May 26, 2013

Strong Stash Starters: Extra Info

Hey lovelies! I'm absolutely radiant about the positive response my wittle mini series has gotten, but I realized that there might be some things you're wondering about - like what I look for in a polish [both in life and for these posts], my feels about opacity, and how glitter can ever be 'neutral'*? Here is some additional background information that was in my head while thinking up this series, but wasn't expressed in the initial post. I even made up some questions that you might be wondering (but hadn't asked me yet) because sometimes I pretend I'm famous and people are interviewing me. Enjoy!

How do you pick the polishes // what makes a polish "good"?
I am picking polishes that I personally enjoy using and have used multiple times; i.e. staples from my own stash (of too many bottles). For me, these polishes have formulas that are either really opaque (1-2 coats) and don't take too much effort (yay!) OR are otherwise generally easy and pleasant to work with. As an example from the first post, the WnW white creme I mentioned is opaque quickly, like 2 coats, and I love that, so it went on the list. I also included OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls even tho it takes way too many coats for my usual happiness level, but those too many coats are easy to paint because the formula is thin, dries quickly, doesn't drag, I am a pro-wide brush fan, and I like the end color, so it still makes my list. I paint thicker coats than most because I'm a bad girl (more realistically I can't paint thin coats, just like I can't really jog) and because quick dry top coat doesn't judge.

Why isn't there anything from brand _____ or country_____?
I'm currently a United States resident living in a large city in the South with access to a variety of drugstores, but I'm trying very hard to pick polishes that are widely available, at least across American drugstores and those with no qualms about ebay or Amazon. I'm leaving seasonal, HTF, and otherwise limited edition polishes off of my lists. If you live in the UK I recommend Barry M for pretty much anything; I have never been disappointed by Barry and his M. If you live somewhere with Catrice and/or Essence, I also highly recommend them. I'm not as familiar with other national brands, but I'd be happy to point you to my favorite blogger friend in your country if you need help!

What about cruelty free/vegan products? What about not putting lots of bad chemicals on my body?
I am a bad person and when the polish is pretty, I buy it and put it on my fingers anyway. Essentially I haven't made a decision in regards to these topics, but I think it's important to stay educated in general about what products you're using. Sheila at Pointless Cafe has a helpful post + list about cruelty free brands here. In terms of chemicals, to the best of my knowledge most popular drugstore brands are at least 3-free, some like Zoya are 4-free.

Are you getting paid to play favies?
I am not getting paid to pick any of these polish (this isn't a real magazine, you guys). I may choose some that I have received as press samples because I honestly love them + use them and think you could love them, too

Are these posts in a specific order?
No? I'm trying to keep the series interesting by contrasting the types/categories of polishes from week to week. I'm worried that if I talk about my love of plain creme base colors for 6 weeks and then finally talk about glitters no one will be around anymore -_-

Do I actually need all the things you're saying I need?
YES! BECAUSE POLISH! Actually, no, absolutely not. I definitely think you need a good, solid white and black polish, but other than that it's your call. Maybe this list will inspire you! Or you might hate glitter and then we'd be awkward friends, but I 'get' the fact that we're all vastly different polishaholics ;D

Thanks for doing the budget categories, but can you explain what the dollars really mean?
Yes! I hate when people designate something as being like a $$ budget out of $$$$$ but it's like a $200 cotton t-shirt. Whaaaaaa? So here's my budget break down; from my general knowledge polish prices go from $1 up to $27 for Chanel, possibly more for something fancy that I don't know about and will probably never afford in my life. I'm attempting to use the suggested retail prices; I try very hard to find deals and use beauty supply websites that sell below the suggested retail with easy to reach free shipping barriers, so I'm not super in tune with what people might typically pay? [Ulta is VERY over priced for polish, fyi] There is obviously some shifting around between budget tiers because some brands sort of straddle between them, but I'm trying to get a decent guesstimation going.

$ = 1 - 3 = lower priced drugstore brands like Wet n Wild, Pure Ice, Sinful Colors, NYC, Jordana, LA Colors, etc.
$$ = 4 - 6 = mix of drugstore + some beauty brands like Sally Hansen, Revlon, L'Oreal, Milani, China Glaze, etc.
$$$ = 7 - 10 = Orly, CND, Essie, Zoya, NOPI, OPI, etc.
$$$$ = 10 - 15 = Julep, butterLondon, Nails Inc., etc.
$$$$$ = 16+ = Illamasqua, Deborah Lippmann, Chanel, Dior, YSL, Tom Ford, etc.

Will I be happy if I buy the things you are suggesting?
Erm, hopefully? If you paint thicker coats like I do you will probably be very pleased with my descriptions and suggestions. If you paint reallllllly thin coats, then through math and science you will still have to do more coats than what I recommend works for me. I don't make any promises, tho, so no polish slinging, please. If all else fails, check the return policy at the stores you might purchase from before you take the plunge!

*Can you guess what the next topic is for Wednesday's post?!? YAY!


  1. oooh oooh I know.....errrrr ummmmmm CREAM!!! (great series btw and your writing style crack me up)

    1. Haha, so glad you're enjoying it so far :D

  2. Really awesome post to read! How informative :)


    HAHAHHA - you're the best Emma.

  4. Replies
    1. I have to admit, I stole that from Debbie Crumpet; that's her fave thing to say and it's ingrained in my brain

  5. Awe, Missy beat me to it!

    This is going to be my new go-to answer for anything: "YES! BECAUSE POLISH!" I cracked up at this!!

    1. Yay! It's a pretty darn good answer/excuse/reason

  6. I love the way you write! I haven't even had time to read the first stash starter post but I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Can we be BFFs?


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