Saturday, April 12, 2014

Unappreciated Polish Reviews

I love nail art. However, my polish hoarding + nail art love= a large cross section of polishes that I've never actually seen. My Houndstooth post brought this to light when I realized I had never really worn Julep Mona long enough to get a feel for it before that mani. Maybe it was time to return to a few of those colors I haven't yet given a fair shake. Get ready, this is a long one...


First on the docket is Julep Octavia, a "smoky indigo creme." You may remember it as a supporting player in my glittery dripping paint design and nautical nail art. You may also remember that I wasn't initially too impressed with Octavia as a standalone color. But much like Octavia Spencer (who is my guess for the namesake of this color), as it trickled into my nail art I began to suspect that Octavia is a power color who deserves a chance to be a leading lady. When worn alone, you really get to see the range of this color, from a dark midnight blue to cheerful deep grape. It's a great blue "neutral"- understated, but not ordinary.


When I first tried Mariska in my April Maven Review post, I was optimistic. The finish was a little odd, but I was willing to try it again sometime. Unfortunately, a full manicure has brought me to the conclusion that this color is not me at all. Without a topcoat, it's matte, which brings down the loud factor...but it's not shiny! With a topcoat, it's a neon orange that reminds me of traffic cones. The barely-there shimmer disappears with topcoat as well.  The formula is ok; it feels thick when you're putting it on, but I still have visible nail line after two coats. Sadly, Mariska will be relegated to neon accents and supporting Peyton Manning with Broncos fanicures.

Making Waves-Sally Hansen Triple Shine

I bought Making Waves secretly hoping it would be a dupe for Nicole by OPI American Ocean, a favorite polish from years ago that I think has since been discontinued. Making Waves is a little greener and more duochrome than I remember American Ocean being. It's very sheer, mostly green, with an interesting lavender sheen in certain light that gradiates into a chrome blue. It reminds me of fish scales (in a good way). One unpleasant surprise- I scratched my head too soon and my polish wrinkled. I guess I'm spoiled-my topcoat usually dries hard in 5 minutes or less. I gently pushed down the wrinkles with my finger, applied one more coat of polish to the ruined nails, and topcoated again. I'm not sure if I just got impatient or if this polish is a little more resistant to quick drying topcoat because of the multiple layers needed. I'm guessing it's a little of both. I like the possibilities of this color for layering and nail art, but I probably won't wear it on it's own very often.

Wined Up-Sally Hansen Insta Dri

It was love at first sight with Wined Up. Deep red was a staple color that went by the wayside for me when I started doing nail art because it tends not to play well with other colors and finishes. A deep, shimmery burgundy, this color is near perfect. It's rich, but not "vampy," a term that instantly turns me off  when I see it in polish reviews- not typically my style. I've absolutely loved every Insta Dri polish that I've tried, and this one is a stunning color with great 1-2 coat application. The chrometastic shine from the topcoat really puts it over the top. Cleanup was a little messy; the red color and sticky shimmer particles made my cuticles look inflamed, but by morning the remaining red tinge had rubbed off of my skin. I could definitely see myself wearing Wined Up when I'm short on nailspiration but don't want to go bare.

Naturally-Nicole for OPI, Selena Gomez

This is a color I've always had mixed feelings about, and kind of still do. I got Naturally and Pretty In Plum ridiculously cheap from the Selena Gomez collection. I've worn Pretty in Plum as a headliner, and I love it. Nicole by OPI polishes are a bit of a weakness for me; they were the first "designer" polishes I ever tried, and for a while the only way I could get them was for my nail tech aunt to get them for me at the beauty supply store. Some teenagers beg adults to buy them cigarettes, I begged them to buy me nail polish. I was thrilled when they went mainstream, but my budget means I have to buy them conservatively. Naturally jumped at me in bottle, but wasn't my cup of tea on the nail. So it sat, occasionally pulled out for an accent, but, appropriately, always a bridesmaid, never a bride. I would describe Naturally as Barbie pink. It's kind of bright, but not a hot pink. It has a little bit of shimmer, almost invisible on the nail. It's nicer than I expected, but I still think it's not a full mani color for my skin tone. Application wasn't great either, I needed three coats to even out the streakiness. It would look great under Julep Maren, which is a pearlier, sheer Barbie pink that I absolutely love. One plus: cleanup was excellent on this color. This is probably the neatest looking mani all week.

All of these swatches are over Bridge the Ridge base coat and under Julep Freedom Polymer topcoat and were taken anywhere from immediately after polishing to one day after. What colors in your collection have been relegated to nail purgatory? Is there a reason for that, or is it time to let them shine?

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