Essie Winter 2012 Collection – Review, Photos, Swatches

Essie Winter 12 Collage 2

Product Breakdown:

Essie Winter 2012 2_0

With each seasonal collection Essie releases, they create an adorable cube of 4 mini nail polishes, capturing the essence of that collection. For Winter 2012, the colours that were included in the mini cube were:

  • Cocktail Bling – A colour that, in the bottle looks like a pure dove grey. On my nails it dried a little darker, but still a very clean grey.
  • Bobbing for Baubles – In the bottle, this shade looks like a dark grey-blue, but on my nails it is more of a blackened navy blue.
  • Bangle Jangle – the prettiest pastel lavender, this applies quite true to the bottle shade, and wouldn’t look out of place in a springtime collection.
  • Size Matters – Probably my favourite shade from this collection, it’s a rich raspberry red.


I’ll address the pigmentation on a polish-by-polish basis, because I found it quite varied across these 4 shades. All the nail swatches are donw with one thin coat, and one slightly thicker coat.

Cocktail Bling:

Essie Cocktail Bling Hand Swatch 2

Essie Cocktail Bling Hand Swatch 1

Of the 4 shades, I found Cocktail Bling to be by far the most problematic. The first coat was sincredibly patchy, and the second coat didn’t do a lot to even it out. Although I only used 3 strokes on my ring finger, and I checked that the first coat was completely dry, you can see I experienced some pulling, leaving ugly bald patches that are visible to the naked eye.

Less visible, but also disappointing was on my thumb nail. I have experienced some peeling on my free edge, so I have a ridge there, and the polish seemed to seep away from the raised edge of the ridge, almost highlighting it. It is much worse in person than it appears in the picture above.

​Bobbing for Baubles:

Essie Bobbing for Baubles Hand Swatch 1

Essie Bobbing for Baubles Hand Swatch 2

Bobbing for Baubles applied beautifully on the first coat, and didn’t unless exposed to the scrutiny of bright lights, did not even need the second coat. It evened out perfectly and dried down to a satiny-gloss finish. If you’re after high-shine, make sure you apply a top-coat, but it looks lovely without.

​Bangle Jangle:

Essie Bangle Jangle Hand Swatch 1

Essie Bangle Jangle Hand Swatch 2

I was very concerned with the first coat of Bangle Jangle, because it applied almost as patchy as Cocktail Bling, however it redeemed itself with the second coat. It settled nicely and gave me full and even coverage. Sadly, I think it gave me slight lobster-hands, but I don’t care, it’s such a pretty shade I think I’ll wear it anyway.

Size Matters:

Essie Size Matters Hand Swatch 1

Essie Size Matters Hand Swatch 2

Size Matters, like Bobbing for Baubles, is almost​ a one-coat-wonder. I applied beautifully and left me with stunning, vampy, sexy tips. This shade has been on high rotation since I received the set, and I’m sure it will continue to be through the rest of winter.

Ease of application:

The brushes are not worth writing home about, they are quite thin and long, and have not been shaped for ease of application. For someone who struggles to “colour between the lines” with nail polish, this does make application a little harder.


For me, the length of time I can wear a polish before it starts to chip is more a reflection on the base and top coat I use, than the polish itself. I find I get 2-3 days wear out of all these polishes, which for my nails is standard. There is virtually no formula I have tried that lasts longer than this on my nails.


Essie Winter 2012 1_0
​The colours here look a lot brighter than they are in real life – see the swatches below for truer colour representation.

​The bottles, as always, are cute as can be, while also having a somewhat expensive feel, due to the embossed logo on the side of the bottle.

Anything else worth mentioning?:

This little collection changed my opinion about Essie polishes. I have always been quite ambivalent about Essie, leaning more toward the sexier OPIs, China Glazes and (of course) Illamasquas of the nail polish world. The red and the purple in this collection are on high rotation for me, to the point that I think I’ll need to buy a full-size of each before the collection sells out!

What they say:

Forget about sugar and spice— this winter, it’s all about the glitz and glam so BLING it on!

The essie Winter 2012 Collection celebrates the brilliance of gems worn at decadent parties and brings the same sparkle to your fingertips to get you in the spirit of the season. After all, diamonds may be forever, but essie is a girl’s best friend!

The Mini Cube contains:

Bobbing For Baubles 5ml: Ever elusive – slipping through your fingers like the deepest darkest blue sapphire.

Size Matters 5ml: Blazing hot ruby red makes your pulse race and your heart pound – red carpet diem!

Bangle Jangle 5ml: Float away on a pretty cloud of lavender amethyst, lifting spirits to airy heights.

Cocktail Bling 5ml: A pale blue chalcedony cabochon is the dreamy, creamy center to a cocktail ring and the color of the season.

Available from:

Instore at Myer and online at Adore Beauty.


This product was provided for editorial consideration. Makeup Utopia has no affiliation with any companies mentioned and has received no remuneration for posting this review. All opinions are those of the author.

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