Review & Swatches: essie RepStyle Collection

Magnetic attraction….

New from essie, you’ll find their first ever magnetic polish collection in stores this month! These magnetic polishes are embedded with micro-iron spheres, which come to life by using the special included magnet that leaves a snake-like pattern on the nails. Once known for more demure, sheer shades, essie is now one of the brands I look to for more fashion-forward polish hues. Ready to take a closer look at the RepStyle Collection?

Sssssexy, Snake It Up, Lil’ Boa Peep

Crocadilly, Snake Rattle & Roll, RepStyle

See more photos, swatches, and details… 

These metallic shades differ from traditional nail polish, due to a unique cap which holds a magnet. When the polish is still wet, you flip the cap over (it detaches from the top of the bottle), and get it as close as you can to the nail without touching for about 5-10 seconds. Easy enough, right? With RepStyle, it took some experimenting for me to get it right.

My recommendations for application…

essie’s instructions state that you should apply a RepStyle shade to all of your nails, then apply a second coat individually, nail by nail, hovering the magnet immediately after that second coat. But here’s what I discovered!

  • Shake bottle well.
  • Apply two coats of RepStyle polish to all nails.
  • Apply top coat on one nail, then immediately use the magnet. Do this one nail at a time for all 10 nails.

For me, RepStyle actually worked better after I applied top coat!


Crocadilly is a metallic hunter green shade, and I found it to perform the best out of the six shades in the collection. The magnet worked easiest here—and if you were to pick only one shade in the collection, I’d recommend Crocadilly!

RepStyle is a gorgeous metallic bronze that reminds me of a tiger’s eye gem. The magnet seemed to work well here too, just not quite as well as Crocadilly. Even without the magnet, this is a stunning shade that I would wear without the snakeskin effect.

Sssssexy is a deep metallic aubergine that was a little bit thicker in consistency than the rest of the collection. Luckily, it gives good coverage, so I would try to use the thinnest coats possible to avoid a longer dry time.

Lil’ Boa Peep is a metallic titanium shade with a nice flow.

Snake It Up is a metallic pewter-sapphire blue that was a little more challenging to work with. You have to make sure the polish is very wet when using the magnet here, due to the lesser contrast of a darker shade.

Snake, Rattle, & Roll is a metallic oxidized silver shade, which seemed to work the least of the bunch. I wasn’t able to achieve a very distinct snakeskin pattern with this one, but it’s still a great shade when worn solo.

Will you be picking up any shades from the essie RepStyle Collection?

Bottom Line…

While this may seem odd, I found that applying the top coat before using the magnet acted as a catalyst for the snakeskin pattern effect. The pattern seemed to develop much faster and more distinctly when applied that way, with Crocadilly and RepStyle performing the best.

Price & Availability…

$11.25 each; December 2012 at drugstores, mass retailers, and salons nationwide.

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples. This post may contain an affiliate link.
  • Megan

    What kind of top coat did you use? Does it have to be Essie brand or can it be any brand top coat?

  • Amber

    Hi Megan, I tried it with Seche Vite and Gelous, both seemed to work fine. It doesn’t have to be essie :)

  • Jeanatte Salazar

    RepStyle and Snake It Up are beautiful! Will be picking those up on my next polish run.

  • Rose

    does sally’s salon carry it?

  • Rose

    where can i buy these nail polish Seche Vite and Gelous…THNX :)

  • Amber

    Sally Beauty SUpply should have both :)

  • Amber

    Sally doesn’t have Essie

  • Hillary Pierce

    I’m confused by what you meant about RepStyle working better AFTER you applied top coat. Is that not what you’re supposed to do?

  • Amber

    According to essie, you are supposed to apply top coat after you use the magnet. I found the magnet pattern to work better when I applied top coat before using the magnet. Sorry if I wrote that in a confusing way.

  • Pingback: FORTUNE TASTE » Essie “Repstyle” Nail Polish()

  • Ami S.

    Thank you for the amazing swatches and the fantastic tip for application! I picked up RepStyle today and the pattern shows up so much better if I apply a top coat (Sally Hanson Mega Shine) while the 2nd coat of polish is still semi-wet/ tacky, then use the magnet. It’s gorgeous! I am desperate to get my hands on Lil Boa Peep and Ssssssexy.

  • jeneyg

    I bought snake it up before reading the reviews – should have got crocadilly instead!

  • Davida Veddar

    you were so right on crocodilly and your advice helped soooo much! Loved it and got tons of compliments!

  • Amber

    Glad to hear! xo

  • Kellie

    I have Crocodilly and would love to get Sssssexy. It is a shame that Snake it Up doesn’t work very well because the color is gorgeous.