This year was a bit of an “indie explosion” for me. As 2016 bumbled along, I got more and more into watching different nail channels on YouTube. And, of course, I heard a LOT about indies. And I was wowed … well, by pretty much everything. I mean, let’s get real. I have serious polish hoarder problems. I had dabbled just a little bit in 2015. I think I had, maybe, one or two bottles of indie polishes. But 2016 increased my awareness of several brands, and I decided I wanted to step into the shallow end of the pool because of that. But — I just knew I would never have that many indies. Indies were a bit too expensive for my liking. And I didn’t love the idea of having to shop for them online. I was a mainstream gal all the way, and I intended to keep it that way.
Ha! Famous last words. Once I saw more of these incredible indie creations, I was hooked. All the way.
I think one of the biggest reasons for my whole-hearted jump onto the indie ship was my discovery of Colores de Carol. I. LOVE. That. Brand. I quickly fell head over heels for their creative mixes and finishes. And the owner of Colores de Carol is one of the nicest people I have “met” on the internet. I started out the year with no Colores de Carol polishes, and my collection for that brand has grown so much that it now has its very own drawer in my storage units. Now that’s love!! Needless to say, I could have filled this entire post with just Colores de Carol. I tried to limit myself, but many of her polishes were favorites of mine during the year.
This is Superchic Lacquer, “Trap Queen”, from the Urban Dictionary Collection. Oh. My. Good-Googley-Gosh!!! I love this polish. LOVE IT. You have no idea how weird it feels for me to say this, as I am not a pink gal. I keep on mentioning this, usually when I have included a pink as a favorite, but it’s so true. It feels weird to me to look through my favorites and realize, “Yep. The pink is one of them.” It’s like the universe has tilted on its axis and is running totally off kilter.
There is so much perfection about this polish. Actually, this whole collection looked like it was beyond amazing. I didn’t purchase the whole collection, and I really wish I had. This polish is gorgeously opaque in just one coat, although I liked it at two to deepen the color. And the color! Breathtaking!! I think this might just be my perfect dark / hot pink. As if that wasn’t enough, there is holographic in here. So. Much. Sparkliness. *happy sigh*
This is Superchic Lacquer, “Rum-billie”, from the Urban Dictionary Collection. This polish is LOVE. Love, love, love, love. Again, the entire collection looked incredible. This polish is the prettiest color — sort of a mix between warm butterscotch and liquid copper. And the holographic in this one is beautifully blinding. Sadly, I took my swatch picture on a rather cloudy day. But this polish lights up in the sunlight. I also loved this one against my skin tone. It was one of those polishes that I put on and didn’t want to take off. Ever.
This is Native War Paints, “Dancing on the Clouds”, from the Once Upon a Dream Collection. This is a delicate, gorgeous polish. In the bottle, it looks like a light blue-gray. It has holographic flakes, which seem to have a strong purple-blue shift. On the nail, it tends to look more white, at least to my eye. I felt like it was a grayed-out white, with a soft, pastel shift to blue-purple. It’s very hard to capture in a picture, and it’s also really hard to describe. (Argh!! Where are my words?!?) Overall, this had a soft, ethereal look on the nail. It felt feminine and delicate, and I loved everything about it. This is a very sheer polish. I think it took me four thin coats to get it completely opaque. But you know what? I didn’t even care.
This is A. England, “Tristam”. I’m not sure if A. England really qualifies as an “indie” brand. I think it might be a mainstream brand in the UK. But, it’s hella hard for me to get, so that qualifies it as an indie in my book. I can’t say enough amazing things about A. England. I have several polishes from this brand, and I treasure every one of them. Every polish I have tried from them has had an amazingly perfect formula. Really, the formulas are so good that “perfect” isn’t even enough to describe them. What is better than perfect? Whatever that is … that’s the word for this brand.
I think Tristam is an older polish, but it was new to me this year. A. England, as a brand, was new to me this year. And I love, love, love this polish. The dark blue color with the holographic is my jam. Boom.
This is A. England, “Spirit of the Moors”. Again, an older polish (I believe) but new to me this year. This one is likely to remain a favorite for me long-term. I had a serious love affair with the shade of blue found in this polish base. It is bright, bold, and absolutely perfect. And there’s holographic, which lights up in the sunlight. What could be better? Nothing. That’s what.
This is Nine Zero Lacquer, “Reflect”, from the ROY G BIV Collection. I don’t buy nearly as much Nine Zero Lacquer as I would like. I have to be careful in spreading my money around, as indies tend to be a bit more pricey than my mainstream polish loves. (They are worth it! It just means I have to be more careful with my limited polish funds.) This is a fantastic brand. I have a few polishes from her, and would love to have more. I have yet to get a bad or difficult formula. Each of my Nine Zero polishes goes on like a dream, and most are opaque in two easy coats.
Reflect is a particular favorite of mine. Blue is my favorite color, and, as you can already tell, I adore the combination of this type of dark blue with scattered or linear holographic. This blue is perfect. It is rich and deep and elegant. I had this polish for quite a while before I wore it. After I pulled it out and put it on my nails, I was all like, “What? Why did I wait so long?” I am hoping to wear this one again in 2017.
Okay … Remember when I told you I could have done this whole post just on Colores de Carol? Um … yeah. So get ready for it, because the rest of this is going to be a Colores de Carol love-fest. It will not be pretty. Okay, so it will be pretty. And awesome. And All The Things. So let’s go! Woot!
This is Colores de Carol, “Demeter”, from the Fall 2016 Harvest Goddess Collection. I adored the Harvest Goddess Collection. I think I ended up buying almost all of them — not all at the same time, but here and there. Demeter was a particular favorite. Of course, it’s blue — go figure! I love this shade of blue. It’s sort of a cross between a mid-tone and a midnight blue. Then, there is scattered holographic on top of that. It looks like I am wearing the universe on my nails. I have a few polishes that give me that universe-on-my-nails feeling, and I never get tired of it. I think, however, this one might be one of the best. I had to go out of town unexpectedly a couple of months ago, and I happened to be wearing this polish. I packed so quickly that I didn’t take any nail supplies with me, and I ended up wearing this for almost a week. It wore beautifully. And I got a ton of compliments on my nails while I wore this.
This is “Feronia”, again, from the Harvest Goddess Collection. This green is so perfect and delightful. It is rich and juicy. I love that it’s a deep green with a yellow/gold undertone to it, which takes the base color into olive green territory. And the holographic sparks very gold in this polish. I wore this one a couple of times this year, even though I had new things to try. I couldn’t get enough of it.
This is “Grandpa’s Clock”, from the Winter/Holiday 2016 Collection. It’s shown over Essie, “Virgin Snow”. I fell in love with this topper from my first peek at it in the bottle. And, when I put it on my nails, I loved it even more. It is delicate and perfect and so, so, soooooooo pretty. I love the iridescent flakes in here because they give off a beautiful blue tone, which combines perfectly with the sparkle. This topper reminds me of moonlight glinting off of brand-new snow. I loved it over this lighter color, but it also looks beautiful over a dark polish. I wore it both ways during the Christmas season. I think this topper will remain a favorite of mine for a long time.
This is “My G-Man”, again, from the Holiday/Winter 2016 Collection. The “G” stands for gingerbread, which is too cute! I love everything about this polish. I love a good brown, and the brown tones in this lean toward gold, which I think is unique and beautiful. This polish is glittery and sparkly. I also love the scattering of dark green throughout. Another polish I can see myself wearing quite a lot.