Review & Swatches – essie Winter 2016 Collection

essie Winter 2016 Collection

If you read my ‘Review & Swatches – essie Autumn / Fall 2016 Collection’ blog post, then you’ll know I was super excited to get my hands on the essie ‘Virgin Snow’ collection.  The entire collection is a Winter wonderland of fun, yet sophisticated nail polish shades – you’ve got your classic Winter reds, a couple of pretty pastel shades, a metallic silver that reminds me of snowflakes, and a very unique (and stunning) vampy shade.

I’m sure you already know I’m huge essie fan, and thinking about it now, it’s probably the only nail polish brand I’m happy to spend more than R100,00 per nail polish on these days.  I love how long they last on my nails – with a base coat, 2 thin layers of an essie polish, and top coat, I usually get 5 or 6 days on my fingers and about 3 weeks on my toes before I start to see minor chipping.

The essie Winter 2015 Virgin Snow collection makes me want to snuggle under a soft blanket, grab big cup of hot chocolate and settle down with a good book (or an episode of Midsomer Murders).

I think it’s pretty obvious I’m in love with the colours, but let’s see if the formulas are worth writing home about…

P.S. There are quite a few dupes for these specific shades, and I’ll mention the essie dupes below.  I didn’t go into more detail on other brand dupes, because I own an embarrassingly large amount of nail polishes and it would have taken me absolute aaaages to swatch & compare all the shades.

essie Virgin Snow

Virgin Snow – This little polish is the namesake of the collection, and it’s definitely a favourite of mine!  Some people say this is a periwinkle blue, but to me, it’s more of an icy lavender.  It’s a rather interesting shade – in certain lighted areas it looks a bit blue, but once you actually put it next to anything blue, it definitely looks purple.  It has a fantastic creme formula, easy to work with and you can get away with 2 coats to achieve full opacity.  Sweet baby puppies, this is a lovely one…

Dupe: essie Lilacism (but Lilacism is a bit more difficult to work with, and has a subtle grey undertone).

essie Altitude Attitude

Altitude Attitude – A beautiful scarlet red with a slightly pink undertone.  It looks bright & cheerful on the nails, and the formula is absolutely sublime.  It’s a one coater, ladies!  I’d say it’s one of those polishes that is a mix between a jelly and a creme, and the finish is extremely shiny (even without a top coat).

Dupes: essie Double Breasted Jacket

essie Apres Chic

Apres-Chic – This is a shimmery silver metallic polish, almost like tin foil for your tips.  You can probably get away with just one coat, but with metallic shimmers like these, I always like to apply 2 coats just to be safe.  Formula-wise it’s top notch – not at all streaky, it dries super quick, and works really well for nail art too. Remember to add a shiny top coat to make the silver pop even more!  Love the name of this one by the way…Apres-Chic.

Dupe: essie No Place Like Chrome

essie Shall We Chalet

Shall We Chalet? – A deep cranberry shade with a super shiny finish.  It’s much darker and more vampy than ‘Altitude Attitude’ above, but in terms of formula they are exactly the same.  This is also a one coater, and you honestly don’t even need to add a glossy top coat, it’s perfection!  This very chic shade truly is an all-rounder: It will suit most (if not all) skin tones, and is perfect for every season.

Dupe: essie Fishnet Stockings | I initially thought essie ‘Dress To Kilt’ would also be a dupe, but when I compared them, I saw that ‘Shall We Chalet?’ has more of a brown undertone, whereas ‘Dress To Kilt’ has a true berry undertone.

essie Haute Tub

Haute Tub – A jet black crelly base (creme & jelly hybrid) saturated with fine magenta glitters.  I must admit, I expected this polish to be quite sheer & streaky but I’m very happy to report the formula didn’t give my any problems.  It’s almost a one-coat wonder, but I find a second coat intensifies the black base just a tiny bit more.  I always like to add a glossy top coat on shades like this one, because I find it amps up the glittery goodness.

Dupe: No dupes here, ladies!  I bet you thought essie ‘Frock ‘n’ Roll’ might be a dupe, but they’re actually very different!  Frock ‘n’ Roll has an eggplant espresso base colour, while Haute Tub’s base is as black as Regina George’s heart.

essie Peak Show

Peak Show – This is a very soft and muted baby pink cream shade.  I really like the off-white pink hue of this polish, but the formula is unfortunately the trickiest out of the entire collection.  It took some patience when I applied this one for the first time, because the formula is a bit milky (and we all know milky nail polishes tend to be streaky).  The best way to go about applying ‘Peak Show’ is to apply 3 thin coats (2 just doesn’t cut it unfortunately).

Dupes: essie Minimalistic | essie Romper Room (Romper Room has a stronger pink undertone)

Retail price is R124,95 per nail polish, and this collection is available at Dis-Chem stores right NOW – I saw it at my local Dis-Chem (in Centurion Mall) last week.  You will also find the collection in Foschini and Clicks stores nationwide.

And there you have it!  Doesn’t this collection remind you of fallen leaves, sweater weather, shorter days and fluffy slippers?

There are 2 reasons why I love this collection: A LOT of the colours can be worn any time of the year – they’re fit for all seasons; and some of them are one-coat wonders!  These days it’s quite difficult to find a nail polish with a top notch formula, but essie definitely hit the ball out of the park with the ‘Virgin Snow’ collection.  I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us with their upcoming collections.

Will you be picking any of these beauties up this Winter?

P.S. I promise I will reply to all the comments on my previous blog post tonight – I know it’s not an excuse, but I’ve been running around these past few days trying to prepare for my shoot tomorrow (I’m working on a secret project with a makeup brand).  Hopefully I’ll have some time to spare a bit later, and will reply to all the comments then.  Eeeeek!!!  I’m so nervous for tomorrow!  *hyperventilates* *faints*



  1. 21 June 2016 / 14:25

    I’m going to have a stroke What is this news?? Can’t wait!

    I love the way you can describe a product (on all your product reviews)…to the point of us being able to imagine touching it or smelling it. Such a gift you have.

    Love all these colours… so gorgeous!

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:32

      Can’t tell you…YET… 😉 Soon though, hopefully next week. Hopefully noone’s going to be like: “Luz, you made this sound SOOO amazing, but actually it’s just average. Lame.”

      Thank you for the compliment, Simone – you are always way too kind to me. x

  2. Hannah
    21 June 2016 / 17:16

    Your photos are #goals!!

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:32

      Thank you so much, Hannah. 🙂

  3. Talitha ❤
    21 June 2016 / 17:29

    Ek is mal oor die ligte pers en die silver kleure – altwee sal ook baie mooi saam lyk in ‘n manicure. 😉

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:33

      Ek stem 100% saam met jou – altwee sal stunning saam lyk! 🙂

  4. Francesca Stinson
    21 June 2016 / 17:44

    I think this is one of their best collections yet! I bought the black and the purple shades and I’m in love, the formulas are amazing!

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:34

      I totally agree with you – definitely one of my favourite collections to date. 🙂

  5. Robyn S
    21 June 2016 / 17:50

    Omg Omg Omg, I need that metallic silver in my life!!!!

    Thanks for showing us this collection, Luzanne, going to check if my Dischem has it tomorrow.


    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:34

      It’s so beautiful, and so reflective. 🙂

      You’re most welcome, Robyn. xo

  6. Olga
    21 June 2016 / 18:28

    Luv how bright your photos always are 🙂

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:35

      Thank you for the kind compliment, Olga. 😉

  7. Taylor
    21 June 2016 / 21:00

    Must have that black polish, it’s so dreamy.. 😀

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:35

      And so perfect for Winter too! 😉

  8. Laurette
    21 June 2016 / 21:08

    Your photos are so beautiful, they always make me want to buy everything on your blog!

    Thanks for the review, Luzanne

    xo, Laurette

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:35

      Thank you for checking in on the blog, Laurette. 🙂 xo

  9. R Fourie
    21 June 2016 / 22:00

    When will the secret be out…….? You have to give us something more…..

    I fancy the pretty cranberry shade.

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:37

      Haha!! Hopefully soon, maybe even next week! 😉

      I hope people will be as excited about the campaign as I am.

  10. Tammy
    22 June 2016 / 10:24

    Thanks Luzanne, it’s always great reading your reviews and I love your new products posts in SA.

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:38

      My pleasure, Tammy! 😀 I’m actually busy collecting press releases for the July ‘Products Popping Up’ blog post. 😉

  11. Sibahle
    22 June 2016 / 15:10

    Yes yes I will definitely buy Altitude Attitude. I just saw the Essie Gel Couture range on the July issue of Allure magazine. Please let us know when it pops up at our South African stores

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:39

      The Gel Couture range looks amazing, right!? Will definitely let my readers know – I’m actually attending an essie South Africa launch event in 2 weeks’ time. 🙂

  12. Vivella
    22 June 2016 / 19:33

    Fantastic review and pics! I now want at least three of them. I also wonder how Peak Show compares to Fiji which is one of my favourite Essie shades. Will have to go and check them out in the shops.

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:41

      Thank you, Vivella – and thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog post. 🙂 I must admit, I like Fiji more than I like Peak Show. Fiji is a bit more difficult to work with, but it’s more opaque, more milky, and more pink.

  13. Leanie Foot
    22 June 2016 / 20:18

    Angel Snow & Apres-Chic looks faboulous for my skin tone! Luzanne your blogs are so wonderfully put together! Wonder how the shoot went today? Keep us informed…pretty please!

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:44

      Thank you so much for asking, Leanie – I really appreciate it. 🙂 Gosh, I was SO nervous about the shoot and it was quite stressful for me…but I think it went okay. I am a very anxious person in general, so it probably wouldn’t have been that stressful for most people. I just don’t want to let anyone down, you know? Whether it’s a brand or any of my readers. Hopefully I can tell everyone what I’ve been working on next week, when the campaign goes live. ♥

  14. Nadine
    23 June 2016 / 10:14

    Beautiful photos, love the silver one.
    I am so curious, would you consider showing us your extensive nailpolish collection, I would love to see it.

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:48

      Thank you, Nadine. 🙂

      Haha!! I’m scared people will think I have a serious hoarding problem… 😉 I’ll have to do it soon, though, as I’m on a decluttering mission and with Sorbet’s new ‘Paint your “Old” Polish Forward’ project for their SEW Academy (SEW = Sorbet Empowering Women), I want to donate a lot of my nail polishes to them. But I’ll see what I can do about showing everyone my nail polish collection… 🙂

  15. Melissa ❀
    23 June 2016 / 12:29

    Oooh, so pretty!! I need to add the lilac shade to my collection. ♥

    • Luzanne
      24 June 2016 / 19:49

      I hope you love the lilac shade as much as I do, Melissa. 😉

  16. K Wichman
    24 June 2016 / 19:50

    Your photos make me want to spend my life savings on beauty products!!!

  17. 25 June 2016 / 21:29

    Essie never fails to amaze me with their beautiful colours. I am quite surprised that there isn’t a burgundy shade though. Thanks for the dupe tips!
    x Rivania | The Glam Unicorn

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