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 #45

by Jamie Sanford on December 1, 2012

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155. Kleancolor Chunky Copper
156. Revlon Rain Forest

Kleancolor Chunky Copper on right (photographed with Milani Black on Black, which I used as a base coat).

Bottle porn – sparkly bits!

Weird orangey tinge to the base color and awesome glitter bits that don’t spread out very well.

Works much better over black.

Thoughts: This Kleancolor is the STINKIEST nail polish I have ever used. So many fumes. However, the end result was really fun and sparkled like crazy. This over black were my Halloween nails and I loved it.
Verdict: Totally staying, I have nothing else like this, regardless of application difficulty.

Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish in Rain Forest.

Not so good with application. Plus, I keep breaking nails and then filing the rest down so they sort of match. Good times.

Thoughts: I saw this on a few blogs, and I love green, and I thought it was going to be amazing, but I am not in love with it.
Verdict: Share! I think Mom will get this one.

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Polish Project #43

by Jamie Sanford on November 16, 2012

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151. Revlon Emerald
38. Sally Hansen Spectrum (retesting)
152. Wet ‘n Wild Hollywood Walk of Fame

Revlon Emerald, Sally Hansen Spectrum, Wet ‘n Wild Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Thoughts: Somehow I missed Emerald when I was testing the green polishes. It is similar to Don’t Mess with OPI but I love green so much that I don’t care. I threw the Spectrum over another test of Emerald because Spectrum is always good times. Hollywood Walk of Fame is a pain. Obviously I bought it because it has stars in it. Well, they do not apply so well.
Verdict: Everyone gets to stay. I don’t have an exact dupe for Emerald and I love green so it stays. I already loved Spectrum. The HWoF stars are annoying, but I can manually apply them when I really need stars.

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Polish Project #31

by Jamie Sanford on September 18, 2012

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120. Color Club Hologram (I can’t find this online to link to.)

This is a random nail art polish that I picked up a while back. I have never really used it but it looks pretty in the bottle.

You can see the unfortunate texture happening here.

Here’s the brush, which you can see is really long and weird. It was just sort of messy overall.

Thoughts: It’s pretty but I can sort of recreate the look with other things I have, and application is almost impossible. If I am supposed to use this for nail art, it would probably not work out.
Verdict: I already tossed this since I don’t wish this chunky polish on anyone.

121. Revlon Mistletoe
122. OPI Pirouette My Whistle

Not so much focus on that OPI bottle, but you get the idea.

Base coat of Revlon Mistletoe, OPI Pirouette My Whistle topcoats on the index and ring fingers. Mistletoe is a weird blackish base with sort of a muted gold thing happening in the glitter bits, it’s hard for me to explain. It applies well and dries fast. The Pirouette My Whistle is a mix of big silver glitter bits and smaller glitter bits that appear to flash purple.

Thoughts: I wanted PMW to be a dupe of Servin’ Up Sparkle which I LOVE but it isn’t at all. It’s still a great topcoat though. Mistletoe is sort of meh for me. I am not obsessed with it.
Verdict: I think I will keep Pirouette My Whistle and part with Mistletoe.

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Polish Project #22

by Jamie Sanford on August 31, 2012

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90. Revlon Supernova
91. Milani Digital
92. Orly Cabana Boy
93. OPI Pink Flamenco

Listed as seen above. Pink party!

Index – Milani Digital. Middle – OPI Pink Flamenco. Ring – OPI Pink Flamenco with topcoat of Milani Digital. Pinkie – Orly Cabana Boy with topcoat of Revlon Supernova. (Cabana Boy without Supernova  is on my thumb, which you cannot see.)

I saw Supernova in the store and was SO EXCITED because these Revlon Moon Candy things were BOGO and this looks like flakies so I was really into it.

Then it decided to apply like this, which was really sad. Especially since the best flakie I’ve ever had (Zoya Maisie) is really ridiculously good (looking).

I also photographed the thumb separately to show what was happening with the Orly Cabana Boy. Ignore the part where I can’t paint anywhere close to the cuticle and focus on the VNL that was still there after many many coats.

Thoughts: Milani Digital and OPI Pink Flamenco both rock my world. They have great application and are beautiful. Orly Cabana Boy is a random mini and I’m not into jelly polishes that are never opaque. I have to test the polish on the other side from Supernova but I don’t think I’ll be putting that on my nails again.
Verdict: Orly Cabana Boy goes into the share pile for anyone into that. Everyone else stays – Milani and OPI for good, the Revlon for more testing.

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