Essie Soft Brown Comparison : Mink Muffs, Don't Sweater It, Hot Coco, Glamour Purse & Fierce, No Fear

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6 comments
top left to right: Comparison, Glamour Purse, Don't Sweater It
bottom left to right: Fierce No Fear, Hot Coco, Mink Muffs

This comparison is long, long, loooooong overdue! I was eyeing up and thinking about getting a bunch of these taupey browns in November 2015. I even asked you guys if any of you owned any of them and then hauled some. I was trying to just pick one or two that weren't too close to each other and since I couldn't decide and I had a hard time knowing if they were close or not in various swatches online, I went ahead and got them all! If you like these kinds of almondy, soft brown shades, maybe this will help you decide which one you like best. This is the kind of comparison I wish I had 2 years ago!
left to right: Fierce, No Fear, Glamour Purse, Hot Coco, Mink Muffs & Don't Sweater It

You can tell by the bottle shots that they all look fairly similar, while some are slightly lighter, darker or dustier than others. Lets's take a look at the formulas and see how they look on the nails. 

Fierce, No Fear 

Fierce, No Fear was a surprising release in the Summer 2014 Collection. I remember thinking that brown polish was a strange choice in summer until I saw how amazing it looked with a a golden tan! It came out along with Strut Your Stuff, Haute in the Heat, Ruffles & Feathers and the gorgeous Urban Jungle.  It has a really smooth, opaque gorgeous formula. Its almost a one coater but it does need the second. It's nice and self-leveling. This is a beautiful cocoa cedar. It's soft with just a touch of grey to it but also some yellow tones. I didn't see them until I compared it to the rest of the soft browns, but it's definitely there. I don't think I've worn this shade since Summer 2014 when it came out but I honestly LOVE it.

Glamour Purse 

Glamour Purse came out in the Fall 2011 Collection based on handbags, along with Lady Like, Power Clutch and Carry On (such a great fall collection!).  It's an almond taupe with tons of grey that really softens the shade. This also has a beautiful formula to apply and it's opaque in 2 coats. The formula is a bit thin so it shows off any ridges or peeling in your nails so a good ridge filling base would be good for this polish. Of course top coat too to smooth out the top layer (which I did need for these photos). The softness in this one is really pretty, I like the colour a lot.

Don't Sweater It 

Don't Sweater It came out in the Fall 2012 Collection along with Recessionista, Skirting the Issue and Stylenomics. It's a warm and cozy taupe with mauve tones. You look at it and you aren't sure if it's a smokey purple or a greyish brown. It dries darker and more purple than what it looks like in the bottle.  I love the formula. It's a one coater if you do slightly thicker coats but of course I did two. The formula is nice and smooth. I finally tried this one last year for an @essieclubcollab harvest-inspired mani and I fell head over heels. This is definitely an underrated Essie that you don't hear much about but it's amazing!

Mink Muffs 

Mink Muffs is an Essie permanent collection staple that came out in the Fall 2009 "Cuddle with Color" Collection along with Chinchilly, Midnight Cami and Angora Cardi. I'm just going to digress for a moment and say I LOVE the idea of that collection. As well as those awesome, fall appropriate shades I mentioned above, there was also a hot pink called Pink Parka and a bright orange called Bright Tights. Deep, rich neutral tones with two bright and unexpected shades.  LOVE IT. If you google that collection, they all just look so good together. I wish we could still find Bright Tights and Parka Perfect but those are some really hard to find shades that were discontinued back in 2009. Anyways, back to Mink Muffs.  It's a warm rich brown with taupey tones. It's not as opaque as you think it will be and actually has a bit of a crelly formula. The colour builds up nicely and you can get it opaque in 2-3 coats. It also self-levels beautifully.

Hot Coco

I don't even know how I came to find this polish because it's not one you ever hear about. It came out in the Winter 2010 Collection along with Going Incognito and Smokin' Hot.  It's a warm, rich mahogany shade with a surprisingly thin crelly formula. It builds up colour well and is mostly opaque in 2 coats but I still had a couple patchy spots that needed 3 coats. The colour is really pretty but it's very similar to Mink Muffs. That's probably why it didn't stick around in the permanent collection, since Essie already had Mink Muffs. As well as being similar colours, the formulas are pretty identical too.

Mink Muffs vs. Don't Sweater It vs. Hot Coco vs. Glamour Purse vs. Fierce, No Fear

I know you can't see Don't Sweater as well as the rest, but I purposely put it on my thumb because it's so different from the rest. It is very mauve/smokey purple. Fierce, No Fear is kind of greyish taupe like Glamour Purse but then ends up looking really different because of the addition of yellow.  Mink Muffs and Hot Coco are super close. Definitely close cousins. Hot Coco is slightly softer and more purple/grey and Mink Muffs is a bit warmer and richer. You honestly don't need both though. They look almost identical in regular indoor lighting. If I had to pick between the two, I would say I like Hot Coco better because it's a bit softer. 

Sooooo....which one would you pick as your fave?? If you look at my swatches above, the warmer browns of Mink Muffs and Hot Coco really pulls out the red tones in my hands, so my faves on me were Don't Sweater It, Glamour Purse and Fierce, No Fear.

As for availability, you can find Mink Muffs on Amazon or on most Essie displays in drugstores. I bought all of my polishes on Sparkle Canada (they have Don't Sweater It, Hot Coco, Glamour Purse and Fierce, No Fear). If you are from another country and you find any of these polishes on another site, let us all know in the comments.


  • Anonymous said...

    Your comparison posts are the BEST Kindra! I recently passed on my bottle of Hot Coco to a friend because it was super close to one of the browns in the Wild Nudes Collection and those formulas are so fantastic. Don't Sweater It is on my wishlist! Thanks Kindra!
    - Rachel - Cleveland, OH

  • Maisie said...

    I think "over the knee" could have been an option for this comparison, have you ever seen it ?
    I only came across it once in spain, and totally regret not buying it, it looks like it has the nicest subtle shimmer ... I'm curious about that shade's story too !

  • Anne said...

    Great post Kindra! I’d be interested in seeing where Merino Cool sits in comparison to some of these colours. I’m wearing it now and it looks like it might fit in.

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