappointment for anyone who purchased it thinking that it would be.

I mean, fair enough to Essie, if (that’s a tentative if), if they couldn’t get a hold of ‘diamond dust’ then why couldn’t they use a finer grade glitter like every other company who has produced a shade like this! Why couldn’t they, at the very least, have colour matched the base colour? I think it’s poor effort, false advertising and using the fame of one polish to sell something completely different. Thing is, they probably made a mint from it! And because they’re Essie, there’s not one ounce of care given either.

Ugh! I didn’t want to rant, but it’s like calling a mint polish and an emerald polish the same. It’s just not!

There are many polishes that have been released that are much closer dupes to the original. It would seem that other companies can dupe Essie better than Essie could. I decided to pull out my bottle of Pretty Serious Cosmetics Eye Of Copernicus* for a comparison with both Essie’s.


I would like to note that Eye Of Copernicus is NOT a dupe of Starry Starry Night, it is however, an improved version of Chanel’s Ciel de Nuit. What came first? The Chanel or the Essie? I don’t know that either! But the Essie and the PS look the same right? To have a look at Ciel de Nuit please visit Pretty Random to see Kaz’s swatches HERE.



It is virtually impossible to tell the difference between the original Essie and Eye of Copernicus. In person you can see the difference. Eye of Copernicus has a more blackened feel to the navy, where Essie has a teal/navy tone, less blackness. If I were someone wanting a bottle of the original Essie Starry Starry night, I would NOT buy the Retro Revival, I would purchase the readily available Eye Of Copernicus which, by the way, applies far better than Essie and looks equally, if not more, stunning! For me, I am happy to shelf my Essie and focus on the Pretty Serious one since I know I can always get more of it.

Edit- When I say readily available, I look like a silly because Eye of Copernicus is currently out of stock, however it will be restocked in approximately three weeks, you can sign up to be notified HERE.

If the Retro Revival polish was released under a different name, I’d say I really like it! It’s squishy, sometimes appearing super dark, sometimes a vibrant ocean blue. It has a lovely ratio of glitter to base, and I quite liked how it applied. It’s when you hear the name, and compare, you start to go hey! What the heck!

Here it is on it’s own, no comparison.

Essie Retro Revival Starry Starry Night

Essie Retro Revival
Starry Starry Night

Essie Retro Revival Starry Starry Night

Essie Retro Revival
Starry Starry Night

Super pretty hey!

In conclusion, the retro revival was the disappointment I expected after reading the initial comparisons after the release. There is a great one out there by Pointless Cafe. I would be highly disappointed in any blogger that states to the public that this polish is a satisfactory replacement for the original, and so far I haven’t seen anyone do that.

My faith in the amount of cash I spent on my bottle stands firm. Starry Starry Night, version 1, is clearly is still an irreplaceable polish and absolutely beautiful. Retro revival is a beautiful polish too in it’s own right. I love how it looks when I don’t know what it’s called, hahahaha.

What do you think about all this? Will you be buying a bottle? I hope you’ve found this post to be helpful.

As for me, I’m going to be going back to my original swatch post for this polish and updating readers to come here. I would hate for anyone to purchase this shade thinking they were going to get what they see in that post.

Chris xx

*Also edited to add that Eye Of Copernicus was a Press Sample to me originally. Doesn’t change my thoughts one way or the other though.

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  • I can understand the disappointment here. It’s really too bad because released on it’s own the new one is a lovely shade and is quite original for Essie. But they just went wrong trying to pretend it was something it clearly isn’t.

  • Deborah Rose

    Tthe last time I checked, Eye Of Copernicus was sold out, with that said, too bad I bought 3 bottles of the Essie before I saw any comparisons

    • Thankyou! I knew I would forget something in this post! I have updated it to say when Eye Of Copernicus would be restocked! It’s such a shame that comparisons weren’t hugely available before the pre-sale.

  • Pretty outrageous to bring back a shade under the same name and have it look not a little but completely different! The pretty serious is a much more satisfactory dupe. Thanks for the honest and clear review!

  • The revival shade is nice enough, but for me the original is so much better. I don’t know why Essie are claiming it’s a revival when it’s so different…these mainstream brands can be so shady! Thanks for the in depth comparison, I don’t think I’ll be bothering with the revival now πŸ™

  • This is awesome! Great dupe with EOC! I never even realized it would be close! I knew I wouldn’t need the “new” Starry Starry Night and now I don’t need the old one either! Great post!

  • This post is SO good! I reeeally got excited when I found out SSN was being released again, and SO sad to find out it wasn’t a match to the original.

  • Deborah Rose

    Another similar polish is Colors by Llarowe Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

  • tsk, tsk – not pretty , Essie!! Don’t you hate it when brands do that!? Why!?!? WHY?!?!?!
    That being said, though, that Pretty Serious is a flawless match, hey? πŸ˜‰

  • Tanya Payne

    I want the revival shade as a stand alone, comparing it to the original only serves to disappoint. And the diamond dust bs, puh-leez Essie. They don’t care, they will rake in the dough. But I lost a lot of respect for the brand. Thank God for Eye of Copernicus and KBshimmer Carpe Denim.

  • Fantastic comparison Christine! I still want the Retro Revival shade just to have it. I will continue to look to Eye of Copernicus for a great SSN dupe.

  • Dina Ramse

    Great review!
    Think i will stick with Eye Of Copernicus

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