Sunday, October 23, 2011

Essie Winter 2011 Collection

This collection quietly appeared on the shelves of Trade Secrets without any of the hype that usually accompanies a new nail polish collection. I couldn't understand it at the time but today I can see why.

This was the Winter 2010 collection:

The masquerade theme is quite enticing. Individual colours are rich and intriguing, though not exactly exquisite or amazing together.

This is the Winter 2011 collection:

It's basically a paler variation of last year's shades. Cocktail bling is a great name and theme, but I'm not sure that the colours translate it successfully.

Nonetheless, when I found myself picking up one, then two, then three of the colours from the collection, I decided it might be more economical to simply purchase the mini kit of four.

I rarely purchase mini size nail polish. Mostly it has to do with storage issues. It's easy to misplace such a tiny bottle and it doesn't stack as well as the regular size. Plus, it just feels like you get more of your money's worth with the regular size.

In any case, the decision was made and the following shades came home with me. From left to right:
  • Size Matters
  • Cocktail Bling
  • Bobbing for Baubles
  • Bangle

Looking at them now, I'm not sure why I was so drawn to any of them. They don't seem all that remarkable to me tonight.

However, I enjoyed them much better once they were applied.

The formula are great, though Bangle being the pale lavender was streakier and more watery than the others. Bobbing for Baubles is my fave of the set and is almost a one-coater. I was also pleasantly surprised that Cocktail Bling didn't clash with my skin tone. Pale icy blues tend to clash with my warm skin tone.

Once I began to enjoy the visual treat before me, I started to wonder if I should have bought the full size bottles instead. It's amazing how swiftly I can span the distance between prudence to batshit crazy.

Because as nice as these are, none are exactly unique or special. They've all been done before. I happen not to own dupes because these are relatively simple shades I purposely avoid on a regular basis. And have I ever finished a nail polish before? No. Will I be reaching for these shades over and over again? Probably not.

As declared on Twitter, for those with an already large nail polish collection, Winter 2011 is an entirely skippable one. However, for those who are only beginning to grow a basic collection, you might find some of these shades necessary staples of great quality.

The mini set of four is available at Trade Secrets for CAD$16.99.

Will you be picking up any from this collection? Meh or yay?


  1. Here's where we differ; I was recently sent this entire collection, and while I haven't completed my review yet, I must admit to having fallen for every single shade so far! What I love is that while last year's Winter collection was absolutely spectacular, this year Essie didn't try to outdo themselves, but instead went for something a bit more subtle, yet still sublime. I like the fact of this difference and so far, I haven't found exact dupes of any of these colours in my stash. Personally, I love Size Matters on you, but I was surprised by how much I like Cocktail Bling on you too! Thanks for this, Liz!

  2. I love getting the mini sets, as long as they have the colours in it that I like, sometimes they put some lame ones in there out of the full set. I get them on I haven't bought any new essie in forever.

  3. I think this mini set is quite nice, however like you said it is quite dupable. That said, as long as you get good use out of them, it's worth it! I personally like cocktail bling...

  4. I like Essie's formula-just sporting Essie's Very Structured from the fall collection and really loving it!
    I like Cocktail Bling on you a lot. Lovely shade.

  5. They're nice shades, but once your collection starts getting to a certain size you start seeing shades in there that look similar to what you already have, and barring that reaction of "THIS IS INSANELY GORGEOUS!!!!" you tend to want to pass on it. But here's where I'm nuts, even though I decide I want to pass on it, I pause, turn my heels and take a second look and wonder if I am missing anything.

    I must secretly desire to be a nudist because I love those sort of nudey naked colors. I liked Brooch the Subject. Although I would like to get a nice soft blue, maybe I'll try Cocktail Bling. But on my olive skin sometimes blue is a hard color to pull off, I have that cadaver look, not cute (BL's Lady Muck, just looked like muck).

  6. I'm like you when it comes to minis -- I usually purchase full size, but sometimes it's nice to have minis especially in colors you are not absolutely in love with! :) Thanks for swatching these - I picked up Cocktail Bling on Saturday :)

  7. Oooh pretty. I actually find the minis are okay, because I never finish nail polish, but the teeny tiny bottles have teeny tiny brushes, which makes life difficult.

    And I lol-ed at "batshit crazy." I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses that expression.

  8. i personally love minis & essie but surprsingly havent bought the minis. im trying hard not to buy nail polish lol i tried on a pale purple on friday and it looked like a wedding manicure -_-" so im avoiding pale-ish colors although the colors look better on you than in the bottle imo :)

  9. Haha, the only colour I picked up from this collection was one of the ones that wasn't included in the set (School of Hard Rocks). I felt like I had too many variations of the other shades... As you said, it's not the most unique collection. I feel like Essie is losing their touch. The best collection by them, IMO, was Resort 2010. And Mint Candy Apple (from Holiday 2009), which really made the mint green nail trend EXPLODE (though Chanel Jade started it).

    Have you seen some of the shades from OPI's The Muppets collection? SO CUTE! I am also excited for their collaboration with Nicki Minaj next year. The colours look amazing! :D

  10. @Eugenia - I guess it's just a matter of preference. While all the colours are very likeable, they definitely don't feel sublime to me. But I'm surprised that there are no dupes in your covetable stash! Can't wait to see your review!

    @Justine - They never do put the most interesting one in the sets (the camel coloured one that I can't remember the name of). I'm not even a huge fan of Essie but I keep getting them. Weird!

    @Dovey - Cocktail Bling seems to be the general favourite. But you're esp. partial to blue-greys! ;)

    @Tracy - Essie felt so watery to me at first but they've become quite stellar in terms of quality. Very Structured is a good one!

    @D - I'm trying to be pickier but it ain't easy. I also like Brooch the Subject very much but I had to put a cap on myself. If I can pull off Cocktail Bling, you most certainly can! I also tend to avoid blues but this one works!

    @Makeup Magpie - Score another for Cocktail Bling! I imagine it would look divine on you! :)

    @Larie - I don't mind the teeny tiny brushes but I'm greedy. It feels weird having less than the full size. :( Haha, I love saying batshit every chance I can. ;D

    @Isabella - Pale purple does have that effect! It's usually not my type of nail shade either but it always looks extremely pretty at spring time.

    @Denise - I've liked all their collections very much, but this one threw me a bit. Don't hate me but I don't get the Muppets love! The polishes look super fun but they don't really catch my fancy. As for Nicki Minaj, I'm disappointed there are a lot more hot pink other than that bubble gum one.

  11. I have to agree with you on the kind of plainess of this collection - while all the shades are pretty (and the four you have look stellar on you!), it didn't call to me at all whatsoever. I considered 'Bobbing' at one point, but realized it looks similar to a few other shades I have. I'm still at the stage where if something looks similar, I'm not goin' for it. I'm sure that'll change soon enough! :P Regardless, I think you did well with the minis - you got a taste and hopefully that'll be enough :)

  12. Latoya, I feel like you and I are the same stage of beauty saturation and we're sort of teeter-tottering at every step! For most of last year, it felt like I was in a mad race to fill all the "gaps" in my collection but lately I find myself wanting to retreat back to my old way of scooping up only the truly special shades. Thanks for the comforting words. :)


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