It’s been awhile since I answered some of the FAQ that I receive periodically. One common theme tends to rise to the top: nail polish. I try to post a NOTD every day- and should easily be able to continue to do so through the rest of 2014 without running out of polishes.
How many nail polishes do you have?
Just over 600. They’re not all high-end, and I’ve been collecting for about 15 years. My older polishes are mostly in good shape. It’s amazing how well they held up before the toxic chemicals were removed! My stash has survived at least ten moves, and was spread across several states at one point. I’m happy to finally have it all in one location.
How do you keep track of them?
I’m a bit of a nerd. I keep an Excel spreadsheet, categorized alphabetically by brand, and then polishes listed by alphabetical shade name. There are also columns for color and shade number. Once I do a NOTD mani and photograph it, I bold the entire line of the spreadsheet. I keep a copy of the spreadsheet on Dropbox so that I can access it on-the-go, although I rarely make impulse nail buys these days due to the sheer size of my stash.
Have you ever bought the same bottle twice?
Yes, several times. I actively am storing backups of several of my favorite shades that were limited edition. However, I bet the question really is if I’ve bought a polish and forgotten that I’ve owned it. That may have happened in my far younger days, when I had to drive 45 minutes to the nearest Ulta as a teenager (so it was a rare, hurried event), but I can’t remember doing that since I’ve been out of school.
How do you store them?
Not well. I take that back, they’re all protected and kept in opaque containers in an area of my home that stays at a relatively steady temperature and isn’t exposed to sunlight. Organizationally, it’s a mess. I really should invest in a Helmer, but it would stick out horribly with my decorating aesthetic. I’ve always joked that if I were to ever get an armoire to hide the tv (yes, I know that’s very 90s but there’s something serene about having no screens in a bedroom), it would likely be filled with nail polish!
What is your favorite polish? Why?
If you’re going to hold me to just one, it’s simple. Chanel Black Pearl. Prior to Black Pearl, I was an OPI/Essie woman. Black Pearl was my gateway drug, if you may. I find it to be such an unexpected classic and always appropriate. My favorite nude is Deborah Lippmann Careless Whisper, and my former go-to is Essie Over-the-Top. I still bring it into heavy rotation at unexpected times. These three shades are the only ones that I actively cultivate a stash of backups because I will be crushed the day that they are no longer in my life.
What are your favorite brands?
Well, a quick glance at my tag cloud should tip you off fairly accurately. My favorite brand is Chanel. There’s something about the patented Chanel shimmer that no other brand can duplicate, and the bottles and packaging just make me happy. Tom Ford is a close second, with the best formula I’ve ever experienced. After those two, I enjoy selected shades from Deborah Lippmann and Dior. I only have a handful of Yves Saint Laurent and Guerlain polishes but find them lovely as well. I enjoy the color range of Butter London, but admittedly they’re not my go-to. Or second thought. Or third.
What high-end brand has disappointed you the most? Why?
I have two brands that come to mind immediately. It pains me to list them under this category because they both make products that I love and rave about. First, Burberry Beauty. I’ve tried two shades from their nail line and have been left far less than impressed. Although I’ve yet to try any of their lip products (which will be changing within 24 hours), I suspect their polishes are the weak link in the line. I adore their eyeshadows and am collecting all of them at an alarmingly fast pace. Second, Giorgio Armani. I’ve only tried one shade and hated the formula. I may revisit a crème formula in the future, but my one and only experience with Armani was a total disaster (regrettably).
Do you actually do a manicure each day for the NOTD posts?
No, I believe I’ve admitted as such in a prior FAQ. There used to be certain visual tells that could easily let the discerning reader figure out which were swatch-only manis and which were actual manis that I kept on my nails until chipping. I’ve gotten better about hiding my tracks (ahem, using top coat), but there are several rules of thumb to remember. First, I work in a conservative industry. A yellow mani was probably for swatches only or a weekend- for example. I’m certainly not afraid of color, but certain shades are far from office friendly. That said, I look at the NOTD collection as a way to force me to experience and love all of my polishes. It’s also a great visual reference for me when I’m stuck. I used to keep swatch sticks, but it became overwhelming.
What was the last polish you bought?
Yves Saint Laurent La Lacque Couture in Rose Baby Doll. My last three polish purchases are all from YSL’s line. Rose Baby Doll, Rouge Pablo, and a LE that I’m going to keep mum about until it actually arrives after my recent Chanel fiasco.
What’s on your wish list?
Too many polishes to count! Here are a few, with rationale:
· All the Chanels. All of them. No explanation necessary
· A crème or two from Guerlain: I’m very pleased with the performance of the three shades I’ve tried thus far, but they’re all metallic or shimmery.
· As many Tom Fords as I can acquire: This is such an amazing formula that even though I likely already own dupes, having a formula that lasts an entire work week is worth every penny.
· Deborah Lippmann Between the Sheets- I’ve been eyeing this for what seems like years, but haven’t pulled the trigger.
· Dolce & Gabanna- I’d like to try something from their nail line.
· Another shade from JinSOON- I found French Lilac to be lovely, so I’d like to explore the line a little bit more. Since I’ve found a local source, I’m more likely to actually purchase.
That’s it for this round of FAQ. Please keep asking!