2016 Polish Favorites: Main Stream Brands

So I’m sitting here on the eve of 2017. I pretty much can’t wait to say good-bye to 2016. It hasn’t been my best year ever. At the same time, there are some great things about the year, one of them being that I started this blog. I know it’s still brand new, and it doesn’t have many readers or followers. It might never have many readers or followers. And, really, that is okay with me. I’m so happy to have a place where I can chat about my love for nail polish, even if I’m only talking to myself.

Over the course of 2016, I fell hard back into my long-dormant nail polish obsession. I rediscovered my love for all things sparkly, shiny, and color-shifty. And I realized just how much nail polish can brighten up even my darkest mood or crummiest day.

I wore a lot of nail polish this year! And so I decided it would be fun to share my favorites. After all, all the cool kids are doing it, right? I tend to purchase a lot of polish, but I don’t always buy from the newest collections. These are my favorites out of what I wore this year. Some of these polishes are new, and some of them are older. Most of them were new to me this year, even if they are from older collections. I ended up with quite a long list, so I decided to split my favorites up into two posts. My indie favorites will be coming later.


Zoya, “Blaze”. This polish is from an older collection, but it’s brand spanking new to my stash. This was part of my Zoya Black Friday purchase. I originally bought it only because I wanted to have all the Zoya scattered holographics in my collection. I didn’t expect to like it all that much. After all, it’s red.

Oh my gosh — I was WRONG! I love this polish so much. It is so beautiful and perfect and beautiful and … All The Things. Seriously. I can’t even with this polish. I love it so much that it makes me want to scream. This, from a red! Can you believe it?


Zoya, “Alicia”. Alicia is from the Urban Grunge Collection that came out this year. Man, that collection was fantastic. I loved so many things from it, but I think Alicia turned out to be my favorite. She is so delicate and elegant. I felt very pretty and fancy when I wore this polish.


OPI, “Make Light of the Situation” + “Chiffon My Mind”. This one is more a whole manicure, as opposed to either separate polish. Don’t get me wrong. I like both of these polishes on their own, but they wouldn’t have made my favorites list. When I put them together, though, it just made my heart sing. I loved this manicure. I loved it so much that I wore it for several days, which isn’t something I normally do. There is something so light, airy,and delicate about these two polishes together. I also got a lot of compliments on my nails when I wore this manicure.


China Glaze, “Pearl Jammin’ “. Looking at my swatch picture, I still remember how wowed I was by this polish when I put it on my nails. In the bottle, it looked like a light blue-gray, maybe with a pearly finish to it. I could see some shimmer in there, but it wasn’t a ton. I also wondered how the different tones would look together, as the peachy-golden shimmer seemed an odd match-up with the blue-gray base. When I put this on my nails … It was magic. I don’t know how else to describe it. It does have a pearlescent finish to it, but the shimmer is so strong and beautiful that there’s almost a color shift in certain lights. This one is like wearing soft candlelight on your nails. It’s so beautiful. I’m actually sitting here thinking I want to put it on my nails again!


China Glaze, “Holo at ‘ya, Girl!”. OK, so this one is probably a strange one for my favorites list. This one also came out in the Fall 2016 collection, along with Pearl Jammin’. But I feel like most of the bloggers and YouTubers I watch didn’t like this polish that much. It is a strange polish. For one thing, it has the word “Holo” in the name, but there is nothing holographic in the polish. It’s also one of these glitters that you look at and wonder how you should wear it. I think most of the people I follow on the interwebs wore it as a topper. I tried that and didn’t like it much. This one is so pretty in the bottle, though, and I really wanted to love it. I gave it a second chance and applied it on its own.

Mind. Blown. I adored this polish on its own. It took almost three coats to get it opaque, and you can still see some nail in between the glitters, if you look closely enough. There is so much going on with this polish, though, that I feel like the bare spots don’t show. This polish sparkles like crazy in pretty much every light — without holographic! It is a delicately pretty mix of textures and colors. I got so many compliments on my nails when I wore this polish. I think this one probably got complimented more than any other polish I wore this year. And this polish wore like iron for me. We took a family trip to Maine at the end of the Summer, and I wore this polish for a week. I came home with minimal tip wear and no chips. Unbelievable!


Zoya, “Saint”. This is a very new polish, from the 2016 Holiday Collection. It was also part of my Zoya Black Friday haul. This is such a perfectly soft and beautiful blue. I think it’s one of those shades that is extremely wearable for any skin tone. This one has a color flip from soft blue to a more magenta-toned color. You can see it a little in the bottle, just above the “OY” in “Zoya”, although I didn’t manage to capture it in my picture. The shift is very visible on the nail. The only draw back with this one is that it really needs three coats for the color to be deep enough and for it to be completely opaque. Even so … this is one polish that’s worth the extra effort!


Zoya, “Dream”. This is an oldie-but-goodie, although I only discovered it this year. Where has this polish been all my life?!? Seriously … Ugh. I love this one so much. That dark blue. The holographic goodness. The sparkle. It’s like having the universe on my nails.


Color Club, “So Crumbly”. I don’t buy a lot of Color Club, so I am not sure when this polish first came out. I purchased it this year, after randomly seeing it on one of the websites where I like to shop. I love a good crellie, and the combination of black matte glitters with the light blue color was something I could not resist. This polish is about as close to perfect as you can get. It was fun to apply, and so much fun to wear. Just looking at the picture makes me smile! Ah … memories …


Zoya, “Rebel”. This is an “oldie” polish I picked up this year in a random Zoya purchase, probably during one of their sales. Zoya has the best sales. I loved everything about this polish: the light blue color, the easy formula, the finish on the nail. It looks like spun glass — light blue spun glass! So. Freaking. Perfect.


OPI, “Orange You Fantastic”. Another older polish that was new-to-me this year. Why do I love this one so much? I don’t even know. I do know, though, that it made me so happy to have this on my nails. I didn’t expect to like it at all and quickly discovered that I love everything about it, from the tone of the orange base right down to the different-sized golden glitters. There is something cheerful and fun about this polish. It’s like wearing soda bubbles on my nails. I love that.


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