Hello! In this post I wanted to talk a little bit about indie nail polishes! And by a little, I hope to keep it at a medium amount; I made a video about indie polishes and the two brands I have purchased from, Rainbow Honey and ILNP and it ended up a little on the long side... I also wanted to talk a little bit about some other brands of nail polish I have recently purchased. Lately, I feel like I've been in a "Julep rut" and now have 50+ Julep polishes...
Recently, I've started looking into indie nail polish brands, the first one being I Love Nail Polish (which I will call "ILNP" because I am lazy). I saw a video on Youtube of a small haul from them, and found the idea of indie nail polish intriguing. I feel like indie nail polishes can really cater to niche markets and make colors/finishes that may not be considered "safe" by larger, mass-producing companies. Case in point, the videogame inspired polishes by Rainbow Honey and the Mighty Boosh inspired polish by ILNP; neither of which would likely ever be made by a large company (though copyright issues may also be a barrier to that as well). You can find quite a lot of indie nail polish online, especially if you check out etsy.com and just search for "nail polish". There was one other brand I wanted to try, Black Luna Lacquer, but you can only pay using PayPal and I'm not a big fan of Paypal (I have an account and I use it because I have to, but, I don't know, I just prefer using my credit card directly). I still may purchase from them since they do have some very interesting colors, I just have to deal with using Paypal.
This may get kind of long, but at least there are a lot of pictures!
There are a lot of pros to purchasing indie polishes (supporting artists and getting unique colors and finishes to name two big ones), but there are some cons as well. Probably the biggest is that, since indie nail polishes are handmade by one or two people (or more, depending on the size of the brand. It varies.), they aren't regulated in the way that mass-produced polish is. There can be issues of quality, consistency, hygiene, and even safety. One of the most common issues of ingredient quality and safety I found was the use of a product called "SpectraFlair". SpectraFlair is an additive that gives a really amazing holographic finish to a polish and it is quite pretty. The only problem is, is that SpectraFlair is not approved for use in cosmetics, which is why you won't see any commercial polishes with the type of holographic finish you get when you use it. According to the wikipedia article, SpectraFlair is a "specialized diffractive colorant for automotive and industrial coatings that show multiple rainbow
colors as the viewing angle changes. This pigment is based on microsopic
aluminum flakes layered with glass and inorganic pigments." With the amount of nail polish that likely ends up in my mouth (mostly from chipping while I'm cooking, but I do sometimes find myself biting my polished nails which is doubly not good), I don't feel comfortable using a product that basically has little shards of metal and glass. I haven't done a lot of research on this, but I think the glitters used in commercial nail polish are mostly plastic-based, instead of metal or glass (there are a lot of different grades of glitter in the cosmetic world; there are glitters you can use on your eyes, glitters for your lips, glitter for your skin, there's even glitter you can use in soaps and lotions...it all depends on size and material). Not sure though; I'll have to look into it more.
Now with the public service announcement out of the way, let's get to the indie polish that I bought! I'll start with I Love Nail Polish since that was the first indie nail polish brand I ran across and purchased from! As I said before, I found out about ILNP by watching a bunch of nail polish-based Youtube videos and I thought the brand sounded very interesting. I went to their website, http://www.ilnp.com/ , and took a look around. They are based in Las Vegas, were founded in 2012 and are "3-Free" (meaning their polishes don't have formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP). They have some very unique and beautiful colors, two of my favorites being Animal Cookie and Forever and a Day. They also offer "Ultra Minis", which are 3ml sample sized bottles, for only $3.75 ( a regular, full size polish is 12ml and sells for about $10-$12, depending on what type of polish you get). It looks like the Ultra Minis are pretty popular since they are mostly all sold out. I thought getting a couple Ultra Minis would be a good way to try out the brand, and I managed to get two, a holographic called Your My Boy Blue and a glitter jelly called Old Gregg. I placed my order, paid with my credit card, and my polishes were on their way!
Overall, I'm very pleased with ILNP and the polishes they make! They have a nice, easy to navigate website, it's very easy to purchase from them, they have reasonable prices, and their polishes seem to be good quality. If you're interested in indie nail polishes, check out ILNP!
Along with ILNP, I picked up some polishes from another indie brand, Rainbow Honey! I actually found Rainbow Honey because they have a special collection of My Little Pony inspired nail polish, but what really got me interested in purchasing from them was that they were included in a subscription box. I forget which one (...I watch a lot of subscription box openings on Youtube. I have no idea why, I just like them.), but I thought it was really cool that indie polishes are becoming a "thing" now and that Rainbow Honey is trying to get themselves out there and make themselves known. If you want to check them out, too, you can visit their website at http://www.rainbowhoney.com/ .
Rainbow Honey is a small company founded by a lady named Dee located in New Jersey. They are also a 3-Free company and can actually be purchased internationally; check out their "Retailers" page at http://www.rainbowhoney.com/pages/retailers to see who stocks them in your country! It's pretty awesome that they do offer their polish internationally since it's basically impossible to buy nail polish from overseas due to shipping restrictions (...this is why I can't have Sailor Moon polish and that makes me very sad). They offer a lot of "geek" based nail polishes; they have a My Little Pony collection, a collection based on the SNES game Mother/Earthbound, a collection based on robots, and even a collection based on a Cherry Blossom Viewing Festival! These types of collections really appeal to me because you have an actual connection to the polish you're wearing; it's not just a pretty color, but it's a color inspired by something you love. Rainbow Honey sells their 15ml full sizes for $10 and their mini 5ml sizes for $5. They also offer sets of either all full sizes or all mini sizes. They did offer a collection of cuticle balms as well, but they don't seem to be on the site anymore. I purchased the "Summer of 199X Part II" collection (which is based on Mother/Earthbound) in mini size for $20 and a Vanilla Dreams cuticle balm for $3.50.
Overall, I would also highly recommend checking out Rainbow Honey, especially if you're into geek pop culture and want a color based on a videogame or even The Magic School Bus (their special limited edition for the month is called "The Frizz" and is an " assortment of hexes, squares, dots, stars, and other shapes pays homage
to the spectacular adventures (and those dresses!) of the Frizz and her
class.")! They have a variety of unique colors and the formulas are good quality as well. I would also recommend the cuticle balms, but alas, they seem to be no more.
So that's my first taste of indie nail polishes! From what I've seen, I'm very intrigued by them and will gladly try some more (especially Black Luna Lacquer; they were actually mentioned in the most recent issue of Nail It!). I will be a little more careful, though, about which types of finishes I purchase and checking the ingredients to make sure there's nothing in the polishes I don't feel comfortable with putting on my nails.
Now for something completely different! I actually picked up a few mainstream polishes over the last couple weeks that I wanted to share with you guys as well (but that I didn't think warranted their own post/video). On my most recent trip to my doctor's office (I've been dealing with an ongoing, but seemingly very minor, health issue so I've been to the doctor more times than I would like in the past month), they had a woven basket filled with special little nail polishes to help promote their new OB/GYN department!
I also picked up two polishes from a brand I never tried before but have heard a lot about; Zoya.
I really really like these polishes! They go on smooth and opaque, the formula is easy to work with, and they last a long time without chipping. I even like the bottles; they're so rounded and smooth, they're nice and easy to hold. I don't know why I've never tried Zoya polishes before; I know I've seen them in Ulta and I've heard people rave about them on Youtube, but for some reason I just never picked one up. Now I want more!
Finally, I picked up a drug store nail polish, mostly on a whim.
This is Maybelline's Color Show Polka Dots in Blue Marks The Spot. I really wanted the green colored one, but I couldn't find it. When I first saw these in an Allure ad, I really wanted to try them since they reminded me so much of the speckled polishes that Illamasqua has. Also these are only about $3, which is pretty awesome (but kind of worrying quality-wise...). It looks like it would be more opaque in the bottle, but this is actually a bunch of circular white and black glitter suspended in a blue tinted base. I'm not sure how this would wear alone on your nail, but over another color I think it would work quite well.
And that's everything I wanted to get through in this post! I'm sorry it's so long, but I hope the photos helped break things up and at least made it somewhat visually interesting. I guess what I want to say overall is that experimenting with different styles and brands of polishes is really fun and exciting and I highly recommend you take some polish chances as well; you might find a new brand or a new finish that you absolutely adore!
Thanks for reading! <3