Essie Leathers Collection: Swatch & Review


This is so super late, but instead of making excuses I want to get into the polish because I freakin’ love these. And, luckily for me, I was at Kohl’s a week ago and they still had some of these sets in stock so I’m not entirely late to the game! Back in December I had some Kohl’s cash to burn so I picked up the lovely little Essie Leathers Collection set. It is rare that I like an entire collection, but damn it if I don’t love all of these! The formulas are beautiful and the colors are quite lovely. I am already hoping there will be a part 2 set in the future because Essie NAILED IT! These are inspired by Rebecca Minkoff’s most popular (according to her, anyway) bag colors and all dry naturally to a satin matte finish, just like the sheen of leather. Let’s dive into the goodness!

I used Butter London Nail Foundation for my base coat under every swatch and Seche Vite for my top coat where noted.


Essie Cross-body Heat, 2 coats plus top coat

Cross-body Heat is the first little number we have here. It is a pinky lavender satin matte shade and appears to have the least amount of shimmer out of all the polishes in this collection. The shimmer is hardly visible, even with a top coat on.


Essie Cross-body Heat, 1 coat

Cross-body Heat has a delicious, creamy formula. Good news about all these mattes: they do not dry too fast so you actually have time to work with them! Because of that, you can almost get this one opaque in one coat. I still had a few light spots, but perhaps a thicker coat would solve that.


Essie Cross-body Heat, 2 coats

Cross-body Heat is fully opaque in two coats and does dry a tad darker than the bottle would have you think. The polish surface evened out better on the second coat. I recommend going in thicker if you want to wear it naked.


Essie Cross-body Heat, 2 coats plus top coat under lamps

It is pretty much impossible to tell that Cross-body Heat has shimmers/flakies/something sparkly in it, but it’s there! Squint at this photo or go back to a sans-top coat pic.


Essie Tote-ally in Love, 2 coats plus top coat

This is going to blow your mind, so take a seat. Comfy? Okay, prepare yourself for this… Tote-ally in Love is my favorite polish of this entire set. Yep. You read that correctly. Favorite. Absolutely, totally love it with all my heart and more. No, it is not green or blue or orange, it’s the most delicious red velvet cake dreamy goodness that I have had the pleasure of sticking on my most unworthy nails. When it comes to reds, I perfer them on the darker side. This checks all my boxes and more. It’s the kind of nail polish that makes you want to write poetry and take long walks on the beach and all that ushy gushy stuff.


Essie Tote-ally in Love, 1 coat

The formula on this one is just sooooo smoooooth and has a buttery consistency. This one will need a second coat because the color is not even.


Essie Tote-ally in Love, 2 coats

Have you ever wanted to lick a nail polish? Because Tote-ally in Love is making all my senses go wild, it looks amazing. It dries so smooth that I would actually consider wearing this one without top coat. While I hate mattes, that shimmer gives it a glow that you can see even without a coat of shinyness. Honestly, Essie put 100% into this polish and I am completely in love.


Essie Tote-ally in Love, 2 coats in indirect natural light

Look how smooth and rich this polish is! Like I said earlier: lickable.


Essie Tote-ally in Love, 2 coats plus top coat under lamp

Adding top coat does give that sparkle a little more shine, but this polish is glowy goodness whether you top it or not.


Essie Tote-ally in Love, 2 coats plus top coat in indirect natural light

It’s official guys: I have finally found true love!


Essie In Hot Purse-uit, 2 coats plus top coat

Next up, we have In Hot Purse-uit, this wonderful satin navy. This is going to be more predictable, but it is my other favorite in the collection! It just looks timeless and elegant and luxe, while also being very obviously blue. It’s one of the classiest blues I own.


Essie In Hot Purse-uit, 1 coat

People, we have another amazing and smooth formula here! If I had tried and used slightly thicker coats, I have no doubt it could have looked great with just one. I tend to use thinner coats so I got some lighter spots, but no complaints at all here.


Essie In Hot Purse-uit, 2 coats

That is one sexy blue in just two coats. In Hot Purse-uit has a dumb name, but don’t let that dissuade you from slapping this loveliness on your digits. The finish is so smooth I could almost see myself wearing this without top coat as well.


Essie In Hot Purse-uit, 2 coats in indirect natural light

Even without top coat, that satiny finish and those flakies make it shine. I’m even more convinced that I could live without using top coat.


Essie In Hot Purse-uit, 2 coats plus top coat under lamps

But then again, look how sparkly! The flakes almost have a pinkish-purplish shift at extreme angles. You can see this best on my ring and pinky fingers. Just dazzling.


Essie In Hot Purse-uit, 2 coats plus top coat in indirect natural light

You know you needed one more picture to drool over. I love how deep it can look while still being very blue and very, very pretty. It does not get much better than this.


Essie Back in the Saddle, 2 coats plus top coat

Last but not least, we have this lovely deep satin fern, Back in the Saddle. I’m surprised they didn’t call it Back in the Saddle Bag. Essie, you are welcome to hire me at any time. This one has the worst formula of the bunch, but it’s still a 2-coater. If the worst formula in your collection only needs two coats, you’re doing just fine.


Essie Back in the Saddle, 1 coat

Back in the Saddle had a noticeably thinner formula and went on, as you would logically think, more sheer and streaky. The particular danger with this one is over-manipulation. If you mess around with it for too long you get bald patches.


Essie Back in the Saddle, 2 coats

I got Back in the Saddle opaque in two! I was more careful to “float” on the polish to avoid dragging. The shimmer really stands out in this one with or without top coat, which I love. Fellow Marvel fans, does this one not scream Loki? He would definitely rock this! Also, as a side note, does anyone know what blue polish the Grandmaster was wearing in Thor Ragnarok? It was one of the first things I noticed about the character…


Essie Back in the Saddle, 2 coats in indirect natural light

Back to polish at hand: ooo, look how deep it looks here! I think more dimensional polishes like these need to be shown in multiple lightings so you can see how pretty they are no matter what or where.


Essie Back in the Saddle, 2 coats plus top coat in indirect natural light

I like the satin finish because they still have some shine, but nothing beats the glassiness of top coat. Back in the Saddle is wearable on its own, but I would always opt for top coat with this one. It dried a tad uneven on its own.

To summarize: I love it. I need more. Essie can’t drop a little set this amazing and not follow it up. Next holiday season better bring it. I had a peek at Rebecca Minkoff bags to get some color inspiration; I would love to see a grey (dark or light) and a tealish blue. Can’t wait for them to fulfill my dreams later this year!

Did you pick up this set? See anything here you like?

xx, Ashley

I got my set at Kohl’s. As of this post, it appears this set is still available online and I did see 2-3 packs in my local store a week ago.

4 thoughts on “Essie Leathers Collection: Swatch & Review”

  1. I love the shade Tote-ally in Love too! Even before reading the text, as I scrolled through the photos, that was the shade that jumped out at me.

    You’re right, they should have totally called that “Back in the Saddle Bag”. Missed opportunity!

    I much prefer all of these with a shiny topcoat on top.

    PS. do not lick nail polish, please. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reds aren’t usually my thing, but that one is something special 😀

      The top coat really brings out the glowyness. They are definitely pretty matte, but I tend to agree with you because you can really see all the elements of the polish more with top coat.


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