Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather Collection

Today I’m introducing the Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather Collection, some cute mini sets of limited edition essie polishes inspired by the most popular Rebecca Minkoff handbag shades.

Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather Collection

Before we take a closer look at the Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather Collection *, I wanted to give a bit of background into this collaboration. For those of you who don’t know, Rebecca Minkoff is a wonderful designer who specialises in handbags, and in 2015 she became essie’s Global Colour Designer. Together they have put together two mini polish sets inspired by popular shades from Rebecca’s designs and – even more excitingly – the polishes have a semi-matte ‘leather-like’ finish. Intrigued? Keep on scrolling!

The sets are £12.99 each and went on sale yesterday and are available until the 24th of October in Boots, so get a wriggle on if either of these sets catch your eye!

Before we get into the swatches, I wanted to give you my overall thoughts on the essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather collection. Matte or semi-matte polishes can be very tricky: you have to be very careful with application as you don’t have a topcoat to smooth everything out at the end; they tend to show up any and all flaws on the nails so if your nails are particularly ridged or uneven then maybe consider a ridge-filling basecoat and a light buff of the nail plate before the manicure. Even though these polishes are minis, they still come with the lovely wider brush (hooray!) which I was very pleased about. I think I would have preferred the polishes to be fully matte, although I appreciate that the semi-matte finish was chosen to echo the look of leather. However, as it is I feel like it falls in the awkward territory between beautiful soft mattes (done so well in the essie Cashmere Matte collection) and the regular shiny polishes they release. These shades also contain lots of stunning glitter and shimmer which doesn’t really appear until you put on a topcoat which seems like a shame. I’ve swatched the colours below both without and with topcoat so you can see the finish. Let me know how you feel about the semi-matte finish? Are you a fan of textured nails?

Set one has the more traditional autumnal shades, with rich and luxurious dark colours if that’s your thing!

Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leathers Collection 'Tote-ally In Love'

Tote-ally in Love is described as a ‘deep oxblood red with a flash of light crimson’. This was the only polish out of all six that needed three coats to cover all bald spots (the rest needed two). Luckily the formula layers really well, which is incredibly rare for matte nail varnishes. The beautiful red and gold shimmer gives some depth, but doesn’t show up to intensely until you apply topcoat (third photo above).

Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leathers Collection 'In Hot Purse-uit'

In Hot Purse-uit is ‘a rich indigo blue trimmed with a glowing violet’. In the bottle it looks like it’s packed with glitter and I was so excited to get it on my nails but was a little disappointed with it in its matte form, although once I got over the lack of apparent glitter I actually really like the way it looks in that close up on the left. If you’re a fellow fan of the glitter, check out the photo on the right: the topcoat really brings out that shimmery goodness, although I wasn’t really seeing the violet tone.

Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leathers Collection 'Back In The Saddle'

Back in the Saddle, a ‘polished dark blue-green cast in silver’. Ooooooh this is definitely my favourite colour from this set… in both the matte and glossy forms. I think the colour works so well with that soft matte finish on the left, and the glitter actually works to add dimension to the manicure, even before I swooped in with the Seche Vite. This feels very Christmassy to me, which just makes it even better!

Set two includes the brighter and softer shades, so if you’re more of a pastels fan then this is the set for you.

Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leathers Collection 'Push The Envelope'

Push the Envelope is described as a ‘plush lilac with a soft silver glimmer’. I have an addiction to grey-toned mauve polishes and have so many truly beautiful ones so this had a lot of competition! I wish the shimmer was a bit more apparent – maybe a stronger pink or silver glitter would have transformed this – but it just felt a little bit flat to me. However, if you’re looking for a soft mauvey polish with an edge then this is your girl!

Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leathers Collection 'Cross Body Heat'

Cross-body Heat is described as a ‘rosy mauve accented with subtle lavender shine’ which I’m not sure I agree with! To me this is a very pretty white with a lavender/grey tone, and is definitely my favourite from this set. The matte finish works so well with the speckled effect (shown in the close up photos above) and it’s a unique shade that would look very put together and chic, while avoiding the stark statement of pure white nails.

Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leathers Collection 'Bucket List'

Bucket List, a ‘turquoise green brushed in a light aqua lustre’. This is a very close colour match to essie ‘Blossom Dandy’, but obviously has a matte finish and a slight subtle glitter to it. I found this one the hardest to work with, perhaps just because it’s more of a pastel shade which are typically harder to layer. It still dried down well and is a lovely bright shade, although perhaps not too autumn/winter appropriate.

So which set from the Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather Collection is your favourite? How do you feel about the matte vs glossy nail look? Would you wear these bare, or cave and slap on a topcoat? Let me know in the comments below or come chat to me on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

Don’t forget that the Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather Collection is limited edition and only available until the 24th of October, so run off to Boots or order online now!

If you’re an essie fan, then you can see all of my previous reviews HERE.


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Essie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather CollectionEssie x Rebecca Minkoff Leather Collection



  1. essie rebecca minkoff
    11th October 2017 / 2:01 pm

    Hello Lex, nice article and great pictures. 🙂 I really like the colours of the collection. The colours in the dark set are the most beautiful, especially the green one. Best regards

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