Essie’s Got a Brand New Bag: Fall 2011 Collection

Essie’s fall offering is a collection of six, autumn-appropriate hues inspired by one of my other obsessions – handbags!

Essie’s inspiration for this collection of cremes came from the clean lines, simple elegance and colors of post-war handbag styles. “The accessories that you wear and carry say so much about who you are and who you want to be,” said Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics, in a press release.

I couldn’t agree with Essie more. I’m probably just as obsessed with purses and bags as I am with nail polish and makeup. I’ve always been more into accessories than clothing – the right bag, the right FOTD, the right NOTD and the right shoes can put me in an amazingly confident state of mind!

Before I get into swatches and a review of the fall collection, I figured I’d share a glimpse at my bag stash, most of which goes deep into a plastic tub that all those other bags are piled in and spilling out of:

As you can see, there are some bags hanging – those are smaller handbags I use when I am running out or going out for the night. Yeah. I’m a bag lady.

Since I’m sharing Essie’s Got a Brand New Bag, I should share my newest, brand new bag, too!:

This bag is from Thirty-One, it’s called the Retro Metro Bag, and I got it embroidered with my name because…well. Because I could! This is the bag I chose for fall this year, and I love the color and pattern – I can’t wait to start using it!

So what about Essie’s purse-themed collection? Does it hit the mark? Let’s find out!

Carry On:

Carry On is a mulberry creme. Makes me think of sitting by a fire pit on a fall weekend night with a glass of red wine.

Glamour Purse:

Glamour Purse is described as an “almond blush.” It looks a bit like dry, instant hot cocoa mix to me! Yum.

Case Study:


Case Study is a rich, camel beige. This color intrigued me, I love how it looks in the shade, in the second photo.

Power Clutch:

Power Clutch is described as an “enigmatic darkest green.” I really don’t see green in this color. I’m not being sarcastic when I ask, am I color blind? I see a stormy grey, I don’t even see a green undertone. Oh well! Still pretty, and on trend.

Lady Like:


Lady Like is a pretty, dusty pink. I first saw this on a coworker who had gotten a manicure a couple weeks ago. She was excited to have a new, fall color on her nails, and I thought it looked not only work appropriate, but was a nice change from the bright, popping pinks I wore this summer. Even the light pinks I wore popped!

Very Structured:

Very Structured is a creamy, burnt sienna. I saved the best for last. Very Structured is my favorite, and the only one I thought “Must Have” when I initially saw this collection. It’s just a great warm shade for my fair complexion!

Color Thoughts

Overall, the collection works together. When I first saw these, I thought they were boring and redundant. After swatching them, I still feel they are redundant – if not exact dupes, I know I could likely find near-dupes in my stash for each of these – but I don’t think they are boring. Got a Brand New Bag is perfect for work, and neutral enough to be a nail wardrobe with your fall clothing and accessory wardrobe. The colors are also trendy enough that I can see my 21-year-old cousin wearing these around her college campus.

Dupe Talk:

  • Check out Deborah Lippmann’s Stormy Weather for a possible dupe to Power Clutch. Stormy Weather is a tad darker.
  • China Glaze Brownstone is not a dupe for Very Structured. Brownstone is much darker and ruddier.
  • China Glaze Street Chic is not a dupe for Glamour Purse, it’s a tad darker and pinkier, almost.

Application Issues

This collection of cremes applied like butter – speaking of redundant…how often do we use that term to describe smooth application?! There’s something about the Essie formula that applies richly and easily.

Additional Information

This collection is available now in stores, and retails for $8 a bottle. I’ve seen it in Ulta, and it’s starting to pop up in the drugstores, as well. I picked up Glamour Purse at a beauty shop in my local mall. I bought Case Study, Lady Like and Very Structured at Rite Aid. I received samples after I’d purchased these, and did receive a bottle of Case Study for review, as well. I chose to use that one and give the Case Study I purchased to a friend.

Final Thoughts

These are going to be great go-to colors for me in the corporate world. I’ve been dressing business casual all summer, and now that it’s September, it’s time to step it back up with suits, jackets and panty hose (oh, how I hate panty hose)! These polishes will go well with the image I want to put forth to my business partners!

What do you think of this collection? Have you seen it yet? Picked any up?

Also – what do you think of the way I set up the end of the review, with the sections like “Application Issues” and “Color Thoughts”? I think this is how I’m going to do collection reviews going forward!

Disclaimer: Essie Case Study, Carry On and Power Clutch were provided to me for review by the PR Firm/Manufacturer. Please visit my Disclosure tab for more information on how keeps it real!