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If nail polish fanatics were really able to pick just ten polishes our collections would be very small; so really this for me is a post about current favourites and polishes that are personally important to me. It was still hard! I sort of approached this by dividing into categories that I wanted to have something representing it and went from there – I probably could have done so many more polishes and maybe I’ll do some more ‘favourites’ posts down the line as I did have to exclude a few polishes from this list to make room for others. Heads up: this is a very very long post so make sure you have tea and biscuits handy!
Now I did have the intention of doing all new looks with all of these polishes but this week kind of just disappeared – I have no idea where it went. So most of these pictures are from the blog archives and I’ll try and remember to link to the posts so you can read my original rambles about the manicures if you would so wish.
Category Number One: Influential Polishes
I have only really been into polish for less than a year and I have been part of the blogging and online nail community for even less than that – hard for me to believe but looking at the calendar it is actually true. One of the most important polishes for getting me into nail art is Barrym Silver Foil which I used for stamping – this was recommended to me Laura of SheWhoDoesNails who is an incredible nail artist and friend from school (also the first person to even make me aware of nailart, so blame her). This is one of the few polishes that I have bought more than one bottle of – it’s amazing, great value and when it comes to stamping, it works EVERY time!
When I started this blog I was newly unemployed with absolutely no idea what I was going to do with my life (not much has changed but some how I seem to have very few hours in the day). I really wanted to be one of those bloggers who did awesome hauls but with little knowledge and even less money in the bank I was just lost for where to start. Then I discovered the W7 section on the (at the time) relatively new Nail Polish Direct website. I nearly wet myself with excitement when I received a box full of polishes just for me. In this early haul I found my first polish love – W7 Roasted Chestnut, a shimmery warm toned brown which even in my novice hands applied beautifully. For the most part this polish now languishes with my other W7s neglected at the back of my drawer but it is still a beautiful polish and I really should dig it out to use it again. So yeh, this polish was the start of the love affair and also part of my first real experience of collection polish and exploring the crazy polish world.
Travelling onward through polish memories… Feels more like the story of my blog and stash but I promise this is about favourite polishes.
Category Two: Indies.
I was an avid blog reader for a long time before I started blogging myself and I used to read about indies and generally not and smile a lot. For the most part I just thought – nice polishes but I am never going to get any (for one reason or another) so lets get back to things I can by. This all changed when my American Friend, Steph, (co-owner of PMPUSA) ordered me a couple of polishes from Daring Digits. More Dots and Neon Sugar were my first ever indies and I thought they were utterly magical. I didn’t really get any more indies for a long time though and the next big indie purchases were from UK Indies (wooo, bring on the brits). More Dots was going to be on this list but I actually don’t have any pictures of it :O and so clearly something else was meant to be on here.
I am not sure if Tara’s Talons was the first ever UK Indie but I think she’s the oldest UK Indie maker/retailer still going in the UK (excluding A England). My first polish from her was called Wise Monkey and this really was a gate way polish and it opened a gate way to me actually getting an entire mini custom collection from the lovely Tara. My favourite from this collection is called Mind Games and is a gold and multicoloured holo glitter polish inspired by American crime drama The Mentalist. All of the polishes were amazing but this polish for me was just perfect in so many ways. So this is number ermm 3 of my Top Ten polishes. Sorry, you can’t ever get this polish but you can always pick up something unique from Tara’s Etsy shop or make your dreams come true with your own custom collection.
This brings me onto polish number four which represents both indies and glitter in my top ten. This is The Angel of Heaven from Nail Lacquer UK and it is one of the more incredible glitter polishes I have ever seen. I just love the blend of glitters that AJ has used and the colours and the holo and the shapes and yeh totally fan girling right now. AJ is releasing some new polishes this weekend (I think) so run and check her out if you like glitter and fun girly polishes. I am not sure what else I can say other than love it.
I should have said that none of these polishes are in a particular order really – I love them all.
Category Number Three: OPI
I love OPI; I finally understand why everyone always blogged about it. I really could have just filled this post with those polishes but as it stands I just have 2 that I have chosen. The first of which is First Date at The Golden Gate. I think every girl/woman needs her signature red colour – whether its for lipstick or nails, or both. I don’t wear lipstick so this autumn I have bought a stupid amount of red polish and this particular share was/is my favourite. I was gutted to take it off to be honest. I know this won’t be the colour for everyone and the formula on this polish is a little thinner than a lot of OPIs making application a little trickier but this is just perfect for me. Whats your signature red?
On to polish number six in this ten polish tour.
Stranger Tides is a love sagey mossy grey-y green and really not a colour I would have ever bought in the early days or even thought of as appropriate for a nail colour. It is beautiful and serene and when I am in one of those moods where I just dont know what to wear this is the polish that I now go to. I originally got it from nail sale as a half empty bottle and now I have a back up because I like it that much. I’ve used it in a couple of posts recently including my remembrance day poppy design.
Category Four: Lemmings
I am not actually someone who lusts over polishes too much – if I want it then I will generally get it but I won’t spend over the odds for things and if I don’t want it enough to get it then I will just move on. There have however been a couple of lemmings in my life. The first ever was Essie Penny Talks. This polish does show ever flaw on your nail but for me I just love that shiney new penny effect. It remains the only Essie in my collection and was gifted to me so it means even more. This isn’t a great metallic for stamping but I have used it for various bits of art detailing here and there. I should really use it more than I do but polish hoarding and untrieds keep distracting me.
The next lemming I ever had was thanks to the Nails Inc addicts in one of my beloved facebook nail groups. Belgrave Mews is a lovely khaki green with bronzey shimmer – I know a few people are using this as an alternative to one of the new RBL shades which are difficult to get hold of here in the UK. This again is not a colour that I would have liked pre-blog but something about nail blogging flips a switch in your brain and you become all about the ugly yet pretty colours.
Category Five: Effects Polishes
I was really late to climb onto the textured trend which continues to be super popular. I must admit I really don’t wear these polishes a lot because they are a bit of an effort to remove but at the same time they are so beautiful that if you’re not changing your polish every day for blogging reasons they’re so worth the effort. I am really lucky to have two collections of textured polishes – one is european brand P2 and the other is American brand Julie G. Neither of these are really easy to get in the UK but if you can get your hands on they’re great alternatives to Zoya Pixie Dust and OPI Liquid Sands. Recently loads of the high street brands have been releasing polishes on this trend and I think its something that everyone should try at least once. My personal favourite of the ones I own is P2 Confidential which is a grey/blue twinkly texture. One of my favourite ever manicures was done with one of the other P2 polishes and I’ll link that HERE so you can check it out.
Category six: Special Mention
I was going to talk about a Barrym polish here but then I remembered something really important in my stash – top and base coats. When I was starting out I rarely used either of these things and now I use them every time I paint my nails. My personal favourites are OPI Natural Nail Base Coat which is pink tinted and can be bought for around £4.99 from Amazon and Nail Polish Direct etc. This is a really great fast drying topcoat that keeps the polish on your nail – I have had no peeling and minimum chips since I started using this. It also protects your natural nail colour. My favourite topcoat is Color Club – I am not sure where you can get this on its own but its in a lot of the multipacks/collections that you can by from TK Maxx and if you ask in a nail sale group someone is bound to have them. I was recently gifted five bottles by a friend. I love this topcoat because it’s glossy, fast drying and also smooths out glitters. It is also pretty hardwearing too. Ticks all the boxes for me.
Category Seven – Sneaky Extras
One of people’s favourite questions to ask indie makers is ‘which of your polishes is your favourite?’ now this is honestly like choosing between your own children. HOWEVER. I do have any answer. Starry Starry Night was the first ever glitter baby I made and I had it all designed in my mind before the glitters even arrived. It’s a pretty simple glitter combination but it’s supposed to be a night sky in a bottle so I used it for this Moon Landings manicure which was my post for the Llama Time Period 1960s challenge. This challenge was one of the most creative challenges I have ever done and hope that one day I will have the time and the energy to go back and do it all again.
So there we go – I hope you’ve enjoyed this mammoth post. If you’ve made it this far… well done you! Below are some inlinkz with hopefully lots of other top ten polishes posts for you to check out and enjoy.
Also just for you, you who made it to the end.. here is a picture of what I have on my nails at the moment. I think that the mixnmatch trend is going to take off because after all – why should we have to choose?