In the spirit of wrapping up the year, I thought it would be fun to take a break this week from my Chanel collection, and show you some of the other great polishes I discovered in the last few months. Most of these are drugstore brands, so if you feel like experimenting with nail polish, one of these might just be your “gateway drug”. Ahem!
First up, Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in Barracuda, from the most recent Tracy Reese collaboration. I’m a sucker for pale blues, and this one was a truer blue than most. I loved how the colour looked on my hands, and the application was pretty good for a pastel – it was even in two coats.

Moving towards the greener end of the spectrum, Essie’s Mint Candy Apple is (despite the name) a pretty, pale aqua. I loved it topped off with a coat of Essie’s Shine of the Times for a bit of festive cheer.
Still in the blue family (notice a trend here?), China Glaze’s Sea Spray is a pale grey creme. It actually has some warm undertones, which make it a great base colour for White Cap, a sheer white polish packed with gold micro-shimmer. I can’t describe the effect any better than to say that it reminds me of shiny gift wrapping paper.
Speaking of sparkly, get a hold of L’Oreal’s Owl’s Night! A dark, greenish-copper base packed with gold and bronze glitter – it’s quite a stunner. For any Project Runway fans, this was part of the limited edition, tie-in collection, which is still available in some stores now. Sadly, this one doesn’t wear as well as my Essies and China Glazes, but it’s worth the effort for the unique colour alone.
This stunning raspberry scattered holo from the OPI Designer Series (Extravagance) was a late addition to my polish hoard last year, but it’s a stunner. I love jewel tones, and this one looks like it has actual jewels crushed into it.

I love to “franken” my manicure by layering different polishes to get unique colours and finishes. One of my favourite frankens uses Maybelline’s Cool Couture (below) as its base. This one is a pretty colour all on its own; the subtle teal shimmer makes it a bit more special than your average grey-blue polish.
Add a coat of Sally Hansen HD Nail Colour in DVD (a purple-blue duochrome glitter), and a coat of China Glaze’s Fairy Dust (a scattered holo glitter in clear base) and – voila! Glitter overload!

I’m not a huge OPI fan (although I love its Designer Series polishes), but the recent Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired collection was pretty great. I have 3 of the polishes, including Mermaid’s Tears and Skull & Glossbones (see below), but my favourite is Stranger Tides – a greyed-out pale green. It’s a twist on a “neutral” manicure; the colour is unique, but subtle, and ever-so-flattering on my beyond-pale skin.
Of course, I couldn’t resist layering White Cap over it – and loved the results!!
I have yet to try out Mermaid’s Tears, but if it’s half as great as Stranger Tides and Skull & Glossbones – an ethereal pale grey – then it’s probably going to make my 2012 list of favourite manis.
You have not forgotten my love of linear holo polishes, have you? Neither have I. I was thrilled to get my hands on this bright green version from Nubar (Reclaim). It looks darker in the photo below because I layered it over a coat of Gosh Nero (an amazing creme black polish) to intensify the colour; on its own, Reclaim is more grass-green than emerald, but very eye-catching nonetheless.

Last, but not least, I had to add Metallic Sage to the list. Did you know that Estee Lauder has nail polish? I didn’t, but I was thrilled to discover this polish. A muted olive-khaki with a hint of gold shimmer, it’s one of those ugly-beautiful greens that I just adore. [Maybe because they’re usually quite flattering to redheads. Just a guess.] In a way, I think of it as a less showy cousin of Wallis, my favourite butter LONDON polish, which I have already written about. I can’t seem to get enough of these!

Stay tuned for more nail polish adventures in 2012!

4 Comments on Manicure of the week: best of the rest

  1. They’re lovely on pale complexions (no lobster hands, haha!). Definitely check them out – I’ve seen them at Winners occasionally, and they’re a good deal.

    My collection is definitely growing, though nowhere near as extensive as some people’s. Still, not shabby, considering I only started getting into nail polish a few months ago.

  2. Thanks BluMochi! I would be happy to send it to you. Do you have Purple Trend? They’re an interesting duo, but I’ve been trying to downsize lately. If you like, message me at bluecollarredlipstick at gmail dot com ๐Ÿ™‚