Essie Grey-Purples Comparison : Lilacism, Love & Acceptance, Bangle Jangle, Warm & Toasty Turtleneck, Merino Cool & Smokin' Hot

Friday, January 29, 2016 10 comments

This winter I've been all about greyed out purple shades. So much so, that out of these 6 polishes, 5 of them were added to my collection within the last couple months. It was hard to choose which one I liked best so I just got all of them! Even now I'm having a hard time choosing which one is my favourite. I think they are all different enough that I can justify having all of them ;) Here they are all lined up.
Left to Right: Lilacism, Love & Acceptance, Bangle Jangle, Warm & Toasty Turtleneck, Merino Cool and Smokin' Hot

I originally didn't include Lilacism in the lineup because it looks more blue in comparison to these other polishes. But once I tried on Love & Acceptance I felt I needed to include Lilacism because I remembered that Lilacism USED to look a lot like Love & Acceptance and people would wonder how they compared. I've showed you before that there are some Essie polishes that change colour over time and Lilacism is one of them. Over time, Lilacism turns from a greyed out lilac to being a greyed out light blue. I think mine is on it's way to being more blue because it doesn't look very lilac anymore, even compared to what it looked like a year ago. Nonetheless, this is what all Lilacism's will look like eventually so here it is in comparison to these other grey-purples.


I've talked about my love for Lilacism before, but be warned it's a finicky polish. Not only will it change colour over time but the formula can tend to drag and become bumpy and uneven if you try to polish with thin coats. Get a bit more polish on your brush and it will be creamy and opaque in 2 coats (although some nails may still need a third coat). It's not completely self-leveling and will leave a bit of ridges still, but you can fix that with a good top coat like Essie Good to Go.

Love & Acceptance

This polish came from the 2012 Wedding Collection and is the lightest of all these grey-purples. The formula on this one is nice. It's thin but easy to control and covers completely in 2 coats. It has a nice and even, opaque finish.

Bangle Jangle

Bangle Jangle is a bit deeper of a lavender than Love & Acceptance and it came out in the Winter 2011 Cocktail Bling Collection.  The formula is good on this one too. It's creamy, easy to apply and opaque in two coats. If you read my Cocktail Bling post as soon as I posted it, I said this polish had some weird dark streaks. After using it again I realized the pigment had separated a little and the polish just needed a really good shake and then it applied perfectly! I went back and edited my post but just wanted to make sure you knew that the formula on Bangle Jangle is good with no weird streaking.

Warm & Toasty Turtleneck

The polish was interesting to me. When it first came out in the Winter 2013 Shearling Darling Collection, I thought the swatches of this warm pinky-purple with grey tones was pretty but I would never wear it, so I skipped picking it up. Then last winter I came across this polish for $3 at Dollarama but I STILL passed it up! I remember thinking "I will never wear that colour". My friend Austrian even texted me a picture of this polish a couple days later and was like "pretty? or kind of ugly?" I told her I wasn't sure! Fast forward to this winter and I was kicking myself for not picking this polish up! I really like this colour now and definitely err to the side of thinking it's pretty. The formula is awesome, probably the best out of all 6 of these. It's super smooth and opaque. It isn't thick at all, yet is smooth with zero streaking. It's not perfectly opaque in one coat (but it's close), so I did 2 coats. It self-levels really well.

Merino Cool

This grey mulberry polish is a popular shade from Essie. This fall it seemed everyone on Instagram was wearing it. I had never tried it until this comparison and I was surprised to find that there's a lot of taupey brown to it as well. It has quite a thin formula so don't overload your brush, but it is pretty opaque. It's streaky on the first coat but covers completely in two. It's nice and self-leveling and looks smooth and glossy on the nail.

Smokin' Hot

Smokin' Hot has become a favourite of mine this past winter. It's a very stylish deep greyish purple (full post here). It's another one that has a thin formula and you can't overload the brush with polish. Apply it thinly and it will be streaky on the first coat but even out and be perfect on the second coat. I mentioned in my review that this polish chipped easily on me, but I actually tried it with a different base coat and it worked great! I got a great wear time out of it so I'm happy to report this polish isn't an easy chipper like I originally thought.

I hope this comparison helps you clearly see the differences between each one. I can't really name a favourite because I'm loving all of them! If I'm completely honest, I liked my bottle of Lilacism a whole lot more when it was more lilac toned. 

As for availability, Lilacism, Merino Cool and Smokin' Hot are all part of the readily available permanent collection. The other three you may need to order online. I found all three at but I've also seen them on

Which grey-toned purple are you crushing on?

Click here to see all my comparison posts.


  • Alison said...

    These are all such flattering colors! Love and Acceptance is catching my eye the most, but I am wearing Master Plan right now, and even though I would never look at that picture and mistake it for Master Plan, I'm finding it hard to see much more lilac in Love and Acceptance.

    I thought Virgin Snow might be in this because it seemed so similar to Lilacism, but I guess the main difference was Virgin Snow didn't have grey?

    Shade On says it has some slate to it. I'm looking forward to that one.

    And I saw Warm and Toasty Turtleneck on ebay for $4.50, I debated for a few days but I eventually bought it, it should be here with the mail any minute : )

  • Kindra said...

    Hi Alison! If you have an Instagram account or leave your email I can DM you a pic of Master Plan next to Love & Acceptance if you like.

    Yes Lilacism and Virgin Snow are so close but Virgin Snow was brighter without that touch of grey so I skipped it.

    I'm looking forward to Shade On too! I THINK the collection might be arriving today and I'm so excited!

    Ooh that's fun that you found Warm & Toasty Turtleneck! I'm really enjoying it a lot. Most of these other purple greys are very cool toned but that one is warm. It's really nice to wear and I'm so happy I finally picked it up.

  • Kindra said...

    P.S. By the way, instead of leaving your info on here you can email me at if you want to see master plan/love & acceptance side by side bottle shots :)

  • Hannah Jo said...

    I really love Warm and Toasty Turtleneck. I think I saw it at Marshall's for $3.99 last year and skipped on buying it then...and now I'm dying to find it somewhere! Also, I LOVED bangle jangle when I would see swatches online. I bought that and Cocktail Bling together off the internet. When they arrived they were almost identical!! Bangle Jangle must be another that turns more blue over time. I was so disappointed I didn't get that pretty grayed purple.

  • Kindra said...

    Oh that's terrible about your Bangle Jangle Hannah Jo.

    And I totally know what you mean about Warm & Toasty Turtleneck. I kept seeing it discounted for cheap and never bought it at the time. This winter I loved it and wished I had bought it last year! I kept hoping to find it at Dollarama or Winbers but never did. I finally had to go ahead and buy it regular price!

  • Nikki said...

    Would love to see a master plan VS love and acceptance comparison pls!

    I love your blog. Always helping me with my purchase decisions! The truest go to blog for essie lovers. :)

  • Kindra said...

    Nikki - I've been asked to see a comparison of Master Plan vs. Love & Acceptance a few times, so I'm working on a comparison post right now! Fingers crossed, it will be up today :)

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