A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to receive Essie’s 2012 Winter collection to swatch and review! Many of you might already know this, but Essie is my absolute favorite nail polish brand. The ease of application, stay power, and creamy finish are amazing and their glitters apply so evenly! It’s hard to find any faults.

This collection was no different and featured a total of 6 gorgeous shades — 3 reds, a couple blues, and a disco ball silver.


Each of these colors were so beautiful and unique that I figured they deserved their own little mini-review.
Note: All swatches of matte colors were taken without a top coat to display the high shine finish.

Snap Happy

As vast as my personal nail polish collection is, these are actually my first reds. Weird, right? I’ve stayed far, far, far away from reds as a result of being subjected to years of my mother’s red nail polish obsession. She had me all red-ed out. Swatching this shade on my fingers, however, helped me bring back that love of red. Snap Happy is a very warm, bright Christmas red that paired beautifully with the warm undertones of my skin. It was super easy to apply, incredibly pigmented, and only took two thin coats for an opaque wash of color. I was extremely pleased with the creamy and high shine finish typical of Essie nail polish.

She’s Pampered

She’s Pampered is another brilliant, cool toned red that, surprisingly, still looked great on my warm skin tone. It’s slightly deeper than Snap Happy and shows as a true red — another excellent Christmas day manicure choice. I actually find myself wishing I had a lipstick of the same exact color. She’s Pampered was just as easy to apply as Snap Happy and took 2 coats to get fully opaque. The finish was, once again, very creamy with a beautiful high shine.

Leading Lady

No collection is complete without a little glitter! Leading Lady is a red, chunk glitter nail polish whose finish looks a lot like Dorothy’s red ruby slippers. It’s definitely more cool toned than the other reds in the collection, but still looked great on my complexion. The nail polish itself is composed of bright red glitter chunks and immersed in a slightly sheer red base. It looks gorgeous when layered over Snap Happy or She’s Pampered but can also be worn on it’s own when built up. The result is a deep, blood red base with glints of bright red from the glitter. The above swatch was achieved by applying three generous coats of Leading Lady and finished with a top coat for extra depth, dimension, and pop to the glitter within.

The one thing I didn’t like about this shade was how easily it chipped when not applied properly. Try applying each coat as thin as possible. The thicker you apply, the more likely it is to chip. It’s also incredibly important to wait for each coat to completely dry before applying another. It might take a few more coats to get opaque, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Where’s My Chauffeur?

Starting off the blue’s is Where’s My Chauffeur — a bright teal, wintery shade that takes me back to my East Coast days of studying snowflakes from behind my bedroom window. It’s the brighter of the two blues in the collection and a little easier to rock than Butler Please. It, also, had the same creamy, high shine finish but was slightly harder to apply. The first couple coats were pretty streaky and I needed a good 4 coats to get this color completely opaque. It was a little more difficult to apply than the trio of reds but oh-so worth it!

Beyond Cozy

Finally, my favorite shade of the collection – Beyond Cozy! This nail polish reminds me of so many things — Christmas ornaments, disco balls, new years — the list is endless. It’s such a versatile nail polish that be used to give an extra pop to almost any outfit. It’s definitely going to be my nail polish of choice for New Years Eve. The nail polish itself is composed of various sized chunks of silver glitter and was incredibly easy to apply. It took 3 very thin coats to get completely opaque and had an extremely shimmery finish. I applied a thin layer of top coat to this to intensify the depth, dimension, and reflectiveness of the glitter.

Unfortunately, this had the same problem as Leading Lady. It chipped very, very easily and required a few touch ups throughout the week. To be fair, I do spend the majority of my day tapping away at a keyboard, but it’s something to be aware of. Lucky, the finish of the nail polish is rough enough to spot treat without it being too obvious.

Butler Please

Last but not least is Butler Please! An electric, deep blue cobalt shade that’s an absolute show stopper and unfortunately the only shade in the collection that didn’t compliment my skin tone. The shade is so gorgeous that it literally kills me inside. If you have a more neutral or cooler skin tone than mine, this is an absolute must have. Not only are true cobalt nail polishes hard to find, but the shine on this nail polish was intense. I’m not sure if the electric look of the color intensified it, but it was so glossy my camera had a hard time focusing on my nails. Intense!

Overall, a fabulous collection. Essie always does a marvelous job with their seasonal collections and this was no exception. If you’re on the market for something to flaunt during the holidays, definitely consider grabbing a few of these shades.

The Essie Winter Collection is available at CVS or Essie.com for $8 a bottle.