Monday, December 31, 2012

on 6 comments

Top 12 of 2012 - my favourtie commercial polishes

Last post for the year everyone!  I have to say I'm very proud of myself.  I've done a huge 314 blog post this year, and for the last three months I've posted every single day.  I cracked 1.5 million page views and I collaborated with Picture Polish to create my very own shade.  Whoo hoo what a year!

What better way to finish the year that to share my top 12 commercial polishes from this year. Like I explained yesterday, a commercial polish for me is one that is made in a lab, rather than hand mixed.  I also have to say that I think I've been very self controlled with regards to big commercial brands.  

I didn't purchase a single whole collection from any of the big brands like OPI or China Glaze, rather I just bought one or two polishes that really stood out to me.  The growth in my collection was mostly indie polishes and just about all of commercial brands I purchased were smaller brands like aEngland, Layla and Pretty Serious.

Magnetic polishes were huge earlier this year.  I remember when I got my very first magnetic polish a couple of years ago and I was amazed.  Now they are so common that we are all a bit blasé about them.  

2012 was also the year of the holo!  So many brands did amazing holo polishes, Layla, HITS, Ludurana, Jade, Color Club, FNUG to mention just a few - now we are just waiting to get the new China Glaze holos in 2013.  I don't think I'll ever got blasé about holos.

The crackle finish died but the 'spotted' finish became quite a stir.  And of course I have to mention the Fantasy Fire craze sparked by it's Clarins 230esque red to green colour shift.  This same red to green colour shifting pigment was also widely used in many indie brands to create 230 dupes.  

We've also seen the commercial brands starting to notice of the indies and coming out with polishes that look much more like indies. eg Nails Inc with the sprinkles, Models Own with the Mirrorball and even China Glaze with some of the Cirque du Soleil polishes.

Nail polish really came a long way this year.  I can't wait to see what 2013 brings us (although I hope it's not more of those liquid sand polishes, they make me want to vomit).

Anyway, lets get on with it.  This first polish in my top 12 should be no surprise to anyone!

Picture Polish - Kryptonite (or as I like to call it 'my polish').  I'm not even going to say why this one is here!

Picture Polish - Cosmos.  Late this year Picture Polish created this new shade in the same formula as Kryptonite, but a rich dark blue.  Completely stunning and instantly into my top polishes.

Pretty Serious - Santas Sunburn.  I never really thought I would have a red polish in my top list, but this polish really amazed me.  It's basically a one coater and is the most stunning metallic red polish I own.  The funny thing is I wasn't even going to get this one, but because you get 10% off when you purchase a full collection, it means the last polish is only about $3, so at that price I thought I may as well.

Pretty Serious - BSOD.  There were so many amazing polishes from Pretty Serious this year.  Congrats Kaz you really did a spectacular job.  I nearly added Poltergeist Puddle to this list too! But I had already included three Pretty Serious shades.

Gold Glass Fleck - Pretty Serious Mummy Mush, Zoya Ziv and OPI Golden Eye.  Yep I'm completely cheating here and included three shades in one.  I just couldn't pick between these three polishes.  I created this gradient using all three polishes.  OPI Golden Eye at the top, Zoya Ziv in the middle and Pretty Serious Mummy Mush at the bottom.  It was absolutely stunning and combined all three of my favourite gold glass fleck polishes from this year (but it was a bitch to clean up cause those glass fleck stick everywhere)

Layla - Metal Chrome. The Layla Mirror Effect Polishes are hands down the smoothest and most reflective chrome polishes available.  This whole collection was gorgeous, although I would have liked to see a larger variety of colours (I wanted a gold chrome and green chrome too).  Yes, they do show every single imperfection on your nail, so you either need to buff your nails or wear a very high gloss base coat (I highly recommend soak off gels beneath these mirrors, they look amazing and last so much better.

OPI - Don't Pretzel my Buttons.  Can you believe this was the only OPI shade I purchased this year (although I was gifted the James Bond minis for my birthday).  This polish from the Germany collection has become my go to nude shade.  The formula is perfect and the colour great on me.

Nude holographic - I'm about to cheat on this one too.  I'm completely in love with neutral holographic polishes.  I couldn't split these three:

Color Club - Cherubic.

JOSS - Tanstasic Glow

Layla - Coral Glam

Jade -Fasicinio Violeta.  There were some amazing colours in these Jade holos, The red, the gold, the black - oh who am I kidding they were all awesome.  I ended up choosing the purple one to add to my top polishes this year.  This collection is a must have for any holo lover.

Layla - Flash Black. Are you sensing a theme here yet? The Layla holographic polihses hit the market with a huge flare with eight colours, but then, just a few months later they came out with eight more shades to make a full collection of 16 stunning linear holos.  I just love this charcoal holo.

Ulta3 - Over the rainbow.  Each year Ulta3 manages to bring out at least one polish that makes it into my top polishes.  Over the rainbow is such an awesome glitter with all the different colours and sizes, and it's still only $2.  Thats the best glitter bomb buy of the year.

Finally, for my last polish in the top 12 - I'm cheating for the third time.

China Glaze - Running in Circles. So I don't actually have this polish in my hands just yet, it's still in the post.  But I know it's going to be in my top 12 for this year.  And if I don't add it now then I can't include it next year because it was released in 2012.  I will add a swatch here as soon as it arrives.

I also have one last special mention - aEngland Dragon and the other polishes from the Legends collection.  Stunning polishes, but they were pipped at the post by the Layla Holos for me.

Well that's all for this year.  

Happy New Year to you all!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

on 12 comments

Top 12 of 2012 - my favourite indie polishes

Here are my the top twelve indie polishes.  In determining what is 'indie' and what is 'commercial' I based it on whether it is hand made or whether it is made in a lab. Therefore brands like aEngland, Cult Nails, Pretty Serious and Picture Polish are commercial for me.

As you could know, there are now literally hundreds of indie brands available, and sadly I only have a small selection of those brands in my collection. I have no Hare, no Dollish, no Pahlish, no Girly Bits, no Nerd Lacquers, no Happy Hands, no KBShimmers the list goes on and on. I've only chosen my top twelve from polishes that I own and from polishes that were released this year.  I'm certain that if I had some polishes from those brands listed above I would have a very different top twelve.

There are no surprises to me that four Lynnderella polishes make my top 12.

Lynnderella  - Ghost of a Chance - This was such a huge surprise for me,  I had no idea that I would love this as much as I did when I put it on.  Those pastel matte and satin finish glitters are just so delicate in this.

Lynnderella - Salad Days - Truly an inspired polish! Its green and sparkly and it contains tomatoes, carrots and purple cabbage :)

Lynnderella - Golden Rules - clearly no surprises here for anyone that knows I love gold like Goldmember!  I swear she made this just for me!

Lynnderella - The stars in her eyes. The 'galaxy nails in a bottle' polish.  I seriously stared at my nails all day when I wore this one.  What the photos don't capture are the holographic colour reflections.   The iridescent blue together with those teeny tiny stars is just perfection.

Smitten Polish -Adeste Fedelis. I only just got this one on Christmas Eve, so I don't know whether its just because I wore it so recently that it stuck in my mind.  Then again, I could easily have chosen many Smitten polishes to be in this spot.  I want it now, Pure Imagination, You're turning violet, Violet and Confection were all stand outs for me!

Emily de Molly - When Planets Collide. Yay for Aussie indies, I have three of them in my top 12.  The inky blue jelly base with the perfect balance of glitter won me over with this one.

Enchanted Polish - Hey Jude.  Enchanted polish knocked it out of the park with their holo/multichrome polishes.  The whole Beatles collection was awesome and I just might stab someone to get a bottle of Austin Powers.

Contrary Polish - Purple Smoke.  The whole Contrary polish collection is just stunning.  I fell in love with the dusty and smokey polishes with their gorgeous and complex shimmers.  Purple Smoke is one of those classic Contrary shades, it's so beautiful!

Glimmer by Erica - Ethereal.  Other than Lynnderella polishes, my Glimmer by Erica shades were the very first indies polishes I tried, some of the earlier shades had some reflective curling and a bit of partial bleeding. Ethereal was from a new range and it totally blew me away.  A gorgeous colour combo of glitters, perfectly matched here with Picture Polish Marine.

Gloss 'n Sparkle - Edge of the World. Do I even need to say anything else about this one? Teal green jelly with green and aqua glitters.  Stunning.

Femme Fatale - Ghoulish Glee. From her halloween trio, this one was just awesome.  My photos of it really didn't do it justice, my nails were short and stumpy and light reflections washed out the colour.  This was jam packed with glitter but it wasn't dry and it was easy to apply - even with those bar glitters.

Crows Toes - Absolum your potions master. Yep it's ultra thick formula almost makes you think your polish has dried out, but hell yeah, Laurie knows how to make a beautiful polish. There are a number of her polishes that could be listed here, but sadly I only own two of her shades.  My pictures of this are shitty, but I can easily see why this one made the MUA top indie polishes.

So there you have it.  I'd love you to tell me some of your top indie polishes in the comments below (especially from brands I don't own - so I know what to keep a lookout for)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

on 9 comments

Top 12 of 2012 - My nail art

To wrap up this year I have decided to create three Top 12 of 2012 posts.  This first one is my favourite 12 nail art designs that I created this year.  The next two days will feature my top 12 indie polishes and my top 12 commercial polishes.

My holographic butterflies - this was the first nail art design I created using the print at home temporary tattoo paper.  See my holo butterflies post and the tutorial.

Ninjago nails.  I love these nails I created for one of my nephews 4th birthday party.  Would you believe that my ninjago nail art post is consistantly one of my top viewed pages? See my ninjago nails post.

I did a whole series of holographic gradients this year, but out of all of them, this was my favourite.  It was created using China Glaze OMG, IDK and LOL.  See my original post with the purple holo gradient.

Another design created with temporary tattoo paper. Dragon nail art post.

While my stamping technique was well below average on this one, the overall effect was one that I loved. Bar code nail art post.

Yep, another temporary tattoo nail art design.  This one is based on the mathematical mandelbrot set. See my original post with more photos.
I loved lots of the designs we all created during the Halloween challenge, and this was one of my favourties, created for the 'witch' theme.

At the beginning of the year I created a number of Aussie themed manis around Australia day.  I'm hoping to do the same this January if I can think of enough new ideas.  I really loved this bogan Aussie chant on my nails. See original Aussie Oi post.

Another from my Aussie theme week, yep that is Uluru.  I did this one using print at home water decal slide paper.  I've learn't so much since this mani - like how to create a decent gradient! Original post.

One of my more recent manis.  That over used cliche of 'it look much better in real life' certainly applied to this one. See more pictures on my original challenge post.

Inspired by other nail bloggers Kayla Shevonne and solensdanserinde, this design sparked my love of rhinestones. See black with rainbow rhinestones blog post

Finally, anther design from the Halloween challenge.  Classic black and orange with swarms of bats flying closer. Original post.
So there you have it. My favourite nail art designs from this year.  I wonder what will inspire me next year.

Friday, December 28, 2012

on 4 comments

Pretty Serious - They came from beyond space

I've had these pictures for quite a while, and just haven't got around to showing them yet.  I guess is wasn't totally happy with the pictures, because they fail to capture all the gorgeous duochrome colours in these polishes, but I'm getting low of material to show (blogging every day is a tough gig to keep up with!)

Atomic Brain - predominantly a purple foil but has a obvious metallic golden pink shift.  Three coats with seche vite top coat.  This has the same base and shift colour as China Glaze No Plain Jane from the Bohemian collection, but this has a foil finish and is completely steak free. It is also like Ozoitc Scatter Chrome 912 - but without any of the holo particles.

Phantom Planet - yellow green with that shifts to blue.  This has the same base and shift colour as China Glaze Unpredictable/Missha HGR001/Peripera Metallic Green, but this has a foil finish and is completely steak free.  It is also like Ozoitc Scatter Chrome 915 - but without any of the holo particles.

Galaxy Invader - aqua blue metallic foil that shifts to purple.  Three coats with seche vite top coat. This ones seems to be the most unique for me.  There isn't a matching polish from the China Glaze Bohemians, or in the Ozotic Scatter chromes, although the colour combination of aqua to purple seems a very familiar one to me.

The formula on all these was a little thick, but excellent to apply .  I hate a watery runny polish that floods your cuticles. I also love that you don't have to wear a black base, but of course if you wanted to you can.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

on 3 comments

Lynnderella - VamPink

Lynnderella VamPink, two coats layered over Picture Polish Vampire.  Both the polish names and the polish colours are a perfect match.

I definitely prefer VamPink over Very Pretty Vampire. I think it's the holo bits in VamPink that do it for me. They are both quite different polishes.  There are no red hexes in this and this ones doesn't seem as dark, probably from less black hexes.

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I live in Canberra, Australia with my husband, Mr Ten and Miss Eight. My blog is all about nail polish, and a few other bits in between. You can contact me at