Anyone else leave their Christmas shopping to the absolute last minute? No? Just me? Listen, I may have just turned 25 but I still have not learned at all, and will just have a crazy busy week while I try to catch up on everything before I go back to my parents for the holidays. It’s all FINE.
Well, speaking of just turning 25, I had a fabulous and very full weekend with friends and celebrating. It was so very fun and I felt so loved. But now we’re straight back into the real world (ah yes, what it’s really like to be an adult) and once again I feel a lil behind. We still have a couple more holiday collections to discuss and review, so it’s fine time we got to them.
This one we’re discussing today, I’ve been so excited about, and couldn’t wait to get it on my nails from the very first teaser photos I saw.
This is the Essie Winter 2019 collection. This is a 6 shade collection full of almost jelly-like sparkly polishes with larger glitters all throughout. They remind me of that crinkly see-through paper you get in gift baskets, so you know, perfect for a holiday collection.
I picked this up from 8ty8beauty.com, where I get all of my Essie collections. They have the best prices, and super fast shipping, and always have the newest collections before everyone else.
I found these all to have a similar formula, so I’ll just do a quick review here, and put any notes that differ on the individual polish swatches. They were more sheer and jelly-like to allow the larger glitters to peek through and be layered up. They were all opaque in 2-3 coats, depending on the base color and the opacity of the base color.
They are definitely thicker polishes and you’ll notice that when applying, just due to the nature of the formula and finish. The more jelly-like base can apply a little more unevenly if you’re doing thicker coats, and can build up to be a little goopy if you do too many thicker coats. I would definitely recommend making sure that you completely wrap the sides and tips of the nails to make sure you’re not leaving bald spots, or having an uneven edge.
I do recommend applying thinner coats and just building the polish up slowly. I found that gave the most smooth look, and helped keep it from being too thick on the nails. It also allows the sparkles to build up and layer on each other.
These all dry a little bumpy, just with the larger glitters, so I recommend a coat of top coat to smooth them out as well as to really bring out the sparkle and shimmer in the polish.
Now into the individual polishes!
Up first we have ‘Let it Bow’. This is the icy transparent white version with larger iridescent hexagons. This one did take 3 coats to fully build up, and it will still show some nail line through. This is the most sheer base out of all of them, and because of the iciness of the color, it will be a more sheer look.
But I did end up loving how icy and sparkly it looked on the nails. It was a cool look, and I think the overall effect on the nails would have been lost with a more opaque base.
Then we have ‘Making Spirits Bright’. This one does look very similar to ‘Let it Bow’ above, but it has a more gray-silver toned base than ‘Let it Bow’. I know they can look very similar on some people, as well as in the bottle, so that can be a little bit of a deterrent to some people.
I was fully prepared to be annoyed that they had 2 such similar shades in one small collection, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much the gray base appeared on my nails!
This one was also a touch on the thinner and more sheer side, so this was 3 coats built up. In my bright lights and at certain angles, it can look a little uneven, but to the normal everyday eye, it’s fully opaque and sparkly.
This again is so icy and reminds me so much of winter so it’s just perfect.
Up next we have ‘Caught on Tape’, the gold version of the polishes. This had a more opaque base, so it built up easily in just 2 coats. Just look at that sparkle!
‘Knotty or Nice’ is a metallic red base with the same iridescent hexagon glitters. This one has more of a fully opaque base with less shimmer than the others, and the glitters felt a little more scattered, so it’s a little less blinged out than the others. It was definitely more opaque, so an easy 2 coats and it was smoother than the others on the nails.
These definitely do dry down with a more satin and bumpy finish, so I do recommend a nice coat of top coat right on top – this shade especially dulls a little more. I always show the polishes without top coat, so you can see how they dry as is.
Honestly, compared with the others this one is less of a favorite – I just want the same amount of sparkle as the others! A good coat of top coat will help it out, but the glitters on this one do feel a little bumpier and covered up, if you know what I mean. There seems to be less distribution of larger glitters in this one, so they’re a little more scattered on the nails. It’s just overall less “blingy” than the other shades.
Just always giving you ALLLLLLL of my honest thoughts.
‘Under Wraps’ is another one of my absolute favorites of this collection. This is a deep sparkly teal base with larger blue and iridescent hexagon pieces all throughout. This could be opaque in almost 1 thicker coat – though as mentioned earlier I do like doing thinner ones to make sure it doesn’t get too goopy or uneven with that 1st coat.
But a stunning, easy formula and it’s just so full on sparkle. Reminds me of a mermaid. A winter mermaid?
See this one just has more larger glitters than the red, and overall it matches the looks of the others. The glitters layer so well on each other and show through even with a more opaque base. This is what I was looking for from the red shade, ‘Knotty or Nice’.
Our last shade we have here is ‘Tied & Blue’. This is obviously the deep blue version of the polish. This base is once again much more opaque with the deeper color, so it’s an easy 1 coat for thicker application or 2 thinner coats.
Like the red, the glitters in this one are a little less apparent just because they contrast less with the base color, but there’s still enough shimmer in there to make it dimensional. This is definitely one that can benefit from a thick glossy top coat on top as well, as there is some bumpiness.
And that’s the Essie Winter collection! 6 shades of full sparkly goodness.
Overall, as I tend to say a lot, I love that Essie went for a more unique finish and formula for this collection. They experimented and came out with something different for a holiday collection, and I’m always here to support that!
It can feel a little weird when applying it, since it’s going to be thicker than a normal cream or shimmer shade. It takes a little more spreading with the more jelly-like base and sparkles, but overall, as much as I talk about it, they’re not difficult to apply. I was able to paint these on easily, but it can surprise you when first using it.
I ended up loving them just because of the sparkly finish and look overall. ‘Let it Bow’, ‘Caught on Tape’, and ‘Under Wraps’ were my 3 favorites, as they were the most glittery and beautiful shades.
How do you feel about these shades and finish? I would love a deep forest green version of one of these…
Other Winter Collections Reviews:
China Glaze x Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Holiday 2019 Collection
Orosa Beauty Winter 2019 Shades
Sista Chic Lacquer Santa Baby Holiday 2019 Collection
Orly Arctic Frost Winter 2019 Collection
OPI x Hello Kitty Holiday 2019 Collection