The Sample: NEW Essie Winter 2012 Collection Polishes Review, Swatches, Photos…and The Beauty Sample’s First Ever Giveaway!!!

13 Dec

I love Essie polishes–they’re probably my favorite polish brand just because a.) they always come out with such fun, bright, pretty colors; b.) they’re affordable; and c.) they’re easily accessible. Whenever I get a craving to try a new color, my first stop is always CVS to check out the Essie display (I so wish brands like Zoya and China Glaze would get picked up by CVS already!!!). So when I heard about Essie’s new Winter 2012 Collection, I beelined it straight there.

The collection is winter done right–a mix of silver and red glitters that call to mind the twinkling lights and decadent feel of holidays, creamy reds in various shades that evoke the crimson of poinsettia leaves and, of course, Santa’s suit, and gorgeous blues that are right in line with the crisp winter-feel but with a bright twist. It’s a bright, bubbly collection and I love it. There are six shades in this collection: Leading Lady (a deep, almost-blackened crimson with red glitter), Butler Please (a vibrant cobalt blue), Where’s My Chauffeur (a gorgeous, bright aqua blue), Beyond Cozy (a festive silvery-gold glitter), Snap Happy (a bright red-orange), and She’s Pampered (a lovely true-red).

L to R: Beyond Cozy, Where’s My Chauffeur, Butler Please

L to R: Snap Happy, She’s Pampered, Leading Lady


Now just because I am very partial to Essie polishes does not mean that I haven’t met a few duds in my day. Some shades from Essie tend to be a little sticky/gluey and some bubble up from time to time. Others are an absolute dream–fluid without being thin or watery, easy to work with, self-leveling, fairly fast drying, and opaque in 2 coats. Fortunately, the majority of the shades in this collection were a breeze to work with, but Butler Please was a bit thick. The first layer went on pretty streaky but after the 2nd layer, it was perfectly opaque and pretty. It also had a strange, semi-matte finish to it but nothing a glossy top-coat couldn’t fix.

I will also say that the texture of Beyond Cozy and even Leading Lady, to some extent, was a bit gritty. You will want to make sure to apply a good top-coat over it to alleviate that roughness. Be aware that these 2 shades were incredibly difficult to remove–but then, I’m sure most of you know that that’s just how glitter polishes are. It kinda comes with the territory. But the finished product is just beyond gorgeous–honestly, these have to be the best-done glitters I’ve ever tried. Beyond Cozy is such a beautiful, opaque, intensely glittery polish that is both gold and silver at the same time. It’s super easy to apply and lasts forever. Leading Lady was already featured in my November Favorites post.

Click image to enlarge


*Apologies for the wonky paint job…and is that a piece of lint hanging off my nail in the Leading Lady swatch?!! I was trying to hurry and do my nails so I could catch the sunlight :P

She’s Pampered, Snap Happy, and (my favorite) Where’s My Chauffeur were all a breeze to apply and went on evenly and smoothly. They were opaque after 2 coats and had a nice, shiny finish. They weren’t too thick or too thin, leveled out nicely, and dried in a decent manner.

Essie polishes usually wear for about a week without chipping and only minor tip-wear. They’re great quality polishes and are super-affordable too. I always like to say that the reason I don’t ever really crave high-end polishes is because of Essie. Why would I spend $10-20 more for polish when Essie has such lovely, high-quality ones right there at the drugstore?!? There’s a shade for every mood and every outfit and every preference. These 6 shades from the Winter Collection have stolen my heart and I think it’s my favorite collection Essie has put out for a few seasons now. It’s bright, it’s fun, it’ll put a smile on your face…and it’ll look great from winter to spring to summer. Be sure to check this one out. :)

Pros: gorgeous shades that are quite unique for a holiday collection; nice, fluid consistency that is neither too thick or thin; most shades are self-leveling and easy to apply; most shades are nice almost fully opaque after one coat; great wear time

Cons: Butler Please is a tad bit streaky and has a strange finish, but 2 coats and a top-coat did the trick

 »»Pricing: $8/0.46 fl. oz.

»»Availability: Nordstrom,,, and various drugstores and salons. Click here for help locating an Essie retailer near you

»»Recommended for: everyone!

»»Overall Rating: A


…and now, for something fun–The Beauty Sample’s first ever giveaway!! In honor of my 1-year, I really wanted to celebrate with a few giveaways containing products from brands that I’ve been loving lately. I know a lot of you have expressed interest in trying these different brands, so now here’s your chance!! First up, I have the complete Essie Winter 2012 Collection to give away, as well as a cute little pair of toe-separators :P. That’s 6 nail polishes and 1 pair of toe-separators. The total value of the prize is approximately $50, which I purchased myself for the express purpose of this giveaway/sweepstakes. I’ve been loving every single shade in this collection so much–I really hope you guys will too!

Click image to enlarge


*THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED* To enter, please leave a comment below about anything at all. What’s your favorite nail polish shade? What holiday collections have caught your eye lately? What nail polish shade are you wearing right now? Stuff like that…please make sure to fill in the email field in the comment box so I know how to get a hold of you!

To earn extra entries, you can follow my blog via email, Bloglovin, or HelloCotton [yes I have one but I haven't had a chance to add a button on my main page yet--sorry! But just search for "The Beauty Sample" under "Talents Directory" and you'll find me]). Each counts for 1 entry and you can do all 3 if you like! To make it easier for me, please let me know in your comment how you follow me.

For another entry, follow me on twitter (@TheBeautySample)

For yet another entry, you can tweet about this giveaway. The only guidelines are: you must include my twitter handle (@TheBeautySample) and you must link back to this post (you can use to help shorten the link if you need to).

The contest starts today and ends next thursday, December 20th at 11:59 PM PST. The following day, I will use a random number generator to randomly select a winner. I will email/DM via Twitter the winner and they will have 48-hours to respond, after which time I will be forced to choose a new winner. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter. This giveaway is open worldwide! There is no purchase necessary. Each eligible participant can enter a total of 6 times, but 6 entries are not required.

It’s a fairly small giveaway as far as most giveaways go, but I just wanted to send out a small “thank you” to all of you for reading!! ♥

78 Responses to “The Sample: NEW Essie Winter 2012 Collection Polishes Review, Swatches, Photos…and The Beauty Sample’s First Ever Giveaway!!!”

  1. Sunny December 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Eeee thanks for the fabulous giveaway! Happy blogoversary again, Becca :) I just put Dior Tutu (the light pink from the spring collection) on, so that’s what I’m wearing right now! I follow you with Bloglovin’ and Twitter, and I’m going to tweet now! xx

    • becca December 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      Thanks, Sunny!! :D

  2. Angela @ The Unprofessional Beauty Blog December 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    This collection looks so beautiful. I especially love how Leading Lady looks.

    • becca December 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      Leading Lady is definitely one of my favorites–it’s SOOO pretty on!

  3. Larie December 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    I’m not wearing anything on my nails right now except Butter London’s Horse Power – trying to get them in slightly better condition for more holiday polishes :P

    I tweeted! And of course, I follow you on Twitter and bloglovin ;) Happy blog anniversary, Becca!

    • becca December 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

      Yay! Thank you, Larie!

  4. Luchessa December 14, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    WoooW She’s Pampered, Leading Lady are two so beautiful colors. (totally my taste for this season)
    Thanks for hosting such a lovely giveaway.
    I’m following you via hellocotton and twitter. (Tweeting right away ;) )
    Have a lovely holiday season!

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 12:12 am #

      Thank you, Luchessa! And yes–they’re both definitely gorgeous. A mani I’ve been really loving for the holidays is She’s Pampered with Beyond Cozy as an accent nail on each hand. It’s so festive and pretty!

      Happy holidays! :D

  5. Jenny December 14, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!! Right now I´m looking for a nail polish like the shade Leading Lady, I love that kind of shade but I have none on my collection!

    I´m following you via email with the same email address I´m leaving you a comment here :) Congrats for 1 year of great posts!

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 1:00 am #

      Thank you so much Jenny!

      And EVERYONE should have a shade like Leading Lady! I didn’t LOVE glitters all the much before, but Beyond Cozy and Leading Lady changed my mind. Obsessed! :D

  6. giddy tigress December 14, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    I’ve always had a soft spot for teal and turquoise-y shade polishes, but ironically, I have not tried a single one. I do spot one in the essie collection above, and it will definitely be a treat if I win it! I will totally wear it for Christmas! :D

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 1:02 am #

      Oh I just LOVE blue polishes–especially a pretty aqua/turquoise! I love that Essie released such a gorgeous one in their winter collection–it’s not something you often see brands do!

      Thanks for reading! :D

      • giddy tigress December 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

        Yup, it’s a gorgeous shade for the winter! :D

  7. Taylor December 14, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    Lovely giveaway Becca! I love Leading Lady and of course Butler Please.. I’m actually getting ready to paint my nails with Dior Diva from their holiday 2012 collection, I have to to I bought it fr the bottle but I happen to love the color as well :-) of course I follow you on Bloglovin and twitter xo

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 1:26 am #

      Ooh Diva is a gorgeous one–love it! And totally understand about the packaging! I was considering buying them just for the packaging too, but now I really want Diva because it’s beautiful! :D

  8. Chris El December 14, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Eek! I love this collection! Happy Blogaversary again! I follow you via GFC and Twitter. :)

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 1:30 am #

      Thanks, Chris!! :D

  9. katie December 14, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    Happy 1st blogiversary! Leading lady is so pretty. I love it!

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 5:16 am #

      Me too, Katie!! :D Thanks for reading!!

  10. lindsey December 14, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    yay. congrats on one year! i LOVE that Where’s My Chauffeur color. PERFECT for winter time

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 5:22 am #

      Thank you, Lindsey! :D

      And Where’s My Chauffeur is definitely my favorite–I can never resist turquoise/aqua polishes!! It applies beautifully too!

  11. svetlana December 14, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    happy happy birthday baby blog, you are doing awesome! i am wearing essie’s mademoiselle and beyond cozy (YES from the fabulous winter collection!) on my fingers and toes! i follow you via facebook and emails (i get an email alert when you post a little somethin’ somethin’ new and amazing!). *loves* i wish an even BETTER upcoming year for YOU! :) Thank you for all your inspiration and knowledge!

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 5:23 am #

      THANK YOU, Svetlana! Thank you for being my first reader and thank you for continuing to support my blog!! :D

  12. Caroline December 14, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    I’m surprised at how much I like these!! I think Essie really hit a home run with this collection (I’m getting a kick of this trend for cobalt that Nails Inc’s Baker Street started). And congrats on the one year anniversary!

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 7:37 am #

      Thank you, Caroline! :D

      I just LOVE blue polish–I’ve been wearing blue almost exclusively for the past several months :P I’ve been wanting to try Nails Inc for a while but just haven’t gotten around to it. How do you like the formula?

  13. Meryl @ Memoiselle December 14, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Dearie.. I am now wearing OPI Nothin Mousie Bout It :)
    I love Essie Nail Polishes too and I love Leading Lady & She’s pampered!
    I will tweet about this now!

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      Leading Lady is even more beautiful on the nails! It does need a good top coat, but it’s worth it :)

  14. Emi at Project Swatch December 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    I have been admiring this collection! Every single shade is gorgeous.

    I follow you on Twitter <3

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      It really is a great collection!! Good luck, Emi–an thank you! :D

  15. Becca December 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I love leading lady. I think it’s such a nice red, and I’m a sucker for sparkles.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I follow you via email :D

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

      Thank you, Becca! :)

  16. Amelia (La Femme Éclectique) December 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Brilliant, detailed post, Becca (A very happy first birthday as well ♥) – and your first giveaway, how exciting! I’ve always loved the look of Essie polishes, but sadly I’ve never had the chance to purchase any myself. I love the sound of these holiday lacquers in particular, however, so I’ll definitely be going and getting myself some whether I win or not! :D I follow The Beauty Sample via email and Bloglovin, by the way. I really ought to get La Femme Eclectique’s first giveaway sorted out! :)

    Amelia xx

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      Oh thank you so much, Amelia! You’ve been reading for a while now and I really, really appreciate it! <3

      A giveaway on La Femme Eclectique would be fabulous!! It takes some work sorting out but it’s been fun! :D

  17. sunshine91 December 14, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Hello dear! Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway! :)
    I really love nail polishes in shade emerald green! :) I’m really curious to try essie polishes because I’ve never had the chance! so finger crossed!
    I twitted :
    I’m following through bloglovin:
    FB: Marianna Bennici
    twitter: @sunshine91231

    • becca December 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      Thank YOU so much for following and reading!! :D

  18. Claire December 15, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    That’s such a thoughtful giveway :) 1 year .. it feels like I had read your blog forever! :) My favourite nail polish colour is red and now for the fall/winter season, I also like vamps. Essie is a good choice and I think no one can do wrong with their fall collections, great choices Becca <3

    • becca December 15, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Thanks Claire! I know–it definitely fees like it’s been longer but at the same time I can’t believe it’s already been 1-year. It’s been so fun and I’m so glad to have met such great people like you! <3

  19. Agata December 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Thanks for the giveaway. I love this collection. I have had no problems with Bulter Please and I am in love with She’s pampered-perfect red!

    • becca December 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      Of course–thank you, Agata! And you didn’t have any problems with Butler Please being a little patchy and uneven at first coat? I think it’s gorgeous and love it…only after 2 coats and a top coat :P

  20. Icaria December 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Nice! I think after seing this I just may have to pick up Snap Happy! It’s truly a pretty color.

    • becca December 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

      It’s so bright and happy, isn’t it? :D Thanks for reading, Icaria!

  21. Yasi December 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    So pretty! I love Beyond Cozy best. Thank you Becca

    • becca December 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Beyond Cozy is definitely one of my favorites too! Thanks Yasi! :D

  22. Dahlia December 16, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Happy first blogiversary! I love leading lady!
    I have zoya ziv on my nails…can’t get enough of glitters this season :-D

    • becca December 16, 2012 at 7:02 am #

      Aw thank you so much Dahlia! And thank you for reading!! :D

  23. fatema December 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    i follow your blog
    i follow you on bloglovin number 59 of follower!
    twitter: @mclasb
    hellocotton: mclasb

    • becca December 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

      Wow thank you for all 6 entries, Fatema–and thank you so much for reading and following! :D

  24. Gina December 17, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I have been wearing essie wicked pretty much non stop this last month!! :)
    I follow u on blogloving, through email and twitter!
    Happy anniversary and thank u for the giveaway!! :)


    • becca December 17, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      Oooh Wicked is a good one–perfect for fall/winter! Thank you so much for reading and following, Gina! :D

  25. Elisabeth December 17, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    Thank you so much for this giveaway!!! I have been drooling over the OPI Skyfall collection for a while now. :)

    • becca December 17, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      Thank you Elisabeth! And thank you for reading!

  26. Joyce (bronzerbunny) December 17, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    oo i love where’s my chauffeur too! :) i’ll have to look for that next time i’m at the drugstore. while i don’t think essie is the best formula out there, one of my favorite nail polishes is essie lilacism! :)

    • becca December 17, 2012 at 7:47 am #

      Oooh–love Lilacism! I love Essie polishes–I usually don’t have any problems with the formula (though there are definitely duds out there and it’s always a shame), they’re affordable, and they’re conveniently available at CVS! :D

  27. elle December 17, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    My favorite nail polish brand is Essie (of course), and I’m acquiring a collection of nail polish! So far, my favorite color is Good As Gold, but it’s heartbreaking how easily it chips.

    julylightning at yahoo dot com

    • becca December 17, 2012 at 7:51 am #

      I love Essie too! Unfortunately, I found the polishes from the Mirror Metallics collection to be really hard to work with. They were goopy and dried in weird spotty chunks and showed brush strokes…but I’ve also seen a lot of pictures online where people seem to have no problem with them too, so maybe it’s just how I apply it?! :P Thanks so much for reading and following, Elle! :D

  28. elle December 17, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    following on bloglovin with julylightning at yahoo dot com!

  29. elle December 17, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    email subscription with julylightning at yahoo dot com

  30. elle December 17, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    followed on twitter @julylightning
    thank you so much for the giveaway! :)

  31. Christine@BrazenBeauty December 17, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Happy biiiiirthday Ms. Beauty Saaaaample, happy biiiirrrthday to YOU!!!! (To be sung in a breathy marilyn monroe voice). Aw jeez, thanks for the giveaway! I’m partial to Essie polishes too, and the holiday set I’m eyeing up is actually the Hourglass Best of Hourglass set. I want my preciousssss….

    • becca December 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      LOL–thank you, Christine!! :P

      And while I don’t want to spoil any surprises, you will definitely want to stay tuned for my upcoming giveaway if you like the Best of Hourglass set!! ;)

  32. Jennifer Dysart December 18, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    Holos have caught my eye, I am always lusting for one. I am also curious about the gel nail colors that are starting to become so popular

  33. Jennifer Dysart December 18, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    I follow via email

  34. Jennifer Dysart December 18, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    I follow on twitter! @412_jenni

  35. Jennifer Dysart December 18, 2012 at 5:12 am #


    • becca December 18, 2012 at 8:48 am #

      Hi Jennifer! I am very curious about holos too–I have yet to purchase one, but I am eyeing A-Englands stuff. Every single polish I’ve seen is absolutely stunning!

      Thank you so much for reading and following!! :D

  36. Catherine December 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    I want to win this for my little sister, who is very, very sick and loves nail polish.

    • becca December 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

      Oh gosh, I am so sorry to hear about your sister, Catherine! Good luck–I will cross my fingers for you.

      Thank you so much for reading!

  37. Mel December 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Where’s My Chauffeur is my absolute favourite of the collection too :)

    • becca December 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

      Isn’t it gorgeous? It kind of reminds me of Turquoise & Caicos, which is another one of my favorite Essie polishes–except I like the brightened, more aqua color of Where’s My Chauffeur more :)

      Thank you for reading, Mel!

  38. Ruth December 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Thank you for the giveaway, I love Essie!!

    I’m following you on Bloglovin’:

    I’m following you on Twitter: @RuthGBCN

    And I tweeted:

    • becca December 19, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

      Thank you so much for reading and following, Ruth!! :D

  39. crystal December 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm # have.nothing. on my.nails,I will apply some oil on my nails and cuticles tonight. And i will paint them tomorrow :) I think I will wear Opi glitzerland or essie trophy wife. Xo congrats on the 1st.bday of this blog

    • becca December 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

      Oooh Trophy Wife is a good one! Thanks for reading, Crystal! :D

  40. Maria dm December 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    What a wonderful giveaway! I love Essie and especially I love how Leading Lady looks in the pictures (I have an addiction to red polish).
    I follow you with Bloglovin, email and Twitter, and, of course, I’m going to tweet about your giveaway!
    I never won this contest, but I’ll give it a try ;)
    BTW, happy anniversary!!!!!

    • becca December 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Thank you so much for reading and following, Maria!! :D

  41. Linda December 21, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Leading Lady is such a great color for the holidays.

  42. Liz December 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I am SO SORRY for this late post! HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY!!!!! I am so happy to have you in the blogosphere and in my life. Where would I be otherwise??? ;) Every single one of your posts are a joy to read and this was a very generous giveaway. Here’s to another fabulous year! Cheers!

    • becca December 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      It’s okay, wifey–I know you’ve been SUPER busy! :/ How are things going for you and when will they calm down??

      I know it sounds really cheesy, but I’m SO glad to have met you, soulmate! You’re awesome and your blog is awesome and your taste in shows is awesome. :D *kisses*

Leave a Reply