So this might be a tad late...but who cares, look at all my pretties! No, but honestly, I was drawing a major blank when it came to a "wintery" background for this Collection, so I finally just gave up and took the idea I had for the snowflake gingerbread biscuits I didn't end up making (you will never know muahahaha...well until next winter that is!) and I ran with that! For my southern hemisphere friends out there, you can still look forward to this Collection coming out soon, in the meantime check out my post on their Autumn Collection...it's a good one I promise!
But I digress: from this Winter Collection I omitted buying Peak Show because it's just too similar to our European Fiji, and I get little wear from that polish as it is (it's way too pale of a pink for me) so I wasn't about to waste more money, and I got three from the Collection in the mini format from Essie's Winter set: Virgin Snow, Shall We Chalet and Haute Tub. Although I did immediately buy a full bottle of Virgin Snow; what can I say, pale lilacs are my weakness! But as I bought these polishes as soon as they came out, back in November (I know, don't kill me), I didn't feel at the time like Apres-Chic would be a polish for me, but come January; a silver metallic micro-shimmer was all I craved and needless to say this polish quickly became my favourite from the Collection and the one I've bought a back-up of already.
Essie - Apres-Chic (Winter 2015)
As mentioned above, this is a gorgeous silver micro-shimmer, one-of-a-kind in my collection. The only one I could compare it to (comparison swatches below) was Ciaté's Shady Lady which is more of a gunmetal grey than a silver. Winter is always a tricky collection, because on one hand you've got the festive season which is reds and glitters galore (OPI smashed it with their Starlight Collection there), but come January/March (February is easy it's #ThinkPink month with Valentine's Day looming) it's still technically winter, what do you wear? Well I think Essie answered that with Apres-Chic and Virgin Snow (up next). This silver polish has definitely matched my mood this "second half" of winter, when all I've been craving is a more minimalistic look with nude lipsticks, a monochrome outfit and "grey" nails with a flash of sparkle. If you pick up one polish from this Winter Collection, make it this one!
- 2 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat for easy swatch removal.
This polish is almost a 1 coater but with a few bald spots here and there, it needs the 2nd coat for complete opacity. Because it's a metallic though it leaves faint brush stroke marks, but they aren't too noticeable and appear more as faint nail ridges than the dreaded "a kid painted my nails" look some brush stroke marks can give. If it really bothers you though you could always sponge on the last layer, I just don't think it's necessary. :) It has a slightly dull finish but the micro-shimmer gives it all the pizzazz it needs, plus a high shine polish would have detracted from the sparkle.
As I've been so obsessed with this colour I've worn it as a manicure multiple times (sometimes back-to-back, which is a rare occurrence for any polish) and I can attest that on long nails it chipped after 1 day, but with my usual short nails I got 3 days wear, chip free! I'm sure adding a top coat might extend this wear time, but I'm really not one for top coats (it ends up being too many layers on my nails, especially with some polishes that require 3-4 coats...Chillato, I'm looking at you!)
Easy removal for a metallic micro-shimmer, although it does leave a few flecks of micro-shimmer behind all over you fingers, simple targeted hand washing deals with that issue no problem.
Essie - Virgin Snow (Winter 2015)
This is a pale lilac creme, a beautiful shade and one I thought was unique in my collection but turns out, not so much! It's almost identical to Revlon's Charming so if you have that one, there is no need for Virgin Snow. But as my Revlon bottle has tried up and the polish is almost finished anyway (I was obsessed 3 years back) Virgin Snow came at an unknowingly perfect time (I also don't think you can buy Charming anymore). Furthermore, Virgin Snow is a tad darker than l'Oréal's Nouvelle Vague so if you're happy with a polish that is in the same tone as Virgin Snow, then again no need for the Essie.
I was curious however how it would compare to Saltwater Happy, the knockout polish from Essie's last Summer Collection. You can see in the comparison swatches (below) that Saltwater Happy is much bluer, almost baby blue looking, next to Virgin Snow. However Virgin Snow is much more of a white based polish with a touch of lavender. Now, I didn't think they would be dupes of each other (I'm not colour-blind!!!) but they stuck out from their individual Collections in the same way to me; the cool blue/lavender toned ones of their Collections.
- 3 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat.
The first 2 coats are a bit patchy and streaky looking, hence why it needs the 3rd coat for full opacity. Self-levels perfectly, smooth formula, easy to apply as with all of Essie's latest creme formulas...bows down to greatness!!! It also has a gorgeous gel-like (you know I'm thinking it...plastic-y!!!) finish to it.
I have worn this one as a full manicure - it managed 3 days chip free!
As with any creme polish, super easy removal.
Essie - Altitude Attitude (Winter 2015)
A very pretty cherry red creme, Altitude Attitude is almost as dupe for Revlon's polish by that name; Cherries In The Snow. However, where Cherries In The Snow darkens with multiple layers, this one doesn't, and stays just as bright and pop-y. Not as bright and pink as OPI's Spoken from the Heart though, Altitude Attitude stays in the "classic reds" category unlike that chameleon. I also compared it to Red Nouveau, a more orange based red, and even with as much colour correcting as I could manage (reds are notorious for all looking the same in photos) the difference in tone is barely noticeable, but it is there I promise - especially in direct sunlight!
- 2 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat.
Another almost 1 coater, with long nails I could still see my nail length (the "white bit") so I felt I needed to add another coat for the photo, but if I had my usual short nails then 1 coat would have been enough. Again it didn't deepen the colour on the second coat (which I know some polishes do). Very high shine and gel-like in finish.
Disappointing wear time with this polish. I had short nails and this one still chipped early on the 1st day of wear (I always apply my polishes before bed) and on one of the least used fingers too; the ring finger. And there was no manual labour that could have contributed to this either. Will have to test with a top coat, which at this point is its saving grace that Altitude Attitude is almost a 1 coater, not so many layers on the nails. Needs further testing but be warned it's a chipper!
Standard removal for a red (slight cuticle staining) nothing cotton buds and nail polish remover doesn't solve though.
Essie - Shall We Chalet (Winter 2015)
This one is a gorgeous dark bordeaux creme (a brown based red) but it's so close to its predecessor in the Autumn Collection; With The Band, that it's too redundant to be worth the purchase (I'm glad mine is just a mini). You can see that With The Band is a touch lighter in the comparison swatch (below) but Shall We Chalet is duped by Revlon's Bewitching which is slightly more pinky toned but not by much. Bewitching has been my all time favourite colour to wear on my toes (and occasionally finger nails) in the winter, so I can't fault Essie on their choice of colour in the Collection (it is one I love in the winter), I just wish I hadn't seen it a million times before. Plus, I had just bought a fresh bottle of Revlon's Bewitching in my November Bluewater shopping trip so it's not like I can't get my hands on that one anymore either.
- 2 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat.
Almost a 1 coater but one of my nails was patchy so did 2 coats. I also wanted to see if that deepened the colour...not by much. Lovely gel-like finish too.
I haven't worn this one as a full manicure so I can't say what the wear or removal process was like (as I used a glue basecoat all I had to do was peel it off).
Essie - Haute Tub (Winter 2015)
Again another gorgeous polish but I've seen it before with Frock'n Roll, granted that one is an aubergine base with silver micro-shimmer whereas Haute Tub is a black base with purple micro-shimmer, the difference on the nail is nothing to write home about. If you are going to invest in a dark polish with micro-shimmer in it then I highly recommend OPI's Cosmo with a Twist, that one is really like a galaxy on your nails. With its duo-chrome micro-shimmer in blue and pink plus the fact that the micro-shimmer really shows up on the nail and isn't swallowed up by the base like Haute Tub's is, Cosmo with a Twist is just more worth it!
- 2 coats on top of Orly's glue basecoat.
Almost a 1 coater but due to slight patchiness it needed 2 coats.
Once again I haven't worn this one as a full manicure yet so I don't know wear time or the removal process for this one.
So there you have it, the Essie Winter Collection, very mehhh when it came to Shall We Chalet and Haute Tub, I would have liked Altitude Attitude more if it didn't chip so quickly. Overall I would say go for Apres-Chic, the stunner of this Collection, Virgin Snow as a more unique winter colour, or even Peak Show if your Fiji isn't as faded of a pink as the European one is.
Coming up next Essie's Spring Collection (no I won't leave you guys hanging for so long for that one, the photos are already ready!!!) I can't be the only one that thought the first day of spring was the 21st :/
Which was your favourite from this Collection?
What colour would you have liked to have seen which would have been less repetitive for Essie?
What did you wear on your nails in the January/March winter months?