la colors

Polish Project #48

by Jamie Sanford on December 8, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.


OK, first, let’s see where this all began:

For some reason, it never occurred to me to take a picture of the before shelf with a real camera instead of my phone. Either way, you get the idea. My homemade shelf was STUFFED with polishes, you can sort of see some of the bulging in a few spots. It was clearly out of control. I had no more room to shop, and no REASON to shop.

The Project

So I started this little project, where I figured I should test all of the polishes before I bought any more. I started testing polishes one by one, painting my nails and commenting on a spreadsheet derived from Sara‘s about application and staying power. I took pictures with my phone and blogged about them.

Soon enough, I realized that this was going to take a long damn time, and started grouping polishes by color. I wore a series of 5 pastels at one time – the Easter egg manicure, and did color gradients with purples, reds, blues. The grouping certainly helped things move along much faster. And meant less time exposing my nails to the acetone – and I still use acetone because of this amazing Target plastic bristle jar of polish remover.

I don’t remember how long it took me to break and buy polishes. I do believe I broke down when Walgreens was having a clearance event, and the Sally Hansen HD polishes were something like $1.25 each. I just checked and I was only on post 7, but it was a tough road to go from just collecting polishes to nothing. I bought a few, fell absolutely in love with the first one, and then hunted down the rest, all on clearance. I didn’t feel as bad about it.

So, from there, I bought a few here and there, sometimes on sale, sometimes just stuff I could not resist. I bought Fergie’s Hollywood Walk of Fame because I wanted those stars, and I bought random Orlys because they looked gorgeous. (The Orly polishes did not disappoint.) I definitely picked up some Hunger Games polishes when they were on clearance at Sally’s too, although 2 were for my Mom, who has benefited the most from this experience.

Perhaps the greatest success of this project was Mom telling me that she can’t even look at her old polishes anymore since she has so many fabulous new ones – and let me tell you, Mom had a penchant for some unfortunate brick-hued polishes before. I’m pretty sure her favorite out of what I’ve sent was either a Nicole by OPI shimmery orange (which I can’t find so I think I gave it to her pre-project), or King Arthur by A England. I am going to try to get her started on layering polishes when I see her for the holidays.

So, here at the end, my polish shelf doesn’t look all that different, at least if you only glance at it.

It looks full, right? Also the picture is 1500x better. Either way, you can see that the polishes are not all cramped and shoved in together like they were for the first image. The top 2 shelves are all OPIs, including minis. Then we have China Glaze, Orly, Essie, Sally Hansen, NYC, A England, Sinful Colors, Milani, Revlon, LA Colors, Zoya. The bottom row has Wet ‘n Wild on the far right, with Sephora by OPI next to them, and the rest of the row is single polishes from brands I have not frequented.

Lessons Learned

  • I very much prefer dark polishes to light ones, although the light ones have their moments.
  • I do NOT need every polish in a collection because they are a collection. I know now to check out blogger swatches and decide which polish is something I really want to wear.
  • A England polishes are superior to anything else I currently have in the collection. I bought 3 more of them last week because they had a sale – I have no regret or shame about it. If I was forced to, I would give up the rest of the collection and just use A England forever.
  • I need to get more into layering polishes. My favorite manicure of this entire project was a 3-layer creation.
  • I suck at stamping, and I’m not sure I care.
  • The dotting tool is totally fun. Not as fun as asking your husband to draw dots on your nails with a nail art pen though.

I am going to attempt to keep track of the polishes I use most frequently in 2013. I figure that this is definitely the next best way to cull the herd. I definitely still have a lot of blue and purple polish, probably more than necessary, but things being necessary was never the point of this, was it?

New project for next year, one much more in line with my career intentions. I will keep sharing polish experiences though. Thanks to everyone who read my posts and talked to me about the finer points of nail polish – it was an experience I did not expect.

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Polish Project #41

by Jamie Sanford on November 10, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

3. OPI My Private Jet (retesting)
149. LA Colors Unnamed White (Found in a set at TJ Maxx, cannot find this online)
31.5 Sinful Colors Hottie (retesting)

Batch of retesting, and another random from the cheap LA Colors set I bought.

OPI My Private Jet, LA Colors unnamed white, Sinful Colors Hottie.

Thoughts: This version of MPJ is not the holo superstar version. The LA Colors is just a white polish, and I don’t have another one. I do kind of enjoy the whole winter wonderland I’m getting with the LA Colors white with Sinful Colors Hottie on top.
Verdict: I’m sharing My Private Jet, and keeping the others.

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Polish Project #34

by Jamie Sanford on September 27, 2012

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130. LA Colors Unnamed Black (from the set referenced here – can’t find this online)
131. Orly Flash Glam FX Can’t Be Tamed

LA Colors Unnamed Black and Orly Flash Glam FX Can’t Be Tamed.

BAM! Sparkletime.

Glitter detail.

Thoughts: I pretty much will not say no to a black polish since I love using black as the base for many manicures. This one is totally serviceable, and even if it sucks, putting a bunch of glitter on top will certainly add to the staying power. I found this Orly Flash Glam FX polish on clearance at Sally Beauty Supply, which I don’t understand since it is really gorgeous. I kept this manicure for a few days longer than normal, because the staying power was great and you can see how pretty it is.
Verdict: They both get to stay, and Orly Can’t Be Tamed is my current favorite glitter polish.

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Polish Project #33

by Jamie Sanford on September 24, 2012

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128. LA Colors Unnamed Magenta (from the set referenced here – can’t find this online)
129. Milani HD

Holographic goodness on the right!

…and then it got weird.

So, this is another of the LA Colors set that I tried in the last post. This color is actually quite nice. There is really unfortunate applications issues there, and I can’t figure out if it is just topcoat shrinkage or what. Anyway, the magic was that the HD polish, which is so silver looking in the bottle, turned into matching scattered holo when placed over the LA Colors.

Thoughts: As much as the color is nice, you can see what happened to me during application. I only needed to try one nail to know I was keeping anything from the Milani 3D Holographic collection.
Verdict: LA Colors gets shared, Milani HD stays. I can’t wait to try the Milani HD over other colors to see if this is always the magic that will ensue!

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Polish Project #32

by Jamie Sanford on September 22, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

123 – 126. LA Colors Unnamed Polishes from this set that I found at TJ Maxx.

Pardon my setup, doing my nails can be messy.

127. Spoiled Did I Dye My Hair Too Blonde (I can’t find this online, but I got it at CVS.)

You really do get what you pay for.

This was my first big attempt at using the dotting tool. More on that in a minute.

Unfortunate bubbles.

Thoughts: These are all inexpensive polishes, and I am a spoiled princess who wants polishes that glide on all easily with tons of pigment. This purple as a base was fine, so I’m assuming that the rest would be OK. The Spoiled polish is represented as ugly colored dots, since the green came out looking like a nice bright green.
Verdict: The Spoiled polish is going. I did try it on a wheel and it is seriously highlighter yellow on the nails. The green can stay, but the orange, pink and purple are going in the share pile.

Dotting tool!

I bought this Martha Stewart dotting tool from Michael’s after seeing other people talk about dotting tools in nail tutorials. I like this technique since I fared much better than with stamping, so I want to try again, but I do believe a selection of differently-sized tools is probably helpful. All of my dots tend to be a bit too big for my liking.

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