Sunday, January 10, 2016

Second Chance Mani Do Overs

Have you ever tried a polish and said "meh," dropping it in your stash as unimpressive, only to decide later that it very well may be your Favorite Polish of All Time? I know I have. I hate the idea of having great polish going unused, so I decided to dust off a few of those "meh" shades for polish Do Overs! The rules were that it couldn't be a polish I use regularly for manis or nail art, has to be a polish that I disliked because of the color itself, not formula or some other reason unrelated to the particular shade, and I wore them all for at least a full day. Here's what happened.

I started out with Julep Rochelle. When I first picked it up, I tried it on and thought it was...fine, I guess. It was purple. I have a love/hate relationship with purples-I have dozens, and some of my best loved shades are purple, but I tend to find purple polishes uninspiring in general. Then I kept picking up Sinful Shine Haute Shine and thinking "I already have Rochelle, it's nothing special, and this one looks just like it," so I decided I needed to crack out Rochelle again before buying a dupe. Turns out, I love Rochelle! It's a gorgeous, glowy shimmer that applied beautifully and looks rich and elegant. It's almost chromy, and the shine is fantastic. I have a coat of Sinful Shine topcoat over it here, but it shines on its own as well. This is two easy coats. I did have some tip wear pretty quickly, but this one is still officially back in the rotation.

My next Do Over was Sinful Shine Prosecco. I was so disappointed when I bought this one a few months ago. I had oohed and ahhed over it in a display but didn't buy, and when I went back for it, it wasn't there. It suddenly became a unicorn. I needed it. I obsessed over other bloggers' swatches. I scanned the displays in multiple stores looking for it, only to leave dejected. So when I finally found it on eBay for $7.99, I snatched it up.

You have to understand, I'd just paid eight dollars for a polish that retails less than $2, waited a week to get it, then put it on my nails and hated it. Not just didn't love it, straight up hated everything about it. Super thin formula. Terrible with my skin tone, even though on paper it should have looked great. Between the formula and the finish, couldn't even use it for nail art. Three strikes. I pushed it to the back of my Sinful Colors stash and growled a little every time I looked at it.

My relationship with this polish is now better, but still strained. This was 4 coats, and it took a very long time to dry. I still think it's completely wrong for me, but when I was wearing it, I had to appreciate that gold shimmer. I probably won't wear it alone again, but maybe there's some hope with layering?

The last polish granted a do-over this round was Essie A Cut Above, from their LuxEffects lineup. I've used this polish here and there for nail art, but it never really struck me as a headliner. A Cut Above is kind of basic: shimmery pink hex glitter in different sizes in a clear base. It's my only Essie polish, gifted to me by someone who didn't think it was her style. Since it is a topper (and I don't think it was ever intended to be a standalone), I paired it with Julep Linda, a cool pale grey. I love pink and grey together, especially in the winter for some reason, so I hoped it would bring out the best in it. For the most part, I was right. Linda and A Cut Above seem to play well together. Linda is warmer and more lavender toned when they're teamed up, which looked nice with my skin tone, and A Cut Above's sparkle was more sophisticated on a neutral base. I really like this mani.

That being said, I don't particularly like this polish any more than I did before. Because all of the glitter is the same shade, it falls a touch flat. What really tipped the odds against it was the application. Because I was going for gradiation, I had to do quite a bit of manipulating to get the glitter where I wanted it. I like the finished effect, but it wasn't very cooperative when I was trying to get it. All in all, the re-try didn't improve my opinion of this polish. It's just not exciting enough to be worth the price tag.

Even though two of my three do-overs still struck out, I enjoy retrying polishes I wasn't initially in love with every now and then. My tastes change sometimes, or I notice a new way that this polish could fit into my style. And you never know when a polish will be exactly right for the look you're going for, so pulling out colors I don't wear often reminds me what I have available. What's a polish that didn't win you over right away, but now you love it?