I Tested Essie's New Winter Polish Collection and Found the Perfect Holiday Red

I'm the kind of person that likes to plan my seasonal wardrobe and accessories out ahead of time, and that includes the nail polish I'll be wearing for those few months. Nail color can definitely add flair to an outfit, especially around the holidays, which is why Essie's new winter collection caught my eye. Inspired by childhood toys, it features vibrant and playful colors, including both traditional and not-so-conventional winter shades. 

After Essie sent me the collection, I put it to the test to see if the colors looked just as good painted on as they did in the bottle, and — spoiler alert — they were even better. Not only did I find what I consider to be the holy grail of holiday reds, but these six shades have earned a permanent spot in my collection thanks to how versatile they are. 

Shop Essie's winter collection on Amazon below, and keep scrolling for my review on each shade, including photos of what they look like on my nails.

  • Essie Toy to the World, $9
  • Essie Jingle Belle, $7 (Originally $9)
  • Essie All Dolled Up, $9
  • Essie Lucite of Reality, $9
  • Essie Glee-for-All, $9
  • Essie Don't Kid Yourself, $9

Toy to the World

I know claiming that a nail polish shade is the "perfect" holiday red is a big statement, but in my opinion, Essie's Toy to the World lives up to this title. It's bright and bold thanks to being a coral-based red; I find a lot of red polishes that are part of festive collections to be a bit too dark and end up going unnoticed. (I got several compliments during the time I was wearing Toy to the World, which is always a plus.) Most importantly, it goes beyond just the holiday season. I can easily wear this shade throughout the winter and beyond and not feel like I still have my "Christmas nails" on.

Shop now: $9; amazon.com

Jingle Belle

Let's face it, there are a lot of tacky and not-so-flattering metallic nail polishes out there, and I've never found a shade that I truly loved enough to repeat come the holidays. But that's not the case anymore thanks to Essie's Jingle Belle, which is a very glam, shimmery silver that you'll want to keep on weeks after New Year's Eve. My favorite part about it is that it has an opaque finish that's hard to find with glitter polishes. It also looks super pretty paired with Toy to the World.

Shop now: $7 (Originally 9); amazon.com

All Dolled Up

If you're into pink instead of red for the holidays, All Dolled Up is a really fun shade that'll be right up your alley. It took me by surprise because it's a vibrant, hot pink color that I usually wouldn't think of as a winter shade, but after wearing it for two weeks, I'm totally reformed. It's so flattering, too, and I couldn't stop looking at my nails the whole time.

Shop now: $9; amazon.com

Lucite of Reality

Forest green is one of my favorite colors, and I'm so enamored with Lucite of Reality. It's a deep, creamy green with a hint of teal in it, so it doesn't look too dark when it's on. (It definitely looks lighter in person than it does in photos.) I can totally see myself wearing this shade often during the winter and fall seasons.

Shop now: $9; amazon.com


I've never met a nail color that embodies champagne more than Glee-for-All. It's a lovely pink-gold shade that's full of sparkles. It's a fairly light color so it's hard to capture its magical effects on camera, but I really was full of glee while putting it on. It's subtle enough that you can wear it daily, and I'll probably be reaching for it whenever I feel like I need a break from bolder colors.

Shop now: $9; amazon.com

Don’t Kid Yourself

Sometimes we need a hint of summer during the winter — a reminder that warmer weather will return — and that's what Don't Kid Yourself does for me. The bright peachy shade is exactly what I'd reach for in the middle of July, but I like the thought of using it in the middle of January when I need a little pick-me-up, too. 

Shop now: $9; amazon.com

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