This is a blog post about nail polish. You have been warned.
I like nail polish. I used to like nail polish a lot when I was younger, but then somewhere between junior high and becoming socially aware, I convinced myself that fat girls weren't allowed to try and look pretty, because trying to look good would make them seem more desperate and needy than they already seemed, so it was easier and safer to be plain and blend in. So I stopped wearing colour on my face and nails and clothes.
And then sometime this past summer, for reasons still unknown to me, I decided "screw that!" and quickly immersed myself in all things beauty-related. Unlike clothing, makeup and nail polish and jewellery always fit. My most indulgent of beauty products (aside for mascaras and eyeliners), is nail polish. My entire collection has been amassed since August, and mostly since November.
You will notice that I have a particular attraction to glitter. I'm sorry. But you know what they say: you're never fully dressed without a holographic ring finger!
Also, I will pretty much paint anyone's nails any time using any polish. Sometimes I force people to get their nails done. So if you like any of these colours and need to try them on your nails, let me know and I will gleefully prance to your house to bedazzle your hands!
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure: Midnight in NY; Angel Wings; Gray by Gray; & Back to the Fuchsia
I really like this particular Sally Hansen collection. The brush is wide and flat, which makes it easy to cover completely in two coats. I also like the formulation - not too thick or streaky. I'm a little disappointed in Midnight in NY; in the bottle it has little flecks of pink and blue sparkle that are supposed to look like the lights of the New York skyline, but they practically disappear on your nails. I love the other three, though, and I'll be getting more of this collection as the summer colours start coming in.
OPI: Gone Gonzo (Muppet Collection); Excuse Moi! (Muppet Collection); Rainbow Connection (Muppet Collection); Designer... de Better! (Muppet Collection); Russian Navy; Barefoot in Barcelona
I've only recently begun purchasing OPI polishes, and these are my favourite of all of my polishes. Not only do you get 15ml of product, but the quality is great. They chip a lot slower than other polishes and the colours are just great. I have a lot from the Muppet Collection because A) I love sparkle, B) they are limited edition, and C) I love the Muppets. Out of the ones I have, I think Gone Gonzo is my favourite, with a close second going to Excuse Moi!. I also love the last two, Russian Navy and Barefoot in Barcelona. Russian Navy has purple reflux which looks amazing when it catches the light, and BiB is my go-to colour when I don't know what else to wear. It's a perfect bit-darker-than-nude nude.
Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle: Clear; Innocent Nude; Stunning Scarlet; Perfect Plum; Fearless Fog
I like this formula of Sally Hansen products as well. I don't think they actually promote nail growth, but they have the same brush as the Complete Salon Manicure collection, so they make manicures super easy. This collection has much more muted, less sparkle, and, I would say, has more sophisticated colours than other SH lines: much more work-appropriate. I love the last three and wear them frequently. This line does not chip very quickly and 2 coats gives you full coverage. I think Stunning Scarlet is the perfect red nail colour. Innocent Nude is a waste, though. After 3 coats there's almost no colour, and the colour that is there is not flattering at all, at least not on my skin tone. I thought this might be a good french manicure colour, but it's not quite pink enough.
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Colour: Silver Sweep; Blue Streak; Pronto Purple; Clearly Quick
This it getting into the lower-quality end of SH polishes. I like these colours a lot, and I like that they dry quickly. These chip quite quickly, though - in less than 24 hours, in my experience. They also have quite a lot of shimmer, which leads to streaking that's hard to mask. I use these as bases for sparkle polishes and they work great in that context. They're super cheap, though, so it's easy to build a colourful collection without breaking the bank. Also, because they dry so fast, it's easy to remove and re-paint every couple of days.
Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear: Strobe Light; Rockstar Pink; ICING: Party Hardy; Glamourous; Nicole by OPI: Orna-Ment for Each Other
SPARKLE!!! These are some of my favourite polishes. Rockstar Pink is absolutely amazing and, over a black or navy base coat, only needs one coat to be blind you with glitter. The two Icing polishes were an impulse purchase at the mall, but they have great colour payoff. Three coats: perfect coverage. I absolutely love the pink and the holographic glitter in Glamourous is the most mesmerizing polish in my collection. The red and gold sparkle is perfect for Christmas nails and looks amazing over the aforementioned Stunning Scarlet.
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear: Going Green; The Real Teal; Flirt; L.A. Girl Disco Brites: Dance Studio
Again, same problems as the Insta-Dry in terms of the chipping and lower quality. These are also full of shimmer, which I like (naturally), and I think these are fun, bright colours. I also like the brush on the SH polishes: it's thin but easy to get good, even strokes. I haven't tried the L.A. Girl colour yet, but I really like it in the bottle and I'll be trying it under a sparkle polish soon.
Essie: Aruba Blue; Cocktail Bling; Bangle Jangle
My first Essie polish purchase was Aruba Blue, and I vowed I would never buy another Essie polish. While the colour is absolutely amazing and the quality is quite good (no chipping for 4 days!), it stained all my fingers and my nails when I removed it. However, I saw the two other colours the other day, and I was smitten instantly, and I am so glad I bought them. Their formula is amazing and goes on smooth and opaque with two coats. Cocktail Bling is my current favourite polish that I own. It is such a sophisticated colour, a gray blue, and I like that it's a creme base, as I don't own many of that polish formulation. I have my eye on many more Essie colours, particularly Jelly Apple.
Gosh: Golden Dragon; Matte Top Coat; NYX Matte: Taupe; Lavender
I saw Golden Dragon in Shoppers one day and I had to have it. It's a green/blue iridescent base with a gold shimmer built in. It looks super cool on, but I'm not a fan of the brush because the wide shape of the cap makes it hard to hold. Same goes for the NYX polishes. They are matte, which I was particularly fascinated with for a while, and look interesting. They dry pretty much instantly, and it's definitely a unique look. They also last for days. I like the matte top coat, too, because it works really well to prevent chips and makes shimmer polishes look really cool.
Revlon: Calcium Gel Nail Hardener; Sally Hansen Insta-Dri: No Chip Top Coat; Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat: Ink Splatter
I use the Revlon nail hardener as a base coat. I also wear it when I'm not wearing any other polish. My nails flake and break and rip, and I find that this helps them regain a bit more strength. I really like the SH Insta-Dri top coat because it dries in less than a minute and works quite well. I bought the crackle stuff on a whim this summer, and I think I've worn it like, twice, or something. It looks cool sometimes, but I think I might be over that crackle phase.
So that's my collection! I don't often pre-plan what colours I'm going to purchase, but I'm quite excited about China Glaze's release of it's Hunger Games collection in early March! (I'm going to get Agro, Smoke & Ashes, Riveting, and Luxe & Lush).
Maybe someday I'll post my makeup collection, if you're good, fair readers.