I love American Apparel polishes. They come in all kinds of beautiful colours – plenty of work-appropriate neutrals, but also lots of quirky brights. I’ve tried around seven of them, and all of them have stellar formulas that go on nearly opaque in just one coat. Best of all, the main line consists of all creme finish polishes (my favourite finish)!
American Apparel’s The Valley is a flat light-medium robin egg blue creme, and is no different from the other AA polishes. Gorgeous formula, easy application, exceptional finish and colour. The photo makes it look like it leans slightly turquoise, but I would say it’s a true blue. It’s bright, but not in-your-face obnoxious.
Some people complain that the AA formula is a touch on the thick side, but as long as you’re careful with the brush by removing all of the excess polish, including the polish collecting on the stem of the brush (there is a lot on there), you’ll be fine. A few drops of nail polish thinner should also help.
So let me tell you a little story about how I came to buy this lovely shade of nail polish.
It was two summers ago, and I was in Hong Kong shopping with my mom. We came across a tiny shop that sold inexpensive bottles of OPI minis. I bought three, and quickly fell in love with the super bright, teal creme.
I had my suspicions, though, that the minis were fake (the polish smelled especially terrible, and a quick Google of OPI colours didn’t bring up any old OPI bright teal cremes). At that point, I didn’t even care…the little fake OPI mini became one of my favourite colours. Alas, being a (supposedly) fake polish in miniature form, it quickly became unusable.
Ever since, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect bright teal creme to replace it. I hoped that this might be the one.
Is Nails Inc. Warwick Way the perfect replacement? It’s close enough to satisfy me. Warwick Way is significantly greener but it’s certainly just as clean-looking and mood-boosting in the same way as my fake OPI. This is bright, people. It does weird things to my camera and my top coat (Seche Vite) doesn’t even look right over it. It also stains my fingernails into something awful. I haven’t used a polish that stained my nails that badly, ever! Took me half an hour alone just to remove as much of the stain as I could, then buff the surface of my nails into oblivion. I can’t say that amount of effort is worth it for this polish.
The colour is lovely, the application was easy and smooth; no complaints in those regards. However, I think this is going back to Sephora as the staining just isn’t worth it. It’s also quite pricey (~$11CAD). Though I am very excited that Nails Inc. is now available at Sephora here in Vancouver! Maybe I’ll exchange this for another, more subdued shade from the line.
Was there any nail polish obsessed person out there who didn’t cringe when they heard about the Nicole by OPI collaboration with Justin Bieber? I don’t know what else to say but…why? It’s so unnecessary. Thankfully, either JBiebz has really good taste in nail polish, or I just caught a lucky break.
Nicole by OPI’s My Lifesaver is a dead-ringer for the previously-blogged Gumdrop by Orly, an extremely clean-looking light/pastel turquoise creme. This colour is perfectly on trend, but I don’t know if I can give Justin Bieber the credit. Formula is very good on this, two coats and you’re looking at fully opaque coverage and a smooth finish.
However, I HATE THIS BRUSH. The Nicole by OPI Perfect Stroke brush is a perfect nightmare. I don’t mind the “sculpted” brushes so much (I just came up with that. Good, right?). I’ve used them before (like the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri line), but for some reason these Nicole by OPI ones are particularly difficult. They’re not consistent at all, and are not shaped into a nice semi-circular shape that can fit nicely with your cuticle line. Every one I’ve tried has had a very strange shape and is so difficult to work with. The bristles are also quite stiff and can cause some dragging of the polish on your nail. If it weren’t for the superb formula, this polish would have been a nightmare to work with.
All I ask is for nail polish companies to use flat, rectangular brushes, much like the OPI ProWide ones. Or at the very least, use a traditional brush shape (thin, and circular at the base). If you’re going to do a “sculpted” brush, please make sure it retains its shape properly. Ugh.
Apart from that though, My Lifesaver is an outstanding colour with a great formula. Definitely worth checking out! Props, JBiebz. Props.
So sorry for the lack of updates lately, I’ve been a bit busy/lazy! But I’m back to share one of my favourites…
Orly’s Gumdrop, from their Spring 2010 Sweet collection. Previously blogged about in my Skittles Shatter NOTD. It’s a clean-looking turquoise (blue-green) pastel creme. Love. It.
Such an adorable colour, perfect for spring! I spent a good amount of $$$ for it in Hong Kong, though. I’m sure if I was more resourceful I could’ve got it for less. Enh. I love the colour too much to care! I’ve been told it’s a very close sister of Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague, which would’ve put a much larger dent in my wallet.
However, there are some application issues. I can’t control this polish well…it’s a bit runny, yet goopy, which makes getting the right amount somewhat of an art. Longevity isn’t great either. This is one of those polishes I can easily peel from my nail in a solid layer (that’s actually how I often remove my polish – after a shower, where the steam makes it pretty easy to peel it off. Probably not great for my nails?).
Ah. It’s such a nice colour, I think I can forgive. My polish turnover is like two days anyway, so I’ll think of it as a blessing to be able to remove it so easily.
And look at how cute it is once you throw some polka dots at it! I did this a few months ago using the Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in white.
Have a great hump day!
Whoa, I finally got OPI Black Shatter to look, well, like advertised.
I’ve been itching to try this mani ever since I’ve gotten Black Shatter, if only to see if I can pull off the cool-looking, if slightly juvenile “skittles” manicure. Skittles meaning using different (usually bright) colours on each finger. I’ve tried variations on it before (my favourite being the gradation manicure – shall post one of those another day), but have been too scared to actually rock the look. The hope with Black Shatter was to make the look more edgy and “disguise” some of the bright colour while keeping visual interest. Well, we’ll see about that…
First, skittles! Cute, right? Should have probably used a more pastel yellow but alas, I do not own one (can’t help but think American Apparel Butter would be a perfect substitute!). Let’s go through the colours:
- Thumb: OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender
- Index: American Apparel Manila
- Middle: Revlon Top Speed Jaded
- Ring: Orly Gumdrop
- Pinky: Revlon Gum Drop (yes, I used two polishes named gum drop. It was a coincidence, I swear! Also the pinky one happens to be scented. Sickly sweet…don’t think I could do a full mani with it, barf)
Time to shatter it up!
Looks like the juvenile skittles got introduced to some recreational drugs and are now looking significantly more edgy! Definitely something that I could wear without feeling self-conscious. Though I got plenty of weird looks from people today anyway (one girl especially who stared at my nails the whole time I was washing my hands in the restroom). Regardless, Shatter takes out the saccharine quality from the bright pastel colours and makes the whole look more wearable. Awesome!
Oh also, compare this to how the shatter looked over the GOSH Holographic polish I wrote about a few days ago. See how the shatters actually look fully formed rather than…weird tree branches? I don’t know if before I used layers that were too thin, didn’t let Holographic dry enough, or just the weird nature of holographic polishes in general. Just know that if you own OPI Black Shatter, here are some helpful tips:
- Let the base colour dry completely.
- If you want the shatters to be far apart, apply a thicker layer.
- Be sure to apply a shiny top coat to protect the shatter layer, as well as smooth out the wonky brush strokes.
:) Have fun!