The Best Winter Nail Polish Colours of 2012

You'll want to wear these hot colours all winter long.
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The weather's been so gloomy lately—Frankenstorm included, ugh—that it just feels wrong to be wearing happy coral or pink nail polish. Instead, all I want are the dark burgundies, the midnight blues, the rose golds. Are you feeling me? I'm even ready to dabble in some edgy glitter, what with party season just around the corner.

To that end, I think I just spent the last THREE hours sifting through the enormous bin of polishes that I keep on a shelf by my desk. (I know, it's a tough job....) And now I'm ready to present to you what's about to go down in nail colour for the next few months. Hint: it's all very exciting!

Here are the top collections coming down the pipeline and my fave colour picks:

OPI Euro Centrale collection

Central Europe—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania—were the inspiration for OPI's spring/summer 2013 collection, due out in February. (Yeah, I know, we're still in 2012 but this is why I never feel like I can "live in the moment." Know what I mean? The dates in beauty are all messed up!) Anyhoodle, this one is an eclectic colour mix, as has been the case with OPI's geographically-themed ranges in the past few years.

As far as I'm concerned, there are two SOOPER standout shades. Top row, third one in is called Hands Off My Kielbasa! Which is a very, very unfortunate name for a nail polish—but redeemed because it's such a lovely metallic "bronzy tan," according to the press release. (I think it's more like a rose gold, but what do I know?) Amazing shade number two is on the far right, bottom row. It's called and is a party in a bottle with blue and violet chunky glitter.

Mariah Carey by OPI collection

And more from OPI. This range is their first collab with Mariah Carey—and despite what you may think of her, it's worth paying attention to because four of the shades have this new texture technology called Liquid Sand. Basically it gives you a pebbled finish with very fine particles of glitter that are matte (as long as you don't wear a top coat). It sure beats having to polish your nails and then stick them in a bowl of microbeads! The ones on the bottom row all feature this new finish, whereas the top row are your standard glitters and metallics.

My pick? Bottom row, first one on the left: Stay the Night. It's a matte black with red glints.

Essie Leading Lady collection

Essie's winter collection (which is out now) is heavy on the reds... but then there's the shock of bright blue and turquoise. I'm going to give them a pass (even though they're pretty to look at) and instead stick with my comfort zone. I JUST had my nails done with the red at the bottom left, which is called She's Pampered and is just about an exact match to my forever-favourite Revlon polish, Cherries in the Snow. The other red (Snap Happy) is more orangey. Come December, I'm gonna be all over the glittery red (Leading Lady) and silver-gold (Beyond Cozy).

Estée Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquers by Tom Pecheux

Now THIS is what I'm talking about. A moody, properly wintry set of nail colours. Designed by—who else?—the masterful Tom Pecheux, who is creative director of makeup for Estée Lauder. I don't even think the photo can do these shades justice, because in person they're like jewels, picking up the light but not at all over-the-top with shimmer or glitter.

There are actually two collections here: Metal Mania (the lighter colours) and Beyond Black (which is what I'm loved up with). My top pick is the blue, Blue Blood, which is a gorgeous deep navy that I could stare at all day. You HAVE to see it in person.

Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura collection

Didja hear? Karl is teaming up with Shu for the holidays. Squeal! These are the three nail offerings in the range. I love the simplicity of the colour theme—red, black, white—although guess what? You can jazz 'em up with nail stickers that come inside. Check it:

How cute is that?! Note that in person, the red polish is more muted, and the beige one is a little darker than it appears in pics.

Guerlain Liu collection

Guerlain's holiday collection takes inspiration from a circa-1929 fragrance called Liu, named for an Asian heroine who commits suicide after a tragic love affair. Gosh, so dramatic!

Anyway, the nail colours are maybe a little bit predictable for Guerlain but still lovely. I'm partial to the one on the left, called Altoum, which is a metallic beigey gold. The other one's named Lou-Ling and it's a flat plum.

Chanel Éclats du Soir de Chanel collection

What would a nail discussion be without mentioning Chanel? There's just one shade in the holiday collection—Malice—and as you can see, it's a beautiful, complicated, shimmering black-red. Oh yes, black-red. This one has star quality, my friends. If it tugs at your heartstrings, go buy now so that you don't miss out.

Nicole by OPI Kardashian Kolor holiday collection

Groan, I know, I don't want to talk about the Kardashians either. Except that they make pretty good nail polishes. You already know (I think?) that Nicole by OPI is formulated the exact same as regular OPI; the only difference is that OPI is at salons and Nicole by OPI is at Walmart. Anyway, if you're a glitter person then you'll want to check these out, because there are three that are quite gorgeous. (And that's saying something because you know I've been slow to warm to anything sparkly.)

The first three from the left look WAY better in real life than in the pics. The first, Kardashing Through the Snow (!!) is a multi-colour mix, while A Gold Winter's Night is is gold glitter with blue flecks. And then number three, All is Glam, All is Bright, is a "rosy silver." Hard to explain, but it would go with everything... and I'm actually going to try it!

Sephora + Pantone Universe Jewel Lacquers

How pretty are these!? Apparently they're the hottest shades of the season according to the colour forecasters at Pantone who work with Sephora. So I guess we should listen, huh?

I only received a couple of samples, but they definitely remind me of the Estée polishes I mentioned above, except a little brighter and even more metallic. (Maybe wear these by day and Tom's collection by night?) I wish wish wish that I had a bottle of the pink on the far left (Cradle Pink), which is an iridescent top coat. However, the ones I DO have—Rose Dawn, the rose gold, and Reflecting Pond, the blue-green—are insanely gorgeous. You will fall in love.

NARS Andy Warhol holiday collection

Another exciting collab! NARS is paying tribute to Andy Warhol with this five-colour collection, which is in stores now. Three of the shades are Pop Art-inspired; for winter, I actually really like the purple (New York Dolls). The black (Back Room) and the teal (Superstar) are more traditionally wintry. Although probably come February I'll be so sick of the cold weather that I'll want to do yellow! The name alone—15 Minutes—is so perfect.

Tell me:

What sorts of nail colours have you been in the mood for lately?

Are you intrigued by any of these ones?

How do you feel about the new matte pebble texture? Metallics? All-out glitter?

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