Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Top 10 of 2012: Best Nail Lacquers

I really don’t know how I managed to keep this list to ten, because I feel like I fall in love with a new polish every week. There were SO many more amazing polishes that aren’t on this list, though. I tried to go across brands and put together a list of ones that really struck me or were more original.

What’s was your favorite nail lacquer of 2012?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012


Cult Nails Behind Closed Doors Collection

  • After Glow Copper infused with a subtle pink shimmer
  • Bitten Raspberry glass flecked polish
  • Disciplined Sheer but buildable soft grey with purple, pink and blue shimmer
  • Flushed True Blurple (blue/purple) buildable sheer with an intense purple/pink shimmer effect that appears to glow through the polish
  • Coveted Jelly deep green with metallic green flakes and subtle green shimmer.

Availability: Cult Nails; preview sales November 9th through November 15th ($40 for the set); official launch is November 16th ($10 each)

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) contains shredded multi-colored flakes suspended in a clear base. There’s aqua-blue, copper, gold, and lavender from what I can see–I swear I see a hint of green, but I think it might be the gold. I don’t have anything like this, and I’m not even sure if I have more than one or two shredded polishes on hand. Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday is the closest I could think of, but it’s multi-sized glitter particles (squares and hexagons) with a lot of green in it. Even though the sizes/shapes are different, I think the two yield at least a comparable feel: a big ol’ glitter-party on your nails.

The consistency of Happy Ending is on the thicker side–if you have a lot of glitters in clear bases, it definitely has a sort of gel-like consistency that gives it a thicker feel and look.  It does help suspend and keep the glitter shards in it, though, which means you don’t have to try and grab the pieces out of the bottle. They do need to be pushed around to get an even (sort of) layer of shredded glitter.  I dabbled a blob of it on the center of the nail and then pushed and maneuvered the pieces around.  It’s unique enough to be worth the trouble, but it’s not something I’d reach for often, just because it takes patience and some skill to use.

The Glossover

LE
product

Happy Ending

C+
It's unique enough to possibly be worth the trouble, but it's not something I'd reach for often, just because it takes patience and some skill to use. I like the concept, but it needs a little more refinement.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bubblegum pink sheer jelly polish with subtle multi-colored shimmer.” It’s a light-medium cotton candy pink with subtle blue undertones and light glitter (looked mostly white to me). MAC Saint Germain is a bit lighter and has a cream finish. MAC Vagabondage is a bit lighter as well and also has a cream finish. Zoya Rory looks a bit lighter because it has a ton of shimmer in it–cooler-toned, too. Zoya Lara is much darker. MAC Ice Cream Cake is a smidgen bluer-based and has a cream finish. MAC Galore Pink is less blue-based and has no shimmer.

It has that squishy, plush look of a jelly finish, and it is designed to be sheer, though it’s mostly opaque after two coats. If you wanted opaque color, I would recommend doing three coats. The consistency is just shy of being on the thicker side but typical to jelly finishes. Untamed isn’t dominated by the glitter, so it still looks mostly like a pink jelly polish more than anything else.  It does dry down to a naturally glossy finish and does so faster than the average polish. I typically get a full week or more with Cult Nails’ formula, which is absolutely stellar as far as wear goes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Untamed

A+
The jelly finish really works with this color, especially because when this type of color is done in a cream finish, it is prone to streaking and running on the thicker side. You can get the color you want here but without the streaky mess.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, July 13th, 2012

Cult Nails Spontaneous Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Spontaneous Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Spontaneous Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “dark, deep, dusty purple creme with vibrant purple glitter.” It’s dusty eggplant purple with red undertones and scattered violet micro-glitter. MAC Festive Finery is more muted, less purple, smokier, and has no shimmer. Cult Nails Enigmatic is much darker and browner, less purple. China Glaze Urban Night is redder, more wine-colored.

It’s opaque after two coats, and though the glitter is sparse, it disperses evenly–you don’t have to wobble around the brush just so in order to spread out the glitter. The formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, though it was on the thinner side. It dried down fairly quickly and has a naturally shiny finish, but I’d use a top coat for a smooth, ultra-shiny finish. I didn’t have any trouble during application; the polish didn’t bubble, streak, or pool to the sides. I typically get a full week or more with Cult Nails’ formula, which is absolutely stellar as far as wear goes.

The Glossover

DC
product

Spontaneous

A
If you love eggplant-y purples with subtle red undertones, you might like Spontaneous. It goes on easily, evenly, and opaquely in two coats. I've always had excellent wear with Cult Nails' lacquers!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Cult Nails I Got Distracted Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails I Got Distracted Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails I Got Distracted Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “black jelly polish with holographic glitter interrupted by intense green glitter.” It’s an inky black base color with green-teal micro-glitter and holographic shimmer. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this one (not to say there may not be some–I would love your input!), and the closest I could come up with was NARS Night Breed, which is similar in composition, but it’s all silver shimmer/glitter.

Of all the shades, this is probably the one that catches your eye the most. There’s something about that intense, deep dark black base color and the holographic shimmer that grabs you! When I first swatched it, I had to post a quick picture of it on Instagram. It’s even more impressive in person, because you can see the way it really sparkles. It’s nearly opaque in one coat, though I did two swatches in the photos just to be sure (sometimes what looks opaque to me in person is almost opaque in photos!). The polish is on the thicker side, though.

It actually has an interesting finish without a top coat. I took the diffused flash photo with it dry but without a top coat (the other swatches have a top coat). The polish has some texture, so you’d want a thicker top coat for a smooth finish. I thought it looked like asphalt in a very pretty way. It’s shiny on its own, but it doesn’t look as smooth without a top coat. I typically get a full week or more with Cult Nails’ formula, which is absolutely stellar as far as wear goes. I’ve had this shade on my nails for the past five days with almost no noticeable tip wear.

The Glossover

LE
product

I Got Distracted

A
Of all the shades, this is probably the one that catches your eye the most. There's something about that intense, deep dark black base color and the holographic shimmer that grabs you!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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