Nail Mail Monday: Island Girl

So this isn’t a true “nail mail” post, as I didn’t get these polishes through the mail. I discovered Island Girl in the ABC stores when we visited Maui. What else is a nail polish hoarding gal like myself going to bring home as a souvenir from her vacation? You guessed it! Nail polish, of course! I had planned to haul these much earlier in the Summer, but, as with most of my blogging plans, life kind of got in the way. No matter! I am here now. And I’m a little bit excited, too. What I lack in reliability, I more than make up for in enthusiasm. Ha!

As I said, this is a new-to-me brand. I did a little internet sleuthing, and found that Island Girl is only sold through ABC stores in Hawaii and Las Vegas. I can attest to them being in the Maui stores, but I have no personal experience regarding whether or not they are actually available in Las Vegas. But the internet says it … so it must be true. Right? o.o I have also found this brand available for online purchase through the ABC Stores website (www.abcstores.com). Additionally, the Target website consistently comes up as a result when I searched for places to purchase this polish. I didn’t find Island Girl actually listed for sale on their website. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough or something … but that was my experience.

BOTTLE, BRUSH, & MISC. BRAND INFO:

I don’t know if Island Girl is anything-free. I did a small amount of digging on the inter-webs, but I didn’t find a definitive answer. I will say that the polishes I purchased don’t smell overly strong or chemical-y. They smell the same as any of my OPI, China Glaze, or Sinful Colors polishes. Overall, I wasn’t sure what to expect, as these are definitely in the realm of a drugstore find. The ones I purchased were either $2.99 or $3.99 each, so comparable to Sinful Colors for pricing. Given that, I would expect this line to be hit or miss with regard to formula, which is also something I expect from Sinful Colors.

Island Girl has the exact same bottle and cap shape as China Glaze. This is a plus for me because I happen to like the China Glaze bottle shape. It is one of my favorites for ease of application as well as fitting comfortably between my thumb and the side of my hand as I manicure. The big down-side to this is that Island Girl also has the same brush size and shape as China Glaze. It is one of my least-favorite brushes out there because it is slightly long and a little too skinny for my liking.

THE POLISHES:

The moment I walked into an ABC store, I was sucked right in to the Island Girl display. It was full and gorgeous and popping with bright, summery colors that felt perfect for my own in-progress island adventure. I didn’t have a set plan for trying these out in an organized way. I just kind of grabbed what appealed to me in that moment.

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Island Paradise is a soft, slightly warm-toned (at least to my eye) pink crelly with blue glitters. The glitters are larger hexes and micro glitter. This polish has a good formula. I found it surprisingly even upon application, and it built up well for me to full opacity in 2 coats.

This is so much cuteness in a bottle. I’m not always one for pink (I keep saying — ha, ha!), but this polish caught my eye right away. I like the color combination, and it felt like a fun and playful vacay polish. With that said, I haven’t yet worn it in a full manicure. I am a little afraid the bloom will have worn off the rose by the time I do. Hopefully, I will still like it just as much when I am stuck in my boring and humdrum everyday life as I did during my Maui adventure.

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Aloha Dream is a vibrant purple-toned magenta. Or, perhaps it qualifies as a pink-toned fuchsia. Either way, it’s a gorgeous purple-pink! This polish has a great formula. It was opaque in 2 easy coats. If I had gone in with a slightly thicker first coat, I believe it would have been opaque in 1.

I looooooove this one! I think it might be my favorite from my Island Girl haul. It dries quickly and to a matte finish, but, as you can see, I like it best with a glossy top coat. With top coat, it has a beautifully rubbery or squishy look on the nail, although I feel this is more of a creme formula than a jelly. This one jumped out from the rack and grabbed me by the eyeballs because of how vibrant it is. It is a happy color that is perfect for Summer and hot weather. In a short time, it has become my favorite pedicure color. I put it on for my pedicure right after we returned home from Maui. I wore it for about three weeks, until my pedi was gasping its last breath. Over the weekend, I finally took the time to re-pedicure, and, of course, this beauty went right back on my toes. It is the best pedicure color I have had in a long time!!

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Aloha Color is a super bright and tart lime green with yellow undertones. I wasn’t sure how the formula would be with this one. Colors like this can be difficult. But I was happily surprised to find this one has a good formula. It was slightly streaky on the first coat, and I found it leveled out pretty well on its own. I ended up liking this one at 2-3 coats, although I think it would be a solid 2-coater with a better, wider brush.

This polish is so good. It makes me want to squeal a little bit. I’ve already worn this one in a full manicure, and I loved it. I still can’t get over the formula. It’s always great to be surprised by a formula in a nice way. This is a type of green that falls right into my sweet spot. I love greens that are a little bit tart with a hint of yellow or gold to them, and this one fits that description perfectly. It was beautifully bright, vibrant, and summery — and without a white undercoat, too!

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Aloha Paradise is a darker green-blue or, maybe, a green-leaning teal. I can see blue in the undertones of this one, but it reads more green to my eye. It is a nicely vibrant shade. This polish had a pretty good formula. It was streaky for me on application, but I found the streaks disappeared on their own. It was easily opaque in 2 coats. I feel like my swatch picture makes this polish look lumpy or ridged, but it was not that way at all in real life. The “ridges” you see in the photo are not actual defects in the polish. They are shadows and reflections from the window near where I photograph. This was a shiny polish, and I had also topped it with a glossy top coat.

This is not a color I would normally gravitate toward. In general, I am not a fan of teals. I am also not a fan of blue-greens that are more green than blue. And yet, I was drawn to the brightness and vibrancy of this polish in the bottle. This polish is so, so pigmented. I am pretty sure it will stain. Out of all of the Island Girl polishes I purchased, this is the only one I am not sure I will keep. Not because it’s a bad polish, but because I don’t know if I like this color as much on my nails as I do in the bottle.

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1403A is a pastel/dusty purple with scattered holographic glitter. This polish has a good formula. It builds up easily on the nail and is fully opaque in 2 coats.

I was super impressed with this polish! I wish the purple base color was either a little bit darker or a little bit lighter to contrast with the holo glitters a bit more. As it is, this feels very neutral to me because of the mid-range color tone in the base. The holographic in here is pretty fabulous. There is a ton of glitter and a lot of holo pay-off on the nail, which is even more impressive when you consider this polish came with a price tag that was between $2 and $3. I have worn this one in a full manicure, and I liked it. I found the glitters slightly difficult to remove, but not too terrible.

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Honolulu Orchid is a light baby blue with a slight pink shimmer. The formula for this polish was decent. It is a sheer polish, but it builds up on the nail without too much streaking. It was opaque for me in 3 coats.

Of course, this color is right up my alley. Blues are my jam, after all! And there was no way I would see a beautiful, soft blue like this one on the shelf and walk away from it. It had to come home with me. Had to! And the color on the nail is all that I expected from looking at it in the bottle. Sadly, I found the pink shimmer didn’t show for me once I had the polish on my nails. This was slightly disappointing, but I know I will be happy with this one for the blue color alone.

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1402A is a medium-toned blue base with scattered holographic glitter. This had a good formula that was opaque in 1-2 easy coats.

As with the purple scattered holographic, I was impressed with this polish. The formula was easy to work with, and I found it had a lot of glitter pay-off on the nail. With that said, I do think the purple was the better of these two polishes. It is probably the particular bottle I purchased, but I found this polish slightly less holographic than the purple one. Still, not bad for a polish with such a low price tag.

THE WRAP-UP:

Whew! It feels so good to share these polishes in here at last! I have been planning this post for so long that I kept feeling like I had already written it. It was a whole deja vu thing, where I would type a little bit and then think to myself, “Wait. I’ve already done this, right?” And then, I would go and search through my blog to make sure I hadn’t. Talk about heading to Crazy Town!

Overall, I was impressed with Island Girl. Maybe I just got lucky with my purchases in terms of formula and color performance. Given that I was super random with what I bought, I tend to think this is a decent brand. As I said, I imagine they have some hits and misses along the way. I think the same can be said for any drugstore brand. (Or any more expensive mainstream brand, for that matter …) But my guess is that this is a pretty solid and affordable brand. If I had the chance, I would purchase from them again!

 

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3 thoughts on “Nail Mail Monday: Island Girl

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