Swatches of Essie’s Valentine’s day 2022 collection (my picks)

A while ago, I told you about Essie’s new Valentine’s day collection for 2022. I don’t expect you to remember every single collection that I post (especially since Essie has been releasing a lot of new collections recently), so here is a little recap.

Essie released this collection in honor of Valentine’s day and here is what they say about it:

introducing essie’s limited edition valentine’s day 2022 collection. inspired by a cheeky, secret love affair expressed through handwritten letters, this romantic collection showcases an array of six note worthy shades you’ll want to keep close to your heart. grab your quill and get to writing you might just respond with a kiss!


Clearly, this collection is inspired by love letters, which is of course very appropriate for Valentine’s day. In North America, the bottles have a cute silver decoration on the cap, also with little envelopes with hearts, emphasizing the love letter theme even more. Sadly, my European bottles don’t have this decoration.

The shades that are available are called:

  • Lips are sealed (a blush pink creme with blue undertones)
  • Love-note worthy ( a deep crimson red with blue undertones)
  • Under locket and key (a tarnished silver shimmering nail polish)
  • Pretty in ink ( a soft pink with blue undertones and refined silver shimmer)
  • Respond with a kiss (a neutral polish with pink undertones)
  • Quill you be mine (a white nail polish with grey undertones and refined silver shimmer)
The shades of the Essie Valentine’s day 2022 collection: Lips are sealed, love-note worthy, Under locket and key, pretty in ink, respond with a kiss, and quill you be mine.

I decided to pick up four shades: Pretty in ink, under locket and key, Quill you be mine, and Lips are sealed. I decided to skip Love note-worthy because I have so many reds already. I skipped Respond with a kiss because I wasn’t sure if it was going to look nice on me.

Essie Under locket and key

For ‘Under locket and key’ I feel like I must start with a disclaimer. Under locket and key seems to be different for the North American market and the European market. I own the European bottle ( you can see that by the lack of decorations on the bottle), which is a slightly dirty silver. The shade is described as a ‘tarnished silver’, so it checks out. However, all the swatches I have seen so far for the US bottle, seem to be more gold, more like a very tarnished silver. So my experience might not be accurate for some of you.

I usually don’t like silvers that much, but I do really like this one. The shimmers are slightly bigger than your average metallic shimmer, so you don’t really see streaks. Because of the warmth in its base, under locket and key looks very chic. The polish also covers nicely in two coats.

Comparison of Essie Jingle belle, Essie under locket and key, Essie Empire shade of mind and Essie Stop look and glisten.

For the comparison, I had to pull out my silver Essie shades again. Essie Jingle belle is much lighter and brighter than Under locket and key. They do both have the same type of finish. So if you know how Jingle belle looks, you also know how Under locket and key looks. In terms of brightness, Under locket and key is similar to Empire shade of mind. However, Empire shade of mind is much cooler and has a finer shimmer (that’s the reason why it’s also a bit more streaky). Finally, I included Stop look and glisten, but it is just darker than Under locket and key. Clearly, I don’t own dupes, but I hope this will give you an impression of the color of Under locket and key.

You can find Under locket and key over here on Amazon (affiliate link).

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Essie Lips are sealed

‘Lips are sealed’ is the reason I placed my order in the first place. I wanted to travel to Germany to pick it up, but a friend told me that this shade was sold out in every store she had visited. When I finally saw this shade in real life, I immediately got it. It’s a typical Essie shade, in between pink and red with a slight dustiness to it. It kind of reminds me of roses. The formula is very good, it was almost opaque in one coat, but I did end up needing two to make it cover.

Comparison of Essie Mrs. Always right, Essie Lips are sealed, Essie Ferris of them all and Essie Angora Cardi

The only concern I had about Essie Lips are sealed, was that it would be too close to Essie Mrs. Always Right. I was however happy to see that Mrs. Always Right is much redder, as opposed to Lips are sealed that is pinker. Lips are sealed is sort of close to Ferris of them all, but Ferris is slightly more purple. If I’m being entirely honest, I just like Lips are sealed better. I thought Angora cardi would be close, but I was very wrong. Angora cardi is obviously much darker. I was surprised that Lips are sealed is actually this unique!

You can find Lips are sealed over here on Amazon (affiliate link).

Essie Quill you be mine

Essie Quill you be mine

Essie ‘Quill you be mine’. Initially, I had some doubts about this polish, but I decided to pick it up anyway. Essie describes it as a white nail polish with grey undertones and refined silver shimmer. It definitely leans grey on my hands. I just love these types of shimmer. It reminds me a lot of the shimmer in Essie Passport to happiness, which is one of my favorite Essie’s ever.

The polish applied fine for such a light shade, I needed three coats on most nails, but some where OK with two. I would definitely recommend using a top coat with this one since it doesn’t dry that shiny.

Essie Pretty in ink

Essie pretty in ink without a topcoat

The last shade that I purchased is Essie Pretty in ink. I would describe it as a light pink pearl. It’s pretty much the pink version of Quill you be mine. It dries slightly matte without a topcoat, and I like it slightly better with a topcoat. I was in doubt whether I had to get this shade because I’m usually not a big fan of pearly pinks. However, I think for a pearly pink, this one looks really good. It has some streaks, but it is not obvious at all in real life.

I did three coats for this picture, but some nails were already fine after two coats. The polish is slightly prone to bubbles, so I would recommend doing three thin coats instead of two thicker coats.

Essie Pretty in ink compared to Essie Pillow talk-the-talk and Essie Pink diamond

I own two other pearly pink Essies: ‘Pink Diamond’ and ‘Pillow talk the talk’. I think both are now a part of Essie’s core collection. Pillow talk the talk contains a lot more white than Pretty in ink, but has a similar formula. I own an older bottle of Pink diamond with a skinny brush. My pink diamond is warmer toned pink, almost orange (I’m not sure if recent bottles of pink diamond are like this though). Also, the shimmer in pink diamond is slightly different, making it more prone to streaks. It also doesn’t seem to cover completely in three coats. I honestly much prefer Pretty in ink and Pillow talk the talk.


I’m extremely happy with this Valentine’s day collection. Normally, I usually skip Essie’s Valentine’s day collection, since I usually don’t like them. Last year, I ended up picking only one color. The years before, I just ignored this collection. After these four shades from this year, I’m just convinced that this year’s collection is great.

If you’re wondering where to find these shades: In the US, they are available at Amazon over here (affiliate link) or at Ulta or Target. I heard some people say that this a Target exclusive collection, but that’s not true. In Germany, they are available at Rossmann and DM. I purchased them myself at (northern Europe), but also Lyko and Zizel have them. I’m sure more stores will get them in the near future, but if you’re not sure where to find them, you can always leave a comment!

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

6 thoughts on “Swatches of Essie’s Valentine’s day 2022 collection (my picks)”

  1. Aww … 🙂 So great and insightful description.
    First of all: I am a fan of the Valentine’s collections because I actually find the idea behind them amusing and often creative. I don’t always like the colours, but from last year I actually have all six here. I really like this year’s collection except for Respond with a kiss. This colour doesn’t match all the others, it’s rather warm, while the others represent a much cooler tone.
    For those who live in Germany or in the border area: DM will bring the collection into the shops at the end of January 2022, it is currently available online – 7,95 Euro the bottle.

    1. Thank you for your information about DM! I agree about ‘Respond with a kiss’, it is the only color that I definitely do not need because it will definitely not look good on me. I heard it has a great formula though, so if you’re into this type of shades it will definitely be nice.

  2. I would totally get Quill You Be Mine if you can get your hands on it! My coworker was wearing the shade and it was stunning!!! I haven’t picked up any myself yet, but I might just have to pick up the whole thing!

  3. Essie Lips Are Sealed very much looks like a dupe for Chanel April which I’ve been desperately looking for. Really great shade! I thought it was pretty common and easy to find, but apparently not so!

    1. I had to google Chanel April, but it indeed looks like Lips are sealed could be close. I had a similar feeling that it was not that unique, but apparently, it’s more unique than we thought!

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