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nailed it! a mid-summer polish roundup featuring butter LONDON, Zoya, Illamasqua, and more…

From April to this month, I have attracted more nail polish than I have ever had in my life. The other day, I opened the fridge and counted 16 bottles of nail polish, most of which had just been acquired.

What does that mean? ROUNDUP, people. ROUNDUP. We need to talk about nail polish without further delay.


It started out innocently enough… I was trying to be straightforward, and orderly, and just present a few polishes.

Photo 1: NYC color in Times Square Tangerine, Illamsqua’s new summer polish, Purity, Sinful Colors Sage Rose (which I got gratis from

Photo 2: Top row is all Illamasqua (Fire Rose and Marquise from the Shattered Star collection, and new summer shade Obsess, a ‘radiant orchid’), while the bottom row is straight Zoya- true red Carmen, hot pink Yana, and rose petal pink Maya.

But while I was thinking about the polishes, I also remembered that you need the proper toold to do your manicure and keep hands soft- so

Photo 3: Keep Indian Coconut Super Hydrating Hand Cream around for instant softening, butter LONDON’s Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator is a mani/pedi MUST. It’s easy to use, and really does make it easier to keep nails looking neat and pretty.  Tweezerman’s nail cleaner and cuticle pusher helps you finish the job, and get any gunk from under ready to polish nails. New York Color Extra Shiny Top Coat is exactly that, and at .99 you can keep a bottle in your purse for just in case.

So that covers the basics right? But who ever stops at the basics…


I tried out this Julep red called January (classic with a twist) at Sephora, so of course I had to add it to the roundup. butter LONDON actually sent me a bottle of Stroppy from their Lolly Brights collection– and guess who DROPPED IT on a marble counter top and broke it? people, when they say ‘list the cap’ make sure you do so. I had gripped the bottle by the rectangular decorative cap and was shaking it when my accident happened. I still have purple polish in the kitchen sink… However? I had managed to paint my nail with it and Ioved the deep, saturated, glittery purple shade. I got a manicure from Valerie Star at Caravan Stylist Studio last month and chose deep green/gold Edyta from Zoya for my polish. Try this one at least once- it’s killer.



Me and 16 bottles of polish? I went overboard… one day I sat and did ‘nail art’ which consisted of painting a pop-art ripped paper looking palette of stripes across each nail. Than I got out the Obsess and painted my toes- it was perfect.  Then I had to paint my nails Carmen red (thinking of the time that I was the Verdi opera at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago as I painted), to match the red jade and gold bead the Lisa Hoffman Fragrance Bracelet that I’d just received. You already know how much I love the matte-finish glitter bombs Fire Rose and Marquise- I’ve been blabbering about them since April. The next thing I did was paint one hand all red/orange shades and the other hand pinks… and there was that day that I painted my nails with Essie’s Twin Sweater Set crimson with an overlay of Swarm varnish from Illamasqua– that was meant to match my Aume shift dress from Desigual.

For someone who doesn’t like nail art, I was jumping all over the bandwagon for months. Then? I started thinking about polishes that I wished I owned, Like these:


I saw this Micheal Marcus polish at The Makeup Show in may, and I loved the glam factor of the cut glass bottles. My fave color? Barely There, Orange You Glad You Came, and Over The Top.


I lust after Tom Ford nail laquer in Indiscretion, and wish I had this amazing Lancome polish set housed an an Olimpia Le Tan minaudiere… it’s only $1,500! Sigh. And what red polish addict wouldn’t want Dior’s brilliant vernis laquer inTrafalgar red?


A new luxury fave is Napoleon Perdis. I love the bottle design, and also this limited edition polish/lip gloss set called Ex Love Birds. The pouch is painted by artist Felicia Aroney. There’s just something so elegant about this presentation… it’s a come-up just to own it.


Finding an old copy of Elle Magazine led me to the Strange Beautiful Library of Color. Created by an artist, Jane Schub, you get a lucite brick of related colors instead of a single bottle of polish. While other companies spend time giving their polishes whimsical names, SBLoC is busy readin the classics- and creating a palette based on Dickens.

UPDATE: Christian Louboutin does…nail polish?


I found out (after doing this roundup, of course) that famed shoe designer has released a nail varnish that matches the classy red soles of his world renowned shoes. This is what they have to say for themselves:

Rouge Louboutin… a timeless, vibrant red suited to any skin tone. A true objet d’art of a dramatic 8-inch height inspired by the tallest heel Christian Louboutin ever created- the Ballerina Ultima. The iconic Rouge is encased in a faceted, weighted glass bottle with a unique ombré effect. The tall slender cap, inspired by calligraphy, turns the application into a luxurious experience, inviting women to take their time. The custom-designed, patented triangular brush picks up the right amount of formula, without air bubbles, to deliver flawless, chip-resistant coverage. A highly pigmented, super glossy formula delivers in just two coats the effect of 20 layers of traditional lacquer. Enclosed in a patent leather like finish presentation box with a red reveal.”

It’s $50, and you can buy it online from Sephora, like I’m gonna do. 



2 thoughts on “nailed it! a mid-summer polish roundup featuring butter LONDON, Zoya, Illamasqua, and more…”

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