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Monday, April 15, 2013

Never too much nail polish!

I have had an addiction to nail polish since I was little.
And as I've gotten older, that addiction has turned into an obsession.

My collection, or stash as we call it in the nail world, has grown.
And don't side-eye me. You might have 6 closets full of shoes or handbags.
I have an entire wall of polish. (Yes, I said wall. I have them in acrylic displays. It's art.)

Polish, compared to most other things, is a cheap accessory. Polishes that I have come across can range anywhere from $.99- $20. (Chanel polish is pretty pricey. But still cheaper than their handbags and shoes.)

You can change your nail color everyday.
And there are so many different polish finishes and types: cremes, shimmers, duochromes, jellies, crellies, glitter top coats, and glitter bombs, etc.

Also, these days you can do SO much to your nails with nail art: stamping, stickers, water marbling, and sponging just to name a few. Below is a collage I made of some of the nail art and manicures that I have done in the last year:
Click on the photo to view and see them better

Favorite color polish? Blue. I have many, many blues. Lights blues, bright blues, neon blues, baby blues, shimmery blues, blue cremes, blue glitter... lots of blues.

Favorite big polish companies?
China Glaze, Zoya, Barry M., a-england, OPI

The latest thing is indie polish companies. Normal people making polishes at home and selling them on Etsy and in other online shops.

I am one of those indie companies.

Last March, I opened an Etsy store and started selling polishes.
And it's been a fun ride.
Don't get me wrong, it's not easy. And it's not a quick money maker.

To make your own polishes, you have to buy a lot of glitter and colorants. And then you have to test everything you buy in the nail polishes bases that you usually have to buy in bulk. And with all that you pay out to do research and development, it can be a long time before you see an actual profit.

For me to put out one new polish, the testing usually goes on for at least a month.
Why so long?

Because glitter comes in many forms. Not all glitters are created equal. Some glitters start bleeding in polish base within a few minutes of mixing them. Some glitters can take a week or longer to start the bleeding process.

Some glitter will bleed for a short time and then stop, fully retaining their original color. Some glitters will bleed so badly that you are left with nothing but silver.

Some glitters actually start melting in polish base. They become nasty blobs of plastic. And some of them can curl or bend, making it look terrible on your nails.

Over the last year, the indie polish market has BOOMED. But like glitter, not all indie polish companies are created equal. Some have rushed and bought some glitter one day, thrown it in base the next day, and then sold it online the day after that. That's never a good thing. Those indie makers give the other indie makers, the ones that test everything for months, a bad name.

If you find an indie polish company on Etsy, make sure to check their sales numbers and feedback. The sales can tell you how long they have been in business and the feedback will usually tell you if people are happy with their polishes.

Also, GOOGLE is your friend. Just search for that indie company and include the words 'swatch' or 'reviews' in your search. There are literally thousands of nail polish blogs now and a lot of them scoop up new indie polishes by the dozens. And most of them give you an honest opinion.

A couple of my favorite indie polish companies:
Elevation Polish and Indigo Bananas

Elevation Polish is owned and operated by a local gal, Lulu. And when I say local, I mean she lives a few blocks from me. When we realized that we were both in Minnesota and just down the road from each other, we started meeting for coffee to talk shop. And she has a BEAUTIFUL blue polish that I adore.

Indie polish companies usually have restocks a few times a month. Since it's usually one person making everything, they cannot keep the shops stocked for long periods of time. Everything sells out quickly. So if you find one and the store is closed or empty, check back later. Also follow their blogs or FB pages to get updates about when restocks will take place.

Shameless plug for my own indie brand polish:
And if you happen to want to see what I have concocted, head over to my Etsy shop, Red Carpet Lacquer. I also have a FB page and a blog for the polish so you can check those out and follow if you feel the urge. I also have a Twitter page for the shop.
If you get the urge to buy anything, use coupon code NEPTUNE14 at checkout to receive 10% off of your entire order.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my naked nails need something to wake them up. And with the current weather, pastels aren't going to cut it. I think I need a dose of bright and happy.

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