Tag: Nail Polish

Nail polish 201: A brief history of indie & boutique nail polish


I have a massive nail polish hoard so my compulsive need to ‘collect them all’ abated after a few years. I had all the colors, finishes, glitter, holos I wanted. One thing that still keeps me interested are indie and boutique nail polishes (and the occasional Chanel release).


Yeah…look at that pile! See those bottles on the left right corner? Yup those were some of my first indies! Lilacquer Polish had an etsy and figured out how to do these amazing duo and multichrome toppers before it became mainstream. I loved them!

The next was Girly Bits ‘Shift Happens’ – her own rendition of Clarins 230 or ‘Unicorn Pee’. Apparently the pigment is super rare. The brand and e-tailer ILOVENP currently has a limited edition version which is out of stock called The Magician.

Some of the brands I loved have long since gone – like CultNails and Ozotics (who were rebranded into PicturePolish) – others are still going but don’t offer international shipping anymore like Rainbow Honey.

So the best thing to do? Use an e-tailer that stocks a bunch of indie and boutique brands. I love Femme Fatale cosmetics for this, I can still get my A-Englands! They are based in Australia but ship internationally thank goodness.


The bottle on the left is the current bottle for ILNP


This was a mani using ILNP’s Supernova – a multi-chrome flakie that leans blue and green and everything in between! This was with two coats and topcoat.

So what about New Zealand based nail polish makers? Well we have our very own  Nail Juice – so that’s a good place to start.

Nail polish 101: which base coat & top coat?

Hello! So before posting about my nail polish hoard, I thought I’d cover the basics: the basecoat and topcoat.

I’m a bit old school so I haven’t shifted over to UV gel or dip gel or any of the multitude array of more permanent solutions.

It was a frustrating (and expensive) process but I found a combo that works for my nails. If your nails are very bendy or flaky – dip gel might be best for you if you have a spare 45 mins and want them up to last 6 weeks.

So my combo is Revlon Colorstay Base Coat/ Gel-Smooth Base Coat and Essie Good to Go.

So…what’s the problem with this combo? Revlon a couple of years back discontinued their Color Stay Base Coat! They bought out a line of polishes called Gel Envy that had the basecoat already included in it instead.

But apparently a good replacement is Orly Bonder which you can get from Farmers NZ.

If you want to try something other than Essie, a good swap out is Sally Hansen Insta- Dri.

So choosing the best base coat/top coat (if you even want to use them) is based on a couple of things for me,

  • Does it work? I can get about a week without chipping with most polish brands/types with this combo.
  • Does it bubble? Not too much, but they all do when your fingers are too hot from the heat and humidity.
  • How shiny is it? Shiny! The base coat also acts as a nail ridge filler which helps.
  • How hard is it to apply? Well they can get gloopy – so I normally add a drop or two of some Orly Nail Lacquer thinner when that happens (which I also get at my local Farmers NZ).
  • Smell? They stink! But nail polish tends to have chemically smell anyway. It fades within an hour of application for me.
  • Brush? This made a difference for me in terms of frustration. I have a strong curve in my nails – they certainly don’t lie very flat!

The brush on the Revlon base coat is good for me because it covers a lot of surface area. It’s different from most because Revlon appeared to just have doubled up on a typical thin brush (?!). Weird but it works for me. Press harder and I get lots of coverage, flip it to the edge and I can get around the end of the nail without having to load my brush up.

The Essie Good to Go top coat has a thicker brush – a little thicker than the original ones thank goodness. It let’s me glide over the nail without having to do more strokes and run the risk of adding bubbles (never shake your nail polish – bubbles galore! If you have to, shake and leave for a 30 mins).

I’ve used a number of base coats and top coats over the years (like Seche Vite, OPI RapidDry, INM Out the Door) but because I’m in NZ, I found a combo that was easy for me to get a hold of. All three products are found in my local Farmers NZ (Albany in Auckland). Ranges can be regional so please check!

You can go without, but this combo helps me with staining and chipping. In the future I hope I can trial and post on the newer technologies in nail polish.

Hello, I’m Picon!

Hello, consider this my obligatory introductory post! Sithru kindly invited me to do the occasional guest post – so I guess you can expect to see some random thoughts on my ‘makeup hoard’.

Things to know about me:

  • I hoard pretty nail polish, fragrances, and eyeshadow
  • You might find I throw in some skincare stuff now and then
  • I will always link/tell you where I bought them
  • I am always non-affiliated
  • I am based in New Zealand and am of desi descent
    (around MAC: NW35 and 220 in the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation)

See you soon!