Essie Winter Collection 2010: Have We Met Before?

Published in: Nails, Product Reviews

essie winter collection 2010 reviews swatches photos

De ja vu — the feeling you are doing something you’ve done before.


De ja vu — the feeling you are doing something you’ve done before.

De ja vu — the feeling you are doing something you’ve done before.

De ja vu…

I started feeling kinda funny when I was swatching the new Essie Winter Collection, and I’m pretty sure it’s not because of jet lag (I’m back in the Bay, by the way… haha, I just made a rhyme).

About halfway through I figured out why the de ja vu had set in; the limited edition collection ($8 per bottle or $48 for a boxed set of six) kinda looks a little like their last one.

Essie Winter Collection 2010 (left) and Essie Fall Collection 2010 (right)

Anyone else get the feeling Essie was going for a remixed version of fall? The colors aren’t exactly the same, but both collections share some strong similarities, like a single pop of green, a red shade and two purplish polishes.

Essie aimed for mysterious, decadent and elegant colors with the new release, and I think she nailed it (heh) with the darker Luxedo (a blackend purple), Masquerade Belle (a blackened blood red reminiscent of Chanel Vamp), Hot Coco (a creamy brownish taupe) and Smokin’ Hot (a graphite grayish purple).

The two lighter shades, Going Incognito (a jade green) and Silken Cord (a bright red), feel a little out of place with the others because they’re so… sprightly. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas colors are cool, especially if you’re in the mood for a festive holiday mani/pedi, but when I see these two together I can’t help but think of Santa’s elves running around the workshop in pointy shoes and green tights. Not exactly mysterious, decadent and elegant, ya know?

All the shades in this release have a creamy finish and lots of shine. With the exception of Going Incognito (streaky!), they went on smoothly, taking just two thin coats for full opacity.

Take a peek at the swatches below and let me know watcha think.

essie winter collection review swatches photos first three
From left: Going Incognito, Hot Coco, Luxedo

essie winter collection review swatches photos last three
Masquerade Belle, Silken Cord, Smokin’ Hot

essie winter collection review swatches photos going incognito
Going Incognito

essie winter collection review swatches photos hot coco
Hot Coco

essie winter collection review swatches photos luxedo

essie winter collection review swatches photos smokin hot
Smokin’ Hot

essie winter collection review swatches photos silken cord
Silken Cord

essie winter collection review swatches photos masquerade belle
Masquerade Belle

essie winter collection review swatches photos box

I still haven’t tested these for wear yet, but if they’re like classic Essie polishes I should get seven to ten days without chipping if I add a good base coat.

I’ll give Essie props for keeping it fun and festive, but I think switching the Christmas colors out for maybe a moody dark blue or a darker pink could made the collection that much more mysterious and elegant.

PRICE: $8 per 0.5-oz. bottle, $48 for the entire set or $17 for a four-piece mini bottles set of Masquerade Belle, Silken Cord, Hot Coco and Going Incognito
AVAILABILITY: At beauty stores and online


Reunited and it feels so good

Oh where, oh where has my cranky tabby gone? I feel like I came home to a completely new Tabs. He’s been TOTALLY into me — meowing non-stop, begging to sit on my lap and slamming into my legs with some seriously powerful kitty head butts. Last night he even slept on the bed, which he never, ever does. He’s been acting like a (gasp!) loving kitty cat.

I’m sure it’ll all end on a day or so when he realizes that life as he knows it has returned to normal. Then he’ll go back to ignoring me, and we’ll return to our normal levels of cat/human servent dysfunction.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 77 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. dear hot coco, i need you in my life. also, love the photo of tabs! i just wanna squish his face! which, i suspect, will return him into the cranky tabs you know well once again :p.
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

  2. Megan says:

    Ahh… Hot Coco and Going Incognito look mighty gorgeous! If only the green wasnt so streaky I might of considered it! These would be great stocking stuffers!
    Megan recently posted … Wednesday Words!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Megan,

      If you really, really love the green you could always do three coats — that should take down the streakiness. It just takes forever and a day!

  3. Appu says:

    Great to know you are back, Karen 🙂 Hot Coco looks amazing!!! Totally my kinda shade 🙂
    Appu recently posted … NYX Tinted Lip Spa in Vintage

  4. Advah says:

    I agree, Hot Coco is by far the best of the bunch. The rest seems easily dupable (seriously, how many Smokin’ Hot shades are there already out there?).

    But above all -Tabs! I could stare at that furry perfect Tabby face for hours. 🙂

  5. Shannon says:

    oh man, I’m loving the dark shades – Luxedo, Smokin’ Hot, and Masquerade Belle are right up my alley. I don’t own any Essie polishes yet… I might have to remedy that.

    By the way, do you have any recommendations for good top coats? I’m in the market for something that works a little better than my old, supah-cheap NYC top coat… 😛 (read: something that ACTUALLY works)

    Nail polish queen, I am not.

  6. Tracy says:

    Heyyyy! Welcome back!! Missed you!

    I’m in agreement with the others-that Hot Cocoa is my fave.

    That pic of Tabs–hi looks almost angelic!
    Tracy recently posted … Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara

    • Tracy says:

      he–I meant he–not hi LOL-how I got the i there instead of the e amazes me since it’s on the other side of the keyboard! Should have paid more attention during typing class. Yes you read that right–that’s how old I am. We had actual typing classes on typewriters in High School. My teacher wore white Gogo boots too hahaha.
      Tracy recently posted … Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy!

      Can you believe I still haven’t watched The Walking Dead season finale!! I hope to rectify the situation very soon!

      Anywho, how have things been with you? Anything new to report?

      BTW, I also took typing class in high school. I have a vague recollection of using an ancient Apple to type out, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” about a million times, haha!

      • Tracy says:

        Isn’t the season finale this Sunday coming up? You haven’t missed it yet!

        When I was in grade 12, the fist Apples were in my high school-I think only 2 of them hahaha. That was 1984–remember that iconic Apple commercial? When I took computer science I had to punch cards and feed them into the computer that was as big as a xerox!!!
        Tracy recently posted … Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara

        • Karen says:

          Good to know! I thought the last one was the season finale, whew!

          I totally remember that Apple commercial. It still kinda blows my mind that some kids now take laptops to school. I remember going to computer lab for one hour a week every Thursday in middle school and not being that impressed, LOL!

          Oh, and I remember there being a massive printer in my typing class from 11th grade that seriously took ten minutes to print out anything.

  7. lo says:

    I thought the same thing, Karen! When I first saw pics of this latest collection, I couldn’t help but think it was a tweaked version of the fall collection. Pretty, but I’ll probably skip it.

    Tabs is totally on my list of the top 5 cats that make me wish I was a cat person/not horribly allergic. He’s sooo cute!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lo,

      Great minds think alike! 🙂

      Tabs is bummed that you’re allergic to the kittehs, but thrilled to know he’s on your top five list.

      Oh, and this is gonna sound all weird science, but did you know there’s a company out there that actually makes hypoallergenic cats?

      • Kate & Zena says:

        There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat or dog, actually (here comes the rebuttal). What makes people allergic to cats or dogs (or both) is a certain protein or proteins found in their dander. Non-shedding breeds are considered more “hypoallergenic” because they don’t shed dander with that particular protein (or don’t have that protein at all) as much as shedding breeds; the Siberian cat, for example, has had a huge success rate among people with cat allergies as it has little of that particular protein. For people with dog allergies that still want dogs, it appears those that have “hair” as opposed to “fur” (ex. Poodles, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Yorkshire Terriers, Bedlington Terriers) are better suited.

        Anybody toting that they breed a “hypoallergenic” breed of cat or dog should be highly scrutinized. It’s not the hair and it’s not the dander, but the protein in the dander. You can have a dog that sheds the least amount of dander, but if it has that protein in the dander, you’re going to be allergic to it.

        • Karen says:

          Lemme rephrase. There is a company called Lifestyle Pets that claims they make hypoallergenic pets.

          They state they’ve tweaked the genes to create both hypoallergenic cats and dogs.

          Not saying that I think this is true or that I support what they do. Just reporting what they’ve stated to make some friendly conversation!

          • Kate & Zena says:

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you Karen! I tend to take things literally. It’s one of the many drawbacks of Autism. I don’t get many jokes and if you put in the wrong word I may read it wrong (it works the same way in real life too). If you ever meet me in real life, you have to tell me exactly what you want done or I’ll do only what you said (doing dishes means putting dishes in the dishwasher, not put them in the dishwasher and wipe the counters and oven), you have to be careful how many people you bring over and how noisy it is (and what is playing as I’m very noise sensitive), and you have to be careful what subjects you bring up because I might be particularly sensitive to it. I’m also particularly obsessed with some subjects (like dogs. I watch a lot of dog shows) so I might actually bully you or am mean. Sometimes it translates over to the ‘Net….and I don’t realize it.

            If I ever do step over a line, please, please tell me (nicely, of course). I don’t always know and I’m trying to learn how to be conversational. I’m apparently not a good conversationalist, particularly when it comes to the whole idea of “debating,” so don’t be afraid to steer me. I need people who are patient enough to teach me–on the ‘Net and in person–because I never got to learn these skills!

          • Kate & Zena says:

            Woah, somewhere below there, the italics came in and I didn’t intend for that to happen, sorry!

          • Karen says:

            No worries, Kate. You can always practice with me. 🙂 And I hope we do meet someday! Tabs would love that.

      • lo says:

        Woahhh, haha, this blew up overnight. I wish I could get a legit hypoallergenic kitten… I’ve looked into the so-called hypo dogs, but in the long run, my only options are the one with “hair” who require lots of grooming. And since my allergies are less with dogs, I just suck it up and take a pill. My pooch is worth it. But I’d gladly take double to cuddle with a cutie like Tabs 😉

  8. SR says:

    I thought the same thing about it being too similar to their fall collection but I must admit I do think they’re pretty.

  9. SR says:

    I’ve been waiting for you to review this! I also thought the same thing about it being too similar to their fall collection but I must admit I do think they’re pretty.

  10. Heidi says:

    Welcome back, Karen! Really missed you, although the pictures from Hawaii look beautiful. Missy is the same with me as it seems Tabs is being. If I haven’t been around for awhile, she’s all lovey-dovey at first, until she remembers that I have wounded her psyche by my absence and she needs to make me PAY!

    • Karen says:

      Haha! I have a feeling that payback’s coming very, very soon! He hasn’t started swiping at my ankles or bitten my chin (yet), but it’s a-coming.

      Oh boy, is it raining yet out your way yet? Gotta get prepared for the dose of rainy day cat crazies.

      • Heidi says:

        It rained last night, and in for more this weekend and the middle of next week. Missy was very hyper last night, so she’s currently napping in “her” room. It’s actually the guest bedroom but she’s claimed it for herself. Good thing we don’t have overnight guests often!

  11. Amber says:

    I find this collection kinda uninspired. I feel like every nail polish manufacturer has been beating the deep red drum for months now. Christmas creep has hit nail polish!

    My last kitty before Sweet Pea was pretty lovey, but after we would board her she would always be SUPER lovey and well-behaved for a couple days after we’d pick her up from the kennel! I loved that.
    Amber recently posted … Seasonal vertigo

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amber,

      Me too. I can tell Tabs’ sweetness is already starting to wear off. I seriously doubt I will get a bed buddy tonight.

      I remember reading about your last kitty on your site… I hope she’s happily playing at the rainbow bridge. 🙂

  12. Nina says:

    he missed you!!! i missed you too! 😀

    the nailpolishes remind me of another essie collection of a few months back … or im going blind!

  13. Alice says:

    Awwww. Hot Coco is gorgeous on your tanner skin but I think it might not look so great with my amazing paleness. :[

    And hooray for happy kitties! Mine is mad at me for some reason. Lol, I haven’t the first idea what I did to offend him but he’s been avoiding me for days. Who knew cats could be like that?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alice,

      Tabs is the usually same way. He goes through phases where he just ignores me the entire day… then he’ll turn on the charm when he wants gravy, sigh.

      How’s the weather out your way? Sometimes Tabs gets moody when it’s raining out.

      • Alice says:

        Haha, even treats weren’t tempting my cat. The weather’s been down in the forties here in Georgia, maybe he’s just been feeling like a grumpy old man because of it. I got home from work today and he just did a 180. There are things about cats I will never understand. :B

  14. Olga says:

    Yay, you are back and reunited with Tabs! 🙂
    Olga recently posted … Dior Spring 2011- Avenue Montaigne

  15. danielle says:

    aww i love when my kittys get like that. hey where do you get your nails done ? they are fabulous lol. (i know you put the polish, but all the rest of the manicure-ness.) in case you dont remember i live in the same town as you so i would appreciate the advice ;D thanx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Danielle,

      I get ’em done at this really cheap place called Karen’s! LOL… I do ’em myself. I’m really picky about my claws, plus, my mom got a terrible infection from a nail salon a few years ago, and that really freaked me out.

      I know there’s a few North Bay gals who hang out in here… can anybody chime in with a good place to get your nails did?

  16. marisol says:

    I really only like Hot Coco but I won’t be spending any more on polishes this year. Riva (the Diva) was my last NP polish for the year. Oh my… how will I survive the next 4 weeks? hahaha!
    marisol recently posted … Change is the essence of life

  17. Em Cruz says:

    i’m a dog person, but i love your photos of tabs. he looks totally loveable and huggable =D

    • Karen says:

      Ya know, I was totally a dog person before I met Tabs. I think if you met him you’d think he was pretty cool — he’s got a lot of personality, and is very interactive. 🙂

  18. Marina says:

    I like all the shades, don’t even know which one the best! I need to calm my growing nail polish addiction ( need to remind myself that I got several only this week).
    As for Tabs – give him some time, lol
    Marina recently posted … Nails of the Day- Essence Nail Polish in Vip Appeal

  19. Alison says:

    Welcome back Karen!

    I got Smokin’ Hot from this collection and it has fast become one of my all-time favourite polishes!

    I have Chanel Riva as my pedi right now and I am loving it. I am just about to put on Khaki Vert before I travel to my best friends today and go see Jared tomorrow night! Super excited!!!!

  20. Eleonora says:

    Welcome back Karen!

    I think I love Luxedo. I’ve been wanting a black nail polish for a while now but apart from my Chanel ‘Black satin’ I own absolutely no blacks in my collection.
    Mostly because I usually keep my nails fairly long and I don’t like putting dark colors on them as per usual. Also I’ve always been afraid they wouldn’t look as nice on me as they do on others or in the bottle.
    But I’d really like to give it a try soon.

    PS: Tabs is a cutiepie <3

    • Eleonora says:

      I actually meant ‘Noir ceramic’. I got confused with ‘Blue satin’ which is another Chanel polish that I own.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Eleonora,

        Chanel Blue Satin is gorgeous! I don’t have a bottle but I’ve seen it on many women and it always looks chic and elegant.

        Luxedo is even more gorgeous in person. I tried to capture the dark purple in these pics… but it was hard! In real life it’s more dynamic. 🙂

        And Tabs says thanks! He’s sitting on my lap right now.

  21. Kim says:

    I agree completely. I actually do like the holiday collection (better than the fall) but the bright red and iridescent green have that Elf vibe. 🙂 The darker shades are beautiful, though. And I’ve always liked Essie polishes for their texture and long wear time.

    Awww, I’m so glad that Tabs is showing you he missed you (instead of punishing you with neglect). Enjoy the next couple of days!

    • Karen says:

      Right? Makes me wanna take out some sleigh bells and frolic in a sled…

      I’m sure the punishment is coming. Last night he briefly sat on the bed and gave me the evil eye the entire time. This morning he swiped at my toes. Yup, I can see where this is going.

  22. Kerry says:

    These don’t seem particularly unique, but I am feeling Masquerade Belle. I doubt I’ll pick it up, though. I have about 43908438 colors like that in my collection already. 😉

    Tabs is looking particularly adorable today. Is he back to cranky kitty yet, or is he still sweet?

    • Karen says:

      He’s like half and half. He’s still giving me head butts and making biscuit on my thigh when he’s on my lap, but he’s also been biting and swiping, too. It’s only a matter of time before he reverts to his usually grumpy self! 😉

      How’s your Friday going, btw? Doing anything fun this weekend?

  23. Stephanie says:

    Hot Coco is the winner! It is the perfect brown polish that you cannot get anywhere else! Its beautiful and it has the perfect gloss.
    Stephanie recently posted … Tutorial- American Flag

  24. Linnea says:

    I had this same feeling, just not in the same way.. I just assumed that the fall collection that I had seen was the winter collection.. if that makes sense.

    But Hot cocoa and Masquerade Belle look SO good 😀

  25. Shannon says:

    Awww Tabs is so cute in that photo! 🙂 So far the only one I have from this collection is Smokin’ Hot. I’m really liking it!
    Shannon recently posted … Seasons Greetings

  26. Wow, ALL 6 shades look great on you!

    You seriously have the most beautiful cat in the world!! ♥

    Stavroula Plag recently posted … My nail polishes – Purples &amp Pinks

  27. Nathalie says:

    I went out and bought Smokin’ Hot a few weeks ago. I’ve never gotten so many compliments on my nails as I have with this polish (other than when I wear Particulaire from Chanel).

  28. Ana says:

    Ooh, love these colors! I think I will be snagging the mini 4-piece collection since those are the four I really want. Hope it is in stock at my ULTA! Kinda bummed they are having a B2G1 on Essie that excludes promotional sets >_<

  29. Amanda says:

    OMG! i’m wearing smokin’ hot as we speak and i’m in love with it 🙂

  30. Ana says:

    Just noticed that Silken Cord is mislabeled as Silken CORAL in the new ULTA catalog. haha 😛

  31. saku says:

    O Hot Coco looks nice. Is it strange I’m drinking some now, lol?!

  32. I really love Hot Coco and Smoking Hot, I might have to get both 😀

    Just a question, if you don’t mind answering, where did you get your ring from that you’re wearing in the swatch pictures? I’m on the hunt for a wedding band and I love the style of it 😀

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