Monday, December 30th, 2013

I have to admit: this was a complete challenge. In fact, it felt unfair trying to narrow down favorites to a mere ten when I was considering around 300 different shades from the past year. As what tends to happen when I start to feel indecisive, I went for favorites across brands and weighted uniqueness slightly more heavily than other factors. But there were some really outstanding formulas released this year! At year-end, I have to give major props to Cult Nails and OCC, both of which had a lot of contenders.

What were your favorite polishes you tried this past year?

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59 thoughts on “Top 10 of 2013: Best Nail Lacquers

  1. I think the only nail polishes I bought this year were from OPI and none was a new shade – I got Affair in Red Square, Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ, Suzi Says Da, Bastille My Heart, Don’t Know, Beets Me and It’s all Greek to Me all on sale half price (SCORE) at a beauty supply store in my neighbourhood. But I don’t think any of these shades is exclusively from 2013.

  2. Andie

    Your choices are AMAZING. I love every single one of them. You have excellent taste Christine!

  3. My favorites are:
    1) Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Rubis and Taboo
    2) China Glaze Nail Lacquers in Fade into Hue and Tart-y for the Party
    3) Deborah Lippman Nail Lacquers in Fake It Til You Make It and Million Dollar Mermaid
    4) Dior Diorific Vernis in Minuit
    5) Guerlain Le Vernis in Champs Elysees and Madame Batifole
    6) Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Facet, Freckle, and Mottle
    7) Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polishes in Become One, Fire Queen, Forgiveness, and Scrangie 2.0

  4. I really need to get Cult Nails Faded… I purchased Let’s Get Dirty after seeing your review and was so impressed with application. I’m really impatient with nail polish and the Cult Nails formula made getting a neat finish easy, even for me. I also like the Dior shade above it, and the first Cult Nails shade, but I personally wouldn’t wear them often. Same with the Zoya and UD!
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  5. A Name

    Agreed on the Color Club holos. I wish Cult Nails were more easily available here in the UK. I can’t really justify the delivery price, however amazing Masquerade may look. I haven’t tried any Illamasqua yet, but they have 3 for £30 on their website with free delivery, and Facet was going to be one of the ones I got.

    Have you tried any A England? I don’t know how easy they are to get in the US, but they’re probably the best quality polishes I’ve tried so far – they practically apply themselves, are very pigmented and I get great wear time with them.

    • Ooh, you should try Illamasqua! That sounds like a good deal. One of my all-time favorite formulas!

      I have tried A England before! I think I have maybe two or three shades rattling about somewhere.

      • Sabinene

        Facet is not available in the U.S. Should not have been included in BO 2013.

        • Hi Sabinen,

          The information I received from Illamasqua’s corporate office was that Bloomingdale’s carries Facet (or at least did when it was released–I sent my inquiry to Illamasqua in December). You can also order from Illamasqua’s website directly – as anyone can. These are my top tens, so they’re my personal picks based on my criteria, not yours, – so maybe yours wouldn’t have included it, and I invite you to share yours!

          • Sabinene

            Too bad it is not available on the Bloomindale’s website now. Also shipping directly from Illamasqua’s website costs $21 to the U.S. Ouch! Looks like a beautiful color; too bad it is no longer available in the U.S.

            • I know if you purchase over 50 pounds, international shipping is free, though I don’t know if there is a surcharge for polish due to new shipping restrictions (affected polish/fragrance globally).

  6. Oh wow that taupe one is AMAZING

  7. Taboo! <3
    That Illamasqua one looks incredible, too. And I'm so sad we don't get Marc Jacobs beauty productq here, there are quite a few that sound appealing.

  8. Jen

    Beautiful picks! Petra and Facet are definitely among my faves too! xo

  9. Wet n Wild Mazel Tov Madness was my favourite polish this year, by far. And Sally Hansen’s Pacific Blue would be second.
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  10. Bre

    That Cult Nails pale gray is gorgeous it looks vanillaish/creamish gorgeous!
    2013 I’ve been loving
    Zoya Darcy, Charisma
    Nars Amchoor
    Deborah Lippman Candy Shop?
    OPI Beach Cruiser & Cabana Boy & this blue shade*brain freeze*

  11. A. Mar

    I adored the Zoya releases this year.

    I find myself, as I did last year, saving links to all your end of the year lists to refer back to later for purchases. The Color Club choice looks divine!

  12. CeeBee

    My top 10 (in no particular order)…

    Milani 1 Coat Glitter in Purple Gleam – Violet. Sparkles. Amazing. (needs about 3 layers of topcoat but worth it!)
    LA Girl Rockstar polish in Groupie – definitely a top pick for me!
    LA Girl Nude Lacquers in Antique (subtle, creamy greyed lilac cream) and Intimate (sheer, smoky pink translucence) both utterly lovely.
    China Glaze For Audrey – I know it’s been around for ever but I only just got it and it’s incredible.
    China Glaze Riveting (Hunger Games) – luminous gold flecked orange.
    LA Girl Birthday Cake – cupcake pink with multi glitter, so fun!
    Jordana nail polish in Frozen Grape – an utterly perfect berry cream for $2
    NYX Advanced Salon Formula in Lime – metallic chartreuse that always gets comments!
    Jordana Texture Glitters – all of them are cool but Light Amethyst is a favourite.

    None of these brands are even available in New Zealand and I pay horrendous shipping fees but it’s worth it to have these lovelies!

  13. Mine were from O.P.I. and the China Glaze holos.
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  14. Sue

    There’s quite a lot, mostly indies. I don’t think I could make a top 10.
    Cirque Tibetian Nights, Coronation Street, and Electric Circus.
    Cult Nails Manipulative and Miss Conduct
    Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like, Bring on the Bling, and Diamonds and Pearls
    YSL Jade Imperiale 34 and Premiere Neige
    Jin Soon Blue Iris, Charade, Gossamer, and Gala
    Colors by Llarowe Unorthodox Annie, Smooth Criminal, Paper Moon and Oh Christmas Tree
    Elevation Polish Malaspina Glacier
    Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie 2.0, Turn It Around, Lucciole and Revellion
    Girly Bits Shift Happens
    Fnug Long Johns, Got to Have, and Trendsetter
    Dior Nirvana
    Illamasqua Cameo
    OPI Damone Roberts
    L’oreal Royalty Reinvented and New Money
    Butter London Two Fingered Salute
    Le Metier de Beaute Dream Maker and Midnight Rendezvous
    Enchanted Polish Flamingo Freckles and Time to Pretend

  15. How hard was it to put this list together?? :-) We’ve been spoiled with great nail polishes this year. Great selection!

  16. Most of my nail polishes were either from OPI or cult nails and a few essie I guess. Cult nails is this years find for me. Love almost all the shades. The 3 from masquerade collection tops the list! :-)
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  17. The gray cult polish is gorgeous!
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  18. Kate

    Chanel Taboo is gorge and Dior Minuit too. Your picks are lovely, had my eye on that Zoya one for ages but hard to get in UK.

  19. So many pretty shades! I wanted to get Taboo when it came out, but it sold out here pretty much instantly! I think you can get it again, but there are other things I’m saving up for now…and I know someone who has a bottle anyway ;-).

  20. Xero

    I absolutely loved Facet when you reviewed it, and today that I read this I realize that it looks a lot like what I’m wearing on my nails right now!

    I’m wearing 2 coats of Sally Hansen Earl Gray and 1 coat of Sinful Colors 24 Karat. The look overall is a bit lighter than Facet–Earl Gray is a bit lighter and slightly less brown, and 24 Karat is lighter and slightly less coppery. I guess it would be easy to find a darker taupe color, and I think 2 coats of 24 Karat over it would look just perfect. :) 24 Karat is limited-edition but it should still be in stores! It’s such a lovely golden top coat!

  21. Tina Marie

    LOVE Cult Nails polish formula and colors, and Masquerade is definitely my favorite this year. I was so glad I jumped to get that 3-pack. I have to seek out Illamaqua Facet. That looks pretty amazing, too.

  22. Kali

    I appreciate how hard this must have been, Christine! So many beautiful polishes; I’ve been intimidated from even trying them… that being said, I knew Chanel Taboo would be on here. Haha.

  23. I was a huge fan of the china glaze holographic “galaxy” type colors this year! I really love the urban decay shades too!

  24. The ones I’ve worn the most this year:
    Chanel Accessoire (wearing it on NYE)
    Dior Blue Label
    Dior Galaxie
    Dior Marilyn
    Marc Jacobs Petra
    OPI I Knead Sour–Dough
    OPI Muir Muir On The Wall

  25. Masquerade knocked it out of the park! WOW still!!

  26. Lovely choices! I hope to one day see reviews of A-England from you. They are by far my favorite brand of nail polish. They are also pretty accessible in the US now.

  27. Sabine

    Too bad you chose to feature a Illasmaqua Facet that is not available for purchase in the U.S.