Essie – Winter 2013 Collection

Essie Winter 2013 opener


As I write this post, it happens to be one of those scorching hot & crazy humid September days – definitely NOT the time to bring up Winter … unless it happens to come in the form of a new nail lacquer collection. This season, Essie’s Winter 2013 Collection takes inspiration from the luxurious and cozy fabrics seen on the runways, with little glamorous touches here and there to catch the light and liven things up. While not exactly shades one imagines when thinking of the colder weather, the six hues here, all exude a certain wearable factor, interwoven with a modern yet sophisticated vibe.

*EDIT: I have been informed that this collection should become available in store by early October 2013 – although I’m hoping for earlier!

Essie Winter 2013

Essie Winter 2013 Collection


Warm & Toasty Turtleneck – a blue tinged lavender crème hue with jelly-esque characteristics, in a self levelling and well pigmented formula that gives good coverage even by the first coat. There’s a cushiony-looking density to the overall look, and the final finish is ultra glossy. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

Essie Warm & Toasty Turtleneck swatch

Essie – Warm & Toasty Turtleneck

Essie Warm & Toasty Turtleneck swatch 2

Essie – Warm & Toasty Turtleneck


Mind Your Mittens – a mid-sheer concrete grey hue with blue/green undertones, filled with ultra fine silver and prismatic ground shimmer – which is actually quite subtle, unless seen in direct sunlight. Looking more like a diffused sea foam shade and bearing an ultra-smooth finish, there’s a gorgeous uniqueness to this colour and while I searched through my Essies, I realized that I have nothing like it at all. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

Essie Mind Your Mittens swatch

Essie – Mind Your Mittens

Essie Mind Your Mittens swatch 2

Essie – Mind Your Mittens


Sable Collar – Le Sigh….. Where do I start? I LOVE THIS SHADE (had to get that out of the way) – a totally unique mix of grey & raisin, and filled with a pale pink and burgundy ultra-fine shimmer throughout, but all as though seen through a dusty filter – hands down, the most original shade released this season by ANY brand. Ultra pigmented, self-levelling and with a nice shine (but not a natural high gloss) at the finish, this is a 100% must have. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

Essie Sable Collar swatch

Essie – Sable Collar

Essie Sable Collar swatch 2

Essie – Sable Collar

Essie Sable Collar swatch 3

Essie – Sable Collar


Shearling Darling – a rich and ultra saturated deep berry hue with wine/burgundy undertones in its base, in a hybrid crème/jelly formula. There’s an odd elasticity felt upon application – best to wait 2-3 minutes between coats, to avoid any dragging. Vampy, sexy, super glossy and 100% self-levelling, this is a universally flattering shade for all skin tones. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

Essie Shearling Darling swatch

Essie – Shearling Darling

Essie Shearling Darling swatch 2

Essie – Shearling Darling


Parka Perfect – a somber dark teal hue that is paradoxically deep & bright at the same time, with definitive grey undertones in its base, all in a crème/jelly formula. With it’s über-glossy finish, smoothly laying application and excellent saturation fo colour, this is the perfect alternative to wearing black. Bonus: non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

Essie Parka Perfect swatch

Essie – Parka Perfect

Essie Parka Perfect swatch 2

Essie – Parka Perfect


Toggle To The Top – a deep ruby base hue loaded with embedded magenta glitter in varying shapes & sizes, in a glowing jelly-esque formula. With its stunning and totally eye-catching colour, there is a glass fleck-like look to the glitter, seemingly floating at the nail surface and looking lit from within – GORGE! While there is a nice shine at the finish, this shade definitely needs between 1-2 layers of a dense top coat to smooth the surface and enhance the entire look. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat

Essie Toggle To The Top swatch

Essie – Toggle To The Top

Essie Toggle To The Top swatch macro

Essie – Toggle To The Top (macro detail)

Essie Toggle To The Top swatch 3

Essie – Toggle To The Top


Oh yes, Essie…you have definitely done it again. Initially, I was fairly certain that the colours were not all that unique, but 2 things happened: A) when I began searching through my Essie collection for duplicates, I was stunned to find that I had matches for only 2 of the 6 shades and B) the superb application of each lacquer was yet another reason to love them all. My favourites are without a doubt ‘Sable Collar’, ‘Parka Perfect’ and ‘Shearling Darling’, and surprisingly, ‘Toggle To The Top’ – considering I’m not really the glitter type. That being said, I also want to try ‘Mind Your Mittens’ as a pedi shade next … just to switch things up a bit from darker tones on the toes!

The Essie Winter 2013 Collection will be available as of October 2013 – find out more via the website, twitter or facebook

Essie Winter 2013 closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

139 Responses to Essie – Winter 2013 Collection

  1. *Ky* says:

    Hi! I know it’s an old post but you’ve switched Mind Your Mittens and Parka Perfect 🙂

    • Eugenia says:

      That’s been a running debate, lol! I actually haven’t switched them at all; I went with what the labels say on the bottles, exactly the way they were sent to me!

  2. chastity64 says:

    Hey, great swatches! I’m so excited to see your comparison. Do you know when the comparison-post will get online? 😉

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you! I still have a ton of other stuff to work on, so I’m not sure at the moment but I hope to do something soon. If not a full post, then I’ll upload something quick on my social media channels!

  3. kristin says:

    Can I ask what top coat & base coat you use? It’s perfect! looks like a gel manicure!!!

  4. Laura says:

    Just got my collection today, I couldn’t wait to try sable collar based on your reviews. I love it! On the nail it’s the exact color of Hourglass Cosmetics packaging if anyone is looking for a comparison.

  5. Weronika says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Toggle To The Top 🙂

  6. lei says:

    me again… you paint your nails so perfectly. do you have a page on how you achieve such lush nails? or any tips? i dont seem to have the patience when waiting for mine to dry, they end up imprinted after an hour or so : (…

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately, I don’t have a post detailing my technique – although I do want to create one. If you want your finish to look its best, however, you’re going to have to cultivate a bit more patience I fear; rushing things will always result in issues.

  7. lei says:

    can you confirm for me? being an essie marvel, have the brushes changed? i find them to be a little skinnier on the newer bottles? although it might be where i am purchasing them from?

    • Eugenia says:

      I haven’t noticed a difference in brush density; if you’re not getting your bottles from a reputable retailer, you might want to look into changing. Another option,is to send an email to Essie and inquire if there’s been a change.

  8. Michelle says:

    whats the name of the orangey one?! the rest look amazing though! definitely have to go get them!

    • Eugenia says:

      If I understand you correctly, that shade is Sable Collar – it’s not exactly orange, though — check out my photos once again and you’ll see what I mean

  9. Ang says:

    Sable Collar is an almost dupe for Tom Ford Black Sugar! Although the TF has less plum but still has that raisin taupe red shimmer concept. So glad Essie did this shade to save me the money on the TF because I was so tempted to buy the TF since it was such a unique shade! Not so unique now! Beautiful pictures!!

    • Eugenia says:

      I saw some online swatches for the TF you mentioned and there does seem to be a resemblance, although I thought it looked more muted than the Essie. Sable Collar is a total must-have from this collection!

  10. Kalin says:

    Love your review! And I am glad I found your page!

    Even though I already saw your pretty pictures on ebay. Can’t believe seller’s steal your pictures. So wrong.

    Anyways, Purchasing this collection asap!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks so much, Kalin & welcome! What can I say? ebay sellers constantly steal my photos without giving me any credit for them….it sucks, but I don’t have the time & energy to chase them all day long.

  11. Barbara says:

    Just love the winter collection… Hope I can find them locally now…can’t wait to try sable collar!

  12. Elektra King says:

    Hey Eugenia! Great post and swatches as always 🙂 I just came across an ebay retailer using your pics. Your watermarks have been replaced by the retailer’s mark … thought you might wanna know.

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you so much – glad you enjoyed it! The ebay retailer you mentioned, has been doing this for quite some time; I can literally spend my entire day chasing down all these thieves, but unfortunately, there’s not much I can do — they just find other ways AND new creeps always pop up. I do appreciate you alerting me – good to know you have my back! 🙂

  13. I’m curious how Toggle to the Top compares with Leading Lady that came out last year. Are they similar? Dupes?

  14. jromagno22 says:

    This is my first time posting to a blog, so I hope this works! I love your description on each color you post about, especially Essie (my obsession). Any idea when these will become available to Target, Rite Aid, etc? It’s not even available on their website! I found out through the website! Thanks so much for your details and posts!!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you so much, and welcome! It makes me so happy to hear that you like & enjoy my posts. This collection is slated to hit stores in November!

      • jromagno22 says:

        Looks like Essie released the collection on their website this week! Also looks like someone at Essie likes to play tricks. The light blue is now considered Parka Perfect and Mind Your Mittens is the teal color! Question: how does the light blue stand up to Cashmere Bathrobe in your opinion? I’m leery to wear lighter colors in the winter but I’m obsessed with Cashmere as my go-to polish and I want to try another “gray” (although it’s more blue to me) color!

      • Eugenia says:

        Cashmere Bathrobe (so love that shade — try it matte; takes it to a whole new level) and while I understand what you mean, it’s definitely quite different from the lighter shade in this collection. You won’t have to worry about duplicating them, that’s for sure!

  15. Jenniffer says:

    You have been fueling my addiction to Essie polishes! I buy based on your reviews!! Any idea when these will come out to local stores like Target, Rite Aid, etc? It’s not even on their website!

    • Eugenia says:

      Hahaha! Don’t blame the messenger (me) on a shrinking bank balance — it’s Essie who’s coming out with these beauties! As to when the collection will hit stores, the information I have is November – keep an eye out!

  16. Melissa says:

    Hi there,
    Apparently there have been some issues with labels on polishes that Essie sent out to bloggers and Mind Your Mittens and Parka Perfect were mixed. According to Essie, it looks like you have these colours labeled incorrectly. Just an FYI in case people purchase based on your swatches (like I did).

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks for weighing in & I’m guessing you may have read some other comments about the labelling issue here on my post; if not, I’d like to point out that the Essie rep who sent these shades to me – directly from Essie – has confirmed that mine are indeed labelled correctly. I can’t argue with that, and whether or not this jives with what other people have, I’m afraid I can’t offer any more opinion than that. Let’s just chalk it up to one of those things…! If people are indeed buying shades based on my swatches, then they should know that as far as I’m concerned, they are getting exactly what I posted.

  17. I think that the color names for mind your mittens and parka perfect should be swapped. I saw the display today at Ulta and I noticed the names were swapped! Great swatches though! 🙂

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks! I went back and checked the labels on my bottles, and no — I didn’t get them wrong. Then I checked the press release I had been sent & sure enough, it appears to be as you say; I’m waiting for word from my rep to confirm who’s got it right & if need be, I’ll add an edit. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention!

      • swanjun0 says:

        I just got mine and the names are reversed, too. I’ll be eagerly awaiting word from your Essie rep!

      • Eugenia says:

        I emailed my Essie Rep and she wasn’t aware that the labels on the bottles sent out were different than the press release. She stated that “Mind Your Mittens is the dusty blue green and Parka Perfect is the darker blue grey” – hope that clears things up!

      • swanjun0 says:

        Actually, it doesn’t entirely, given that her color descriptions are rather vague. Basically… does she mean that the colors as you’ve got them here—Parka Perfect is darker, and Mind Your Mittens is lighter—are correct and the ones that went out to Ulta, etc. are incorrect? It’s not just a Press Release issue, it’s a “bottles with the opposite names on them” issue.

        Thanks for looking into it. 🙂

      • Eugenia says:

        The bottles I received apparently are labelled correctly with the paler shade that has shimmer being ‘Mind Your Mittens’ and the darker of the two being ‘Parka Perfect’. As far as I know, this is the correct labelling — anything else, and you’ll have to ask the company directly, I’m afraid!

      • swanjun0 says:

        I did actually call them the other day, and the representative I spoke to told me the bottles that *I* had were the ones that were labelled correctly, and tried to steer me down an avenue of “salon collections being different than drugstore collections or something.”

      • Eugenia says:

        Don’t know what to add, other than what I’ve already stated; I’m just going with what I have & what I was told — don’t have the time to spend trying to unravel this one, lol! But sure wish I did!

      • Julia says:

        I recently purchased bottles from Ricky’s in NYC and those two color names are reversed as well. I wonder if there was a factory shipment mistake. I can only imagine the headache at the Essie offices as they figure this out!

      • Eugenia says:

        Seriously; good thing I don’t have anything to do with that, lol!

  18. Amara says:

    I just saw this collection at my local ulta. I hadn’t seen any press releases on it. When I saw Warm & Toasty Turtleneck I thought it looked similar to Essie’s Island Hopping, do you happen to know?

  19. I LOVE that winter collection soooo much. Much more than the fall one i’d say! Thank your for the amazing pictures. Your really do apply your nail polish perfectly! 🙂

  20. This is my first time commenting on your blog and I just wanted to say I’m a huge fan! I love all your photos, descriptions, and insights and your swatches are super useful 🙂
    Also, I absolutely love this collection. I don’t think we’ve seen anything this original (but still wearable) from Essie in a really long time. I picked up Sable Collar yesterday and can’t wait to wear it!

    • Eugenia says:

      Welcome, Emma & thanks for your support and such kind words – I really appreciate it! With so many nail polish brands & colours/formats available today, it’s sometimes hard to try and come up with something new – but every now and then, a shade comes along (like Sable Collar), that is just completely mind-blowing. Enjoy it well!

  21. Babsi says:

    oh, wow, i love Sable Collar and Shearling Darling!!!! i want this 2 🙂

  22. Rachel DeBee says:

    Fantastic collection, especially love “Sable Collar” and “Toggle to the Top”. Thank you for the gorgeous swatches! 🙂

  23. DaniGurl says:

    My goodness ! Essie takes my breathe away ! I honestly wasn’t blown away by “For the Twil of It” collection – but this is … Wow … Sable Collar is beautiful as well as Toggle To The Top (loving that name) . They’re all pretty

    Thanks Eugenia !

  24. Jess says:

    Goodness me…how did I miss the fact that you had posted swatches of this collection?? I’ve been dying to see them! I’m quite late to the game here but these are lovely…Sable Collar, Mind Your Mittens and Toggle to the Top are on my wishlist for sure!

  25. Kellie says:

    Great swatches, I will for sure be picking at least 3 colors from this collection up! I am not sure if you have parlez vous opi but if you do I am interested to see how it compares with warm and toasty turtleneck.

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks, Kellie! I’ll check my stash to see if I have the OPI shade you mentioned (I think I might have a mini version) and I’ll get back to you re: the comparison

  26. Ems says:

    parka perfect looks a bit like barry m’s gelly watermelon.. do you think this is the case?

  27. Snail Polish says:

    I love the three cremes – Mind Your Mittens in particular! Thanks for the review!

  28. Marina says:

    Now I’ve seen the swatches, I need every one… I will have every one. Mission accepted! Thanks for these swatches!!! 🙂

  29. Deborah says:

    This collection holds quite a few stunners, wow! Especially Parka Perfect, Mind Your Mittens, Sable Collar and that sparkling beauty Toggle to the Top ♥.

  30. mintymilky says:

    Toggle To The Top.. wow *speechless* 🙂

  31. Amélie says:

    Hi Eugenia ! Your swatches are perfect, as usual. Can you tell us what are the two shades you found in your collection that matches shades of this particular collection please ? Have a nice day !

  32. Mind Your Mittens is a beauty! Kind of low key but so pretty. It’s like the best of summer and winter mashed in together, if your beach-loving soul knows what I mean. Reminds me of a sparkly watery surface and snowy terrain at the same time.

  33. Oh my I really thought from the initial images I would pass on all of these, but WOW Sable Collar and Toggle to the Top are going to be basically impossible to pass up once I start seeing them in stores 🙂

  34. Nailz Craze says:

    Thank you for these beautiful swatches!
    At first I thought that Toggle To The Top looks very similar to Leading Lady but in your photos I see a beautiful shimmer that I really like, so I might be getting it too when it’s out!

  35. Maribeth says:

    Cannot wait to get my claws on these! This is the first Essie collection (as a whole) to excite me in awhile! I love the color scheme <3

  36. Honestly, I’m so excited for this collection. Since Fall 2011 Essie has been killin’ it with every collection and I’m about to fill up 2 helmer drawers of Essie’s.. Great pics as always doll!

  37. I don’t now about it, feel like deja vu no? will you show us the comparisons? pleeeease?

    • Eugenia says:

      You must remember that there are only so many colours out there — sometimes it’s about tweaking the formula or adding a little something, like shimmer/glitter. I have quite a large Essie collection, and I only found 2 of the shades to have close relatives … the rest were all unique! I’ll be showing comparisons soon!

  38. I did not want this until you posted these swatches. -L.

  39. Papu says:

    Oooohhhhh! I’m stunned. Totally. I suppose I could just go and hand my credit card over to Essie since they keep taking my money. I think I will HAVE to buy four of these – not too interested in Parka Perfect or Shearling Darling, but the other four … omg! ♥ Thank you for your beautiful swatches! And I’d LOVE to see a comparison with I Knead Sour-Dough & Sable Collar side by side if possible 🙂

  40. Latoya says:

    Oh dear….I actually adore the whole collection!!! I suspect two shades here (the deep wine & deep teal) I have similar colors for (both Zoya) but I love them so it’s all good! I can’t wait to see them all in store!!

  41. Catarina says:

    Sable collar is sooo beautiful!
    I just wonder if it is one of those polishes that are hard to remove!

  42. Vee says:

    I don’t think there is one colour that you have swatched that I don’t want to try for myself. They are beautiful shades. Toggle is definitely a fave followed closely by Parker Effect. What top coat do you use for that lovely glossy look?

    • Eugenia says:

      I like to keep brands together; for all Essie swatches I use All In One Base Coat and Good To Go Top Coat. Be warned that ‘Toggle To The Top’ did need to layers of top coat for even more shine!

  43. Kristi says:

    I need them all! Your reviews are the best.

  44. Of course I love the red glitter. But I don’t think I need another one, even if this is better than Leading Lady. Or so I think right now. Haha. I love the shades, they are beautiful. I like Parka Perfect a lot, but I have to accept that the dark greyish-greenish shades make my skin look very yellow, so although I admire them on others, I end up not wearing them. I have a soft spot for shades like Warm & Toasy Turtleneck and Mind Your Mittens is sooo pretty! xxx

  45. Toggle to the Top and Sable Collar…. I die, they’re fantastic and I think I need them right this very second!

  46. Pinkpamalamma says:

    Oooh these are beautiful! Love Sable Collar, Mind Your Mittens, and Toggle to the Top!

  47. mbg976 says:

    Oh my, Toggle is lovely! Was there any staining when you took it off? Beautiful swatches!

  48. Linda says:

    I will look forward to your post comparing Toggle To The Top to Leading Lady from last year. I loved the swatches but never got around to picking it up, so will make sure to do so this year!
    Lots to love with these! I wonder how that ‘dusty filter’ thing was done on Sable Collar? It looks like you used a cloudy top coat, or it’s a dusty photo or something. I love the colour, not sure if I like the ‘dusty filter’ look, though. This is a great example of why swatches are useful! (Like we need an excuse, lol) Thanks for a great post!

    • Eugenia says:

      If I had to pick between Leading Lady & Toggle To The Top, I have to say that this year’s version wins…will get into more detail when I post it! As to the “dusty filter” look (PS: that’s from me and not an official description from Essie, lol!) it’s really quite beautiful and mesmerizing! Trust me!

  49. Mind Your Mittens LOL LOL I’m getting that JUST FOR THE NAME hahaha!

  50. Marissa says:

    These are lovely! Do you think that Sable Collar is at all comparable to OPI’s Muir Muir on the Wall?

    • Eugenia says:

      If anything, OPI’s ‘I Knead Sour Dough’ has more in common with Sable Collar than ‘Muir Muir On The Wall’, bearing a similar base hue and light overlay of colour – but they are definitely NOT duplicates at all. Sable Collar is truly extraordinary!

      • Lorraine says:

        I am hoping Sourdough makes it to the comparison post. I love shades like these- shimmer is my jam! but the whole collection is drool worthy. can’t wait until it arrives in stores!

  51. When I saw the press release for this collection, I thought Toggle to the Top was a dupe for Leading Lady, but I think I prefer this over last year’s version!

  52. Hmmm….only one must-have for me – the glittery red one of course!

  53. beachgal says:

    Fun, fun – cannot wait for a couple of these!

  54. Kim says:

    Oh, I just love this autumn collection! I hope that I’ll be able to resist!

    • Eugenia says:

      To be correct, this is the brand’s Winter Collection — I posted the Fall Collection earlier! But I do understand what you mean about the shades being more cool-weather-ish!

  55. llewsoba says:

    Sadly I admit.. I have never bought an essie polish….. **hangs head** I will be checking out them out. Beautiful swatches!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks and don’t feel bad; there such choice available now, it’s hard to be on top of all the brands! Hope one of these beauties becomes your first Essie! 🙂

  56. Jelena says:

    Toggle To The Top is so beautiful and great pick for holidays. Do we know official release date for this collection?

  57. Yang says:

    The colors all look so wonderful, but I’ve definitely got my eye on the Shearling Darling and Warm & Toasty Turtleneck!
    Would you say the Parka Perfect is close to Baubing for Baubles?

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