Merry Christmas: Review of Essie – Ruby Slippers (Discontinued)

Hello Everyone, I wish you a very happy Christmas! Today I have one of the most special polishes I own for you; Essie Ruby Slippers.

Ruby slippers was released together with Glass slipper for a special holiday collection called ‘Stars’ for Holiday 2003. I believe Glass slipper and Ruby slippers were released together in a pack as a ‘stocking stuffer’, but they might also have been available separately (source: Essie’s 2003 website). As far as I’m aware, this is the only time Ruby slippers was produced.

Bottle of Essie Ruby Slippers

Essie Ruby slippers has been said to be the ‘mother’ of all other ruby red glitters. The story goes that even China Glaze’s famous Ruby pumps was ‘inspired’ by Essie’s Ruby slippers. Ruby slippers is therefore a true part of nail polish history, and I’m so glad I own it!

Due to the fact that Ruby slippers was produced so long ago, it has been hard to find for many years already. Suddenly back in 2011, US stockist 8ty8beauty had a couple in stock, and I believe that is where mine came from. Three years ago, back in 2016, I bought Ruby Slippers from a girl who was destashing. In her collection, there were more polishes that were imported from the US. I bought a couple of other polishes from her, but Ruby Slippers was the one I really really really wanted, and I just knew I needed it in my life.

Swatch of Essie Ruby Slippers

I was so excited when I first got it. However, after googling I realized that this polish was quite rare and I was too afraid to use it. This year for Christmas, I decided to pull myself together and just wear it.

Ruby Slippers is quite special because Essie does not make this type of polish quite often anymore. I would describe Ruby Slippers as a deep red jelly with lighter gold glitter. Because the base is jelly you get a very nice “see-through effect”, but the glitter really stands out because it’s quite a bit lighter than the jelly base. Its lighter glitter almost gives the appearance that the polish is lit from within.

What you see in the pictures is three coats of Ruby Slippers. The formula is a bit lumpy due to all the glitters. Two coats are not enough because the polish is not covered evenly then. In the pictures, I’m only wearing one layer of topcoat. But two layers might even be better. You definitely cannot wear it without a topcoat, because it dries gritty and a bit dull.

I’m quite on the fence about this polish. On the one hand, it looks wonderful, on the other hand, it also screams 12-year-old girl to me! Anyway, I really enjoy owning this polish, and it’s awesome for the holiday season in my opinion! Upon removal, Ruby slippers did stain my nails, so be careful if you own this one!


As far as I’m aware, Essie released three other shades that are similar to Ruby slippers: Roses are red, Leading lady, and Toggle to the top. Roses are red was released for Valentine’s day 2019, and is probably the easiest to find. However, it is also my personal least favorite of the shades. In the bottle it looks fine, but the glitter is very sparse on the nail and it is the same color as the base so it doesn’t stand out as nicely as in Ruby slippers.

Comparison of Essie red glitters: Essie Roses are red, Essie Toggle to the top, Essie Leading lady and Essie Ruby slippers

Toggle to the top (winter 2013) and Leading lady (winter 2012) are a bit more difficult to find, but are both prettier than Roses are red in my opinion. Toggle to the top is a lot darker, and leans a bit pink, but it is also packed with glitter. Leading lady is a bit lighter but also leans a bit cooler, while Ruby slippers leans warmer. Both Toggle to the top and Leading lady have a very similar formula to Ruby slippers. It’s not the easiest to apply, and you need two coats of topcoat, but it’s definitely pretty!

You can clearly see the ‘lit from within’ property that Ruby slippers has in the picture above! It’s almost like the bottle is on fire.

For more comparisons, I would like to refer you to the following blogpost:


Ruby Slippers is an over-the-top red glitter. Especially suitable for Christmas. To me, it stays a very special polish, just because of the story. I never expected that I was able to get my hands on one. If someone would ask to show me my most loved polish, I would point you at this one. However, is it the best red glitter polish I own? No probably not. Would I pay an enormous amount of money just to get my hands on it? No also not. However, if you can find it, like me, for a very reasonable price, you might not want to let that chance go. I think the best chance of finding this one might be in destashes and maybe on eBay since I couldn’t find any stores that still sold Ruby slippers.

Every year around Christmas, I’m hoping that Essie releases an updated version of this shade. So Essie, if you need a bit of inspiration this year for Christmas, please release an updated version of Ruby Slippers!

Do you have a polish like this one? Let me know!

2 thoughts on “Merry Christmas: Review of Essie – Ruby Slippers (Discontinued)”

  1. Unbelievable, just last week I put a whole box of this old polish in the thrash. Didn’t think anyone would seriously be like interested in old nail polish.

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