30 December 2012

Favourites of 2012: mainstream brands

Hello lacquered lovelies! Happy Sunday! I know I don't usually schedule posts for Sundays (or ever lately, let's be real here) but I wanted to get my favourites lists up before the official new year.

It's weird, I've been blogging for two years but I've never actually done a favourites list. It was actually really difficult! I decided to have a top 12 for mainstream brands and indie brands because 1+2=3, three is my favourite number and I just like the sound of it. So... yeah.

This year was definitely the year of the indies, imo, but that doesn't mean the brands we all know and love were releasing garbage haha. A lot of really gorgeous collections came out this year, but I think my two favourites from mainstream brands this year were the fall OPI Germany collection and the China Glaze summer neons. The Germany collection really had something for everyone and I think it was a great reminder of why OPI has become such a successful brand - they're excellent at what they do, but I definitely have a bias for what types of polishes I think they do best, as you'll see from my selections ;)

The summer neons were just mental haha. I think part of the reason I love the collection so much is because it just captures everything I love about China Glaze - I think (for the most part) they're excellent at coming out with collections that are quirky enough to keep people like us interested (you know, people who own hundreds of nail polishes) but still have polishes mixed in that the average citizen would wear. I loved the shimmer that the neons had in them and the gorgeous semi-matte finish they dried to. I used all of them a lot this year!

So... keep reading to find out what made my list! :)

butterLONDON Two Fingered Salute

I'm sure that pick surprised exactly nobody haha. Everyone went mental for this polish this year and it's not hard to see why - it's gorgeous. Sage green base with little copper flecks and a bit of a pink flash? Sold! It's got a really nice formula too - two coats and it's perfect.

China Glaze Aquadelic

Switching gears entirely, here's the first of the cremes on my list haha. I remember when I first got into polish... I really wasn't into cremes at all. I feel like this is the year that I finally learned to appreciate them properly. Aquadelic was one of my most reached-for polishes. It's got a wonderful formula (good in one coat but I used two for the photo) and the colour is just so fresh and clean-looking.

Essie Bikini So Teeny

In the bottle Bikini So Teeny looks all shimmery and awesome but it doesn't really translate to the nail. Let's get that out of the way first. That being said, I LOVE THIS COLOUR. It looks oddly... classy (can blueish polishes be classy?) to me and it just makes me feel calm haha. It's a bit patchy so I used two coats but probably would've used three if I was going to wear it as a manicure. I see a bit of an uneven patch on my ring finger that would drive me mental.

Nails Inc Sweets Way

If the Sprinkles collection can count as a proper collection (since it only has four polishes?) then I'd like to add it to my list of favourite collections of the year as well. I love them all. Dear nail polish companies: a friendly tip. Things we love: nail polish and candy and also nail polish that looks like candy. More pls. It was hard to choose a favourite but I had to go with Sweets Way - it's just so cute! This was three coats and topcoat. It's a bit sheer (since the base is so light) but easy to work with and the glitter payoff is quite nice, no worries about needing to place it at all.

OPI Deutsch You Want Me Baby? 

This is the first of the polishes from the Germany collection on the list, isn't it? Well. I would hate to spoil things for you but there might be one or two more coming up. Maybe. Remember that time I posted like an orange polish a week for an entire summer? I'm still not over orange. I loved DYWMB (the name makes me want to curl up and die though) so much. It made me think of fall and sweaters and pumpkins and lattes and scarves and boots and spices. I love fall. This polish seriously glows. I think the Germany collection showcased how well OPI does shimmery polishes, I seriously still can't get over how gorgeous these are. This was glowy and lovely in one coat but two coats deepened it up and made it perfection, imo!

China Glaze Running in Circles

I legit just posted this polish but whatever, I still can't get over it. Even looking at the photo as I'm typing right now makes me want to die. HOW ARE YOU SO PERFECT, RUNNING IN CIRCLES. It's not even fair to the other polishes. This is everything I like in a polish. Glowy, green, shimmery, green, flawless, green and also perfect. Two coats and it was good to go. I want to wear it again now!

Nails Inc Baker Street

If you exist, like nail polish and haven't at least heard of this polish, you're crazy. It's insane. It's the best blue I own. It's so attention-grabbing and beautiful. Given that I rarely wear colours (even when I do they're on the darker side, like deep purples or reds), this polish is a perfect accessory for me - a way to add colour without having to wear coloured clothing. I can't be the only one who feels like a neon sign in coloured clothing most of the time. Two coats of utter perfection. You seriously need this.

OPI Danke-Shiny Red

Yes.... a red. Are you surprised? I was too. I got this polish on a whim one day while I was out shopping with my sister... left it untried for a couple of weeks, then decided to test it out as a base for layering and ended up loving it so much that I just wore it on its own for two days, then mattified it and wore it for another day. Three days is pretty much a lifetime for me to wear one manicure haha. Seriously though, this red is perfect. It's rich and glowy and perfect. Again, one coat would be just fine if you were in a hurry, but two gives it the perfect depth. Nghhhhhh

China Glaze I'm With the Lifeguard

I have to start out by saying that this is NOT colour-accurate. Neons are really difficult to photograph and I'm shit at colour-editing, so imagine this but eye-searingly bright. I used this polish a ton this summer, like in my neon watermelon manicure (which somehow photographed better then than it did in my lightbox now, the photos in that post are closer to how it looks irl). Anyway, it's lovely. It's green and it has that shimmer to it and the interesting semi-matte finish. I love neons because I'm a tacky bish but this one is something special to me.

Sephora by OPI XOX Betsey

This was one of the first nudes I got this year and it's been an obsession for months since haha. I'm on the hunt for the perfect nude polish, the perfect nude lipstick... this isn't a perfect nude for me but it's a lovely palette cleanser that I reached for often. It's very similar to OPI My Very First Knockwurst, but Knockwurst is a bit dustier. For some reason it looks a bit granny-ish on me but I don't think this one does, so that's why I chose it. :) Two coats and it's good to go.

OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls

Sorry for the angry hands here, I've been swatching like a fiend to try and get my lists done and the combination of winter and acetone has not been kind. Anyway, I doubt it's surprising that I put thsi on my list, it was a go-to palette cleanser for me this year and I used it a ton for layering. I know some of you might be thinking "it's just a white creme" but IT ISN'T. It has a touch of grey in it that makes it much more wearable than a white, which always looks stark and frankly alarming on me haha. Two coats.

OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest 

Here's a little story. When the Germany collection first came out, I grabbed my initial picks and this was not one of them. Then my dear friend Liz were texting one day discussing polish (as per usual, really haha) and she told me that she couldn't find this polish ANYWHERE. It was sold out everywhere she went and she really wanted it. I, of course, being the hoarder that I am, decided that I would need to obtain a bottle for her and one for myself immediately. At first I didn't get the appeal, I wore it once and wasn't blown away. I think my nails were in a particularly fug phase at the time so that's probably why I didn't like it. Then I wore it again and I was in LOVE. These vampy shimmers remind me of why I love OPI so much, it reminds me of older polishes like Yoga-ta Get this Blue! and others that are just staples in any collection, imo. The shimmer reminds me a bit of 230 when it's layered over a dark purple - it's just missing the green flash. It really is a beautiful polish. I'm glad I saw the light! Two coats.

So, there's my list! There are so many other polishes that I would've put on here if I could have... but quickly, let's pretend there's an honourable mention spot to my list too. It would have Essie Boxer Shorts, Essie Leading Lady, Essie Butler Please... which seems like a lot of Essie. Let me explain. I really loved Essie this year, there was at least one polish in every collection that I wanted/ended up getting (which isn't that common for me with Essie, tbh) but when I decided I wanted to make my list 12 polishes long, I had to start making the painful cuts haha. That's why China Glaze It's a Trap-eze isn't on here either! I had a couple of Color Clubs and Misas on my original list too, and it pained me to cut them out but I was set on 12 haha.

What about you lovelies? What were some of your favourite polishes from mainstream brands this year?

Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful day!


  1. All polishes from your list are beautiful but the first one is really gorgeous... I love it! :-O

  2. You should post a runners-up list!

  3. Aquadelic, bikiny so teeny, nails inc swwet ways and OPI mbsw are def on my top of 2012 too! I'd choose RBL Halcyon instead of the BL just because is the "original" (and I paid fortunes on ebay hahaa)
    Great choices! I can't wait to see your indie selection!

  4. I'm enjoying how much you like cremes & yes, if it wasn't for you, then I would be without many a polish (or makeup palette) you always know that I want to hoard just as much as you.

  5. this post made ME want to wear running in circles again too haha. HOW IS THAT POLISH SO PERFECT AND AMAZING AND WONDERFUL OH MY GOD. i'm too lazy to do a top list of polishes for the year but off the top of my head it would 100% include running in circles (and zoya aurora and opi every month is oktoberfest and essie bikini so teeny and uh... i'll stop now). lovely swatches of all of these, too!

  6. OMG!!! You def have chosen great nail colors! They all look so pretty which i find them so elegant and classy. Perfect for any occasion.


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